Country South Africa
Region Africa
Duration Start 1 January, 2012 till 31 December, 2016
Field of expertise Improving Access to Basic Services
Policy field(s) Local economic development
Inter-municipal co-operation
Institutional development
Water Management
Public policy and planning
Funding Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Netherlands
Project code LG.01.ZA
Objective: Contributing to social and economic development through stimulating Local Economic Development (LED)
Target group: 15 local governments, 3 Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs) and the national association of local governments SALGA
Intended result: Local governments are better able to promote economic development
Activities: Coaching, training, workshops and network meetings

The South African economy has seen remarkable growth figures in the past few years, but that growth barely reaches the poor population groups. Unemployment remains high, and inequality grows. Decentralised governments play crucial role in the national policy for economic development. It is, amongst others, their role to create an enabling environment for economic activity at local level, aiming to have more local people benefit from the increase in prosperity. But the mandate of local governments is not always equally clear; in addition knowledge and experience is often lacking.

Local governments and CMAs
The LGCP South Africa programme wants to contribute to local governments being better able to formulate and implement plans for Local Economic Development. 15 municipalities have been selected, as well as 3 Catchment Management Agencies (CMAs, comparable to Dutch water authorities). The national local government association SALGA is also closely involved in the programme. The participative method is focal point in the approach. Councillors and officials are being trained in how they can facilitate an enabling environment for the business community. It is evident to involve all relevant parties in the local approach.

The LGCP aims to assist 15 local governments to enhance their capacity so that they are better able to draw up and implement plans for economic development. They must also be able to contribute to a favourable business climate in their region. The new Catchment Management Agencies will be responsible for the allocation of water and the quality control of waste water being discharged by local governments. Through this CMAs play an important role in the facilitation of a favourable business climate. A good relationship between local governments and the CMAs is necessary. The umbrella organisation SALGA is supported by VNG to adequately represent the interests of local governments with regard to Local Economic Development and to provide greater clarity regarding the mandate of local governments in this area.

What do we want to achieve?
- 15 local governments and 3 Catchment Management Agencies are able to design effective policies for Local Economic Development and water management.
- 15 local governments and 3 CMAs have the capacity to implement that policy.
- The CMAs have designed strategies for the further development of their organisations.
- Local governments, CMAs and the umbrella organisation SALGA know how to engage external parties to better implement their policies.
- Councillors and officials understand the importance of Local Economic Development and work on that together.