He said the plan told South Africans that it was possible to create a future that is many times better than the present. “We can do it if we set our sights to it, and begin planning in earnest for 2030, instead of looking only at the next financial year.”
The Commission had been asked to produce reports on a wide range of issues that impact on the country’s long term development, such as water security, climate change, food security, energy security, infrastructure planning, human resources development, defence and security matters, the structure of the economy, spatial planning, demographic trends, among others.
“They have delivered on their mandate, in record time. They have presented to all of us a plan that all South Africans should identify and embrace.”
The revised document, entitled “Our future – make it work”, focusses on the elimination of poverty by reducing the proportion of households with a monthly income below R419 per person from 39 percent to zero and reducing inequality.
“The National Development Plan submits that our long-term objectives should be the elimination of poverty and the reduction of inequality. There is further consensus that creating jobs and improving the quality of education are our highest priorities,” said Zuma.
He said the plan dealt with more than just the five priorities of government, but many other concerns that “we dedicate our efforts to on a daily basis”.
The plan covered many sectors but also raised great expectations. “People will expect from it, solutions to many problems they face on a day to day basis.”
“Many of our people spend long hours travelling by taxis and buses to work. There is clearly a mismatch between where people live and where they work. The plan must help us address this anomaly in the long-term. In well-planned societies the poor live near their places of work. In South Africa it is the opposite. Those with no transport live far away.”
The President added that the plan made proposals on how to deal with historical anomalies in housing delivery by 2030. He said in South Africa, a person could earn too much to qualify for a housing subsidy but not enough to qualify for a mortgage bond from a bank.
Another anomaly was how to get households to utilise land to produce food. “Even in rural areas where people could have some land for tilling, households rely on supermarkets for all their food requirements. Given the high food prices, this is not the best option.”
The proposals in the plan include the activation of rural economies through several measures including reviewing land tenure and security for the landless rural masses and supporting subsistence farming to enable people to live from the land.
“We applaud the projection and proposal that of the 24 million jobs targeted for 2030, 643 000 direct and 326 000 indirect jobs must be created in the agriculture, agro-processing and related sectors.”
With improved economic activity both in urban and rural areas, the President said hunger and poverty would take a back seat. “People will enjoy nutritious diets, a significant step towards a healthy nation that the plan advocated for 2030.”
Zuma was further pleased that the Commission had agreed with government about the importance of infrastructure for development, saying that ultimately every town and village should have tarred roads, water, sanitation, electricity, proper sewerage systems, recreational facilities and all social amenities that normal residential settlements should have.
“We are encouraged by proposals to improve health by reducing maternal, child and infant mortality, and preventing communicable diseases such as TB and HIV and Aids and to improve health infrastructure.”
He highlighted the need to ensure safe communities and the ongoing fight against crime and corruption.
Zuma commended the Commission for conducting one of the most extensive public consultation processes on public policy since the drafting of the Constitution.
However, he said the work of the Commission was not done yet and that they were tasked with advising government on the implementation of the plan. “They will work closely with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to turn the plan into targets to be incorporated into future performance and delivery agreements. – SAnews.gov.za