SALGA and its knowledge partner in eThekwini Municipality, MILE was requested to assist the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality (BCMM) in East London to develop an informal economy policy. The Workshop took place from 11-12 April 2017.
Over the last few months intense preparations to design an inclusive policy dialogue culminated in a highly successful session that brought together BCMM line departments, political leadership, informal trader organisations from East London, national role-players including COGTA, and the SBDC and the ILO and World Bank.
During the two day session, MILE facilitated a process that after the first day emerged with a clear policy framework to guide the informal economy in BCMM. The session was framed within the ILO Decent Work paradigm, and attempted to localise SDG 8 as per the UCLG mandate given to MILE / SALGA as SDG champions in southern Africa. The framework focused on 5 key policy elements including a robust spatial framework; provision of municipal infrastructure services, facilitating targeted sector support, promoting partnerships and collaboration and implementing integrated information management systems.
Thulani Nzami, Deputy Head from the Business Support Unit shared the eThekwini policy development story which was identified as good practice that other metros could learn from. Nelson Mandela Bay Metro also shared their experiences and was eager to learn from eThekwini as their metro area was undergoing a policy review process. Both these metros found the process of reflection useful as it allowed them to think critically about their approaches and the lessons learned.
On the second day, the broad policy framework was translated into strategy, with key actions being identified for each of the broad policy statements. The policy dialogue reaffirmed the strategic relationship between knowledge management, policy and strategy and showed how through a carefully managed process tangible policy results can emerge. Mr Charles Parkerson, from the SALGA national office was excited about the policy dialogue.