IS THE NDP WORKING?

2017-06-14 18:53

On the 30th of June up to the 5th July 2017 the ANC will held its 5th National policy conference. The purpose of the policy conference is to review, amend and make recommendations or to devise new policies based on the outcome of the deliberations.

The national development plan is one of the policies which will be discussed as it is a strategic plan for the country. The effectiveness of other policies depends on the success of the NDP. It is needless to say that it is the cornerstone of our democracy, without its proper implementation democracy won't bear any fruits for all South Africans.

The NDP has got three implementation stages, the first five years are for planning which means South Africans will start to enjoy its benefits by the year 2018. The NDP dictates that all spheres of government must align and incorporate all their plans in line with the NDP and they must talk to one another so that there must be a smooth implementation. This has not happened so far, as it was evident from the President State of the Nation Address and budget speech presented by the former finance minister Pravin Gordhan. Mayors have also delivered a total different state of the city address from what the state president wants to achieve.

Policy changes are necessary for the smooth implementation of the NDP even the constitution itself. This has not happened as the ANC needs a two third majority to amend the constitution and this is unlikely to happen if the poor performance of the ANC will be taken into consideration in the previous local government elections and the way it's getting unpopular with the electorates.

The NDP envisage a South Africa where everybody will live peaceful, non-violent and harmoniously without racial discrimination, reduced poverty, free unemployment and a stable economy by 2030. This is a good vision for our country. The big question is do we have a capable state to deliver us to the promise land ?

The National development Plan promises to do the following :

To reduce the level of inequality

A minimum wage contract was signed between the employer representative and the government of R20 an hour and R3500 monthly which will be with effect as from the 1st May 2018. The deputy president reassured that this was not a living wage and it will be reviewed by the minimum wage committee on a regular basis.

Electricity

The target is to have 95% of people with assess to electricity by 2030. On his state of the nation address president Zuma announced that 7 million households are connected with electricity. The NDP further stated the importance of maintaining and refurbishing of power stations. Three power stations have been refurbished in Mpumalanga that include Camden, Grootvlei and Komati. Load shedding is the thing of the past.

The building of a second nuclear power plant is delayed by the economic constraints, political pressure from opposition parties, and environmental organizations which is estimated at R 1 Trillion. The NDP further state that South African economy is electricity intensive, therefore economic growth further relies on efficient and effective power supply. In 2014 there were 3.4 million South Africans without electricity and the government allocated funds to municipalities to electrify household.

Eskom poor management of finances create a set back as government has to bailout it on a regular basis as it was bailed out with R5 billion in 2016. The issue of governance, and improper tender procedures at Eskom is also a cause for concern.

Water

The strategy is to reduce water demand in urban areas by 15% and to complete Lesotho Highlands phase 2.

The government has acknowledged that South Africa is a water scarce country.

For the first time a water ministry was established in parliament, this country experienced severe droughts which were last seen in the 80s. Residents experienced planned water shedding and restrictions. Various municipalities charged heavy fines to those who were not adhering to water restrictions. In the Western Cape they have declared a water crisis.

Bi-National agreements have been signed between South Africa and Lesotho for Lesotho Highlands Water Project Phase2. Both countries will benefit mutual as Lesotho will benefit Hydro electricity and South Africa stand to benefit quality water.

This is the biggest water engineering project, estimated at R23 billion. Unfortunately the project is delayed and is unlikely that it will produce results before the end of 2017. Political instability and change of government in Lesotho is also causing delays, says the department of water and sanitation.

According to Statistics South Africa the Water and Sanitation General Household Survey, 2005-2015 and Community Survey 2016 data report, according to the report, nationally, 92,5% of households had access to improved drinking water sources. Western Cape (99,4%), Free State (99,3%), Northern Cape (99,1%) and Gauteng (98,6%) reported almost universal access to improved drinking water sources. Although Eastern Cape had the lowest percentages of households (75,7%) with access to improved drinking water sources, the province reported the largest percentage points increase from 2002, when 60,9% of households reported accessing improved drinking water sources.

Health

South Africa has the largest number of people on ARV's treatment in the whole world. The NDP envisage that by 2013 South Africans life expectancy will be 70 years for man and women. The under-20s generation will be HIV free.

The NDP refers to four quadruple burden diseases as causes of death:

1. HIV/AIDS

2. Injury, both accidental and non-accidental

3. Infectious diseases

4. Diarrhea

5. Life style diseases

NDP targets

1. Consistency use of condoms.

2. Put all HIV-positive individuals on ARV's.

3. Reduce maternal death from 500 to less than 100 per 100000 births.

4. Reduce child mortality from 43 to below 20 per 1000 births.

5. Reduce injury, accidents and violence by 50 percent

6. Motor vehicle accidents, substance abuse and violent crime must be reduced.

7. Reduce the prevalence of non-communicable diseases including cancer and tuberculosis by 28 percent.

Strategy

1. Introducing the National health Insurance (NHI).

2. Each household must have asses to a well trained community health worker.

3. Include health education as a school curriculum.

4. Fill all vacant post with qualified and competent employees.

5. Improve the entire health system.

6. Promote healthy diets.

7. Promoting sport

8. Develop a patient data base

9. Initiate regular health care audits

10. Collaborate with traditional healers.

Credit must be given to the government when it comes to fighting HIV/AIDS pandemic, a lot more need to be done, according Road Traffic Management Corporation (RTMC) figures for January to December 2016 reveals that 14071 people died on SA roads, a 9 % increase in the 2015 figures. During Easter holidays in 2017 road deaths further increased by 51%. Tuberculosis is still the main cause of death, followed by diabetes.

The NDP further promise to dispatch field workers for every patient at home to check on their health status and other health needs. This has also not happened.

NHI is still in the planning phase and its implementation will result to accessible and affordable and quality health care for all South Africans. Health education has not yet included in school curriculum.

Human settlement

The target is to get more people working closer to their workplace by refraining from building houses in poorly located land and push more resources into informal settlement upgrading. According to South African Housing development agency, 51 % of SouthAfricans are still leaving in shacks. Sporadic service delivery protest which mainly complain about houses are the order of the day.

NDP proposed negotiations with banks to provide low cost housing, subsidies and employers housing schemes. Civil servants housing subsidy was raised to R1200 in 2013.

Vulindlela housing project in Pietermaritzburg KZN has already built 12300 houses in 2016 and aims to built 25000 more in 2018. In Cape Town the Harmony village Project has delivered 850 low cost housing. Johannesburg Social Housing project has provided rental houses in Soweto and in Fleurhof for rental and for the poor. However, housing backlog is still a major challenge.

Education

1. The NDP promise access to high quality education by 2030.

2. Improved learner performance in a way that they can compete globally.

3. To retain learners in school from grade R up to grade 12.

4. To introduce compulsory schooling and putting more emphasis on Early Childhood Education.

5. Produce more qualified educators through Fundza Lushaka bursary scheme.

6. Change the pay structure for educators.

7. Appoint qualified and competent principals by minimising Union influence.

8. To introduce an entry level qualification for principal post.

The grade 12 pass rate was at 70.7% in 2015 and 76.2% in 2016. Matric pass results have been consistently above 70% threshold. Reports shows that 18 % schools had a 0% pass and 111 schools achieved 100% pass rate. In the Eastern Cape 137 mud schools have been converted into proper schools. More than nine million children are benefiting from government school feeding scheme.

President Zuma is seating on the recommendations of the Presidential Remuneration Commission which investigated the salaries of teachers. Trade unions have been implicated in cash for job scandals.

In 2014 a total of 12336 teachers were in need of qualification upgrading, while in 2017 were 5139 unqualified or under-qualified educators. Mathematics and Physical sciences are the most affected subjects.

Trade unions rejected the proposal of a minimum qualifications for principal post.

Fundza Lushaka has awarded over 70 thousands bursaries and has placed graduates to disadvantaged schools. Nine community colleges have been established one per province with satellites or branches according to municipality demarcations to provide skills, second chance for out of school youth and matric re-write.

Two more universities were were established, one in Mpumalanga and one in the Nothern Cape .

Economy

The NDP expect the economy to rise by 17 to 30 percent by 2030. It further postulate that 11 million new jobs will be created and the economic growth will be 3.1 % annually. The major goal is to treble the economy by 2030 and to stabilise the labor environment by strengthening labour courts and CCMA.

Operation Phakisa was launched by President Zuma to accelerate service delivery with more emphasis on promoting economic growth and job creation in line with the NDP. The operation had two specific objectives, firstly to grow the economy and to transform all public sector clinics into ideal clinics, to provide good quality healthcare.

Government has put more emphasis on the ocean economy which is expected to contribute more than R20 billion by 2019.

The slow economic growth will hamper all NDP targets and this will be exacerbated by the recent economic recession as the economy shrinks by 0.7% in the first quarter of 2017 with unemployment seating at 27.7 % currently.

ILifa labantwana and University of Cape Town 2016 study has found out that 63% of young South Africans lives in poverty and this has a propensity of hampering their cognitive and physical growth.

Three rating agencies downgraded South African economy into junk status. All agencies are attributing downgrades to political instability which eminates from having four finance ministers within one financial year, cabinet reshuffle and policy uncertainty. This happened even after Malusi Gigaba the minister of finance has assured rating agencies and investors that there will be no policy changes.

The first five years of preparation is coming to an end in 2017 and the policy conference must prove that the ANC is ready for implementing the NDP in 2018.

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