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Local Economic Development and Post-Apartheid Reconstruction in South Africa

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The application of Local Economic Development (LED) planning has been little investigated in the developing world context. In this paper, LED strategies in South Africa are investigated in order to examine the emergence, contemporary directions and problems of entrepreneurial LED strategies across urban South Africa reconstruction. The origins and spread of local authority involvement in LED are analysed in both the international and national contexts. The various LED approaches presently being pursued in South African cities are reviewed and critically discussed in terms of four themes: (1) cities as centres of production; (2) cities as centres of consumption; (3) cities as centres of decision-making; and (4) cities and government surplus. The conclusion evaluates the current directions and problems of local government initiatives for LED in post-apartheid reconstruction and points to the danger of “place wars” as a result of a trend towards the imitation of development projects.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Geography & Environmental Studies, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa

Publication date: 01 December 1997

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