20 February 2013
Public servants should be banned from contracting with the government, and should face consequences for benefiting from state contracts, says National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel.
During a briefing on the National Development Plan in Parliament in Cape Town on Tuesday, Manuel echoed Public Service and Administration Minister Lindiwe Sisulu’s call, made a few days ago, that public servants should be outlawed from benefiting from government contracts.
Sisulu’s department is working on amending the Public Service Act to make it law that civil servants cannot do business with the state.
Public servants ‘must perform’
Manuel told Parliamentarians that ensuring that public sector delivery was ratcheted up would be key to the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP).
He said that, “in the interests of democracy”, public servants that were not skilled and effective should be removed.
The NDP is a a blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in South Africa by 2030. It seeks to do this by drawing on the energies of the the country’s people, growing an inclusive economy, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.
In his State of the Nation Address last week, President Jacob Zuma said the NDP was a “roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a clean environment.”
Manuel detailed how the plan will be broken up into five-year chunks, in line with the electoral cycle, with the 2014-19 medium term strategic framework to form the first five-year building block of the plan.
The Presidency will lead the formulation of the 2014-19 medium-term strategic framework, and a first draft of the framework will be submitted to the Cabinet in July.
The framework will include key targets from the NDP and other plans such as the New Growth Path, National Infrastructure Plan and Industry Policy Action Plan.
Minister for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane said the implementation framework of the NDP had been finalised and that following the Budget Speech later this month, departments would be expected to integrate their plans with that of the NDP.
The integration with the NDP will mean that departments’ strategic plans, annual performance plans and programme plans will need to be evaluated by the Presidency to ensure that they are aligned with the plan, before being submitted to Parliament.
The Presidency and National Treasury will also work with departments to clarify roles and responsibilities, ensure that plans and budgets are aligned, and to develop clear performance indicators for each programme.
Implementation to begin this year
Critical steps would this year be taken to implement the NDP, including ensuring that programmes that don’t require additional resources and long lead times are implemented.
The government will also focus on areas where implementation of existing policies needs to improve and will also hold focused dialogues to overcome obstacles to implementation.
The government will also engage with other sectors to understand how they are contributing to implementing the NDP and to identify any obstacles they may be facing.
The 2019-24 and 2024-29 planning cycles will be used to initiate the remaining activities and be informed by a performance review of the previous cycle.
Manuel said the National Planning Commission had begun advertising for additional positions in its secretariat.