By Nicole Forrest

Following the years of corruption and state capture that characterised Jacob Zuma’s time in office the National Planning Commission has begun assessing the National Development plan before its term comes to an end in September.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) met with President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday to discuss the progress that has been made in terms of the National Development Plan (NDP) and its Vision 2030. The meeting was the first with the president in the current term and the first since Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu became chair of the commission.

The review comes in response to the current difficulties in the economy, weaknesses in the state, as well as social ills and challenges affecting communities in South Africa. Focusing on long-term development issues in the country, the NPC provided fresh insights and ideas for planning that could advance growth and development in the country.

Since its adoption in 2012, little has been done to implement the NDP. However, in his State of the Nation Address in June, President Ramaphosa affirmed that the plan must be placed “at the centre of our national effort … to make it part of the lived experience of the South African people”. He has since urged the commission to take the lead in sparking national discussion about the country’s long-term development.

The NPC has developed indicators that will track progress in the:

  • Creation of employment for young people
  • Reduction in unemployment rates
  • Support given to township and rural enterprises
  • The acceleration of land reform, with clear property rights
  • Climate change resilience
  • The implementation of spectrum licensing
  • The restructuring of Eskom
  • New approaches to infrastructure development
  • Increases in local procurement

The review will include an analysis of the capacity and capability of the state to measure the implementation of the NDP. The alignment between the national budget and the implementation of the NDP will also be considered, in light of the priorities set out by the president in the June State of the Nation Address. The NPC will also investigate the South Africa’s performance as it concerns increasing public and private investment, the roll-out of a reimagined industrial policy, expansion of trade with African markets and the doubling of tourist arrivals by 2030.

The NDP’s Vision 2030 assumes that there is an understanding that government alone cannot provide a decent standard of living. This requires action from all social actors across all sectors of society. An idea that was reiterated by Ramaphosa in his June State of the Nation Address.

The president’s meeting with the NPC follows a conference with the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC). These are just two in a series of consultations that will take place between the president and key national institutions that have valuable contributions to make regarding the planning and implementation of critical initiatives to growth South Africa inclusively and competitively.

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