The National Development Plan (NDP) is a long term South African development plan, developed by the National Planning Commission in collaboration and consultation with South Africans from all walks of life. Minister Trevor Manuel stated in his speech at the launch of the NDP: “The plan is the product of thousands of inputs and perspectives of South Africans”. “It is a plan for a better future; a future in which no person lives in poverty, where no one goes hungry, where there is work for all, a nation united in the vision of our Constitution”. The NDP envisions a South Africa where “everyone feels free yet bounded to others”; where everyone embraces their full potential, a country where “opportunity is determined not by birth, but by ability, education and hard work”. A South Africa where “we participate fully in efforts to liberate ourselves from the conditions that hinder the flowering of our talents” (Vision 2030). To realise such a society we need transform the domestic economy and focus efforts to build the capabilities of both the country and the people. To eliminate poverty and reduce inequality, there should be accelerated growth in the economy, growth that benefits all South Africans. The NDP serves as an action plan for securing the future of South Africans as charted in the Constitution. The Constitution requires that “we must build a united and democratic South Africa, able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations”. The NDP is founded on 6 pillars that represent the broad objectives of the plan to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality.
The NDP aims to achieve the following objectives by 2030:
- Uniting South Africans of all races and classes around a common programme to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality
- Encourage citizens to be active in their own development, in strengthening democracy and in holding their government accountable
- Raising economic growth, promoting exports and making the economy more labour absorbing
- Focusing on key capabilities of both people and the country
- Capabilities include skills, infrastructure, social security, strong institutions and partnerships both within the country and with key international partners
- Building a capable and developmental state
- Strong leadership throughout society that work together to solve our problems
According to the NDP by 2030 there should be:
- A reduction in the number of people who live in households with a monthly income below R419 per person from 39 percent to zero.
- A reduction in inequality as measured by the Gini coefficient, from 0.69 to 0.6.
This can be done by addressing the underlying causes of poverty and inequality by redirecting the focus of policy making from short- term symptom- based policies to longer- term policies based on sound evidence and reason. At the core of the NDP, the NDP aims to ensure the achievement of a “decent standard of living” for all South Africans by 2030. A decent standard of living consists of the following core elements:
- Housing, water, electricity and sanitation
- Safe and reliable public transport
- Quality education and skills development
- Safety and security
- Quality health care
- Social protection
- Recreation and leisure
- Clean environment
- Adequate nutrition
Government alone cannot provide a decent standard of living; it requires determined and measurable actions from all social actors and partners across all sectors in society. The NDP is divided into thirteen chapters that addresses the most pressing challenges facing South Africa and provides solutions to these challenges in the form of proposals and actions. The plan outlines sector specific goals and a vision for South Africa to be achieved by the year 2030.
The following chapters are found in the NDP, representing key proposals and challenges inherent to South Africa:
Vision Statement- Vision 2030
Chapter One- Policy making in a complex environment
Chapter Two- Demographic Trends
Chapter Three- Economy and Employment
Chapter Four- Economic Infrastructure- the foundation of social and economic development
Chapter Five- Ensuring environmental sustainability and equitable transition to a low- carbon economy
Chapter Six- An integrated and inclusive rural economy
Chapter Seven- Positioning South Africa in the World
Chapter Eight- Transforming human settlement and the national space economy
Chapter Nine- Improving education, training and innovation
Chapter Ten- Promoting health
Chapter Eleven- Social Protection
Chapter Twelve – Building safer communities
Chapter Thirteen- Building a Capable Developmental State
Chapter Fourteen- Fighting Corruption
Chapter Fifteen- Transforming society and uniting the country
The NDP and its proposals need to be implemented in the correct order over the next 15 years (3 phases), for the achievement of Vision 2030 to become a reality. The NDP calls on all South Africans from all walks of life to join forces, uniting all energies towards the implementation of this plan. This is our plan, our future, let’s make it work!