On 15 August 2012 Mr Trevor Manuel presented the final National Development Plan to a Joint Sitting of both houses of Parliament. In his presentation he emphasised that the Plan has been developed through a highly consultative process that included many young men and women in South Africa. Their overwhelming concerns were the lack of employment, the ravages of crime on their lives and communities, and poor implementation of good policies.
The overarching priority of the Plan is to eliminate poverty and inequality. The Plan has set a national poverty line of R 432 per month. At least 39% of the population live on less than this amount per month. The national goal is that by 2030 no one in South Africa should be living below this line. South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world, with a Gini co-efficient of 0.69. The goal is to reduce this to 0.60 by 2030.
To achieve these goals, the Plan proposes a holistic and integrated framework of action to “bring about a virtuous cycle of development, with progress in one area supporting advances in others”. The three foundational or priority interventions are: raising employment through faster economic growth; improving the quality of education, skills development and innovations; and building the ability and capacity of the state to play a developmental, transformative role.
Short-term priorities include the following, with a strong emphasis on the foundational pegs of increased and strengthened ECD and youth employment:
the introduction of active labour market policies and incentives to grow employment, especially for young people;
- expanded public employment programmes;
- strengthened primary health-care services and district-based health programmes such as community health worker programmes and health education;
- introduction of a nutrition programme for pregnant women and young children;
- extension of early childhood development to universal access to two years of early childhood development;
- improved quality of education in schools and FET colleges;
- the promotion of mixed housing development to enable better access to public spaces and facilities; and,
- investments in public transport to benefit low income households by facilitating their mobility.
The plan emphasises the need for collaboration amongst all stakeholders, starting at family and community level and moving all the way up to national government departments and the corporate sector.
WEB LINKS FOR THIS ARTICLE