President Cyril Ramaphosa has welcomed the National Planning Commission’s (NPC) initiative to review aspects of the National Development Plan in order to lead the country’s response to current difficulties in the economy, weaknesses in the state and social ills and challenges affecting communities.

President Ramaphosa 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 issues in the country, with the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) as the Commission’s immediate concern. NPC members are respected thinkers who are expected to contribute fresh ideas and insights for long-term planning to advance growth and development in South Africa.

The President was briefed that the Commission was in the process of reviewing progress in � as well as non-implementation in certain areas of – the NDP with a view to achieving better results in implementation of the Plan.

As part of this review, the NPC will investigate the capacity and capability of the state to measure implementation of NDP. The review will also touch on better alignment between the national Budget and implementation of the NDP.

To address current realities in the South African economy, the National Planning Commission has developed a focus on the priorities set out by the President in the 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 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 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 that responded to pressing realities were welcome.

The President urged the Commission to play a more visible role in leading national discussion on South Africa’s long-term development and providing clear positions on key issues in society.

He also invited the Commission to address government proactively on weaknesses in the public sector as and when those weaknesses were identified. The President foresees more direct and frequent engagement between the Commission and Cabinet.

The President’s engagement with the NPC arose from the President’s assertion in the 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 National Development Plan’s 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 President’s meeting with the Commission was one in a series of consultations between the President and key national institutions that are leading strategic thinking on and planning and implementation of critical initiatives to grow South Africa inclusively and competitively.

These consultations allow the President and stakeholders to explore actions to address current challenges in the economy and society and to put in place long-term plans for sustainable development.

On Thursday, 1 August 2019, President Ramaphosa received an update from the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC) on work being done to implement agreements reached among government, labour, business and community at the 2018 Presidential Jobs Summit to stimulate economic activity and increase employment.

The meeting agreed that government would, as one of the NEDLAC partners, urgently implement numerous actions arising from the Presidential Jobs Summit.

The meeting also agreed that the President and Deputy President David Mabuza would lead the government delegation to monthly NEDLAC meetings at which the social partners will report on the implementation of Jobs Summit interventions and work more urgently to fulfill the commitments of the Framework Agreement.

On Thursday, 8 August 2019, the President will address the Forum of South African Directors-General and engage this senior echelon of leadership in the public sector on the capability of the public service to give effect to the development goals set out by the President in the June 2019 State of the Nation Address.

On Wednesday, 14 August 2019, the President will hold discussions with a group of economists to assess challenges in the economy and identify ways to overcome these challenges and build an inclusive and competitive economy.

On Thursday, 20 August 2019, President Ramaphosa will convene the President’s Coordinating Council for deliberations on alignment and collaboration among national, provincial and local government in the implementation of the priorities the President has set for the current political term and the five goals South Africa will pursue over the coming decade.

For the Sixth Administration, all programmes and policies across all departments and agencies will be directed in pursuit of the following overarching tasks:

Economic transformation and job creation

Education, skills and health

Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services

Spatial integration, human settlements and local government

Social cohesion and safe communities

A capable, ethical and developmental state

A better Africa and World

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

Source: The Presidency Republic of South Africa