Zuma set to appoint big names to commission

2009-09-08 08:09

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma is likely to appoint high-calibre South

Africans like businesswoman and doctor Mamphela Ramphele, SABMiller executive

Vincent Maphai and Eskom chairman Bobby Godsell to the National Planning

Commission once it starts work.

A green paper which the Presidency released last week to open a

national discussion on the commission suggests that the commission should

consist of “respected intellectuals and experts outside of government” to help

devise a national plan for the entire country.

Speaking at a media conference at the Union Buildings on Friday,

Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said 20 commissioners drawn from as

wide a pool as possible would do the work of the commission.

“We have not considered a list of names and faces for the planning

commission,” said Manuel, although a Presidency source said that those appointed

would not take up paid positions but would be of independent means so that they

were not afraid to speak out.

In addition to the National Planning Commission, the 34-page

document called for the creation of a ministerial committee on planning which

would include the president and his deputy.

It is this structure, which has already been called the “super

cabinet”, which has raised concerns within the ruling party and its alliance

partners over who will ultimately become the arbiter of policy.

Manuel said the creation of the ministerial committee on planning

was not intended to introduce a “two-tier” cabinet system. South Africa’s

planning commission would be a hybrid of those in India and Botswana.

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