Twelve things SA needs to get right

The question must be ‘How will we all – as citizens – implement the NDP?’ – Elias Masilela.

CAPE TOWN – It is now three years since the National Development Plan (NDP) was launched. In that time it has been widely hailed as one of the most important developments in this country since the first free elections in 1994. Yet the majority of South Africans still appear to be unaware of what it actually contains.

Speaking at the Old Mutual Investment Insights event in Cape Town, former commissioner on the National Planning Commission, Elias Masilela, said that one of the things the commission discovered when travelling around the country was that many South Africans have not read the document. This, he argued, detracted significantly from its effectiveness.

“Nobody sat in a corner and thought about the issues that need to be dealt with to come up with the NDP,” Masilela said. “It involved every South African. And one of the fundamental principles of the plan is that the problems we are faced with are too big to be dealt with by government alone. Each and every one of us has a responsibility to identify their role in finding solutions, rather than only identifying the problems.”

This echoed something former Anglo American CEO and current Chairman of Business Leadership South Africa, Bobby Godsell, said shortly after the NDP was released:

“The question cannot be ‘How will you as government implement the plan?’ It must be ‘How will we all – as citizens – implement the plan?’”

Masilela said that the NDP contains a long list of gaps in South Africa’s economy and how to fill them. As a starting point, there are 12 that he believes are most important.


  1. Unemployment
    “South Africa has too few people employed, which means that we need to grow the economy to generate jobs, reduce dependency ratios and reduce poverty. To do this, we need to grow the economy at a minimum of 5%.”
  2. Inadequate savings
    “We don’t have adequate savings, which means that to invest at 25% of GDP we need to import savings from other parts of the world. That has to be incentivised, which is why the cost of capital is high.”
  3. Education
    “The quality of education, in particular for black South Africans is sub-standard, inappropriate and unjustifiable. We need to do something about the education system, both on the hard side in terms of infrastructure, and on the soft side with the curriculum.”
  4. Infrastructure
    “We have poorly-located and inadequate infrastructure that limits social inclusion and growth. People in rural areas struggle to access water, electricity, healthcare and everything that is easily accessible in urban areas. This is also influenced by income levels. In general, poor people don’t have access to infrastructure, and the rich do.”
  5. Diversification
    “South Africa’s growth path has been highly resource-intensive, and has highly concentrated the economy. We need to diversify and invest in things we haven’t [invested in] in the past.”
  6. Poverty
    “Special challenges in this country continue to marginalise the poor.”
  7. Healthcare
    “The ailing public health system confronts a massive disease burden. Government has been talking about National Health Insurance (NHI), but that is not a solution on its own. If we don’t do something alongside the NHI, we will get back to square one. The NHI increases access and purchasing power, but if you increase demand and do nothing to supply, what you are effectively doing is pushing prices upwards.”
  8. Professionalise the public service
    “The performance of the public service is uneven and some people may go to the extent of saying that it’s atrocious. We have to deal with corrupt and insensitive officials. What the NDP suggests is that we must have a professionalised public service that understands that it exists to serve the population and to support the private sector, not for its own interests.”
  9. Corruption
    “Corruption undermines State legitimacy and service delivery.”
  10. Social division
    “South Africa remains a divided society as a result of different levels of skill, asset allocation, and access to goods and services.”
  11. R&D
    “We need to increase our investment in research and development. We are sitting at below 0.5% of GDP and the target is 1.5% by the end of 2030.”
  12. Inequality
    “Inequality is one of the biggest risks to this country. Across the globe, the biggest source of conflict is inequality. If we want to avoid those problems, we have to invest in the right things and in the right way.”



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Re 1 – Unemployment. Get rid of the far too MANY people employed in the public service.
Re 3 – Education. Get rid of the basic minister who is incompetent and the minister of higher education, who is both incompetent and a dyed-in-the-wool communist.
Re 9 – Corruption. Get rid of the chief clown who is a shining example of what corruption is all about.

Who wrote this plan?


It is FILLED with platitudes and wishlists, with ZERO proposals on the nitty-gritty of exactly HOW the desired end-state will be reached.

It is no wonder this document is being ignored.

If the question has to be asked as to what must be done by all citizens, it is clearly not a plan but a checklist of problems which need solving/implementing. Nothing new about the listed problems, so why should I read this so-called plan?

End of comments.



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