A critical analysis of local government support in the promotion of small enterprises : a study of the Cape West Coast local authorities in the Western Cape Province
It is an accepted fact that small businesses are the economic growth "engines" in developed countries. This reality is given as the main reason for the active involvement of local government, in promotion and development of small enterprises, with the purpose of reversing the trend of growing unemployment in South Africa (even with high economic growth rates) and reducing the high poverty index. Internationally, local municipalities have become primary players in supporting and promoting small business. Prior to 1994, local government in South Africa is perceived to have played a passive role in this field. This study aims to evaluate and critically analyse local government's involvement in the support and promotion of small enterprises on the Cape West Coast (Western Cape Province, South Africa) in order to stimulate greater government involvement in small enterprise development. The study follows a qualitative approach in the form of interviews with a sample comprising of emerging entrepreneurs in the fishing, tourism, engineering, mining and agricultural economic sectors. On the basis of the findings, specific recommendations are made for the promotion of small enterprises as a vehicle for reducing the level of poverty.