NDP 2030 will only work if all are com­ing aboard

Cape Times - - OPINION & ANALYSIS - Wes­ley Diphoko is the Head of In­de­pen­dent Me­dia’s Dig­i­tal Lab and founder of the Kaya Labs. Fol­low him via Twit­ter: @Wes­leyDiphoko

ONE OF THE first steps un­der­taken by Pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma when he be­came Pres­i­dent of South Africa was to es­tab­lish the Na­tional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion. The com­mis­sion was set up to lead the process of map­ping a long-term vi­sion for South Africa.

The for­mer min­is­ter of fi­nance, Trevor Manuel, was re­quested by Zuma to lead the process to­gether with busi­ness, civil so­ci­ety and aca­demic lead­ers.

The Na­tional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion pro­duced what we know to­day as the Na­tional De­vel­op­ment Plan 2030 (NDP 2030).

This week South Africa cel­e­brated the 5th an­niver­sary of the NDP. Zuma was the key­note speaker at the event.

In defin­ing the pur­pose of the plan, Zuma said: “The NDP cov­ers a wide va­ri­ety of ar­eas, from the econ­omy to se­cu­rity, from strength­en­ing the ca­pac­ity of the state to re­duc­ing the high lev­els of crime and cor­rup­tion. The NDP tells us and the world where our coun­try should be in 2030.

“Our vi­sion as con­tained in the NDP is for a South Africa in which those who seek em­ploy­ment will be em­ployed. It should be a coun­try in which the youth will have ac­cess to qual­ity ed­u­ca­tion.

“We are striv­ing for a so­ci­ety in which cit­i­zens will live healthy, long lives, a place where there is no fear of crim­i­nals and where all live safely and se­curely. We are build­ing a coun­try with a ca­pa­ble state that sup­ports cit­i­zens to ful­fil their dreams and freely ex­press their tal­ents.

“It en­vis­ages a grow­ing econ­omy that is re­spon­sive to the de­mands of a fast changing world, an econ­omy that does not only ben­e­fit the few. It should be an econ­omy where all share in the coun­try’s wealth.”

The dom­i­nat­ing view cur­rently is that the NDP 2030 is not be­ing im­ple­mented. This view was dis­missed by facts out­lined by Zuma when he spoke its 5th an­niver­sary com­mem­o­ra­tion.

In his talk, he out­lined ini­tia­tives aimed at the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP. Speak­ing about th­ese ini­tia­tives, Zuma said: “The gov­ern­ment has turned the NDP into a five-year im­ple­men­ta­tion plan, the Medium Term Strate­gic Frame­work. (MTSF) The cur­rent MTSF, 2014 to 2019, has four­teen out­comes, which in­clude ed­u­ca­tion, health, safety and se­cu­rity, in­clu­sive eco­nomic growth, job cre­ation, in­fra­struc­ture de­vel­op­ment, na­tion build­ing and so­cial co­he­sion, among oth­ers.

Main­streamed “In this man­ner, the NDP has been main­streamed and is the gov­ern­ment’s pro­gramme of ac­tion.

“The new Na­tional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, also com­pris­ing ex­perts from var­i­ous fields, is tasked with en­sur­ing the ef­fec­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP.

“They will ad­vise us where there are de­fi­cien­cies so that we can plan and im­ple­ment bet­ter.”

He also high­lighted the fol­low­ing achieve­ments that were demon­stra­tion of im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP plan: n Econ­omy: Gross Do­mes­tic Prod­uct grew in real terms from R1.6 tril­lion in 1994 to just more than R3trln in 2015. n Em­ploy­ment: Growth in em­ploy­ment from 9.5 mil­lion em­ployed peo­ple in 1994 to 16 mil­lion peo­ple at the end of 2015. n Elec­tric­ity: In­creas­ing con­nec­tions to elec­tric­ity to 95 per­cent of house­holds. n Wa­ter: Piped wa­ter to 85 per­cent of house­holds

Based on this data, it is clear that a lot has been done by the gov­ern­ment to im­ple­ment the NDP.

Min­is­ter Jeff Radebe, who is tasked with the re­spon­si­bil­ity of mon­i­tor­ing and eval­u­at­ing the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP, re­cently in­tro­duced The Bud­get Pri­ori­ti­sa­tion Frame­work, or Man­date Pa­per, which was adopted by the cab­i­net as the blue­print on how to cut down on non-per­form­ing pro­grammes and pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of pro­grammes that will strengthen the three key levers of grow­ing the econ­omy, en­hanc­ing the ca­pa­bil­i­ties of South Africans and build­ing a ca­pa­ble state.

Pre­sent­ing the Man­date Pa­per, Radebe in­di­cated that the gov­ern­ment had adopted the NDP as its plan to elim­i­nate poverty and re­duce in­equal­ity by 2030 and, there­fore, it was a re­quire­ment for all gov­ern­ment de­part­ments to pri­ori­tise NDP ob­jec­tives in all their plans.

Radebe said that there was a need for the cor­rec­tive and struc­tural in­ter­ven­tion such as the Man­date Pa­per to en­hance the pre­ci­sion and tar­get­ing of bud­get al­lo­ca­tion to NDP ob­jec­tives through the iden­ti­fi­ca­tion an­nu­ally of a set of pri­or­i­ties.

All of th­ese mea­sures have been in­tro­duced to en­sure that the NDP is im­ple­mented.

The chal­lenge, how­ever, is the ex­tent to which the im­ple­men­ta­tion has been com­mu­ni­cated to the pub­lic. Very few peo­ple un­der­stand that the NDP is cur­rently be­ing im­ple­mented.

There’s, there­fore, a greater need to com­mu­ni­cate the im­ple­men­ta­tion of the NDP to the pub­lic. The pub­lic needs to know how far we are from achiev­ing the 2030 vi­sion. Even gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials need fur­ther aware­ness about progress or lack thereof to­wards the 2030 vi­sion.

Progress Ac­cess to in­for­ma­tion about the progress of the NDP will as­sist in fur­ther im­ple­men­ta­tion and achieve­ment of the goal.

Tech­nol­ogy through data vi­su­al­i­sa­tion and other means can play a sig­nif­i­cant role in in­form­ing the pub­lic about the progress the coun­try is mak­ing to­wards achiev­ing its goals.

This is what the In­fonomist has been work­ing to­wards in the form of cap­tur­ing pub­lic sec­tor data and de­sign­ing means through which such data can be com­mu­ni­cated to the pub­lic with easy to un­der­stand­ing in­for­ma­tion tools.

Some de­tails about the In­fonomist work in this re­gard will be pre­sented at the up­com­ing In­ter­na­tional Master Data Qual­ity Con­fer­ence 2017 (IMDQ) tak­ing place on Septem­ber 19.

The IMDQ Con­fer­ence is the sig­nif­i­cant event for data lead­ers, data users, data an­a­lysts, data stew­ards, chief data of­fi­cers and data sci­en­tists who be­lieve that qual­ity master data, big data and busi­ness in­tel­li­gence can turn cur­rent data into an or­gan­i­sa­tional and na­tional as­set.

PHOTO: ARMAND HOUGH

Pres­i­dent Jacob Zuma, speak­ing when estab­lish­ing the Na­tional Plan­ning Com­mis­sion, said: “We are build­ing a coun­try with a ca­pa­ble state that sup­ports cit­i­zens to ful­fil their dreams and freely ex­press their tal­ents.”

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