Title page for ETD etd-03112010-111705

Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Nkosi, Thobeka
URN etd-03112010-111705
Document Title An information audit of micro enterprises in the selected rural areas of Umkhanyakude District Municipal of KwaZulu Natal
Degree Master of Arts
Department Information Science
Advisor Name Title
Prof J A Boon Supervisor
  • information need
  • information
  • information audit
  • information resources
  • information centres
  • information gap
  • small
  • medium and micro enterprises
  • SMME
  • Micro enterprises and development communication
Date 2009-04-18
Availability unrestricted

This study comprised an information audit of certain micro enterprises of Umkhanyakude District Municipality in northern KwaZulu-Natal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the information needs, information resources available and the information gaps that exist in these enterprises. The Umkhanyakude District Municipality consists of five local municipalities, but this study focused mainly on two, Jozini and Mtubatuba, because of their large number of local economic activities compared with the other local municipalities.

The study primarily used questionnaires to collect data. These questionnaires were administered in the two municipalities identified. The results of the study revealed that technical information relating to business and financial management were the highest ranking information needs indicated by the sampled enterprises. Legal and business management information was the second most-needed information for these enterprises. The study also revealed a correlation between the academic level of the entrepreneurs, the type of business that the entrepreneurs operate and the kind of information they needed.

The information resources that these enterprises had and used included newspapers, business magazines, market research documents and government documents. Based on the responses of the respondents, a gap was identified. This includes the lack of relevant sources of information that meet the respondents' information needs.

This study also revealed that there are a number of institutions that provide information for these enterprises, such as community libraries, government information centres, bookshops, government offices and so on. Although these information resource institutions exist within the district municipality, these enterprises also have other information needs. This therefore led the researcher to conclude that these information resource structures are not providing their services according to the needs of the community at large.

Based on the identified gaps the researcher recommends a participatory proactive approach. This approach uses participatory development communication platforms for the district municipality, the information resource institutions and local enterprises. The district municipality needs to have a platform which will identify information needs, gaps and pportunities for local enterprises. The information resource institutions need to provide platforms where they can assess the information needs of their customers and also have a customer management feedback system where they can assess whether they are responding to the customer needs. Finally, the micro enterprises need to use existing platforms to make the municipality and information resource institutions aware of their information needs. These platforms could include local and presidential izimbizo where the government comes to the people to address their concerns and issues.

The approach recommended by this study is part of a development communication approach where participatory two-way communication platforms are used to bring about development.

Copyright 2008, University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria.

Please cite as follows:

Nkosi, T 2008, An information audit of micro enterprises in the selected rural areas of Umkhanyakude District Municipal of KwaZulu Natal, MA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03112010-111705/ >


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