State’s ‘great plans have disappeared and so will NDP’

2014-10-17 13:24

The implementation of several great plans by government have disappeared “like dew in the morning sun” and the National Development Plan faces the same fate, the Inkatha Freedom Party Youth Brigade has said.

“South Africa has been down this road of grand plans and ideas before,” youth brigade chairperson Mkhuleko Hlengwa said today at the National Development Plan indaba in Umhlanga, KwaZulu-Natal.

“Since 1994 great plans have been mooted, but their implementation has never seen the light of day,” he said.

He said the Growth, Employment and Redistribution plan (Gear) was progressive but disappeared “like dew in the morning sun”.

“The same fate befell the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative. In a similar fashion, the youth wage subsidy also walked the plank.”

Gear was introduced in 1996 to address high inflation, declining gross domestic profit and a large fiscal deficit. The objective of the plan was to transform South Africa into an outward, competitive economy.

In January, the Employment Tax Incentive Act, commonly known as the youth wage subsidy, came into effect. The government hoped the law would accelerate employment for young people and create jobs in special economic zones once legislation had been promulgated.

Hlengwa said these “monumental plans” faltered at the resistance of unions, particularly the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu).

“The NDP finds itself facing the same resistance and potentially the same fate as Gear, the shared growth initiative and the youth wage subsidy,” he said.

“At every turn, South Africa has found itself having to buckle under the pressures and whims of Cosatu at the collective expense of the poor ... When Cosatu sneezes, we all catch the cold.”

Hlengwa said it was important to determine who the “friends of the NDP” were.

“We must know who is who in the zoo, so that with those sane South Africans we may put shoulder to the wheel and see to it that the NDP is implemented.”

He said the IFP was a friend of the NDP, which seeks to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality in South Africa by 2030.

“For the next 16 years, South Africa has a road map. The vision is clear ... All that remains is political will on the part of the present-day government to do that which needs to be [done].

“The NDP must become a living plan and find expression in the day-to-day operations of South Africa.”

Hlengwa said political will needed to become political action.

“2030 is today. It is not some distant destination in the future ... And today is the opportune moment to do things differently and not buckle under the pressures of Cosatu and other NDP antagonists.

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