A community-based impact assessment of the Wild Coast Spatial Development Initiative, 1997-2004
DEVELOPMENT SOUTHERN AFRICA
University of Ottawa, CIETafrica, CIETcanada, CIET Trust, Univ Autonoma Guerrero
Much of the debate around the spatial development initiatives (SDIs) in South Africa is based on economic theory. To add the community perspective, an evaluation of local economic development on the Wild Coast followed a baseline in 1997 with comparable surveys in 2000 and 2004. Apart from an increase in access to piped water and a reduction in unofficial payments for health services, there was little community evidence of development over this period. Residents reported decreasing knowledge of the SDI and there was no increase in numbers considering small business ownership. In the investment-intensive 'anchor' areas, as in the SDI as a whole, there was no significant increase in employment and more households received remitted incomes from migrant workers. In an SDI for small businesses in tourism and agriculture, there was a dramatic fall off in food production. No more households had loans in 2004 than in 1997, but more were taking loans from loan sharks. Other spatial planning initiatives might learn from the Wild Coast, not least through the perspectives gained from community-based impact assessments.