A comparative analysis of the perceptions of business chambers in rural and urban South Africa on the developmental role of local government
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The local economic (LED) triangle consisting of coordinated partnerships between local businesses, government and communities is key for local regions to achieve acceptable levels of economic growth and development. From the literature and theory it is evident that if one of the partners does not play its part with regard to development and management, the local economy could be affected in a negative way. In light of this, the purpose of this article was to determine and compare the perceptions of local business chambers in rural and urban areas in South Africa on the developmental role of local government. A mixed method approach was used in this study. The findings from the study indicated that the main stumbling blocks, as perceived by the rural and urban business chambers were similar, including labour regulations and relatively high labour costs, service delivery issues and lack of entrepreneurial intent. The main service delivery issues differed for the two groups with unavailable and unstable management listed most problematic by the urban group and lack of finance and funding by the rural group. The research provides insight concerning the actions required if local government is to provide an enabling environment for local businesses to prosper.