Get behind the NDP – Ramaphosa

2013-06-08 14:16

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ANC deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa has urged business to get involved in implementing the National Development Plan (NDP) and not just criticise government’s shortcomings from the sidelines.

Government’s long-term strategy to reduce poverty and unemployment has recently been criticised by the ANC’s allies, Cosatu and the SA Communist Party (SACP).

Speaking at a Black Management Forum banquet in Sandton last night, Ramaphosa said no one should be frightened by the NDP debate as there were “no NDP police out there waiting to arrest anyone”.

He added: “Everybody is entitled to have a go at the plan and say as much as they like. After all, we live in a free country where all can criticise the plan and say whatever they like.”

Ramaphosa said the NDP has weaknesses, gaps and inconsistencies like any other plan, but said a debate was necessary for the country to operate within a common framework.

President Jacob Zuma himself recently told the ANC’s national executive that “the plan is not the bible, but it comes pretty close”.

Ramaphosa said business should not see the implementation of the blueprint as a compliance exercise, but as “a transformative instrument” to overcome the problems the country faces.

“That implementation is going to require all sectors to engage the plan in a critical and frank manner, to understand its objectives and identify the roles that everyone has to play in contributing to its success,” he said.

Ramaphosa made it clear that the success of the NDP depends on strong leadership in society, and not only on the state.

He said countries that catapulted their economies to higher growth levels had a social contract between business and labour. South Africa needs such a social contract for at least the next five years, he said.

“Business needs to lead the charge when it comes to this,” he emphasised.

Black Management Forum president Bonang Mohale said business “celebrated” the adoption of the plan, but still needed to find the role for itself in its implementation.

He said business wanted regulatory certainty “so that the business of business is predictable”.

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