The National Development Plan (NDP) aims to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality by focusing on growing an inclusive economy, building state capacity, improving education and healthcare, and society in general. While these broad terms sound good in theory, what are the concrete goals – in practice? In this blog series, we’ll look at each of the focus areas of the NDP, outlined in chapters 3 to 14 of the plan. Read part two – The NDP and the state here.


Chapter 9 of the National Development Plan deals with improving education, training and innovation.

  • Early childhood development must be made a top priority among the measures to improve the quality of education and long-term prospects of future generations.
  • Dedicated resources should be channelled towards ensuring that all children are well cared for from an early age an receive appropriate emotional, cognitive and physical development stimulation.
  • All children should have at least 2 years of pre-school education.
  • About 90% of learners in grades 3, 6 and 9 must achieve 50 percent or more in the annual national assessments in literacy, maths and science.
  • Between 80% and 90% of learners should complete 12 years of schooling and or vocational education with at least 80 percent successfully passing the exit exams.
  • Infrastructure backlogs must be eradicated.
  • Ensure that all schools meet the minimum standards by 2016.
  • Expand the college system with a focus on improving quality. Better quality will build confidence in the college sector and attract more learners. The  recommended participation rate of 25% would accommodate about 1.25 million enrolments.
  • Provide 1 million learning opportunities through Community Education and Training Centres.
  • Improve the throughput rate to 80% by 2030.
  • Produce 30 000 artisans per year.
  • Increase enrolment at universities by at least 70% by 2030 so that enrolments increase to about 1.62 million from 950 000 in 2010.
  • Increase the number of students eligible to study towards maths and science based degrees to 450 000 by 2030.
  • Increase the percentage of PhD qualified staff in the higher education sector from the current 34% to over 75% by 2030.
  • Produce more than 100 doctoral graduates per million per year by 2030.
  • Expand science, technology and innovation outputs by increasing research and development spending by government and through encouraging industry to do so.

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