||South Africa: Presidency Releases Government’s Five-Year Plan
||Thursday, August 28, 2014
ICT for MDGs
||Aug 28, 2014
The MTSF is structured around 14 priority outcomes, which will cover the focus areas identified in the NDP. These are:
- Quality basic education
- A long and healthy life for all South Africans
- All people in South Africa are and feel safe
- Decent employment through inclusive growth
- A skilled and capable workforce to support an inclusive growth path
- An efficient, competitive and responsive economic infrastructure network
- Vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities contributing towards food security for all
- Sustainable human settlements and improved quality of household life
- Responsive, accountable, effective and efficient local government
- Protect and enhance our environmental assets and natural resources
- Create a better South Africa and contribute to a better Africa and a better world
- An efficient, effective and development-oriented public service
- A comprehensive, responsive and sustainable social protection system
- A diverse, socially cohesive society with a common national identity
In each of these outcomes, the MTSF document outlines goals, indicators, targets, actions and responsibilities.
Rapid economic growth outcome
Regarding the rapid economic growth outcome, Minister Radebe said the MTSF set the wheels in motion to grow the economy by a rate of 5% by 2019.
“Government’s programme of radical transformation is about placing the economy on a qualitatively different path that ensures more rapid, sustainable growth, higher investment, increased employment, reduced inequality and deracialisation of the economy.”
He said many of South Africa’s youth did not currently share in the benefits of the economic growth and development and that there was an urgent need to expand on the range of opportunities available to them.
The NDP and MTSF include a range of actions aimed at creating more opportunities for young people.
Minister Radebe said government would ensure the rapid implementation of an Integrated Development Strategy as a vehicle towards mainstreaming youth development.
“The priority areas of youth development are employment creation, entrepreneurship support and education. By rapidly absorbing youth into the mainstream development of our country, we will have responded effectively to the fact that of the approximately 25 percent unemployed in South Africa, the vast majority are young people between the ages of 15 to 35 years.”
However, he said economic transformation and inclusive growth would result from a range of initiatives and therefore the MTSF contained actions to grow and diversify the economy and reduce economic concentration.
“It focuses on ensuring growth in the core productive sectors of manufacturing, mining and agriculture and opening new areas of economic growth such as the oceans economy, the green economy and shale gas.
“There are actions to ensure that small business makes a much larger contribution to growth and employment creation,” added the minister.
Further to this, more rapid private sector investment is critical for higher growth, as the private sector accounts for 70 percent of production and employment.
“The MTSF includes actions aimed at achieving an economic environment that encourages business investment and rewards competitiveness, especially in sectors that can catalyse longer term growth and job creation.”
With regards to growing the economy, the MTSF has targets which include increasing the investment rate to 25 percent of the GDP, increasing public sector investment to 10 percent of the GDP, adding 10 000 megawatts of electricity, increasing employment and reducing unemployment to 14 percent.
Local government outcome
The minister said the MTSF introduced a range of actions to improve municipal management, such as providing basic water, sanitation, refuse removal and road services as well as fixing potholes, traffic lights service interruptions and billing problems.
He said the Auditor General’s 2014 audit outcomes report indicated that local government was far from achieving the vision of an efficient and effective local government as outlined in the NDP.
Actions in the MTSF related to improving local government include, addressing maintenance, upgrading refurbishing and new infrastructure requirements in each municipality; addressing water and sanitation challenged among Water Services Authorities; improving the financial management and governance of municipalities and tackling corruption at local government, among others.
The MTSF also aims to expand the Community Work Programme sites in 234 municipalities in order to reach one million participants.
Reducing crime and corruption
South Africa has unacceptably high levels of crime, especially serious and violent crime, according to the MTSF.
Crime also impacts negatively on economic development and undermines people’s well-being and their ability to achieve their potential.
Some progress has been made over the past five years in reducing serious crime rates. But weaknesses in forensic, detective, investigation and prosecution services hamper the government’s efforts to reduce the overall levels of crime, particularly contact crimes.
“The NDP highlights the need to address the crime that is damaging our communities and the MTSF contains a range of actions and targets in this regard,” said Minister Radebe.
The NDP vision is to ensure that, by 2030, people living in South Africa feel safe at home, at school and at work, and enjoy a community life free of fear. Women should be able to walk freely in the street and children should be able to play safely outside. Businesses should be able to invest confidently and create jobs without the threat of livelihoods being undermined by crime.
Key targets for the MTSF regarding crime include:
- A reduction in the number of reported contact crimes
- An increased proportion of citizens feel safe walking alone, during the day or at night, as measured in official surveys
- An increase in the proportion of households that are satisfied with police services in their area, and with the way courts deal with the perpetrators of crime
- Improvements in citizens’ perceptions of levels of crime and progress in reducing crime, as measured in official surveys
- An improvement in South Africa’s ranking on the Transparency International Corruption Perception Index.
NDP a plan for the country
Minister Radebe said the MTSF is a mechanism through which all five-year strategic plans and annual plans across government are being aligned to the NDP and made to pull in the same direction.
“The aim of the MTSF is to ensure policy coherence, alignment and coordination across government plans.”
He added that the MTSF will form the basis for performance agreements between the President and Ministers.
“Cabinet will use the MTSF as the basis for monitoring the implementation of the NDP over the next five years. Cabinet will consider progress reports for each of the outcomes at least three times a year and these progress reports will be made public through the Programme of Action website managed by the DPME.
“We will use our monitoring and evaluation work to inform improvements to our plans and programmes as we implement the MTSF,” said the minister.