Planning the Future

Several master plans for economic and infrastructure development in the iLembe district which were produced under the Vuthela iLembe LED Support Programme projects have laid a strong foundation for future growth in the district. These also serve as information sources for project identification, prioritisation and funding allocation.

An overall District Local Economic Development Strategy and Implementation Plan was developed, which included the formulation of three local strategies and implementation plans for Maphumulo, Mandeni and Ndwedwe.

The Vuthela Programme also assisted to develop the iLembe district’s first District Development Model (DDM) One Plan, which was completed, and approved by the DDM Political Hub in December 2022.

Challenges for coordination

Creating mechanisms for co-operation and coordination among parties has been a challenge.

The District LED Forum and District Economic Facilitation Committee (for public- private dialogue) are existing structures, but are largely moribund. The DDM Economic Cluster now constitutes the formal active co-ordinating and economic governance mechanism for the district, but its meetings are marred by poor participation and the focus of the meetings is the tabling and noting of routine activity reports by different agencies of government with little or no strategic discussion, identification of economic priorities or reviewing of activities and outputs against a clearly understood and articulated economic strategy and plan for the district.

The Economic Cluster needs a secretariat that includes an economic technical competency in addition to a purely administrative function to provide for a more strategic, programmatic and prioritised approach to the work of the cluster.

The District Development Model One Plan, District Economic Recovery Strategy, District LED Strategy, Municipal LED Strategies and Implementation Plan need to be reviewed, integrated and a clear commonly understood framework provided for guiding coordinated economic planning in the district.

Structured, programmatic public-private dialogue also needs to be institutionalised. Enterprise iLembe has been strengthened as a LED driver for the district and is well placed to lead this initiative.

The iLembe District Economic Development Facilitation Committee needs to be revitalised as a formal public-private dialogue mechanism as a component of the DDM Economic cluster and properly resourced through Enterprise iLembe to ensure that economic planning and programming is better focused on business enabling interventions with material impact on the local economy.

Photo: Adil Nunkumar, Director, Finance Department, KwaDukuza Local Municipality