The role of local government in promoting economic growth, job creation and alleviation of poverty has poignantly
been expressed in array of policy frameworks formulated by the South African government. This has clearly
positioned the sphere of local government to become developmental both in form and content. An important feature
of developmental local government is the local economic development policy initiated with a view to address the
pressing problems in areas of poverty, unemployment and inadequate resources. This paper seeks to examine the
evolution of developmental local government in South Africa from policy, institutional and administrative
perspectives. Thus, pertinent and plausible strategies aimed at addressing the bottlenecks hindering the achievement
of developmental local government objectives are outlined. The paper is based on the premise that developmental
local government is the sine qua non of local economic growth and social development imperatives within the
South African context.
The preliminary version of this paper was presented at the IASIA Annual Conference held in Rome, Italy, on June 13-18, 2011.