It is well established that there are collective economic gains to be realised from local industrial agglomerations. These gains arise from labour market pooling, knowledge and information flows, collective learning and shared business services. Realising the potential gains requires collective action, often facilitated by government and other public institutions. Recent economic policy in South Africa has recognised this potential and has placed great responsibility on local government structures to design and implement integrated development plans. This paper examines what this means in the context of the nature and performance of South Africa's largest industrial concentration in Ekurhuleni, and in light of the legacy of apartheid industrial policies.