Hamburg "Local Economic Development Plan" released

Hamburg "Local Economic Development Plan" released

The community in Hamburg are highly dependent on the natural resources through small scale farming and fishing. The community is situated along the western shores, and next to the mouth of the Keiskamma River where the estuary is stated in the South African Coastal Green Paper as a place of high importance with marshes that are still able to filter water naturally.The vast majority of community members in Hamburg are poor and marginalised and they have taken great interest in participating in the LED planning process. They all see the need for planning to achieve positive change in the area. The LED process has also had fantastic support from local and national Government, which was highlighted by the presence of the Deputy Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs at the first community meeting. Other groups in Hamburg, such as the Keiskamma Trust and ASPIRE have also supported the planning process.

In a nutshell:

a. The Local Economic Development plan is considered as an important instrument that will help to guide development that will lead to an improved quality of life in Hamburg, and the surrounding area.

b. The LED planning approach was initiated as part of the DLIST ASCLME Project, where Hamburg has been selected as the demonstration site. It has been developed through extensive community engagement and consultations with other stakeholders and local as well as national government.

c. The community gave input to the plan by public meetings, stakeholder group planning and visioning sessions, and individual interviews.

d. A LED planning committee, consisting of 5 community members, has been selected to interact closely with the DLIST team during the development of this plan.

e. A vision has been created, based on the input from the community and this vision will function as the road map for development in Hamburg;

“We envision Hamburg to be more developed with housing, good road infrastructure, shopping and bank facilities, art projects, education for all and importantly more job opportunities. We also want the Hamburg community to have access to the coastal and marine resources.”

f. The LED Plan for Hamburg contains four sections.
- The first section is an introduction with background information about the area and the reason for the plan etc.
- The second part explains the methodology used. This includes engagement with the community, as well as information collected through other research.
- The third part presents the results from the planning process.
- The fourth part gives a strategy and an implementation plan.