Document: CLGF Good Practice Scheme Project: Building Bridges for Economic Development: Businesses and Communities


Partners: Mbombela Local Municipality (MLM) (South Africa) - Sunderland City Council (UK)

MLM is currently participating in Commonwealth Local Government Good Practice Scheme Project which is running in six countries namely, India, Jamaica, Ghana, Pakistan, Sierra Leone and South Africa. In South Africa the project is being implemented jointly by Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) and South African Local Government Association (SALGA). The project’s focus is on Local Economic Development (LED) and it seeks to address targeted municipalities’ capacity challenges around (LED). The Scheme promotes mutual learning and good practice between partner municipalities. This is done through technical exchanges, collaborative working, pilot projects, and sharing of good practice. MLM is partnering with Sunderland City Council (SCC) from the United Kingdom.

Project Goal
To contribute to poverty reduction in MLM by promoting inward investment, creating an attractive environment for business, and preparing the local workforce to take up new job opportunities.

To improve the capability of MLM to design and deliver services to promote local economic development and support its residents, particularly the poor, to access employment opportunities as they are created.

Project Description
The project focuses on increasing MLM’s capacity on LED long term planning, investment promotion, stakeholder engagement and job creation. The municipality is partnered with Sunderland City Council (SCC) which is drawing on its experience of regenerating its economy in the last 15 to 20 years following the decline of its traditional industries of ship-building and coal-mining. SCC reduced its unemployment rate from over 20% to approximately 5% prior to the 2008-2010 economic recession. SCC has significant experience which it can share in attracting inward investment, supporting businesses to grow and building relationships with employers, as well as developing a job linkage scheme which enables unemployed people to develop the skills they need to engage with the world of work. The project is a three and half years and the grant is £40 000. The Department of Local Economic Development of the Municipality is spearheading the project.

Download the document below for a more comprehensive project description, overview of outcomes and lessons learned.


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