Certified local economic developers are the cornerstone of municipalities that want to grow their economies and uplift the standard of living within communities in South Africa.
Both internationally and in South Africa, there is growing awareness that economic development strategies are most effective when they are designed and implemented at a local level.
Local stakeholders are more familiar with the challenges and opportunities faced by the local economy and community and are therefore best placed to design and implement successful economic development strategies. For this reason, local economic development (LED) has emerged as an approach to economic development that holds the potential to promote social and economic development in a way that meets the basic needs of the poor and contributes to the growth of local economies.
This book is the first of its kind in South Africa. Its purpose is to contribute to a shared conceptual understanding of LED, provide guidelines on integrated LED planning and implementation, and contribute to the increasing need for the professionalisation of those working in LED and related sectors.
The content in this book is the result of 20 years of experience working with LED directorates in municipalities and extensive consultation with key public and private LED stakeholders in South Africa. The book is aligned to the competency requirements and continuous professional development programmes of the Economic Development Council of South Africa (EDCSA), which is the professional body for LED and other economic development professionals.