Original Research

Evaluating the capacity of rural-based South African stakeholders in the transformation of small, medium-sized and micro-enterprises

Tshililo R. Farisani
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences | Vol 25, No 1 | a4592 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajems.v25i1.4592 | © 2022 Tshililo R. Farisani | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 March 2022 | Published: 06 October 2022

About the author(s)

Tshililo R. Farisani, Graduate School of Business and Leadership, College of Law and Management, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa; and, Department of Management, IT and Management, College of Law and Management, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


Background: The South African job creation challenges have been well documented by different scholars. The knowledge gap is what the transformational role of rural stakeholders is in securing sustainable livelihoods through small, medium-sized and micro-enterprises (SMMEs). This study is an attempt to fill that gap.

Aim: The study is aimed to contribute to an understanding of the capacity of rural-based stakeholders in the transformation of rural economies to sustainable livelihoods and SMMEs in South African municipalities.

Setting: This study focused on the capacity of rural-based stakeholders in the transformation and sustainability of South African SMMEs in the municipalities of Jozini Local Municipality (JLM) and Matatiele Local Municipality (MLM).

Methods: A qualitative, inductive, interpretative approach was used to achieve the research objectives. Data were collected from 34 purposive (social network analysis group) interviews and 35 snowballing (semi-structured one-on-one) interviews with selected participants from the two rural municipalities. Data were analysed using Nvivo 12.

Results: The findings of the study reveal that the rural-based stakeholders are not capacitated to transform and sustain, on their own, livelihoods and SMMEs, without well-coordinated external support from national, provincial and district stakeholders.

Conclusion: It is, therefore, concluded that such a lack of capacity and poor coordination between the relevant stakeholders impact negatively on the transformation sought to assist securing a sustainable livelihood by means of SMMEs. The original contribution to knowledge (also summarised as a framework) in this study lies in the process that rural-based stakeholders follow in creating sustainability in rural SMMEs and livelihoods.


capacity; rural-based professionals; SMMEs; job creation; local leadership; sustainable livelihoods framework


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Crossref Citations

1. The financial legislative role and capacity of municipal councillors at Ulundi Municipality
Sandile M. Khomo, Tshililo R. Farisani, Pfano Mashau
Africa’s Public Service Delivery and Performance Review  vol: 11  issue: 1  year: 2023  
doi: 10.4102/apsdpr.v11i1.691