Efficacy of Participation in Local Economic Development: Ngqushwa Local Municipality, Eastern Cape
Sustainable local economic development (LED) in the interest of communities as both participants and beneficiaries is best founded in a process of co-planning by stakeholders and should lead to a mutually empowering beneficial knowledge partnership.
This article explores participation as a strategic approach that leads to co-planning through LED. In doing so, it draws on findings from a study conducted in the Ngqushwa Local Municipality in the Eastern Cape, which assesses the perceptions of stakeholders concerning the role of participation as a strategy utilised by ward committees to guide and direct LED.
The findings indicate that the ward committee system functions as optimally as possible and that different types of participation take place. However, a number of challenges are encountered, including a lack of capacity to sustain continuous empowering participation in the interest of LED. Recommendations include the improvement of organisational accountability and building the capacity of ward committees to engage in LED.