n Journal of Public Administration - Assessing the implementation of local economic development in South African rural municipalities : a case study of Alfred Duma Municipality

Volume 55 Number 1
  • ISSN : 0036-0767


The study assesses the implementation of local economic development (LED) in South African rural areas using as a case study of the Alfred Duma Municipality. The overall objective was to explore the successes, challenges and constraints experienced by the Municipality in the implementation of LED programmes with a view to identifying possible interventions that may assist other South African rural municipalities in general, and Alfred Duma Municipality in particular, in implementing their LED programmes for sustainable socio-economic development. This is an empirical study that draws evidence from face-to-face in-depth interviews with senior officials from Alfred Duma Municipality as well as data gathered through field visits to the municipality. The concept of LED provides the conceptual frame of analysis. The study established that while some projects have managed to produce intended outputs, most of the LED programmes in Alfred Duma Municipality are confronted with a plethora of challenges that include deficiency of human and material resources, insufficient technical capacity, funding constraints, limited knowledge among community members, inadequate space for informal traders, non-integration of most projects into market value chains, and over-reliance on government for project funding. From the findings of the study, the article recommends a participatory and integrated approach in implementing LED projects and programmes as well as the urgent need for introducing interventions to facilitate sustainable capacity building, funding, and marketing of LED programmes in Alfred Duma Municipality in particular, and in other South African rural areas in general.

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