In response to the report of the Portfolio Committee on Economic Development, Environment, and Tourism (DEDEAT) during the 2023 “Taking Legislature to the People” programme, DEDEAT MEC Mlungisi Mvoko, states that his department is considering reviving District Economic Development Forums (DEDFs).
The move aims to address the concerns raised in the report and enhance the District Development Model (DDM) approach in promoting economic development and MSME support programmes.
The report, which was drawn by the committee underscores the need for increased awareness and improved coordination among economic development agencies and relevant departments. The proposed re-establishment of the DEDFs intends to create a platform where these stakeholders can converge to strengthen the rollout of business support programmes and services.
MEC Mvoko acknowledges that the report is exposing the existing deficiencies within the government’s intergovernmental relations framework. The challenges faced by projects supported by DEDEAT often stem from a lack of collaboration among different government stakeholders and institutions, spanning various spheres of government. The report underscores the importance of adopting a DDM perspective.
Whilst there are gaps in the support programmes underway, the report also demonstrates the significant financial and non-financial support provided by the department and its entities to small businesses. “This highlights the commitment to improving the living conditions of the people and reflects the positive impact of the department’s initiatives” adds MEC Mvoko.
The report covers a range of projects, including the Blue Crane Local Municipality EPWP Waste Management Project; Bafazi Phambili Women Primary Cooperative in Janseville; Maki’s Kitchen from Kouga Local Municipality; Sinqunqa Umthi and Multipurpose Cooperative; Ubuntu Cooperative; and Injica Chicory and Multi-purpose Cooperative Limited. These projects play a crucial role in the government’s efforts to improve the lives of the people and support local development.
The proposed revival of the DEDFs, along with a renewed focus on intergovernmental cooperation, demonstrates DEDEAT’s commitment to addressing the challenges highlighted in the report and advancing economic development in the Sarah Baartman District Municipality (SBDM).
It is expected that these measures will lead to more effective support programmes and a stronger collaboration between stakeholders, ultimately benefiting the people of the district.
The TLTTP is currently underway in SBDM under the theme “promoting active citizenry and restoring the dignity and pride of the citizens of the Eastern Cape as we move towards 30 years of democracy”.