Zuma’s focus on Manuel’s plan

2012-12-17 00:00

JUST as Minister for Planning in the Presidency Trevor Manuel announced he would not serve on the ANC’s highest decision-making body, President Jacob Zuma gave his work a resounding thumbs-up.

The national plan developed by Manuel took up 50 lines of Zuma’s political report delivered yesterday. Mining, by contrast, got a one-line mention, as did gender.

The allied economic policy, the New Growth Path, as well as the Industrial Policy Action Plan (IPAP), were bundled into a single line. What does this mean? It puts the National Development Plan at the centre of Zuma’s tenure for the second term and possibly serves as a perfect entreé for Cyril Ramaphosa to become the party’s deputy president.

Ramaphosa has, according to Reuters, accepted nomination to contest the election for ANC deputy president today.

Ramaphosa was Manuel’s deputy on the National Planning Commission. The plan is divided into two sections: a diagnosis of the country’s problems and a section setting out the policy steps to get out of trouble. It includes robust targets for job creation and poverty eradication as well as radical changes to education policy.

The plan’s economic policy focus is on jobs through economic growth and it is less state-focused than the National Growth Path, though there are no stark contradictions between the two.

South Africa’s challenges “cannot be addressed [in] an ad-hoc fashion or solely left to the forces of the market”, said Zuma. He added: “Having a national strategic vision as a country helps us stay on track.”

The plan has a 30-year horizon to completion.

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