n Africa Insight - Making plans against all odds : LED in small towns of the Free State Province, South Africa

Volume 38, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Since the transition to democracy, there has been an increasing emphasis on local economic development (LED) in South Africa. The LED efforts in three small municipalities of the Free State Province are examined against the international framework for LED planning and implementation. Often, LED is limited to numerous small capital projects and that it is neither regarded as an integral part of all projects nor directed at addressing the real structural problems associated with the economies of small towns. Moreover, in most cases they are not sustainable, but are dependent on constant funding. Local municipalities could make a bigger impact on the local economy, by considering LED as an integral part of service delivery and functioning.

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