Impact of Local Economic Development on livelihoods in Ba-Phalaborwa, South Africa
Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences
University of Limpopo, Turfloop Graduate School of Leadership, Webster Street, Edupark, Fauna Park, PO Box 759, Polokwane 0787, South Africa
Local Economic Development has been adopted by the South African government as one of the strategies to alleviate poverty and reduce unemployment. This article evaluates the impact of Local Economic Development on the livelihoods of communities in the Ba-Phalaborwa Local Municipality. The article contributes to the understanding of local economic development in the context of community projects which are regarded as LED projects. The article used both qualitative and quantitative research designs in which a questionnaire and interviews were used for data collection. The article argues that there is need to offer adequate infrastructure in order to enhance business development in a rural, sub-urban or urban environment and that local economic development is important in a municipal context in the reduction of poverty, unemployment and the creation of jobs. The major contribution of this article is a model of LED projects which empowers communities for self sufficiency; nurtures community cohesion and development; creates jobs, encourages community participation; generates incomes; fosters cooperation and partnerships; allows for the spread of technical support; promotes networks, local cultures and traditions; and the building of sustainable communities.