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The National Framework for Local Economic Development (LED): Creating Innovation Driven Local Economies 2018 – 2028 – Local Economic Development

The National Framework for Local Economic Development (LED): Creating Innovation Driven Local Economies 2018 – 2028

The National Framework for Local Economic Development (LED): Creating…

The adopted revised 2018-2028 National Framework for Local Economic Development is built upon the achievements and lessons gained in the implementation of the 2006-2011 LED Framework. The 2018-2028 LED Framework sets out an expanded vision for LED which identifies with high levels of certainty what needs to be done in order to move towards a more successful form of LED, which is underpinned by the need to advance and deepen our understanding of LED and its function in national, regional development, and growth in South Africa.

The National LED Framework provides a vision for the planning and implementation of LED in South Africa. It delivers a guide to various sectors about the role they can play in driving innovation-led Local Economic Development.

The 2018-2028 National Framework for LED reveal how Science, Technology and Innovation (STI) and other forms of innovation will be used to achieve better development outcomes and identify systemic interventions, which can improve the performance of LED. It emphasizes that LED is a territorial approach to development, an inclusive and innovative process, and should result in stronger local economies

The framework is anchored on six Core Policy Pillars that will influence the design, development and implementation of LED:

  • Building diverse & innovation-driven local economies;
  • Developing inclusive economies;
  • Developing learning and skilful economies;
  • Enterprise development and support;
  • Economic governance and infrastructure;
  • Strengthening local systems of innovation.

Implementation of the National Framework for Local Economic Development:

  1. The Integrated Township Economic Development Programme:

The Revised National framework for Local Economic Development identifies the creation of inclusive economies as one of its key pillars – with a view to integrate township economies into the mainstream economic landscape. As part of the implementation of the framework, the LED unit has initiated a process to develop an Integrated Township Economic Development Programme to respond to the imperative of developing thriving local economies and position township economies as focal points of government interventions and further design and package specific interventions that will be implemented by different role players.

The approach to focus on townships is informed by the reality that South African townships are characterised by the highest levels of unemployment, poverty and inequality. In order to respond to the problems of high unemployment and poverty in townships, township economies have been identified as a critical vehicle to drive the South African economy to upward trajectory.

The construction of this programme will be anchored on the following strategic pillars:

  • Spatial Transformation of township economies.
  • Mapping and profiling of townships.
  • Exemption incentives for township economies.
  • Image enhancement of township economies.
  • Investment strategies of township economies.
  • Eco-systems for township economies.
  • Economic Infrastructure and technology development.

  1. The R61 Regional Corridor Development Initiative

In the Revised National Framework for Local Economic Development one of the pillars that feature in the Framework talks to diverse and innovative economies, which also proposes the promotion of regional LED approach. Similarly, there is a responsibility to implement Local Economic Development beyond geographical and political boarders, where there are competitive advantages, and similarities within a particular region.

The Department of Cooperative Governance (DCOG) joined forces with the Department of Science and Technology (as they are the custodians of implementing innovation across the country) and the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) also came on board to assist with testing science, technology and innovation to pilot the R61 Regional Corridor Development Initiative.

The R61 is a provincial route in SA that connects Beaufort West with Port Shepstone via Graaff-Reinet, Queenstown, Mthatha and Port Edward within the Eastern Cape the route covers Alfred Nzo, OR Tambo and Chris Hani District Municipalities.

There are numerous programs and initiatives that have made significant progress, for instance, the revitalization of industrial parks in Mthatha and Komani, the Agri-Parks programme led by the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform, and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)-led programme of the Wild-Coast Special Economic Zone (SEZ). However, many of these initiatives and programmes undertaken in this space were uncoordinated, and measuring impact proved to be a challenge. This initiative seeks to leverage on the existing public investment and undertake implementation in a coordinated manner.

  1. Revitalisation of distressed mining towns and labour sending areas

In October 2012 the former President led the signing of a Social Accord with Government, Business and Labour referred to as the Special Presidential Package (SPP), which amongst other commitments was to address socio-economic challenges in the mining towns and labour sending areas. Before the signing of the social accord, an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) for the Revitalisation of Distressed Mining Communities was established to address Part 3 of the Social Accord (SPP): Addressing socio-economic challenges in mining districts and their labour sending areas.

DCOG through the office of the Director-General signed a grant agreement for Tirelo-Bosha Public Service Improvement Grant, supported by the Belgian Development Agency. The fund was part of DCOG’s programme for the implementation of the “Revitalisation of distressed mining towns and labour sending areas, through capacity building of frontline municipal officials.

The primary objective of the project was to develop a tailor-made Municipal Mining Guideline document that provides basic guidance for municipal frontline officials to be able to engage successfully with their stakeholders and management., in order to strengthen partnerships with mining houses in their jurisdiction.

Currently the DCOG is collaborating with GIZ and Goldfields to explore building alternative economies in the West Rand leveraging on Social and Labour Plan of Goldfields.