Developmental local government in the 21st century Implementing local economic development as a new mandate

16 Oct 2013

The problem statement of this article is to show that South African local government does not exist in a vacuum, but is a member of and signatory to various international forums and declarations which her sustainable development has to respect. It is in this context that the article provides for the concept and background of developmental local government in the 21st century, and discuses how South Arican developmental local government could implement local economic growth and development programmes as a new mandate to move citizens away from despair to the age of hope and prosperity. The angle of approach to local government transformation in the 1980s of the Nordic countries is discussed prior to a brief examination of the African perspective on local government in the context of the international perspectives on the concept and background of developmental local government. This is followed by a perspective on the historical evolution and functioning of local government in Africa. In addition, the article considers the new role of developmental local government in the 21st century as that of improving and sustaining local economic development (LED). In this context, a LED model is adapted and proposed to policy makers and LED practitioners in South African municipalities to accelerate the improvement of socio-economic conditions of their local inhabitants.