Albeit in its infancy, South Africa’s LED practice is a benchmark of a large number of African countries in general and southern African countries in particular. The practice stand out for its massive and growing LED budgets, robust legal and a variety of LED governance structures, amongst others. This study seeks to answer three critical questions: What LED facets (particular aspects) are available in literature? Are these facets being implemented in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality (NMBM) and Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM)? Besides the effort and monies invested in ingraining LED in South Africa, are the levels of LED practices of the two municipalities deeply embedded in literature? This paper utilises the purpose-built tool to measure the level at which LED practice in the two municipalities is embedded in LED theory. The analysis revealed presence of six key LED facets, namely, enterprise development, locality development, livelihoods development, workforce development, community development and LED Governance. Furthermore, the results show that NMBM’s LED practice is embedded in literature across all the identified; while BCMM’s LED practice is embedded across all the facets bar community development.
Key words: Local Economic Development, embeddedness, Local Economic Development, Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality.
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