n Journal of Public Administration - Strengthening local economic development (LED)

Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



The establishment and existence of Local Economic Development (LED) units, sections and divisions within municipal administration and management is a legislative requirement. Thus, an Integrated Development Plan (IDP) should explicitly specify LED plans and how activities would be coordinated within the entire municipality by different departments. Thus, principles of LED inter-departmental relations within a municipality are necessary to be established.

However, municipal LED in South Africa has not been fruitful or effectively functional. Communities in different provinces responded with mass demonstrations 'crying foul' over municipal lack of service delivery. The government responded by appointing the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) to probe the matter and look at possible political maneuverings ahead of municipal elections of December 2005. The government eventually adopted Project Consolidate. Project Consolidate is administered by various departments and is facilitated by the Department of Provincial and Local Government.
The paper undertakes conceptual and empirical aspects in order to locate the position of LED within municipal administration as a contemporary service delivery means. Furthermore, amongst others, general challenges hampering the effectiveness of LED such as incapacity, corruption and maladministration within municipalities are discussed.

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