National Development Plan endorsed

10 September 2012

The Cabinet has endorsed South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP), a blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in the country by 2030, as the strategic framework for detailed government planning going forward.

Following months of public consultation and revision, the National Development Plan 2030 was handed over to President Jacob Zuma by the chairperson of the National Planning Commission, Minister Trevor Manuel, last month.

The plan seeks to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality 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.

Implementation plans

Last week, the Cabinet endorsed the objectives and the 18 key targets set out in the plan, and also “acknowledged the NDP as a strategic framework to form the basis of future government detailed planning,” said Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation, Collins Chabane.

Briefing journalists in Pretoria on Friday following last week’s Cabinet Lekgotla, Chabane said the meeting had agreed to initiate “a government-led process to secure stakeholder participation in mobilising national ownership [of the plan]”.

It was also decided that a Cabinet committee would be set up to develop targets and integrated implementation plans with the Forum for South African Directors-General. The National Planning Commission would “assess implementation and refine the plan”.

Chabane added that in cases where the NPD imposed on current government policy, there would be engagements between those who implement policy and the National Planning Commission so that they could be aligned.

Interventions for a better future

The plan emphasises the need for a strategy to address poverty and its impacts by broadening access to employment, strengthening the social wage, improving public transport and raising rural incomes.

It also outlines the steps that need to be taken by the state to professionalise the public service, strengthen accountability, improve coordination and prosecute corruption.

It calls for private investment to be boosted in labour-intensive areas, competitiveness and exports. It also stresses the need for jobs to be located where people live, for informal settlements to be upgraded, and for housing market gaps to be closed.

The plan suggests that public infrastructure investment be set at 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

It says that crime can be reduced by strengthening the criminal justice system and improving community environments, and that National Health Insurance should be phased in with a focus on upgrading public health facilities, producing more health professionals, and reducing the relative cost of private healthcare.

Speaking during last month’s handover of the plan, Manuel stressed that social cohesion needed to anchor the strategy.

“If South Africa registers progress in deracialising ownership and control of the economy without reducing poverty and inequality, transformation will be superficial,” Manuel said.

“Similarly, if poverty and inequality are reduced without demonstrably changed ownership patterns, the country’s progress will be turbulent and tenuous.”, with additional reporting by SAinfo