King Sabata Dalindyebo Municipality (KSDM) has forged a local economic development partnership with City of Surrey in Canada. The partnership is named Building Inclusive Green Municipalities (BIGM). The purpose of the partnership is to strengthen the capacity of the municipality to deliver effective economic development services for KSD communities and investors. The main objective is to stimulate local economy that will create jobs and reduce poverty. The programme is based on three focus areas namely, Agriculture, Tourism and Creative Arts. Women, youth and vulnerable groups were identified as beneficiaries of this programme.
This partnership is led and facilitated by Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and South African Local Government Association (SALGA). BIGM is implemented for a period of five (5) years (November 2016 to November 2021). The R58 million project is funded by Global Affairs Canada.
BIGM programme is also piloted in other six Eastern Cape municipalities and these are:
- Kouga Local Municipality
- Mbizana Local Municipality
- Ngqushwa Local Municipality
- Ndlambe Local Municipality
- Port St Johns Municipality
Progress on BIGM Project Implementation
Various activities have been undertaken towards rolling out of the project.
- Initial visit by KSD Municipality delegation to Canada and Council approval of program.
- Consultation of stakeholders such as Farming, Tourism and Creative Arts sectors. The purpose was to engage stakeholders and have their inputs on BIGM programme and unpack government opportunities created for them.
- Engagement of the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality as the anchor municipality and O R Tambo District Municipality towards joint implementation of BIGM programme.
- KSD Municipality has also formalised a partnership with Walter Sisulu University for support in terms of capacity building, research and innovation initiatives.
Progress Reports are submitted to KSD relevant Council committees and SALGA for monitoring and evaluation purposes. Furthermore, monthly meetings are coordinated for councillors, stakeholders and officials to discuss progress of the