n Journal of Public Administration - Perceived contribution of township enterprises on Local Economic Development in Mabopane Township, South Africa

Volume 54 Number 4-1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


Local Economic Development (LED) aspires to build the economic capacity of a local territory and improve the economic future and quality of life of community members. The purpose of the study on which this article is based was to determine the perceived contribution of township enterprises (TEs), known as community-based enterprises (CBEs), on LED in Mabopane, Northern Gauteng, following a survey design and developing recommendations for Local Economic Development. A total of 741 respondents, categorised into community individuals, formal and informal TEs, participated in the research. T-tests and Cronbach's Alpha were used to analyse data. The results revealed that the perceived contribution of TEs on human capital development in Mabopane was insignificant. Although TEs are perceived as having a positive contribution on LED through internal networks, and social and cultural capitals, this contribution was seen to be relatively low. It is recommended that TEs, government, and local actors should collaborate to achieve self-reliant community-led LED. While the study lacks the ability to determine cause-effect relationships due to the cross-sectional nature of the design, important shortcomings were identified that hinder Mabopane from realising its LED potential. Future research should in particular focus on the promotion of 'bridging social capital' in Mabopane and how Mabopane, as an urban township and member of the Tshwane metropolitan region, can benefit from this urban resource base.

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