The Efficacy of Policy and Legal Framework for Cooperative Governance and Local Economic Development (LED) in Small Towns in a Selected Region in South Africa

Richard Douglas Kamara,

Babette Rabie


The paper reports on a study investigating the efficacy of policy and legal framework for coop­erative governance and LED to facilitate and coordinate responses to socio-economic concerns in the selected small towns in South Africa. The policy and legal framework place the onus for development on the local municipalities and urge the municipalities to partner with other stakeholders such as the business and the civil society to manage and respond to socio-economic concerns within the municipalities. The purpose of this paper is to review the ‘efficacy of the policy and legal framework’ to facilitate ‘cooperative governance’ and ‘LED’, specifically in six municipalities in the Western Cape Province, South Africa. Data were collected from government officials, private and civil sector through three data collection instruments, namely, document review, interviews and focus group discussions. The key findings from the study are mixed. The policy design and implementation were established problematic in multifarious ways. However, the findings also provide a glimpse of hopes in matters of public accountability by providing policy guidelines aimed at promoting accountability amongst government role-players. Given the backdrop, some recommendations are provided in this paper. This paper provides feedbacks for policy makers and implementers on the performance of policy and legal framework that informs the cooperative governance of local economies, specifically in small towns, to establish as to what is effective to replicate in form of good practice and what is under-performing for possible review. This assist in improving the understanding of the context that may inhibit or enable stakeholders in taking full advantage of collaborative-led developmental interventions to further peoples’ lives and to enhance their opportunities to partake in matters of development in their municipalities. 

JEL: D04, H83, I31

Słowa kluczowe: Cooperative governance, LED, Policy, legal framework, collaboration, socio-economic

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