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Sustainable socio-economic development and poverty alleviation strategies for communities : a review of the Royal Bafokeng Nation initiative.

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Many people and their communities, especially in rural Africa and other developing countries, battle to manage and reduce starvation, poverty and unemployment. Unfortunately, these problems cannot be left to governments, private enterprises and outside donor organizations to solve. Without the communities' involvement in and ownership of these processes, even sensible programmes will be unsustainable. One community that has been exploring and attempting to tackle these problems is the Royal Bafokeng Nation (RBN) in South Africa. Through their socio-economic development agency, the Royal Bafokeng Economic Board (RBEB), their infrastructure development agency, the Royal Bafokeng Administration (RBA), their investment development company, Royal Bafokeng Holdings (RBH), and their political support institution, the Supreme Council, the RBN is attempting to find new, innovative, and sustainable solutions to some of the most intractable problems in the developing world, taking into consideration the special issues that face all South Africans. This study therefore will analyse the ways in which the RBN are attempting to achieve sustainable socio-economic development, within their context. It will review the strategic formation and work done by the RBN, with special emphasis on the nexus of development "best practice" and the traditional Tswana, South African, African, and global contexts. The analysis will use systems thinking, chaos and complexity science, and strategic enactment approaches. Further analysis will focus on the lessons learnt from the structures of the RBN that might be applicable to other developing communities. This will be done using the concepts of business architecture, an organisational dynamics approach, leadership and sustainable development from a rural perspective. The study will make use of both primary and secondary research techniques, in order to identify current and potential issues and challenges that may help fast track the delivery mechanisms ofthe RBN: • Primary research comprises direct interviews with a wide range of stakeholders, both internal and external to the Bafokeng Nation. • Secondary research comprises archival research within the RBN and its associated organisations in the Bafokeng community, as well as related documents and literature emanating from other contexts around the world. The Bafokeng case highlights a local or indigenous approach to socio-econornic development that gives ownership of the development to the people being developed. By analysing the Bafokeng case, its successes and failures in socio-economic development, I will attempt to draw conclusions about the importance or role of indigenous values, practices and institutions in the development process.


Thesis (M.Sc.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, 2007.


Sustainable development--South Africa., Poverty--South Africa., Theses--Leadership and innovation.