Over the past 22 years, much progress has been made in addressing the imbalances of South Africa’s past. Poverty levels have dropped, institutions have been opened to everyone and the middle class has been growing.The launch of the 4th Wave of the National Income Dynamics Study this week confirmed that people’s lives have been improving.The study notes that social grants have helped households move out of poverty and also ensured that many children attended school. The middle class, the report indicates, has also grown and Africans in this category are now outnumbering whites. This is good, but this class only represents 15% of the population.The study also shows that, while progress is being made, it is not enough to deal with the stubbornness of inequality and unemployment. The report notes that the advantage of having a more educated younger generation has not yet led to a reduction in earnings inequality. This is due to the high unemployment figures among the youth and because those who do find a regular job end up in the wholesale and retail sector, or in the community, social and personal services sectors.The study shows us what needs to be done and indicates that South Africa needs one big idea to move the country forward. That big idea exists in the form of the National Development Plan (NDP) – the country’s growth plan.We need the state to work. The NDP shows that a proper working state can unlock vast potential for the country.The NDP also points out that there is the potential for small businesses to unlock the economy to create jobs and deal with the unemployment issue.The answer to the challenges outlined by the study clearly lies not in any new plan, but in implementation and avoiding the pointless political point-scoring.