26 August 2011
South Africa needs insight and foresight and that comes from the youth, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel told students at the launch of the National Planning Commission (NPC) Jam at the University of Johannesburg on Thursday.
“In 2030 I will be too, too old to be doing what I’m doing, but you won’t,” Manuel said. “We need to hand over the baton to you.”
The NPC Jam, running from 28 September through 1 October, will be a live 72-hour online discussion about the vision for South Africa in 2030 and the nine challenges the NPC identified in its country diagnostic report in June.
The nine challenges can be summarised as follows:
- Too few South Africans work.
- Education for poor blacks is substandard.
- Infrastructure limits growth.
- A resource-intensive development path is unsustainable.
- The health system is dealing with a huge disease burden.
- Public service performance is uneven.
- Corruption undermines the state and its services.
- South Africa remains a divided society.
Manuel said these challenges needed to be raised and addressed. The key issue was that for black South Africans the country’s education outcomes were poor.
The NPC wanted the youth to talk about the problems facing South Africa and to give suggestions on how to combat them.
“Talk to us about our observations and tell us how to change these things … As a society, what are the things we want to change?” Manuel asked.
Life was changing, said Manuel. “A picture of life is a picture of the present. Pause and think what you were doing 20 years ago. The world existed without Facebook and Twitter. Life has changed.”
Registration for the Jam opened on Thursday afternoon. The first 20 000 people to register will participate in the discussions. To register, click here, or visit www.npconline.co.za/ for more information.
SAinfo reporter and Sapa