Mayor to lead the charge during second LED Forum

Annette Willemse -- Wed, 11/18/2015 - 15:10

Mayor to lead the charge during second LED Forum

Who better to discuss issues pertaining to local economic development in the Vaal Triangle region than the Executive Mayor of the Emfuleni Local Municipality, Cllr Simon Mofokeng?

Cllr Simon Mofokeng

 

During the upcoming Vaal Local Economic Development (LED) Forum – which is to take place on 19 November 2015 on the Vaal Triangle Campus of the North-West University (NWU Vaal), Cllr Mofokeng will join several other high-level speakers to debate initiatives to revitalize the economy of the Vaal Triangle region through enhanced coordination, best practice success stories and possible implementation strategies. The forum – presented by the AppLED Research Group (Applied Local Economic Development) within the Faculty of Economic Sciences and Information Technology, will showcase six discussion groups covering the following topics:

  1. Institutional development, infrastructure, governance and service delivery.
  2. Township revitalization.
  3. Entrepreneurship and small business development.
  4. Tourism, environment and the Vaal River.
  5. Industry, manufacturing and agro processing.
  6. Agriculture and agro processing.

The event will mark the second meeting of the Vaal LED Forum and keynote speakers include: Cllr Simon Mofokeng, Mr Erik Du Preez, Dr Esmé Young, Mr Klippies Kritzinger, Mr William Mphuting and Dr Danie Meyer.

More about AppLED

The AppLED research group is headed-up by Dr Danie Meyer – a lecturer within the School of Economic Sciences on the Vaal Triangle Campus. According to Dr Meyer, a group such as AppLED has the potential to impact the region in several ways, including the development of job creation initiatives, benchmarking the acceptable levels of service delivery, offer support to SMME development as well as the provision of statistical data in terms of poverty and quality of life analysis. “LED is everybody’s business, and it is important for us to educate and mobilise local LED champions,” explained Dr Meyer and added that local government structures have a Constitutional mandate to promote LED in terms of Section 153. Within this context, LED can be defined as the process through which a community’s standard of living can be preserved and increased through a process of human and physical development that is based on principles of equity and sustainability.

Projects already completed include LED strategies and LUMS (Land Use Management Systems) for several municipalities, including: Fezile Dabi District Municipality in the Northern Free State, the Metsimaholo Local Municipality in the Northern Free State and the Sedibeng District Municipality in Gauteng. Other projects includes assisting Sasol Industries with the compilation of a Corporate Social Investment (CSI) Master Plan and assisting the Sedibeng District Municipality with comments regarding an integrated transport plan, and the establishment of the Vaal Logistics Hub. The latter refers to a Special Economic Zone to facilitate inland port for freight and logistics, and facilitate the movement of goods from manufacturing and other sectors for domestic, national and international destinations.

According to Dr Meyer, the ultimate goals of AppLED is to be a major source of support and information to ensure municipalities can accelerate service delivery and economic development. "Research outputs will be made available to municipalities and regular workshops will be held to transfer knowledge and to exchange ideas," explains Dr Meyer and adds that AppLED is already represented on the Sedibeng Mayoral Investment Council and the Fezile Dabi District Municipality’s LED Forum.

For more information, please send an e-mail to Daniel.meyer@nwu.ac.za