State-business partnership in poverty reduction : a case study of three public-private partnerships in Swaziland
Thesis (MPhil (Sustainable Development Planning and Management))--University of Stellenbosch, 2009.
The study asserts that Swaziland’s socio-economic development challenges cannot be effectively tackled by the Government and civil society alone but requires the participation of the private sector. The study explores the prospects for collaboration between the state and business in the context of MDGs, PPPs and CSR. The study highlights the importance of the participation of beneficiaries in the design and implementation of development projects. The importance of beneficiary participation in the design and implementation of development initiatives is discussed in the context of “good governance” linked to the notion of sustainable human development. The case studies are aimed at poverty reduction/alleviation. Linkages between the private sector and SMEs in advancing broad economic growth are explored in the case studies. It is argued that economic growth is a necessary condition for creating employment and fighting poverty underpinned by the MDGs. The Moneni upgrading project (section 3.2) explores the extent the initiative aims to improve the living standards of low-income and poor communities in line with the MDGs. The STH case study (section 3.3) is a spin off from government. The STH seeks to provide a market intermediary for the SME sector particularly rural based cultural “handicraft” industries in Swaziland as way to mitigate the effects of poverty for marginalised rural producers. The last case study (section 3.4) discusses the entrepreneur of the year awards (EYA), an initiative aimed at reducing poverty and promoting local economic empowerment and sustainable development in Swaziland. The study recommended further research in view of the major constraints highlighted by the study. It was problematic to engage in critical and detailed discourse because the concepts explored by the study are new in the Swazi development context. The other dimension that compromised detailed analysis was posed by the unavailability of research data related to both the Swazi private sector and SME sectors. The majority of the SME sector operate at micro level and have insignificant economic turnover. Further studies are important to explore ways to promote linkages for growth of these sectors in the context of poverty reduction/alleviation.