by Cathy Grosvenor

NDP in brief

NDP charts way towards vision 2030

Economist Manqoba Madinane of Econometrix
 Manqoba Madinane.jpg

 

According to Econometrix economist Manqoba Madinane, the National Development Plan's key ideas are:

1. Expand infrastructure

•         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 waste water management this year, with reviews every five years

•         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.

 

2. Create jobs

Create 11 million jobs by 2030

•         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

•         Take managers earning above R300 000 out of the CCMA process

•         Reward the setting up of new business, 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

•         Deal with confusion over policies to do with transport, water, energy, labour and communication.

 

3. Transition to a low-carbon economy

•         Speed up and expand renewable energy and waste recycling, and ensure buildings meet energy-efficient standards

•         Set a target of 5 million solar water heaters by 2030

•         Introduce a carbon tax

•         Scale up investments and R&D for new technologies.

 

4. 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 Makatini Flats and Umzimvubu River Basin.

 

5. Education and training

•         Develop a nutrition programme for pregnant women and young children, to be piloted by the Department of Health for two years

•         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 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, in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape

•         Build a new medical school in Limpopo and a number of new academic hospitals

•         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.

 

6. 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.

 

7. 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.

 

8. 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.

 

9. Provide quality health care

•         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-based health care workers

•         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.

 

Madinane says the NDP’s focus tackles three important impediments to employment:

1.         The inadequacy of education and skills development

a.         NDP contains a detailed set of recommendations to upgrade education and skills development in primary, secondary and tertiary education areas.

2.         The unfriendly nature of the labour market (a constraint that has long since been pointed out by the business sector)

a.         With regard to improving the functioning of the labour market, the NDP calls for changes in legislation to make it easier for employers to get rid of inefficient workers. At the same time, the NDP emphasises the need for a youth-wage subsidy for first-time job seekers to find employment. These prescriptions are a direct attempt to improve the fluidity of the labour market, a necessary condition for higher rates of employment in the economy.

3.         Insufficiency with regard to small business activity and entrepreneurship

a.         The NDP emphasises the need to undo stringent regulations that inhibit such businesses and suggests microeconomic reforms focusing on greater policy and regulatory certainty for the SMME sector.

 

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