The economic development function of the department is complex, diverse and one of the priority functions of the provincial government. The apex goal of economic development is the ardent quest to address the wicked problems facing the province such as unemployment, underdevelopment, poverty and inequality amongst other germane challenges. To fulfil this mandate, the department makes use of evidence based and scientific economic information that is also important for policy formulation and decision making.
Economic research becomes extremely important and indispensable to understand the provincial, national and global economic trends, spatial economy of the province and economic drivers of the various priority sectors of the province. The department further uses research outputs to understand global investment and international trade developments and to discover new markets for KwaZulu-Natal products and services.
Economic research is, therefore, a cross cutting function of the department to assist the operational programmes and policy imperatives of the department such as economic growth, economic transformation, entrepreneurship development, innovation, spatial (rural and township) economic development, industrial development, investment and international trade.
It is against this backdrop that in this section you will find some information relating to economic drivers of the provincial economy and its regional economies (district municipalities) and some of the research outputs undertaken by the department in recent years.