Ramaphosa Endorses Plans To Review Some Aspects of NDP

Riyaz Patel

President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the National Planning Commission’s (NPC) suggestion to review aspects of the National Development Plan (NDP) and to align it with current realities and challenges.

This was needed in order to lead the country’s response to current difficulties in the economy, weaknesses in the state, and the social ills affecting communities, a statement from the presidency said.

As part of the rethink, the NPC will investigate the capacity and capability of the state to measure the implementation of NDP, as well as looking at mechanisms to better align the national Budget and the implementation of the NDP.

Ramaphosa had earlier held discussions with the NPC whose term expires in September 2019, at his Mahlamba Ndlopfu official residence in Pretoria today.

This was the first NPC meeting with the President in the current political term and the first since Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu became Chair of the Commission, supported by Prof. Malekgapuru Makgoba as Deputy Chairperson.

The Commission’s focus is on long-term development, with the implementation of the NDP the Commission’s immediate concern.

NPC members are respected thinkers who are expected to inject fresh ideas and insights to advance growth and development in South Africa.

To address current realities in the South African economy, the Commission focuses on the priorities set out by the President in his June 2019 State of the Nation Address.

The Commission has developed indicators that will track progress in the creation of employment for young people; reduction in unemployment rates; support to township and rural enterprises; acceleration of land reform, with clear property rights; climate change; the implementation of spectrum licensing; the restructuring of Eskom; new approaches to infrastructure development and increases in local procurement.

The Commission will also look at the country’s performance in terms of increasing public and private investment; the roll-out of a re-imagined industrial policy; expansion of trade with African markets and the doubling of tourist arrivals by 2030.

President Ramaphosa reaffirmed the National Development Plan as the country’s development blueprint but said periodic reviews and adjustments in response to pressing realities were needed and welcomed.

He also urged the Commission to address government proactively on weaknesses in the public sector as and when identified.

Ramaphosa added that he foresees more direct and frequent engagement between the Commission and Cabinet.

President’s Ramaphosa asserted in his June 2019 State of the Nation Address that “we must restore the National Development Plan to its place at the centre of our national effort, to make it alive, to make it part of the lived experience of the South African people.”

The NDP Vision 2030 is premised on the understanding that government alone cannot provide a decent standard of living; it requires determined and measurable actions from all social actors and partners across all sectors of society.

The Mahlamba Ndlopfu meeting was one in a series of consultations between the President and key institutions mandated to develop and implement critical initiatives to grow South Africa’s economy.

Last Thursday, National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) updated the president on the implementation of agreements reached between government, labour, business and civil society at the 2018 Presidential Jobs Summit.

It was agreed that the President and Deputy President David Mabuza would lead a government delegation to monthly NEDLAC meetings at which the social partners will report on the implementation of the Jobs Summit interventions and work more speedily to fulfill the commitments of the Framework Agreement

In his State of the Nation Address, the President said it was necessary for all social partners to define the South Africa we want and to agree on the concrete actions required to achieve them.

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