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Socio-economic performance of municipalities along the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC): Implications for the National Development Plan (NDP) of 2011

C Khoza


The economic successes of the Maputo Development Corridor (MDC) project demonstrate that corridor development can provide solutions to economic development in landlocked African countries. However, the National Development Plan (NDP) (2011) cites a lack of employment opportunities and under-maintained infrastructure among the inhibitors of economic development, including the area within the MDC, where infrastructure maintenance has, in fact, been praised. This article aims to establish the socio-economic performance of the MDC region between 1996 and 2011, by comparing it to Mpumalanga and the other provinces, and comparing the socioeconomic performance of the six MDC municipalities with each other. Results indicate that the socio-economic performance of the MDC region is consistently better than Mpumalanga and, in certain cases, the region even outperforms the other provinces, thus  demonstrating the success of the MDC project. Furthermore, the municipalities that showed stronger economic potential in 1996 (Emalahleni, Steve Tshwete and Mbombela) continued to prosper in 2011 at the expense of the poorer municipalities (Nkomazi, Victor Khayne and Emakhazeni). Policy implications for the NDP (2011) are discussed.