Sep 2014

Unpacking the National Development Plan

Written by Albert Pule
The targets set out in the National Development Plan (NDP) will ensure that all South Africans have jobs, access to education, decent homes and quality health care by 2030.

The plan aims to ensure that all South Africans attain a decent standard of living through the elimination of poverty and reduction of inequality.

Housing, water, electricity and sanitation, safe and reliable public transport, quality education, skills development, safety and security, quality health care, social protection and employment are some of the targets that should be realised by 2030.

So far, progress has been made in some of the targets set out in the NDP in the areas of infrastructure development, job creation, education and training and improving access to health care.

Infrastructure development

South Africa’s infrastructure has seen a major boost in recent years with the upgrading of major roads with the Gauteng Freeway Improvement Project and the building of power stations in Limpopo (Medupi) and Mpumalanga (Kusile).

Dams have also received priority from government with the construction of De Hoop Dam in Mpumalanga. Rail infrastructure has not been left behind, with the Gautrain linking OR Tambo International Airport with the two major cities in Gauteng (Johannesburg and Pretoria).

The Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa is also introducing a new fleet of trains. About 3 600 trains, valued at R51 billion are expected to be delivered over a 10-year period from 2015.

Job creation

The NDP suggests the creation of 11 million jobs, increased infrastructure development, using mineral resources to benefit everyone while at the same time making sure that such resources can be used in the long-term.

Improving education and training

For South Africa to realise vision 2030, education should take a central role. A lot of work has been done in ensuring that access to education is improved and more still needs to be done.

The NDP sets out what should be done in the next years to ensure that the country achieves its goals. Among others, there should be an increase in teacher training output by expanding the bursary scheme "Funza Lushaka", which means to educate the nation, to attract learners into teaching, especially those with good passes in maths, science and languages.

Teachers should also be regularly tested in the subjects they teach to determine their level of knowledge and competence, while teacher pay should be linked to learner performance improvements.

Quality health care

At the centre of achieving all the plans of a thriving nation is a healthy nation. The NDP sets out what should be done to ensure quality health care for all South Africans. Coverage of anti-retroviral treatment to all HIV-positive people should be increased.

Community specialists should be trained in medicine, surgery including anaesthetics, obstetrics, paediatrics and psychiatry, while between 700 000 and 1,3 million community health workers should be recruited, trained and deployed to implement community-based health care.

Working together

The NDP is a plan for the whole country. Government will engage with all sectors to understand how they are contributing to implementation, and particularly to identify any obstacles to them fulfilling their role effectively.

The NDP sets out ambitious goals for poverty reduction, economic growth, economic transformation and job creation. The private sector has a major role to play in achieving these objectives.

Long-term planning and investment in the future is just as important for the private as the public sector. Government is clearly stating its commitment to the NDP, and it is important that the private sector does the same.

Where the private sector faces obstacles, sectoral dialogues will take place to identify how these obstacles can be addressed within the parameters laid out by the NDP.

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