Construction and infrastructure development in local economic development : a Southern Cape perspective

Terblanche, Johan Christiaan (2007-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2007.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: During the past decade the government of South Africa has launched various initiatives to stimulate the economy in general, but more specifically to economically and socially empower previously disadvantaged communities. Initially these initiatives have been very broadly defined, but are increasingly fitting in with the concept of Local Economic Development (LED). The concept of LED is not new; in fact, research has shown that LED initiatives have been successfully implemented in various countries in the world with needs and problems very similar to those of South Africa. This study focuses on the Eden District Municipality in the Western Cape province of South Africa and more specifically on the relation between LED and the construction industry. To answer some relevant questions relating to this topic, a questionnaire has been distributed to the agents of LED in the major municipalities of the district. The survey was divided into four main sections, which dealt with issues relating to both the construction industry and local economic development. The responses in general reflected what could be observed in practice. Due to the current relatively high economic growth in South Africa the regional economies also experience good economic growth. Focusing on the issue of Local Economic Development, it is important to note that the economy of the Eden District is driven by the tourism and public services sectors. Taking the cue from the survey responses, the deduction has therefore been made that the construction industry, consisting of the building and infrastructure subsectors, is driven by the demand for housing and public services. The construction industry was therefore not a driver of economic development, but more a 'secondary' industry, that would benefit from sustainable growth and development in the primary economic sectors. Therefore it is important that managers and agents of local economic development should consider the issue of sustainability when deciding on empowerment and development initiatives. Sustainable development can only be achieved when development initiatives are focused on sectors of the local economy that are the 'primary' industries in the region, and therefore less susceptible to fluctuations in the global and South African economy.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gedurende die laaste 12 jaar het die regering van Suid Afrika verskeie inisiatiewe van stapel gestuur met die doel om die ekonomie te stimuleer, en meer spesifiek om voorheen benadeelde gemeenskappe en individue op maatskaplike en ekonomiese gebied te bemagtig. Aanvanklik was hierdie inisiatiewe slegs breedweg gedefinieer, maar algaande het dit in meer doelgerigte konsepte ontwikkel, waaronder die konsep van Plaaslike Ekonomiese Ontwikkeling (PEO). Hierdie konsep is egter nie nuut nie, en 'n kort literatuurstudie het getoon dat PEO-inisiatiewe reeds met sukses geimplementeer is in verskeie lande met behoeftes en probleme baie soortgelyk aan die van Suid Afrika. Hierdie studie fokus op die Eden Distriksmunisipaliteit in die Wes-Kaap provinsie van Suid Afrika en meer spesifiek op die verband tussen PEG en die konstruksie-industrie. Ten einde sekere relevante vrae te beantwoord, is 'n vraelys aan die verskeie rolspelers in PEG in die groter Munisipaliteite in die distrik gestuur. Die vraelys het uit vier dele bestaan wat elk oor kwessies van beide konstruksie en plaaslike ontwikkeling gehandel het. Die terugvoer van die vraelyste bevestig dat die ekonomiee van die onderskeie provinsies en streke dieselfde positiewe groei ondervind as die landsekonomie in die algemeen. Indien meer spesifiek op die konsep van PEG gefokus word, dan word dit gou duidelik dat die ekonomie van die Eden Distrik hoofsaaklik deur die toerisme- en openbare dienste sektore gedryf word. Hierdie feit, sowel as die antwoorde op die vraelyste, het gelei tot die gevolgtrekking dat die konstruksie-industrie, wat uit die bou- en infrastruktuur subsektore bestaan, hoofsaaklik deur die vraag na behuising en publieke dienste gedryf word. Die konstruksie-industrie is dus nie self 'n drywer van ekonomiese ontwikkeling nie, maar in werklikheid 'n 'sekondere' industrie wat baat vind by volhoubare groei en ontwikkeling in die primere ekonomiese sektore. Dit is dus noodsaaklik dat bestuurders en agente van PEG die konsep van volhoubaarheid deeglik oorweeg wanneer daar oor bemagtigings- en ontwikkelings-inisiatiewe besin word. Volhoubare ontwikkeling kan slegs suksesvol geimplementeer word wanneer ontwikkelingsinisiatiewe op die primere industriee in 'n streek gefokus word wat in die algemeen minder blootgestel is aan die sikliese beweging van die Suid-Afrikaanse en globale ekonomiee.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/21998
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