Conceptualisation of Local Economic Development (LED)

Local Economic Development (LED) is described as a participatory process in which local people from all sectors work together to stimulate local commercial activity, resulting in a resilient and sustainable economy that brings economic benefits and improved quality of life to all in the community. An LED Plan therefore encourages public, private and civil society sectors to establish partnerships and collaboratively find solutions to common local challenges. At the same time, Local Economic Development capitalises on what the local area does well, the local needs and wants, and the local opportunities.

The LED Strategy and Implementation Plan for Ubuhlebezwe Municipality were adopted by Council 2017.


Strategies and Policies

  • LED Strategy and Implementation Plan for Ubuhlebezwe Municipality (2017)
  • Ubuhlebezwe Municipality Policy for the Informal Economy (2014)
  • Development of Agricultural Plan : Ubuhlebezwe Municipality (2013)
  • Ubuhlebezwe Municipality Tourism Strategy (2014)
  • Ubuhlebezwe Tourism Route Feasibility Report  and Business Plan (2013)
  • Carisbrooke Feasibility Study Report (2013)

Local economic Development Forum

“LED is everybody’s business” Hence an Inclusive Planning and active LED Forum were established. The forum consists of 4 subcommittees teams that sit quarterly to deal with issues within each sector. These subcommittee’s teams are; Agriculture and Honey Project, Tourism, and Business Support.

LED is therefore an important process that assists in alleviating poverty and in the development of sustainable local economies. It is also important because it assists in the following manner:

  • It creates jobs and new employment opportunities,
  • It increases income levels thereby enabling people to pay for services,
  • It broadens the tax and revenue base of a local authority,
  • It enables the local authority to provide more and better services and facilities,
  • It concentrates on human resource potential as well as on opportunities for development,
  • It promotes linkages between developed and under-developed areas,
  • It builds new institutions for sustainable economic development.

SMMEs and Cooperatives

The Municipality’s LED Unit has a mandate of supporting community based projects, throughout the local community and it is the Municipality’s intention to ensure economic sustainability and viability of these initiatives by not only providing funding, but also providing capacity building for the betterment of the projects or businesses that are funded by the Municipality. Ubuhlebezwe has developed the SMME’s / Cooperatives data base for the implementation of business support programme. Ubuhlebezwe has a funding programme that assists cooperatives / SMME’S access funding.

Applications for funding are invited from Small, Medium and Macro Enterprises / Cooperatives. The criteria to select these businesses and projects are based on locality, competitiveness, potential to register, creating employment and profitability. The Evaluation Committee consisted of representatives from SEDA, LIMA and Ubuhlebezwe LED unit respectively.


The informal Economy policy was adopted by Council in December 2014.

Informal Trading is defined as the economic activity undertaken by entrepreneurs who sell legal goods and services within a space deemed to be public and private property within the informal sector. The informal economy makes an important contribution to the economic and social life of the Ubuhlebezwe Municipality.  Due to the decline in formal employment and consequent increase in unemployment rate, many people seek alternative means of earning an income. It is generally accepted that the informal sector plays a significant role in the local economy more especially in the previously disadvantage areas. One of the main reasons for this is the inability of national economy’s formal sector to create sufficient employment for the relatively fast-growing labour force. This Policy covers the informal trading activities occurring within the Ubuhlebezwe Municipality.

Ubuhlebezwe Municipality acknowledges the relevance and contribution of the informal economy to the economic and social life of the town. Informal trading provides some income to those who are unemployed as well as providing an alternative to established traditional formal sector retail options. The Ubuhlebezwe aims to develop the sector and its participants into a commercially viable and dynamic economic sector, which contributes to the economic growth of the town and the quality of life of its citizens in a sustainable manner. The Ubuhlebezwe Municipality further affirms its obligation to assist the informal economy sector by way of mentoring and incubation as means to age them into a more formalised nature of economic activity. 

The Ubuhlebezwe Municipality issue business licenses to formal businesses, and also issue Hawkers permit to Informal traders operating within ubuhlebezwe boundaries.