Local Economic Development and Urban Poverty Alleviation: The Case of Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality

Roland Darlington Mbeba


Local Economic Development has in recent years, gained wide spread acceptance, as a locality-based response to economic challenges. It is now firmly on the agenda of many national and local government and key international agencies. Reviewing extensive literature on LED, the study sought to establish the impact of the LED strategy employed by Buffalo City Municipality, and assess the extent to which it has alleviated poverty. The study shows that the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) LED strategy has limited impact on poverty alleviation due to a myriad of factors. The paper is empirical and descriptive in design and relied on extensive literature review. The paper argues that there is significant room for a paradigm shift from predominantly pro-growth to pro-poor LED, and the necessity of adopting a comprehensive LED strategy that seeks to include of both pro-growth and pro-poor strategies. Both cannot operate without the other in the bid to promote development in Buffalo City, mainly through agriculture, tourism. SMMEs also have significant potential to bring about local economic development. Moreover, the promotion of Private-Public Partnerships plays an integral role in the socio-economic development of Buffalo City, and the participation of local people is even more fundamental, which will give them the opportunity to take charge of their own development. Therefore, the study advocates for a new LED agenda, which is pro-poor, all-inclusive, and moves away from ‘piecemeal’ project based LED activities, and adopts comprehensive economic programmes so that LED has significant impact on poverty alleviation.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n20p347

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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