Director of the Centre for Local Economic Development (CENLED) University of Johannesburg, South Africa


Local Economic Development


B-Com. (Law), 1983, B-Com. Hons. (Economics); M-Com. (Economics); D-Com. (Economics).


Dr. Marius Venter is the founder and Director of the Centre for Local /Economic Development (CENLED) based at the University of Johannesburg.  The main aim is to professionalise the careers of persons working in Economic Development.

Previously he was the Chief Executive Officer: Overstrand Local Economic Development Agency (OLEDA), a private company owned by the Overstrand Municipality which main objective was to implement economic development projects.

Dr. Venter worked for the City of Joburg for 22 years as Head of the Transport  Department’s Training Centre, Deputy Director: Privatisation, Deputy Director: Informal Trade, Deputy Director: Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market and Executive Director: Local Economic Development (LED). He was the founder of the Centre for Entrepreneurship Education and Development SA, which is currently known as “The Business Place” and the “Real Enterprise Development” Centres (now Enterprise Development Centres) assisting entrepreneurs to establish businesses. He has facilitated a new career path for Local Economic Development practitioners. Working with a consortium of 10 South African Universities they developed an undergraduate degree, 20 short learning programmes and a Master’s degree in LED. He is a founder member of the professional body for economic developers, The Economic Development Council of South Africa and a wholly-owned UJ development company UDEV (Pty) Ltd. He currently serves as the deputy chairperson of the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA). He is the Director: PASCAL Observatory Africa, a global alliance that works in collaboration with city and regional and leaders to balance economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental sustainability.