South Africa: SALGA and CoGTA have, throughout today, held an induction session for councillors serving in the Local Economic Development Portfolio Committees of North West municipalities.
The induction will end tomorrow and covers various topics under LED. Unlike the generic Integrated Councillor Induction Programme (ICIP) held after the 2021 elections, the portfolio based Councillor Induction Programme follows ICIP and is aimed at orientating councillors in the specific portfolios they are responsible for in their municipalities.
The induction is envisaged to provide councilors with a clear understanding of how to spot and source economic opportunities and to effectively play their oversight role in assessing LED strategies that will assist municipalities in implementing relevant projects with a good return on investment.
It came out of today’s session that:
- Madibeng and Rustenburg local municipalities have the best LED models, which other municipalities can benchmark on.
- LED must respond to the needs of citizens
- LED is a crosscutting theme that must be integrated into all other programmes of municipalities, and municipal levers such as land use planning should be used to support local economies.
- Municipalities should ensure that in their municipal processes, there is a link between infrastructure development projects and local economic development as there is a positive relationship between the two.
- Poor service delivery has a negative impact on investment attraction and retention.
- Municipalities must invest in infrastructure projects with spin-offs for local communities. They should spend state funds on improving the lives of people.
- The responsibility of municipalities is to facilitate an environment that is conducive to job creation by attracting investment.
- As a potential means of revenue enhancement, municipalities must support SMMEs to grow their profits and pay rates.