Tracking Local Economic Development Policy and Practice in South Africa, 1994-2009

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Local economic development (LED) is a salient public policy issue in South Africa. This article offers a critical analysis both of the current policy status of LED in South Africa and of 15 years of evolving LED practice. Themes of concern are an overview and discussion of current LED policies, frameworks and guidelines; the key LED stakeholders and of how they define their own roles in LED; and the emergence and state of the practice of LED in South Africa since the 1994 democratic transition. It is argued that considerable overlap and duplication of tasks exist among key institutional stakeholders. National government must assume a greater leadership role and establish clear LED guidelines to assist often poorly capacitated local authorities to facilitate LED activities. Fifteen years of LED practice in South Africa have served to reinforce geographical inequalities in economic and social development across the country.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-168
Number of pages20
JournalUrban Forum
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • Local economic development
  • Policy
  • South Africa
  • Spatial inequality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Urban Studies


Dive into the research topics of 'Tracking Local Economic Development Policy and Practice in South Africa, 1994-2009'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this