Report to the South African Cities Network on
Metropolitan Economic Strategy

Dr. Marc A. Weiss
Chairman and CEO
Global Urban Development

November 2002


The Economic Development Working Group of the South African Cities Network (SACN) agreed at its meeting on September 19-20, 2002, to hold a City Economic Development Strategy "Think-Tank" to explore the vital issues related to this important mission for national, provincial, and local government. The meeting was held during November 18-21, 2002 in Cape Town. It was attended by elected Councillors and senior officials from the major cities and metropolitan municipalities in the SACN - Buffalo City (East London), Cape Town, Ekurhuleni (East Rand), eThekwini (Durban), Johannesburg, Mangaung (Bloemfontein), Msunduzi (Pietermaritzburg), Nelson Mandela (Port Elizabeth), and Tshwane (Pretoria) - along with senior officials from the national Department of Provincial and Local Government (DPLG), the national Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the South African Local Government Association (SALGA). An international expert, Dr. Marc Weiss from Global Urban Development, led several sessions and provided reading material, and there were additional presentations by academics who specialize in economic development, by economic development officials from the City of Cape Town and the Western Cape Province, and by national government officials from DPLG and DTI. The four-day "Think-Tank" produced a very strong consensus as to how the cities and municipal governments in the SACN should work together with the national and provincial governments to promote economic development in South Africa, including a series of key recommendations for coordinated action.  Training and participation by Global Urban Development was supported by a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

Major Themes

The SACN "Think-Tank" meeting participants discussed and agreed on many different points, and several major conclusions stood out as the most significant. These are:

1) The vital role of cities and urban regions in the national economy. The nine cities in the SACN are the main economic engines in the Republic of South Africa. Together, they contributed 55.6 percent of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the year 2000, and that contribution is rising, as their collective contribution in 1990 was 54.5 percent. This statistic is very much in line with the global picture: currently in most countries of the world, their urban areas contribute between 50 and 80 percent of the national GDP, and this urban share of the GDP generally is larger than the proportion of the national population that is living in cities and towns, meaning that the urban economies have much higher productivity than rural areas. Both in South Africa and globally, urban regions generate substantial economic activity because of their density of population, which enables them to combine highly specialized production skills with a diverse range of such skills. They have the most potential to improve economic productivity and foster technological innovation that is needed to attract investment, promote trade, and compete effectively in global markets. The relationship of the major cities to their surrounding towns and rural areas is critical for creating overall prosperity and quality of life for the provinces and the nation, which is why urban economic development must become an essential element of national economic policy. China, which is both the fastest-growing developing country economy and the fastest-growing national economy in the world, is also the only major nation globally in which urban economic development has been the centerpiece of national economic policy for more than two decades, and this pro-urban national policy is the main reason for China's economic success.

2) Economic development must become a broad-based, mainstream responsibility of local government that covers all aspects of municipal governance. Everyone agreed that local economic development must be substantially expanded beyond the limited range of tax incentives and modestly funded grant programs utilized by city government agencies. Economic growth is based on taking full advantage of the fundamental assets that make places attractive. The most important asset is people, which is why education, job training, health, and many other aspects of skill development and quality of life are so necessary for communities to thrive. Similarly, local economies must have a good environment, transportation, telecommunications, infrastructure systems, and other natural and man-made physical attributes, and they must also have good governance, finance, and range of other legal and institutional conditions in order to generate investment, employment, incomes, and wealth. Thus, local economic development policy and strategy should be comprehensive and holistic, encompassing the entire municipal budget and the complete range of public services. Under this approach, the city's Integrated Development Plan (IDP) becomes a major tool for economic development planning and implementation, as do all substantial components of municipal government.

3) Economic development requires strong leadership from and coordination among all levels of government, the private sector, and civil society. Local economic development also must become more broad-based by involving the entire range of public and private institutions: government agencies and parastatals, multinational corporations and small businesses, major civic organizations and community-based groups. Public-private partnerships and collaborative leadership are necessary prerequisites for generating and sustaining successful economic development strategies. Government alone cannot create jobs, but it can help create the right conditions for employment and income growth, if and only if it has the full cooperation of parastatals, private investors and entrepreneurs, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and faith-based groups from all walks of life. For example, in Tshwane, the placement of toll roads and bypasses for Pretoria must be more directly linked to the city's economic development strategy and the main centers of concentrated employment and business activity. Similarly, in Ethekwini, the Durban Informal Economy Policy was formulated by involving a large and diverse group of key public and private stakeholders, including street traders and home-based businesses.

4) Cities, towns, and communities can best promote economic development by designing and implementing Metropolitan Economic Strategies that unite the entire urban region. Economic dynamism crosses municipal boundaries to encompass the entire urbanized region, including the rural hinterland. Fostering a common metropolitan identity that unites the entire urban region in a shared vision of prosperity and quality of life for all people and places is the most effective means of generating sustainable economic growth. The Republic of South Africa is blessed with metropolitan municipalities that have unified their governmental structures to bring together previously divided cities and townships in the post-apartheid democratic era. Also, each of these metropolitan areas are within the jurisdiction of a single province all are inside the national borders. This situation provides significant administrative advantages. Each city should take the lead in developing a metropolitan economic strategy for its region, to fully utilize all of the major assets that will foster job creation and wealth generation. In some cases major municipalities must learn to work together, particularly in Gauteng Province, where the metropolitan governments of Johannesburg, Ekurhuleni, and Tshwane should explore expanding their coordination of public and private investment activities with the national and provincial governments in order to benefit from the economic inter-relationships of the entire urbanized area and beyond. The Joint Marketing Strategy led by the Western Cape Provincial Government and the City of Cape Town, and encompassing 29 local governments and numerous private sector stakeholders is a good example of a coordinated approach to urban and regional economic development, focused on increasing tourism, trade, investment, events, and film production.

5) Economic development must have as its basic goal generating and sustaining prosperity and quality of life for every person and community, such that poverty reduction is now fundamental for the success of any viable strategy for economic growth and competitiveness. Even as urban regions grow in population and economic productivity, the urbanization of formerly rural poverty is also increasing. Cities, as economic engines, are magnets for low-income people seeking opportunities to improve livelihoods for their families. Yet in the new international economy, which is knowledge and information-based, technology and communications-intensive, and globally oriented, retaining and attracting skilled workers is the single most important competitive asset. Maintaining a high quality of life is vital for economic growth, meaning that public health and safety, good education and environment, and related factors are crucial for generating and sustaining capital investment and living wage jobs. Everyone must be included in the process of economic development, and everyone must benefit from the results. The old paradigm that economic growth can take place while spoiling the environment and ignoring poverty no longer applies. A good economic strategy can only be one that improves the environment and raises low-income people out of poverty, including those who are part of what is called "the informal economy." Reducing poverty is thus an positive value and a "win-win" approach that improves the lives and economic potential of all members of society, and not only of those less fortunate. Prospects for future prosperity in South Africa and its urban regions are tied directly to treating low-income people and communities, both formal and informal, as positive assets who contribute their hard work and ingenuity to overall economic productivity and should therefore enhance their life circumstances accordingly as a reward for their substantial economic contribution. Just as South Africa ended apartheid and created one society, and broke down the barriers between cities and townships by creating new metropolitan municipalities or "unicities", it is now time to bridge the gap between rich and poor by establishing an economic unity movement based on the principle of "one economy."

6) "Be Yourself": each city and urban region should develop its own tailor-made economic strategy that best fits its situation and fully utilizes the fundamental assets of people and place that make it special, attractive, and competitive. Too often international institutions and donors tie aid to advice and technical assistance by consultants that prescribe "one size fits all" economic strategies. Generally these do not work. Every city and metropolitan area cannot become another Silicon Valley. Each has its own unique set of assets and characteristics that are the driving force for retaining and attracting a skilled workforce and generating private sector growth in investment and trade, jobs and incomes. The best way to be competitive and thrive in the global marketplace is to "be yourself" by emphasizing the special aspects of the physical and cultural environment and heritage; the character and knowledge, education and experience of the people; the transportation and telecommunications and infrastructure and technology; and other specialized skills, products, processes, services, and materials that make a city and region's people and places more attractive and distinctive.

Metropolitan Economic Strategy: How Cities and Urban Regions Innovate and Prosper in the Global Marketplace

Dr. Marc Weiss made three presentations at the SACN meeting, based on five publications that were provided in advance as reading material: a United Nations theme paper on Productive Cities and Metropolitan Economic Strategy, a report for the U.S. National Governors Association on State Policy Approaches to Promote Metropolitan Economic Strategy, the strategic economic development plan for Washington, DC entitled The Economic Resurgence of Washington, DC: Citizens Plan for Prosperity in the 21st Century, and two papers that analyzed the strategic policy process and substantial outcomes of the Washington, DC economic plan in greater detail.

Many of the key assumptions and underlying arguments of Metropolitan Economic Strategy have been summarized in the previous section of this report on five "Major Themes." The basic approach is to highlight the important role of cities and urban regions in the global economy. Indeed, metropolitan areas are the most economically dynamic growth engines in the world today, and this trend will be even more significant in the coming decades. They are the only places that can combine the needed specialization and diversity of skills that can generate substantial increases in productivity and expand the frontiers of creativity and innovation on a large enough scale to have a genuine economic impact. Cities and urban regions today are magnets for an important agglomeration of economic activities, serving as the primary centers of: 1) innovation and services, including advanced and highly specialized services; 2) culture, sports, arts, entertainment, conventions, and tourism; 3) education, research, and health care; 4) transportation and trade; 5) manufacturing and technology development; 6) producer and consumer markets; and, 7) skilled workforce.

Urban economic development is increasingly becoming the key to solving the problems of rural poverty and improving economic fortunes for nations, as well as provinces or states within nations. This means that national and international, state and provincial policymakers must focus on generating and sustaining prosperity in urban regions. It also means that cities and towns and rural areas must come together across urban regions to jointly develop and carry out coordinated metropolitan economic strategies that include everyone in the policy process and improve the lives of every person and community. By recognizing that the future prospects and vital interests of everyone in the metropolitan area and rural hinterland is tied together in a common destiny, people can come together across governmental jurisdictions, private businesses, civic institutions, and communities to forge a common identity and engage in a unified, proactive economic strategy based on cooperation and teamwork.

Good leadership from the public, private, and civic sectors is essential to bring together disparate groups, interests, and places into a coherent body with a shared vision and commitment to coordinated action. Such leadership can emerge from an economic crisis, as in Barcelona where job losses in the late 1970s served as the impetus for the successful bid to host the 1992 Summer Olympic Games and use it as the catalyst for developing a new, forward-looking economic strategy, or in Washington, DC, when a municipal budget deficit and reduction in federal government employment served as the impetus for an aggressive new strategy for diversification, growth, and community improvement. Leadership can also come from a vision of expanded opportunity in the absence of a perceived crisis, such as in Shanghai, with the Chinese government promoting investment in the city and surrounding region as the leading edge of national economic competitiveness in global markets, or in Austin, Texas, where dynamic business and government leaders turned a state capitol and university town into a world center of technological production. In either case, people must have a genuine desire and willingness to work together for improvement, and a belief and faith that working together in creating and carrying out a strategic vision will generate meaningful results and widespread benefits.

Once most of the major stakeholders have agreed to work together across an urban region, then the issue becomes how to do so most effectively to generate broad-based economic growth and increased quality of life. In order to formulate a good strategy, clear agreement on goals is needed, though the most important goal should always be enhancing prosperity for everyone and everyplace. Also needed is a very clear understanding of the market forces and institutions, because a strategy is a theory of cause-and-effect relationships that must be based on a realistic comprehension and thorough knowledge of what is actually occurring and how things truly operate. A strategy is not just stringing together a collection of specific projects or programs. There must first be a broader clarity about how to accomplish the planned results, and only then will doing major projects and programs become a necessary and vital aspect of the implementation process.

A good economic strategy consists of two key elements: 1) building from strength - investing in the fundamental assets and activities that make places more attractive and productive; 2) generating dynamism - promoting modern, globally competitive industry networks that accelerate the pace of innovation and growth. Investing in the fundamental assets shifts the focus away from narrowly defined economic development initiatives that rely on tax subsidies and other incentives. The biggest asset is people, and what makes them productive are investments in transportation and infrastructure that move people, goods, and information most efficiently and cost-effectively, investments in education and workforce development that make them more skilled and innovative, investments in research and technology to generate new ideas and products and processes that are highly valued in the world, investments in health and safety that make places worthwhile for living, working and visiting, and investments in the physical and cultural environment that make places more attractive, life more rewarding, and people more motivated to work and study hard. Thus economic strategy, as opposed to the conventional view of local economic development, involves all of the important aspects of public and private resources and institutions, and is necessarily comprehensive and broad-based.

In Akron, Ohio, the leaders of the urban region came together in an economic crisis with a metropolitan economic strategy that maximized the fundamental assets of the urban region. Faced with the loss of thousands of jobs in rubber tire manufacturing by the four major companies - Goodyear, Goodrich, Firestone, and General Tire - local leaders did not try to become another Silicon Valley and create an information and telecommunications industry. Instead, they recognized that "high technology" in today's world involves every type of product and production process, and that they could compete more effectively by focusing on their own areas of expertise rather than simply try to imitate what other places were already doing successfully. Akron, having developed synthetic rubber during the 1940s and 50s, recognized that they had a depth of knowledge in the field of polymers, the science and engineering of plastics and related synthetic materials. So they decided to invest more heavily in this unique specialization, and reinvented their region as the world center of polymer science and engineering, creating a whole new college and research laboratories at the University of Akron. They put together all the elements of such a metropolitan economic strategy - education, job training, research, financing, business assistance, facility construction, physical infrastructure, trade promotion, marketing, product development, industry network linkages, personnel recruitment, and much more - and they implemented it to the point of generating hundreds of new firms and thousands of new jobs in polymer-related activities. Metropolitan Akron's public and private leadership also diversified their economy through conventions, entertainment, recreation, and tourism, and thus improved the quality of life to retain and attract skilled workers and creative entrepreneurs. Akron's success is a good example of the theme "Be Yourself." The assets of an urban region or any other geographic entity will different from most others, and each economic strategy must be specifically tailored to maximize the value of the existing assets of people and place that are special to a particular culture and location.

The second major element of metropolitan economic strategy is to promote the growth of dynamic and innovative industry networks, also called clusters. Industry networks, as the name implies, draw upon a wide range of closely interacting businesses and institutions that supply each other with goods and services to produce specialized and competitive products and skills. The linkages are key to the success of an industry network, and they cut across the traditional industrial or sectoral classifications, because in this case an economic activity such as machinery production will include a much wider range of scientists, engineers, lawyers, accountants, bankers, insurers, architects, designers, and a whole host of related fields that enable machines to be manufactured and distributed with cost-effectiveness, technological efficiency, and market appeal, and to be sold or leased at a sufficient profit that will provide safe jobs and decent livelihoods for a large and growing population of workers and consumers. Industry networks that are the engines of prosperity in the new global economy can be in manufacturing or services, involving old or new technologies and products, from food and medicine to computers and cell phones. Each place will have to determine which industry networks will be most productive, innovative, competitive, and dynamic based on the fundamental assets of their particular population and location, such that polymer development will work for Akron and commercial shipping for Barcelona, but not the other way around.

In formulating and implementing Metropolitan Economic Strategy, improving the physical environment and addressing social equity are integral to the overall prospects for success. This represents a change in paradigm from the traditional concept that economic growth and competitiveness does not involve environmental protection or poverty alleviation, with some people and policymakers still viewing these three concerns as incompatible. The progressive idea of the sustainable development movement is that the three concerns must be balanced against each other such that each one is taken seriously as an important societal and public policy goal. In today's global economy, where quality of life is the key to attracting and retaining skilled workers, and skilled workers are the basic building blocks of economic prosperity and competitiveness, improving the environment and addressing social equity are no longer luxuries to be traded off against economic growth. Indeed, they are now absolute prerequisites for achieving and sustaining growth of jobs and incomes, trade and technology. If a place has polluted air and water and terrible automobile traffic congestion and unmanageable sprawl, it may become an undesirable place for people live, work, and visit, and for companies to invest in and locate production facilities and personnel.

Similarly, if a place has high crime, social unrest, disease, and deterioration, it may become equally unattractive and undesirable for a quality workforce and thriving employers. The recent economic development plan for Johannesburg, Joburg 2030, acknowledged the vital economic importance of social equity and investing in disadvantaged people and communities when it listed the four major barriers to achieving economic success: high crime, physical dilapidation of the inner city and outer townships, HIV/AIDS pandemic, and lack of education of a large proportion of the workforce. In Cape Town, Durban, and other cities, recently adopted economic development strategies include a significant focus on policies to raise incomes, increase jobs and business opportunities, and improve the quality of life for low-income families and neighborhoods. Cape Town calls it "Our Golden Thread": "It is not a question of choosing global competitiveness or the reduction of poverty - Cape Town will achieve both or neither. Reducing poverty will strengthen global competitiveness, and global competitiveness will permit reduction of poverty through economic growth and job creation."

Another important challenge for Metropolitan Economic Strategy to succeed is that of governance. Even though urban regions are the main engines of growth, productivity, and innovation in the global economy, governments are not organized along such geographic lines. In most cases, with China as a notable exception, there are no general purpose governments with substantial authority and resources whose jurisdiction corresponds directly to the boundaries of metropolitan areas or urban regions. South African unicities are a key step in that direction, but even in those situations it is necessary to bring together a wide variety of local government jurisdictions, along with provincial and national government, in order to prepare and implement a Metropolitan Economic Strategy. In many places around the world, the population and workforce of urban regions cut across state and provincial boundaries, and in some cases, even national borders, thus compounding the governance challenge. Developing leadership that can build consensus and collaboration is a vital task. No strategy can succeed without good leadership. Also, coordination among numerous governmental units and parastatals is only part of the challenge of governance. Public-private partnerships that include business and civil society along with government are equally essential.

In Washington, DC during 1997-8, we engaged in a massive effort to create a strategic economic development plan that has been very successful over the past five years in expanding jobs and capital investment, raising incomes, promoting development and renovation, increasing homeownership, and improving neighborhoods. This was a city-level plan, but one that took an explicit pro-regional approach. We studied the city's prospects in the context of its role in and contribution to the metropolitan economy, focusing on how to grow the overall regional pie and capture a larger slice of that expanding pie for the city and its residents. Many of the projects, such as the NoMa (North of Massachusetts Avenue) initiative that financed and built a new Metrorail transit station and bicycle/pedestrian path at New York Avenue and redeveloped a deteriorated and abandoned area of the city as a thriving technology, media, arts, and housing district, won support from regional business and government leaders outside the city because it improved metropolitan economic competitiveness. The NoMa story was a good example of "win-win" inclusiveness, as it brought together and benefited various levels of government, private business and developers, environmentalists, and low-income communities, which is why it was designated in 2002 by the UN-Habitat as one of the 40 Best Practices in the world. Other city initiatives also had a metropolitan dimension, such as extending metrorail service in the suburbs to make it easier for low-income city residents to obtain and travel to suburban jobs, and more attractive for suburban workers to move back into the city and enjoy the attractions of a more urban-oriented lifestyle.

The success of Washington, DC's strategic plan yielded several important lessons for local economic development. The first lesson is Think Positive. Economic development is as much about politics and psychology as it is about economics. The first challenge is to provide people with a positive vision for the future, and enable them to believe that things can actually be changed for the better and that they have the ability and responsibility to help make the necessary and desired changes. At the time we began the Washington, DC plan the economy was in a downward spiral and the city government budget was severely in deficit. People were highly dispirited and disillusioned. Perhaps our biggest accomplishment was to turn around the negative perceptions and attitudes of our own constituents and citizens. We moved people "from cynicism and inertia to enthusiasm and momentum" by redefining the problem and the solution. Rather than dwell on the weaknesses, we emphasized our strengths and built upon them. We made a priority of changing the image of the city to highlight the strengths, which were in fact considerable even though the media had been ignoring or downplaying them. We demonstrated what was truly possible, and as people began to believe in these new possibilities, their view of the economy's fortunes changed accordingly. Rather than talk of "revitalization" from weakness, we spoke of "resurgence": the city is coming back to its strength. Today everyone in the region, from the Washington Post to elected officials, routinely refers to the city's economic resurgence and the resurgent neighborhoods. It is a whole new reality, and much of it was there all along, even in the worst days, but people simply were not seeing what was right in front of their eyes. That required leadership and communications.

The second lesson, intimately related to the first, is Involve Everyone. In Washington's African-American community there is an expression, "If I ain't in it, I don't own it." It takes time and effort for people, especially those who have been excluded and disadvantaged in the past, to see that they are welcome to participate and that they will truly benefit from such involvement. Inclusiveness is not just a process, but its own best result. Because only by bringing everyone together can one discover the common ground that can lead to "win-win" solutions. Not only did we involve thousands of people in meetings and task forces, but we made sure to empower them by including their ideas in the design and implementation of the strategy, and more importantly, giving them the authority and the resources to make sure that the strategy succeeded to their benefit. Many of the key action items in the strategic plan became primarily the responsibility of business, civic, or community groups or NGOs rather than government, and in some cases the government provided these groups with grant funds and other forms of assistance to ensure they had the capability and power to mobilize support for implementing the prescribed actions. We even formed several new non-profit organizations as public-private partnerships for the express purpose of carrying out vital new initiatives. That is why the economic strategy was called the "citizens plan." This aspect of the effort was so popular that it even survived an election, where a new Mayor and Council were swept up by the voters in supporting the existing plan instead of starting over from scratch as is often the case when government changes hands.

The third lesson, completely interconnected to the first two, is Take Action and Produce Results. To involve everyone and create a positive outlook, it is necessary to show concretely that circumstances can and will improve. In order to accomplish this, we greatly accelerated the time frame of the strategic planning process, and we also took many substantial actions while the strategic plan was being formulated. We lived by the Nike slogan, "Just do it." If someone had a good idea that won considerable support and fit the overall strategy, we moved immediately to implement and provide funds to jumpstart the initiative and encourage people to act now rather than wait. We also focused on actions that could produce rapid results, and worked hard to carefully document the genuine outcomes and communicate them effectively to a broad audience. Such steps ensured that people knew we were serious and that we were their partners in bringing about positive change. As a consequence, the longer the process went on, the more people got involved, the more people took responsibility, the more people got enthusiastic, and the more people then began to take actions on their own to reinvest in their business or community. Action, inclusiveness, and positive attitude became their own self-fulfilling prophecy for economic resurgence.

Other key lessons of the Washington, DC strategic economic development plan, such as Build on the Fundamentals, Grow the Private Sector, and Link Business and Job Growth to Neighborhood Stabilization and Community Reinvestment, track the lessons already imparted in the general discussion of Metropolitan Economic Strategy. But the first three are reminders that along with good content, a good, strong, and active process is just as vital for local economic development policy, strategy, programs, and projects to be truly successful.

Additional Think-tank Presentations and discussions

The four-day SACN "Think-Tank" was filled with many excellent presentations and considerable discussion and debate on a wide range of important issues. These included presentations on the lessons learned from the Cape Town economic development framework and strategy, and on the Joint Marketing Strategy of Cape Town and Western Cape Province. There were also presentations on local economic development by senior officials from both the national Department of Trade and Industry and the national Department of Provincial and Local Government. There were presentations on poverty alleviation and "pro-poor" economic development policies by several academic researchers from the University of Cape Town, and a discussion of local economic development strategy by Professor Etienne Nel from Rhodes University. In addition, there were presentations on the Knowledge Economy, city economic development site tours, and a major discussion on economic development impact assessment that is an outgrowth of the SACN Urban Indicators Programme. SACN Coordinator Andrew Boraine guided many of the discussions, ably assisted by David Schmidt and Jacqui Boulle of Organisation Development Africa (ODA), who also prepared an extremely useful Draft Memorandum on Metropolitan Economic Development Strategies based on careful notes that Jacqui Boulle had taken throughout the week. The following section contains the recommendations adopted by the South African Cities Network participants in the City Economic Development Strategy "Think-Tank." These recommendations are the best indication of the general thinking and concerns of the SACN with regard to these vital issues.

South African Cities Network Recommendations

The Think-Tank concluded that the SACN needed to undertake a series of projects focused on:

1) Mainstreaming local economic development within municipalities, at an inter-governmental level and across major private industry networks by demonstrating the importance of broad-based urban economic development strategies.
2) Promoting a holistic approach to economic development that addresses social inclusion and poverty reduction as a integral part of growth and competitiveness.
3) Supporting implementation by providing general guidance on how to develop and implement city and metropolitan economic development strategies.
4) Building relationships, networks and partnerships for economic development across spheres of government, across departments and across the private sector and civil society.

Project 1: Urban economic development impact research

That a research project be designed and commissioned to collect the primary data required for a better understanding of the impact of urban economic development on the nation as a whole. This will include an exploration of the following issues:
National and local spatial economies (location of production in geography);
The nature of metropolitan-city-town-rural linkages and how these can be strengthened;
Other factors aiding and hindering local economic development in South Africa.

Project 2: Co-operative training and support

That a project of capacity building and support to urban municipalities and city governments regarding economic development be designed and implemented. The programme should maximise the use of municipal resources and expertise, and should cover at least the following components: training and executive education, information and knowledge-sharing, peer-to-peer learning and mentoring, and sharing of high-level technical expertise.

Project 3: Policy, practice and implementation guidelines

That a project be established to develop a set of guidelines regarding policy, good practice, and implementation for metropolitan economic development strategies. These guidelines should include a clear outline of the roles and responsibilities of the major stakeholders in the process. The project should also establish a coordinated process for piloting new approaches to economic development in cities and metropolitan regions with necessary capacity.

Project 4: Informal sector workshop

That a workshop be arranged to explore how the informal sector should be addressed as part of city and metropolitan economic development strategies.

Project 5: Sector support workshop

That a workshop on targeted support for industry sectors/networks/clusters be convened with a view to: sharing different approaches to identifying key sectors/networks/clusters; deepening understanding of how to support key sectors/networks/clusters and to promote their growth; identifying key sectors/networks/clusters where a co-operative approach between cities is advised.

Project 6: National key sector support programmes

That a process be initiated, in partnership with the national Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), to identify key industry sectors/networks/clusters where a co-operative approach between cities and other spheres of government would optimise the overall national and provincial economic benefit with a view to developing a coordinated programme to support such sectors/networks/clusters, particularly in the context of the national government's microeconomic reform strategy, which has identified and targeted a number of specific sectors.

Project 7: Inter-governmental and multi-sectoral communications

That a process be initiated to ensure a common understanding and approach as well as on-going communications mechanism across all three spheres of government (inter-governmental) and across all government departments (multi-sectoral) for supporting city and metropolitan economic development strategies. Specific examples include transportation, and public safety.

Project 8: Engagement with parastatals

That a process be initiated to develop a common approach to the major parastatals in order to ensure that their policies and decision-making supports local and metropolitan economic development strategies and to ensure that cities respond proactively to changes in the parastatal policy environment. Key areas include water ports, airports, roads, and telecommunications.

Project 9: Workforce skills partnership

That a process be initiated to develop a partnership between the cities and the relevant national departments to support initiatives for improving workforce skills for metropolitan economic development strategies.