Social Enterprises as Drivers of Community Development in South Africa: The Case of Buffalo City Municipality




Community participation, Social inclusion, Job Creation, Innovation, social entrepreneur, social investment


In many societies of the world, accumulation of material wealth through profit-orientated investments does not necessarily advance constructive social and community transformation. Recognising this development gap has led to an emergence of innovative approaches that enable entrepreneurs to create and facilitate wealth sharing in communities. Community development is an important component of social work practice that attempts to deal with diverse social challenges. Indeed, this makes continuous research on emerging practices to enhance community development extremely important. Through a qualitative case study research design, I investigated the ways in which social enterprises contribute to community development in South Africa. Twelve participants were sampled and interviewed. The study revealed that the principles and operations of social enterprises facilitate and enhance community development in the Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality. This is because they embrace social investment to redress social development deficits by providing alternative and innovative services. The social enterprises also empower and capacitate vulnerable groups such as women and youths to promote socio-economic emancipation. Through these facilitative operations, jobs are created, inequality is reduced, and inclusion and participation in the communities are effectuated. These findings indicate the crucial role played by social enterprises when dealing with social challenges related to poverty, unemployment, inequality and participation in economic prosperity of the community. Social work practitioners can therefore draw lessons from the operations of social enterprise to design socio-economic programmes for sustainable interventions in rural communities.


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How to Cite

Kajiita, Robert Mutemi. 2022. “Social Enterprises As Drivers of Community Development in South Africa: The Case of Buffalo City Municipality”. Southern African Journal of Social Work and Social Development 34 (3):18 pages.



Received 2021-01-14
Accepted 2022-08-18
Published 2022-10-06