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Lekgotla takes stock of service targets

Albert Pule
Government is doing well in many of the targets it has set for itself to achieve by 2014, but there is room for improvement.
This was the feeling after the first cabinet lekgotla in the three years and four months of the current administration. “We can confidently say we are happy with the progress, there are challenges, but overall we are satisfied with the pace things are moving,” Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Collins Chabane recently said.
Among others, the three-day meeting endorsed the objectives and the 18 key targets set out in the National Development Plan 2030 (NDP) prepared by the National Planning Commission.
“The lekgotla acknowledged the NDP as a way to form the basis of future government detailed planning. A government-led process to secure stakeholder participation in mobilising national ownership will be initiated,” Minister Chabane said.
The meeting focused on ensuring that government remains accountable to the service delivery needs of the people and receives progress reports on key infrastructure projects.
The cabinet lekgotla was happy with progress on the implementation of government’s priorities in health, fighting crime and corruption, job creation, rural development, local government and basic services and education, and skills development. The review report focused on assessing progress to date against the detailed targets per priority that were set in 2009.
Areas of good progress are evidence of increasing life expectancy thanks to government’s response to HIV and Aids, a reduction in the mortality rate of infants and children under the age of five, an in- crease in the number of artisans qualifying per year and a reduction in serious crime. Cabinet agreed that all the relevant departments should develop concrete actions to accelerate progress in those areas where, based on current trends, it appears that the targets may not be met. For example, there were discussions on ensuring that teachers are in class teaching seven hours a day, that textbooks are delivered timeously, that hospitals always have adequate supplies of medicines, and that municipalities have appropriately qualified officials in key positions.
The lekgotla also received progress reports on the Presidential Infrastructure Coordinating Committee Report and Presidential Review Committee on State-Owned Enterprises.