Solid successes of NDP
The programme to kick-start the SA economy has had some successes and, with enough budget, will hit its 2030 targets
DESPITE daunting challenges facing the National Development Plan (NDP) and generally negative perceptions, the programme to kick-start South Africa’s economy has had some solid successes.
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, in celebrating five years of the plan this week, shrugged off criticism, insisting the NDP will hit its 2030 targets, and outlining new mandates on what the national Treasury should do to make it happen.
Radebe unveiled a mandate paper to guide budget allocations in line with the NDP.
The NDP’s overarching objective is to eradicate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 through the creation of jobs and accelerating inclusive economic growth. Priorities for the Treasury as outlined in the budget are:
• Small business
• Infrastructure expansion and maintenance • Land reform
• Smallholder farmer and agricultural development
• Comprehensive social security
• Education and skills
• An integrated plan to fight crime • Advancing national interests in the SADC, Africa, the Brics group and the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
There are also plans to limit expenditure, which includes state spending, combating collusion, an insistence on good governance and penalties for lapses in governance by withholding transfers and guarantees.
In 2012, the Cabinet adopted the NDP as a long-term vision and road map for the country. It serves as a blueprint for the work that needs to be done to achieve a prosperous society.
The NDP includes all key policy instruments developed in the previous terms of government. These include the New Growth Path, which sets the trajectory of economic development, the National Infrastructure Plan, which guides the rollout of infrastructure to improve people’s lives and enable economic growth, and the Industrial Policy Action Plan, which focuses on promoting investment and competitiveness in sectors and industries.
The NDP informs the Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) priorities, which is the government’s fiveyear implementation phase of the plan. It is structured around 14 priority outcomes.
That’s all very well, but what has actually been achieved in the five years since the NDP was launched?
Although launched in 2012, official implementation of the NDP started in 2014 so actual implementation has been a threeyear journey so far. The latest reports show that at constant 2005 prices, GDP was R1.7 trillion then and has risen to R3.1 trillion. In nominal prices it was R467bn in 1994 and in 2016 was R4.6 trillion.
Another achievement is around employment numbers. In 1996, 9.1 million people were working. In 2017, the number is 16.5 million. The percentage of women represented on legislative bodies has improved from 38.4% in 2011 to 41.2% in 2015. The Gender Inequality Index reflects genderbased inequalities in three dimensions improved by 14.7%.
Strides were also made on basic services where 724 430 households have been connected to the power grid since 2014, 58% of the 2019 target of 1.25 million.
And 52 778 households were connected to nongrid power, reflecting 50% of 2019 target of 105 000 households has been achieved.
More than 1 million households were given refuse removal between 2013 and 2016, against the 2019 target of 1.3 million households. About 305 00 more households get a reliable water supply since 2014, with
12% of the 2019 target of 2.3 million achieved. Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life has resulted in 331 000 housing units being delivered in 201416.
The number of persons convicted for corruption has more than doubled between 201314 and 201617 – from 52 to 110. South Africa is improving its ranking on the corruption perception index.
To date, 3 455 schools have connected to the internet and received devices through Operation Phakisa ICT.
According to the NPC, in terms of basic education, the matric pass rate improved to 72.5% in 2016, up from 70.7% in 2015. Bachelor passes increased to 162 374 in 2016 from 150 752 in 2014.
Life expectancy increased by six years and reached 63.3 years in 2015. Maternal mortality has decreased from 158 deaths per 100 000 in 2015 to 154/100 000 live births in 2014.
Institutional maternal mortality ratio has decreased to 138 per 100 000. Child mortality rate (under five) has improved from 41 deaths/1 000 live births in 2014 to 37/1 000 live births in 2016.
More than 3.7 million people living with HIV receive lifelong antiretroviral therapy.
There are over 17 million beneficiaries of the social grant, with 1. 7 million children accessing registered ECD services.
The Renewable Independent Power Producer Programme has unlocked R201bn in investments with 6 244MW of renewable energy procured and 3 175MW already being supplied to the grid.
The build programmes at Medupi and
Kusile are nearing completion while the Ingula pump storage station is producing power.
Tourism’s contribution to GDP has grown from R372bn in 2014 to R375bn in 2015.
The Digital Migration Transmission Infrastructure projects is close to 95% complete which will ensure 85% digital coverage in the country.
Compliance of mines to water use licence conditions has reached 56% in 2016 compared to 20% in 2014. Finalisation of environmental impact assessments is at 95% while finalisation of water use licences is at 60% and waste licence applications at 87%.
Operation Phakisa is designed to fast-track the implementation of solutions on critical development issues in the oceans economy. About R17bn worth of investment and 5 000 jobs have been unlocked in the programme.
Albeit slow, there is progress on land reform. By 1994, 87% (82.4 million hectares) of land was owned by white commercial farmers, with 13% available for black people. As at 2016 10.6 % (8.7 million hectares) of the 30% (24.6 million hectares) target to distribute agricultural land to previously disadvantaged individuals had been achieved.
Various challenges confront the youth, including:
• High unemployment
• Substance abuse
• Interpersonal violence
The government has developed and implemented various measures to curb the calamities experienced by the youth such as development of the National Youth Policy 2020.
Youth have also benefited from the expansion of access to post-school training opportunities, provision of NSFAS funding and the completion of three more TVET colleges.
The Employment Tax Incentive Act aimed at helping young people enter the labour market came into effect in 2014.
This act had led to 270 000 people being employed, with 29 000 employers claiming from the scheme in the 12 months it had been in effect.
The NPC reiterated that the NDP is not just a plan for government, but for the whole country. Its implementation requires the involvement of all sectors of society. We call on all stakeholders to work together with us in this noble endeavour. It’s our future, so we must make it work.