Government's 5-year plan

2014-06-15 15:00

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Constitutional Mondays, a flag in every school, better race relations, radical reduction in squatting, a super director-general – these are some of the ideas contained in government’s medium-term strategic framework. President Jacob Zuma’s state of the nation address will be based on this document. Carien du Plessis gives you the lowdown.

Local government and housing

By 2019, the government hopes to employ a ­million people in the Community Work Programme (up from 180?000), which is implemented by ­municipalities.

It also aims to improve access to running water, eradicate the bucket system, and ­increase those who have trust and confidence in local government from 51% to 65%.

Public confidence and trust in local government will have to be rebuilt. The government will have to change the way it works with citizens, and smaller and poorer municipalities will have to deliver services smarter.

There will be a clampdown on problem areas, like corruption and political interference, in the administration.

The department of human settlements will aim to bring down the number of people who are living in informal settlements, which is at 2.3?million according to the 2011 census, to 1?million by 2019.

Economy and jobs

Government’s medium-term strategic framework warns South Africa would need to make “tough decisions that will involve both compromises and trade-offs” to accelerate economic progress over the next 20 years.

These decisions are contained in the National Development Plan that will draw from proposals in the New Growth Path, the Industrial Policy Action Plan and the National Infrastructure Plan.

Infrastructure remains one of the main growth drivers. Government will also aim to eliminate “unnecessary regulatory burdens” to investment. The price of doing business will be reduced.

Business and labour must talk about how to develop skills and career mobility for workers, improve communication in the workplace, and “reduce unfair inequalities” so that workplace conflict can be reduced.

An agricultural policy action plan, a mining beneficiation action plan and a shale gas exploration plan will be developed. A presidential public employment commission will coordinate the roll-out of public employment programmes.

Nation-building

Brand SA, the government’s marketing arm, has been given the task of starting “constitutional Monday”, which will see one Monday a month devoted to highlighting constitutional values in the media, according to the state’s medium-term strategy.

The Moral Regeneration Movement will be popularised, a summit on racism and xenophobia will be held by December and voter turnout in local and general elections should increase by 10%. By 2019, half of all those in Parliament and the legislatures should be women and 65% of South Africans should be of the opinion that race relations are improving (up from 40%).

School children will have to recite the preamble to the Constitution in their assemblies and schools will have to fly the national flag.

Job creation by “social contract” means government will deliver on social and economic infrastructure and welfare and business should

invest in and train workers. Workers will be encouraged to recognise that wages can’t be too high and that they need to be more productive.

Public service

Cabinet this week discussed the appointment of a “super director-general” or a head of the public service to oversee senior administrative appointments in government.

According to its medium-term strategy document, government aims to create a more stable public service in the next five years, free from the disruption of political changes.

A head of the public service could help advise ministers on who to appoint as heads of department and deputy directors-general, and would help manage them.

A new technical assistant unit in the department of public service and administration will help investigate issues relating to ethics, integrity and discipline.

This will reduce the scope for corruption and help manage conflicts of interest.

Government is also planning to equip managers to make long-term plans. It wants to skill public servants properly so that outsourcing is reduced.

Supply chain management will be improved through training and accreditation.

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