20 January 2014
Seven Cabinet ministers will be joining the South African delegation in Davos this week to present the country’s National Development Plan (NDP) to global business and political leaders at the latest annual meeting of the World Economic Forum, the National Treasury said on the weekend.
Headed for the Swiss resort town are: Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel, Communications Minister Yunus Carrim, Science and Technology Minster Derek Hanekom, and Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa.
“This year’s WEF meeting takes place as parts of the global economy are showing signs of a pick-up in growth,” the Treasury said in a statement.
The World Bank’s Global Economics Prospects report, published last week, forecast that growth in emerging markets would rise from 4.8 percent in 2013 to 5.3 percent this year, 5.5 percent in 2015 and 5.7 percent in 2016.
While this is some 2.2 percentage points below the pace of growth that emerging markets achieved between 2003 and 2007, spurred by an unprecedented boom in commodities, the Bank said this gap did not reflect an easing of growth potential in developing countries, but rather a cooling off of the unsustainable, turbo-charged pre-crisis growth.
“However, developing countries do need higher levels of inclusive economic growth if they are to meet their developmental challenges,” the Treasury said. “In South Africa’s case, the country needs faster and more inclusive growth to reduce unemployment, poverty and inequality.
“To achieve this, South Africans have rallied behind the National Development Plan (NDP) which aims to reduce the costs of living and of doing business, resulting in improved consumer and business confidence, rising levels of private investment, and higher growth and employment.”
For South Africa, the NDP provides a strong platform for collaboration among business, government, labour and civil society and the transition to a faster-growing, more inclusive economy.
The plan promotes enhanced competitiveness, expanded infrastructure, greater spatial efficiency in growing cities, and accelerated rural development. It prioritises measures to build a capable, effective state that delivers services to citizens while encouraging business investment and growth.
President Jacob Zuma, at a breakfast briefing last week for South African business and government leaders who would be attending the WEF meeting, said the NDP was a socio-economic blueprint that enjoyed overwhelming support among many sectors of society.
“As you engage the world you will be able to say we know exactly where we want to be by 2030 and we are working very hard to get there as South Africans,” Zuma said.
“We are busy factoring the NDP into the draft Medium Term Strategic Framework that will be discussed by the Cabinet that will be appointed after elections in its first lekgotla.
“In a few months, the plan will have been mainstreamed in the work of every government department,” Zuma said, adding: “We do trust that the private sector will also factor the NDP into its own strategic plans in every company so that we move seamlessly together.”
SAinfo reporter and National Treasury