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Local Economic Development Manager’s Responsibilities

The Local Economic Development is responsible for the provision of the municipal LED Services

Functions:

  • Tourism Development, Marketing and promotion
  • Arts trasts and cultural promotion
  • SMME Development and poverty allaviation
  • Policy and strategy formulation
  • Monitoring and evaluation of Municipal LED
  • Business development and investment promotion
  • Town and spatial developmental assessment and awareness

Economic Characteristics

Port St. Johns municipality has a population of approximately 152 000. Its Gross Geographical Product (GGP) contributes approximately 2.3% to OR Tambo District Municipality’s and is the smallest of the seven municipalities under ORTDM. The most dominant sector is the Community Services Sector, which contributes about 66% of the PSJ GGP. Trade and Manufacturing sectors follow this, which contributes 12.3% and 8.6% respectively. Although Tourism and Agriculture are priorities of the municipality and perceived to be creating a sizeable amount of jobs, Tourism has not been measured and agriculture contributes about 5.6% to the GGP. Social grants and informal trading largely drive the economy.
Labour Force
The population of Port St. Johns is largely illiterate with limited skilled people. According Statistics SA, elementary occupations (unskilled labour) contribute 32% of the labour force. Initiatives to engage the community into adult literacy programs are underway through Abed and Karigude adult literacy campaign.

LED Documents

 

• LED Strategy
• LED Strategic Plan
• Master Plan
• PSJ Agricultural Status
• PSJ Integrated Development
• Water Front Development Feasibility Study
• Local Tourism Organization Draft Strategy
• PSJ Ward Based Local Area Plans (LAP’s)
• Estuary Management Plans (Mzintlava and Mngazana)
• Environmental Management Plan Draft
• Master Plan Draft
• PSJ Community Based Organizations (CBO’s) and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO’s)
• LED Projects (2008-09)
• PSJ LED Forum stakeholders & Database of Businesses & SMME’s

AGRICULTURE

The climatic and soil conditions render Port Saint Johns viable for a number of agricultural products. Although agriculture is prevalent throughout the area, it is not a significant sector and contributes very little to the local economy due to the subsistence nature thereof.
Subsistence farming consists mainly of poultry farming and cash crops such as vegetables and maize. Commercial activities are minimal and are focused on spinach, cabbage and green maize.
Based on soil and climatic conditions of the municipality and various studies conducted by the Agricultural Research Council (ARC), the municipality is most suitable for crop and fruit production.
A project of fruit production worth R500m along the Mngazi River is at its inception stage. This is a public, private partnership between As-gisa, Industrial Development Corporation, the municipality and the community along the Mngazi River.

SMME

The development of Small Businesses is now recognized as a common strategy for Local Economic Development in South Africa. We as the municipality are playing a facilitation role between governments initiatives to support SMME’s and further play a role in providing the necessary infrastructure for business to thrive.

We are however facing challenges in sourcing funding for the necessary infrastructure. A co-ordinating structure is in the process of being formed by the Department of Corporate Governance and Traditional Affairs in partnership with us to streamline departments into committing themselves into funding the necessary infrastructure. A database of all the SMME’s is available.

Following the settlement of the Caguba land claim, a number of investment opportunities are available (see Investment Opportunities) in the area.