8 August 2014
Minister in the Presidency for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Jeff Radebe on Thursday released the government’s comprehensive framework for implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) over the next five years.
The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) will serve as a prioritisation framework to focus the government’s efforts on a set of manageable programmes, as well as the principal guide to the allocation of resources across all spheres of government.
Radebe said the MTSF was a mechanism through which all five-year strategic plans and annual plans across government were being aligned to the NDP and made to pull in the same direction.
“The aim of the MTSF is to ensure policy coherence, alignment and coordination across government plans.”
He added that the MTSF would form the basis for performance agreements between the President and ministers.
“Cabinet will use the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP over the next five years. Cabinet will consider progress reports for each of the outcomes at least three times a year, and these progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the [Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation in the Presidency].
“We will use our monitoring and evaluation work to inform improvements to our plans and programmes as we implement the MTSF.”
14 priority outcomes
The MTSF is structured around 14 priority outcomes, covering the focus areas identified in the NDP, namely:
- Quality basic education.
- A long and healthy life for all South Africans.
- Safety, and sense of safety, for all people in South Africa.
- Decent employment through inclusive growth.
- A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path.
- An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network.
- Vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all.
- Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life.
- A comprehensive, responsive and sustainable social protection system.
- Responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government.
- Protected and enhanced environmental assets and natural resources.
- An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service.
- A diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity.
- A better South Africa contributing to a better Africa and a better world.
In each of these outcomes, the MTSF document outlines goals, indicators, targets, actions and responsibilities.
Regarding the rapid economic growth outcome, Radebe said the MTSF would set the wheels in motion to grow the economy by a rate of 5% by 2019.
“Government’s programme of radical transformation is about placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and deracialisation of the economy.”
Targets for the economy
MTSF targets include increasing the investment rate to 25 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), increasing public sector investment to 10 percent of GDP, adding 10 000 megawatts of electricity to the national grid, and reducing the country’s unemployment to 14 percent.
MTSF also includes actions aimed at diversifying in order to reduce economic concentration. “It focuses on ensuring growth in the core productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture, and opening new areas of economic growth such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas.”
There are also actions to ensure that small business can make a much larger contribution to growth and job creation, as well as actions to promote increased private sector investment. This is critical for higher growth, Radebe said, as the private sector accounts for 70 percent of production and employment.
“The MTSF includes actions aimed at achieving an economic environment that encourages business investment and rewards competitiveness, especially in sectors that can catalyse longer term growth and job creation.”
More opportunities for young people
He said the NDP and MTSF included a range of actions aimed at creating more opportunities for young people, many of whom did not currently share in the benefits of economic growth and development.
“The priority areas of youth development are employment creation, entrepreneurship support and education. By rapidly absorbing youth into the mainstream development of our country, we will have responded effectively to the fact that of the approximately 25 percent unemployed in South Africa, the vast majority are young people between the ages of 15 to 35 years.”
Local government outcomes
Radebe said the MTSF also introduced a range of actions to improve municipal management, such as providing basic water, sanitation, refuse removal and road services as well as fixing potholes, traffic lights, service interruptions and billing problems.
He said the Auditor-General’s 2014 audit outcomes report indicated that local government was far from achieving the vision of an efficient and effective local government as outlined in the NDP.
Actions in the MTSF related to improving local government include addressing maintenance and new infrastructure requirements in each municipality; addressing water and sanitation challenges among water services authorities; improving the financial management and governance of municipalities; and tackling corruption at local government.
The MTSF also aims to expand the Community Work Programme sites in 234 municipalities in order to reach one-million participants.
Reducing crime and corruption
South Africa has unacceptably high levels of crime, especially serious and violent crime, according to the NDP. This affects economic development, undermining people’s well-being and their ability to achieve their potential.
Some progress has been made over the past five years in reducing serious crime rates. But weaknesses in forensic, detective, investigation and prosecution services hamper the government’s efforts to reduce the overall levels of crime, particularly contact crimes.
“The NDP highlights the need to address the crime that is damaging our communities, and the MTSF contains a range of actions and targets in this regard,” Radebe said.
The NDP vision is that, by 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women should be able to walk freely in the street and children should be able to play safely outside. Businesses should be able to invest confidently and create jobs without the threat of livelihoods being undermined by crime.