Local Economic Development (GDS Programme)
The Timber Programme Strategy:
Investigate the potential for further forestry programmes. Elundini has potential for new afforestation and PG Bison has constructed a major particle-board plant at Ugie (approximate value is R1.5 billion). The aims of this programme are therefore: ¸
To expand afforestation (where economically and environmentally optimal); ¸
To ensure that the jobs potential of the PG Bison investment are optimised. ¸
Enter into a Memorandum of Agreement with JoGEDA with regards to implementation of projects; ¸
Implement a business risk management program; ¸
Implement a business skills planning program in ELM communities through partnerships with DoE, SETA’s and DoL; ¸
Establish a local IGR Forum; ¸
Develop and implement stakeholder engagement program; A Strategic Environmental Assessment for the Umzimvubu Basin indicates that a further 30,000 hectares could be planted to forestry in Elundini. This would nearly double the area under forestry. Key to these new plantations are issues around the benefits of forestry versus agricultural land-use (e.g. potatoes); and the acquisition of communal land for afforestation. Clearly, new afforestation requires careful planning, involving the DM, DWAF, Asgi SA etc.
PG Bison is committed to creating 3000 locally sourced direct and there would be a potential of 7000 indirect jobs created over the next five years. For this to be accomplished, a wide range of infrastructure, skilling and business development services must be delivered timeously and co-ordinated. These are specified in the GDS Agreement.
The Agriculture Programme
Strategy: To harness the Agricultural Potential with the assistance from the Municipal LED Unit and the Dept of Agriculture. CBO Programme: Facilitate partnerships between Commercial Farmers and Local Farmers to improve productivity. The District Development Agency would assist in terms of implementing the Elundini Municipality LED Strategy.
The agricultural sector has a significant potential to grow and hence create jobs and improve livelihoods to achieve its full potential some co-ordinated is required to grow the sector.
The LED unit can assist businesses in the various sectors i.e. Agriculture, Tourism, etc.These are all business initiatives which need to be sustainable. The municipality, by creating infrastructure will also assist big businesses get established.
Components of the programme include: improving access to land, skills, finance, infrastructure and environmental protection. Specific priority actions are identified in the GDS Agreement.
The Elundini Food Basket Programme has identified Key Projects which can be initiated within Institutions which can fund them. An important starting point must be for the DOA, DM and other stakeholders to prepare a District Agriculture Development Plan (which should include agro-processing). This plan must quantify realistic job targets for the sector and be localised for Elundini.
Other important components of the programme include: DLA (with support of municipalities, Agri-EC and DoA) to complete an Area-Based Plan for land reform in the District, LRAD to be scaled-up, Environmental protection programmes to be scaled up (DEAT/EPWP).
Primary Objective 2: Grow Tourism, Trade and Related Manufacturing Development
The Tourism Programme Elundini has a small but growing tourism sector. The key aim of the programme is to increase jobs and livelihoods related to this sector. A co-ordinated effort is required to grow the sector so that economic potential is achieved. Specific priority actions are identified in the GDS Agreement (Annexure 5). The Tourism Sector Plan for Elundini has been completed and the Priority Projects have been included and aligned with the GDS agreement.
1.1.4 Municipal Financial Viability and Management (GDS Programme) As regards the Elundini Municipality, the following are key targets: ¸
Attract and retain local & foreign investment; ¸
Improve revenue growth ; ¸
Develop structured fundraising strategy; ¸
Automated system to improve metering; ¸
Develop sustainability and resource efficiency strategy; ¸
Create partnerships to implement and subsidize alternative energy; ¸
A data base of skills in the local municipality needs to be developed.
1.1.5 Good Governance and Public Participation (GDS Programme)
This Programme aims to improve the performance of Local Government as a whole and Elundini Municipality in particular.
The following are the key service delivery performance targets: ¸
Improved communication with all stakeholders and communities; ¸
Improved intergovernmental relations; ¸
Strict adherence to Batho Pele principles; and ¸
Thorough implementation of performance management. ¸
Integrate CDW’s into Ward Committees; ¸
Enter into a Memorandum of Understanding with traditional leaders pertaining to rural development; ¸
Development of a comprehensive data base of CBO’s; ¸
Develop and implement business development support services; ¸
Develop and implement partnership strategy with CBO’s; ¸
Implementation of the Indigent Policy; ¸
People management & leadership development;