Socio-economic development through the exploitation of natural resources in rural South Africa

  • Received October 22, 2017;
    Accepted November 30, 2017;
    Published December 7, 2017
  • Author(s)
  • DOI
    http://dx.doi.org/10.21511/ee.08(4).2017.06
  • Article Info
    Volume 8 2017, Issue #4, pp. 44-52
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South Africa has many developmental challenges but three have been identified as affecting each other. The three challenges are unemployment, poverty and inequality. The Second Quarter Report by Statistics South Africa (STATSSA) confirms that poverty, unemployment and inequality are highest in rural areas and most especially among people with no or little education. Meanwhile, many people in rural South Africa have access to land which can be used to produce food for the ever increasing population in both the rural and urban areas, as well as for export and other value adding agribusinesses. The task of addressing the challenges of poor communities calls for a multi-stakeholder approach which can include the private sector, NGOs, communities, traditional leaders and the state coming together to pursue economic transformation in rural South Africa by tapping into the natural resources nature has provided for the communities. This article reports on how some stakeholders have come together to transform a rural community in South Africa. The paper uses qualitative data from personal and focus group interviews and observations as the main data collection instruments. The findings indicate that the stakeholders have been able to empower a community by tapping into and effectively using the natural resources in an area to transform it through collaborations and partnerships. The model is recommended to the government and development practitioners for adoption on how the natural resources that exist within communities can be exploited and effectively managed to transform rural economies to ensure inclusive growth and development.

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