Head of ANC Policy and NEC member Comrade Jeff Radebe delivered a progress report on the implementation of the National Development Plan (NDP) to the 5th National Policy Conference of the ANC currently underway at the Nasrec Expo Centre in the south of Johannesburg.
In introducing his report, Radebe reminded delegates that the ANC’s 53rd National Conference at Mangaung resolved that “…we embraced Vision 2030 and the National Development Plan as a platform for united action by all South Africans to eradicate poverty, create full employment and reduce inequality as critical building blocks towards a truly united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.”
The 2015 National General Council of the ANC reaffirmed that the NDP is the long term plan that identifies the critical actions to be prioritised towards 2030. “To this end, we reaffirm that the National Development Plan (NDP) constitutes the programme through which we advance radical socio-economic transformation” he said.
The key objectives of the NDP are set out to eliminate income poverty by reducing households with a monthly income below R419 per person (in 2009 prices) from 39% to 0; reduce inequality where the Gini coefficient should fall from 0.69 to 0.60 and reduce unemployment rate to 6% by creating 11 million more jobs by 2030.
On Education, Radebe said enormous strides to redress the educational imbalance of the past and improve basic education have been made. Between 2014 and 2016, the matriculation pass rate rose from 58% in 1994 to 72.5% in 2016. “We are on a positive trajectory, as can be seen in international comparisons through the South and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring of Educational Quality (SACMEQ) and the Trends in International Mathematics and Science (TIMSS)” he said.
Introduction of ‘no fee’ schools and meals through the National School Nutrition Programme have increased access to schools, and supported learning in schools, he added.
On Health, overall life expectancy increased from 62,9 years in 2014 to 63,3 years in 2015. Compared to 2009, Radebe said this reflects a huge increase of 6,2 years, true for both males and females, as a result of success in combating HIV/AIDS and Tuberculosis.
The health of South African children has also improved. Mortality amongst children under the age of 5 years has dropped from 40 deaths per 1,000 live-births in 2014 to 37 deaths per 1 000 live births in 2015 (MRC).
“The highlight of the health sector’s achievements during the Zuma administration must be the adoption by Cabinet of the National Health Insurance White Paper” Radebe said. This policy framework will enable good quality health services for the majority of our people, irrespective of their ability to pay, he added.
On NDP Outcome 3 which is to build safer communities, addressing threat to security of the state and fighting corruption, Radebe reported that considerable progress has been made in the fight against crime.
Between 2014 and 2016, attempted murders reduced from 26 806 to 18 127 (-32%), sexual offences decreased from 53 617 in 2014/15 to 51 895 in 2015/16.
Since 2014 to March 2017, the number of persons convicted for priority corruption cases increased from 52 to 110. The value of assets frozen by freezing orders is almost R5 billion.
The progress with the economy, “we continue to use the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP) to drive industrialisation, as well as the Black Industrialists Programme. In the mining sector, we have developed a Minerals Beneficiation Action Plan to advance local value-addition across five mineral value-chains” Radebe said.
Other interventions include a commitment to set aside 30% of procurement from SMMEs; Local content policy to support new industries; Localisation efforts through public procurement and the designation of sectors and products; The establishment of InvestSA as a one-stop shop (OSS) to remove obstacles in doing business in South Africa and process of establishing three provincial OSS in Gauteng, KZN and Western Cape in 2017/18; and In addition, we continue to grow our tourism sector where the Direct and indirect contribution to GDP increased from R372 billion in 2014 to R375bn in 2015, he added.
Rabede also said that NEDLAC has also agreed to establish a National Minimum Wage. “We have successfully implemented a Social Economic Impact Assessment System (SEIAS)”, he further added.
On the ANC’s fifth priority area and Outcome 7 of the NDP, Comprehensive Rural Development and Food Security, Radebe told delegates that though the progress on land reform has been at a slow pace, there have been strides made in the ANCs programme restore the land to the majority of South Africans.
Radebe said land reform had transferred 10.6% or 8.7 million hectares out of the 30% target set in 1994 to distribute agricultural land to previously disadvantaged individuals (PDIs). “Financial compensation of R11.6 billion was paid out to land claimants who opted for this option for the same period. Had these claimants opted for land to be restored, a further 2 772 457 ha would have been restituted”, he added.
He said the ANC must develop a coherent policy giving direction to land reform and redistributing of state owned land. “We must also invest more in agriculture and provide comprehensive support to smallholders” he added.
In concluding Radebe said “the National Development Plan is our roadmap towards socio-economic transformation. We must redouble our efforts to address challenges of economic transformation as it is only by addressing our challenges that we can improve.”
“We climb the mountain one step at a time” he said.