A structural intervention plan to stimulate growth kick into gear
Plans to establish a new economic development agency in Limpopo have reached the third and final phase, fol- lowing intense engagements and strategy sessions within government and the af- fected agencies.
The Limpopo Economic Development Agency (Leda) will integrate the man- dates of the Limpopo Economic De- velopment Enterprise (LimDev), the Limpopo Business Support Agency (Libsa), Trade & Investment Limpopo (TIL) and Limpopo AgriBusiness De- velopment Corp (LADC).
The establishment of a single devel- opment agency is seen as a structural intervention to support the provincial government in stimulating and diver- sifying the industrial base. This is in
order to enhance the provincial economic capacity for industrialisation and to lessen the province’s dependence on the export of raw materials.
Leda interim CEO Samuel Mafadza says the formation of a single agency is in line with global best practice. In ad- dition, it is meant to address concerns about strategic alignment, duplication, governance, operational efficiencies and human resource capacity.
Mafadza believes the new model will not shrink any of the previous agencies’ mandates, but will instead allow them to pool resources for maximum effect. “As a single agency, we will be able to move with greater speed and agility in im- plementing the provincial government’s economic development plans. We will be in a better position to make funding and investment decisions much quicker with- out onerous administrative and bureau- cratic processe. This will make make our engagements with foreign and domestic investors much smoother.
It is envisaged that the chairman of the board of Leda will report directly to the MEC for Limpopo economic development, environment & tourism (Ledet), while the agency will enjoy a dotted-line re- porting relationship with the head of department. This reporting structure is designed to enhance the agency’s ability to receive direct guidance from Ledet with respect to implementation of the
mandate and strategic priorities, while ensuring good governance through its board of directors. Building on the agencies’ previous suc- cesses and direct support from Ledet, the interim leadership of Leda has started identifying initiatives that are likely to have immediate effect.
Though many changes will be intro- duced during 2013,Mafadza says there will be no disruption to existing services. “We will, as far as possible, not interrupt the current flow of operations of the existing agencies. An implementation plan has been drawn up to en- sure that business contin-ues as usual, while all necessary leg- islative, policy and operational guidelines are being finalised by Ledet and Leda’s interim board and executive team. Before the actual migration starts, we will go through a validation process to test our level of readiness on all fronts and to make sure that we are able to mitigate any possible negative consequences.”
The interim board and executive team will embark on a stakeholder engage- ment drive to make sure that stake- holders understand what is going on and how they will be affected. “We have already started the necessary engage- ments with staff from all the agencies to make sure that they own the process and are able and prepared to tackle the exciting task at hand as a unified team. “We are grateful for the level of support and active involvement we have received from the MEC, head of department and senior staff at Ledet because it has made it possible for us to move at a reasonable pace,” says Mafadza.
The engagement process will continue for a few more months and extend to all key external stakeholders. We are con- fident that they will embrace and support Leda’s vision and continue to collaborate with us to boost economic growth, al- leviate poverty and create employment for the people of Limpopo.” ■