Dan Smit (Urban and Regional Development expert) has a PhD in urban and regional planning, an education in economic geography and economics and a long track record of research, theory and practice on this field. He is widely experienced in ‘spatial economics’ as per the TOR’s requirement for expertise in territorial policies’” (Criterion 1 list). Dan Smit has a long history of involvement in local economic development initiatives. In the 1990s he was the first Chief Executive of the Cato Manor Development Association, which focused on both physical and local economic development within an integrated framework.
In the 2000s he undertook several local economic studies and strategy development exercises including initiatives for Johannesburg’s Region E (Sandton) and Region B (Auckland Park and Randburg). During this period, he also worked with Mondi on local economic development strategies for communities on Mondi land (and on ascertaining which land would become community land). More recently he has been involved in local economic development work in Rwanda, in Ethiopia and in RSA’s secondary cities. Local Economic generally involves all of the skills referred to under skills Criterion 2 of the TOR, and Dan Smit has skills in most of them but particularly in research, sectoral development strategies and strategic socio-economic development.