The Department of Economic Development and Tourism of the Western Cape Government requested the Economic Development Partnership to set up a Township Economies Programme, which was implemented in association with the Human Sciences Research Council from August to November 2018, and supported by the City of Cape Town Enterprise and Investment and Resilience units. Four stakeholder workshops were convened during this period, including group discussions, expert inputs, site visits and local engagements in two townships in Cape Town.
From these engagements a toolkit was created to develop a shared agenda and to rethink township economies using various lenses and tools. The toolkit consists of three lenses that have been used to redefine the township economies agenda. These are Capable Enterprise, Productive Placemaking, and Resilient Social Fabric. Each one has an important contribution to a particular township’s economic vibrancy. The tools help users to share their experience and resources, learn from the existing environment, and explore various economic activities that already exist in a space.
A detailed explanation of these lenses is available in a corresponding report “Strengthening Township Economies”, which also contains a literature review and details on the four workshops. Part of this toolkit is an online rapid diagnostic model which is currently hosted on Google Forms. This diagnostic model allows the user to answer a few questions and a spider diagram is produced to show the strengths and weaknesses of township economies.
The toolkit was created with hope that it will be used to stimulate dialogue between different role players in any given township, and lead to the creation of tailored and integrated planning processes for township economic development.