NDP PROGRESSING WELL DESPITE HIGH INEQUALITY
The National Development Plan (NDP) has progressed despite a recent report stating that South Africa has the most unequal society in the world.
This is according to Malegapuru Makgoba during the Top Empowerment Conference earlier in the week on the East Rand.
Makgoba, who is also the deputy chairperson of the National Planning Commission (NPC), said the NDP, which is the development blueprint of the country, had achieved a lot within a number of years, but also acknowledged that many people were still trapped in poverty.
“Too few South Africans work. The quality of school education for the majority is of poor quality and our state lacks capacity in critical areas. There has been significant progress, but our country remains divided, with opportunity still shaped by the legacy of apartheid. In particular, young people and women are denied the opportunities to lead the lives that they desire. The NDP envisions a South Africa in 2030 where everyone feels free, yet bound to others; where everyone embraces their full potential, a country where opportunity is determined not by birth, but by ability, education and hard work,” he said.
Makgoba further said the recently convened NPC annual lekgotla was deeply concerned that the trends pertaining to key objectives of the NDP – to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment – have seen a backward slide.
“Of course, we noted with utter dismay the latest World Bank report that showed that inequality in South Africa has in fact deepened since the dawn of democracy, with South Africa being ‘the most unequal society in the world’, where skills are fast replacing race as a major factor accounting for the inequality.
“The report noted that more than 75% of South Africans slipped into poverty at least once between 2008 and 2015, with the poverty headcount being higher in rural areas. Half of South Africans during the 2008 to 2014/15 period were considered chronically poor or having average consumption below the upper-bound poverty line. At least 78% of South Africans were in poverty at least once during this period. So, despite the overall positive trend on poverty reduction between 2006 and 2015, poverty had increased between 2011 and 2015, with at least 2.5 million more South Africans slipping into poverty,” he added.
He said the lekgotla resolved to spend the next two and a half years restoring confidence in the blueprint and promoting accelerated implementation.
“The NPC is a necessary component of South Africa’s transformation and developmental state. The realisation of its priorities as contained in the NDP will bring the much talked about radical economic transformation into reality. The NPC is an independent structure that works for society with all stakeholders to build a socially cohesive nation in line with the Constitution and bring the vision 2030 alive and real,” he concluded in his address.