Blueprint for SA’s future tabled today

2012-08-15 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Trevor Manuel, Minister in the Presidency, will today hand the final report of the National Planning Commission to President Jacob Zuma at a joint session in parliament.

The report sets out the vision of South Africa’s ideal growth path until 2030 and was compiled by a wide gathering of prominent South Africans with different political views.

The initial version of the report, which was released in June last year, included controversial criticism of the application of affirmative action in the civil service. The new version is critical of outcome-based education, South Africa’s high minimum wages and its low productivity levels.

The report states that delivering quality services is the most important thing that South Africa can do to bridge the inequalities of apartheid.

Although opposition parties are excited about the report, reaction by the governing alliance has been muted and there are many questions as to which aspects of the report will be applied.

Where supporters of the report see it as an essential and realistic vision, economics professor Sampie Terreblanche, among other critics, has dismissed it as “governing by promise”, implying that the government is not brave enough to do what the report calls for — implementing unpopular decisions.

Beyond the focus on the future of the report, the spotlight will also fall on Manuel’s own future.

Manuel’s full cabinet title is Minister in the Presidency tasked with the National Planning Commission, and with the publihing of the report, his job is done.

Although Manuel has always been a loyal member of cabinet, persistent rumour has it that he is very frustrated. Elements in the ANC want to redeploy him to an administrative post in the ANC head office, Luthuli House.

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