Dec 2011

A vision for 2030

National Development Plan 2030

More than a year ago, President Jacob Zuma appointed 25 prominent South Africans with expertise in various disciplines to make up the National Planning Commission (NPC). At the time the commission was set up, President Zuma said it was government's promise to the people of South Africa that government would build a state that would grow the economy, reduce poverty and improve the quality of life of all South Africans.

Minister in the Presidency and Chairperson of the NPC Trevor Manuel (centre) with Acting Head of Secretariat Kuben Naidoo, left, and Deputy Chairpeson Cyril Ramaphosa during an NPC media briefing in Pretoria.Earlier this year, the NCP released its report identifying challenges which slow down South Africa’s growth such as poverty and inequality. The report looks at ways to address the challenges as captured in the commission’s Vision 2030 mission statement.

Last month, the commission publicly presented its National Development Plan (NDP), which aims to encourage citizens and communities to be part of their own development instead of passively relying on handouts from government.

The Minister in the Presidency responsible for the NPC, Trevor Manuel, and NPC deputy chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, presented the plan to President Zuma and Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe.


Challenges identified in the plan include unemployment, failing infrastructure, South Africa’s economy relying too much on mineral resources, poor education, economic divisions created by apartheid planning, many poor communities being at the risk of contracting diseases because of the failing public health system, a poor public service and corruption.

To address the above, 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.

The NDP further suggests a radical improvement in the state of education, as well as the provision of quality healthcare for all South Africans.

The plan also suggests that the Public Service should be strengthened so that it could meet the challenges faced by the country and respond accordingly.

The NDP recommends that corruption must be eradicated and that there should be ongoing efforts to unite the divided nation into one united nation.

Build a capable state

  • Fix the relationship between political parties and government officials.
  • Make the Public Service a career of choice
  • Improve relations between national, provincial and local government.
  • Boost state-owned enterprises to help build the country.
  • Professionalise the police and criminal justice system.

Fight corruption

  • Centralise the awarding of large tenders or tenders that go for a long time.
  • Take political and legal steps to stop political interference in agencies fighting corruption.
  • Set up dedicated prosecution teams, specialist courts and judges.
  • Make it illegal for civil servants to run or benefit directly from certain types of business activity.

Transformation and unity

  • The Bill of Responsibility, developed by the Department of Basic Education and others, should be popularised and used as a pledge by all South Africans to live the values of the Constitution.
  • Encourage all South Africans to learn at least one African language.
  • Employment equity and other redress measures should continue and be made more effective.

The plan includes the following suggestions:

  • Expand the public works programme.
  • Lower the cost of doing business and costs for households.
  • Help match unemployed workers to jobs.
  • Provide tax subsidy to businesses to reduce cost of hiring young people.
  • Help employers and unions agree on starting salaries.
  • Make it possible for very skilled immigrants to work in South Africa.
  • Make sure that probationary periods are managed properly.
  • Simplify dismissal procedures for performance or misconduct.
  • Reward the setting up of new businesses, including partnering with companies.
  • Increase value for money for tourists by selling regional packages that meet all pocket sizes. Consider a single visa for SADC visitors.
Infrastructure development
  • Invest in a new heavy-haul rail corridor to the Waterberg coal field and upgrade the central basin coal network.
  • Enable exploratory drilling to see whether there are viable coal seam and shale gas reserves, while investigations continue to make sure that operations do not damage the environment.
  • Move Eskom's system operator, planning, power procurement, power purchasing and power contracting functions to the independent system and market operator.
  • Closely regulate the electricity maintenance plans of large cities.
  • Set up an investment programme for water resource development, bulk water supply and wastewater management this year, with reviews every five years.
  • Fix and build transport links, in these key areas:
    • Upgrade the Durban-Gauteng freight corridor and build a new port at the old Durban airport site
    • Expand the coal, iron ore and manganese lines.
    • Build the N2 road through the Eastern Cape.
    • Upgrade the Sishen to Saldanha iron ore line and expand capacity on the manganese line (including port capacity).
    • Improve and cut the cost of Internet broadband by changing the regulatory framework.
Renewable and other alternative forms of energy:
  • Speed up and expand renewable energy and waste recycling, and ensure buildings meet energy-efficient standards.
  • Set a target of five million solar water heaters by 2030.
  • Introduce a carbon tax.
Transform urban and rural spaces
  • Stop building houses on poorly located land and shift more resources to upgrading informal settlements, provided that they are in areas close to jobs.
  • Improve public transport.
  • Give businesses incentives to move jobs to townships.
  • Fix the gap in the housing market by combining what banks have to offer with subsidies as well as employer housing schemes.
  • Give communal farmers, especially women, security of tenure.
  • Put money into irrigation in Makhathini Flats and Umzimvubu River Basin.
Education and training
  • Make sure all children have two years of pre-school.
  • Get rid of union and political interference in appointments and appoint only qualified people.
  • Increase teacher training output by expanding "Funza Lushaka" to attract learners into teaching, especially those with good passes in maths, science and languages.
  • Regularly test teachers in the subjects they teach to determine their level of knowledge and competence. Link teacher pay to learner performance improvements.
  • Good schools should not be burdened with the paperwork that poor performing schools have to do to improve. Schools performing very poorly should receive the closest attention.
  • Change the process of appointment of principals and set minimum qualifications.
  • Gradually give principals more powers to run schools, including financial management, procurement of textbooks and other educational material, as well as hiring and firing educators.
  • Increase the number of university graduates and the number of people doing their doctorates.
  • Build two new universities, one in Mpumalanga and one the Northern Cape.
  • Build a new medical school in Limpopo and a number of new academic hospitals.
  • Consider extending the length of first degrees to four years on a voluntary basis.
  • Provide full funding assistance covering tuition, books, accommodation and living allowance in the form of loans and bursaries to deserving students.
  • Grant seven-year work permits to all foreigners who graduate from a registered South African university.
Quality healthcare
  • Broaden coverage of antiretroviral treatment to all HIV-positive people.
  • Speed up training of community specialists in medicine, surgery including anaesthetics, obstetrics, paediatrics and psychiatry.
  • Recruit, train and deploy between 700 000 and 1,3 million community health workers to implement community-based healthcare.
  • Set minimum qualifications for hospital managers and ensure that all managers have the necessary qualifications.
  • Implement national health insurance in a phased manner.
  • Promote active lifestyles and balanced diets, control alcohol abuse and health awareness to reduce non-communicable diseases.
For more information or to comment on the plan:
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- Tel:
012 308 1781, 086 683 5479
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@npcSA /
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Union Buildings, Private Bag X1000, Pretoria, 0001
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