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Interrogating the implementation of local economic development for poverty alleviation in Nkomazi Municipality, Mpumalanga.

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This study interrogates the implementation of Local Economic Development (LED) for poverty alleviation in Nkomazi Local Municipality in Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. Its aim was to examine the implementation of LED activities in the Nkomazi Municipal area, in line with three objectives which were to examine LED strategy, to explore the effectiveness of local economic development for poverty alleviation, and to make a recommendation on how Local Economic Development could be improved in Nkomazi Municipality. This study applied an interpretive paradigm and a qualitative research approach. Purposive sampling was used to select the participants. The data were collected using document analysis and semi-structured interviews. A total of seven participants were involved, including both males and females. The study found out that the Nkomazi Local Economic Development strategy was not compelling, and its essential components on poverty alleviation were only partial and led to constrained impact. The research findings revealed that the main reasons for LED Implementation project were to create jobs in order to alleviate poverty and unemployment. The secondary reasons include skills development, networking, cultural promotion, and municipal community development. The key recommendation is that partnerships with private stakeholders, businesses, and community organizations must be strengthened to address the problem of unemployment. This would open space for more stable job opportunities for the community. Local Economic Development is everybody’s business including the local population, local business, and government. This research concluded that the LED strategy established in the municipality has inadequate funding to implement LED and lacks skilled management, as well as knowledge about the processes and the procedure of LED. The municipalities have good policies that support the implementation and funding of local economic development, but there is still a gap in terms of enforcing those policies, which include fully implementing the stages of the World Bank economic model to yield effective and sustainable results.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.