With the aim being to stimulate conversation around a roadmap for achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP), around 300 decision makers from both the private and public sector came together at the third annual Vision 2030 Summit, to talk about key contributors to alleviating poverty, inequality and joblessness by the year 2030.

Held at the Birchwood Hotel in Johannesburg from 21-22 June, the two-day event fielded keynote speakers such as Presidential candidate Dr Mathews Phosa, Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams,

Dr Petrus De Kock, Prof. Arthur Mutambara and many more experts.

Day 1 – Bridging the digital divide to accelerate progress

Both the private sector and public sector are prioritising technology and digitisation as an essential driver to accelerate progress on the NDP, through linking a network of implementers around socioeconomic transformation, and empowering ordinary South Africans through connectivity and shared knowledge.

This was the focus for registration Sponsor Huawei’s CEO Steven Wu, who said that ICT should be a national priority strategy, with more investment and a supportive policy framework for ICT development: “We’d also like to see swifter progress on the realisation of significant projects like SA Connect and Safe Cities”.

Old Mutual, Basil Read, MMI Holdings, AMSCO and PMI were at the forefront of discussions after lunch, at the helm of their five respective breakaways. These 1.5 hour sessions covered different fundamentals of the NDP: entrepreneurship development; training and skills development; improved economic production through investment in people; construction, and economic transformation.

Day 2 – Collaboration, cooperation and communication are key to achieve the NDP

The opening address by Professor of Robotics and Megatronics, President of the African News Agency and former Deputy Prime Minister of Zimbabwe, Arthur Mutambara was a clarion call to South Africans to execute the vision of the NDP.

The keynote address by Dr Mathews Phosa took us back to our foundations and our roots – the Freedom Charter. He emphasised the need to work together to solve our problems and achieve the South Africa we all deserve. He said that South Africa “deserves a recovery plan, developed and implemented under the watchful eyes and guidance of a trusted and virtuous leadership. A plan reflecting the dreams of those who formulated and penned the Freedom Charter of 1955 …the National Development Plan must be strongly advanced as the inclusive recovery plan to change South Africa for the better.”

A vibrant panel discussion listed the must-haves for execution of Vision 2030 – these included the reduction of the public sector into a lean agile servant leader; the alignment of business and government; a sense of patriotism; the mobilisation of SMMEs; developing the rural economy and transformation of the education system. Tiger Brands, Aerosud, SANBS, Sentech hosted the second day’s breakaway sessions, which focused on agriculture & rural development; advanced manufacturing; healthcare and, of course,  ICT.

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