South Africans need to reclaim their development – Manuel

2013-09-04 10:55

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

South Africans need to take an active role in the country’s development, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel has said.

“We need to reclaim this term ‘development’,” he told a conference today on the state of South Africa’s social economy.

Previously, development was “all premised on mineral wealth and not on people. We need to go back and realise our deficiency in investing in people.”

South Africans often tended to define empowerment in “rather narrow” terms, Manuel said.

Rather, the focus needed to be on getting everybody working, “even if it’s not narrowly for gain”.

The disempowered were often disengaged and discouraged because of lack of access to information and resources.

“People no longer build their own houses,” he said.

Cooperatives formed through people working together and pooling their resources could achieve much more than individuals.

This collective power could be harnessed to promote social economic development.

Manuel related a story of when his wife was injured in a car crash in Nairobi and was admitted to a not-for-profit trust hospital.

“She said she never experienced such good health care in South Africa. They (the staff at the not-for-profit hospital) do it as a national service.

“What is wrong with us? Why have we not found more innovative ways of building houses in the face of such need?” he asked.

Cooperatives were often started to meet basic needs.

“But what starts out as a survival mechanism ... becomes something much bigger.”

There remained a vast gap between the education received by children from wealthy families and those from poor families.

“That investment in people is at the epicentre of that transformation.”

Innovative solutions, between the poles of private enterprise and nonprofit organisations, had the potential to help achieve many of South Africa’s development goals, Manuel said.

The National Development Plan, as a broad strategy for improving the standards of living of ordinary South Africans, needed input from the public to fill in additional details to achieve its goals.

“We can’t for a moment presume to have covered the entire (spectrum) of life.”

Manuel said that when the international community saw strike action in the country, in the context of the vast divide between South Africa’s rich and poor, they “wonder how we can hope to have a stable country”.

Ensuring the health and wellbeing of workers now would help secure better levels of productivity.

“If we neglect workers today, we sow the seeds of future instability. It is happening now.”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.