North West gives National Development Plan thumbs up

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pretoria - Stakeholders in the North West Province have endorsed the National Development Plan and Vision 2030, emphasising that economic infrastructure development was a priority government should be pushing.

They said that economic infrastructure development must be prioritised in the most rural parts of the province to avoid migration of people to big cities for job opportunities.

Speaking during the National Planning Commission's Outreach programme held at Mmabatho Convention Centre on Tuesday, representatives ranging from community members, political parties, business sector, labour, youth formations and traditional leaders said more efforts must be put in building infrastructure in rural areas.

Kgothatso Modise, 37, a community member from Ramosadi Village said government shoudl spend more money developing big cities and suggested that the implementation of the National Development Plan must prioritise rural development.

"We really appreciate the fact that our government is doing the best that it can for the future of the people of South Africa. I think that more efforts should be but in building good infrastructure in our rural areas. It will be good to see proper roads, better health facilities, schools and universities for our children," she said.

Hannes Schutte, a retired engineer, advised government to focus on developing the skills of artisans like plumbers and electricians.

"More than any sector we need to develop the soft skills of artisans which are needed within a growing economy - like plumbers and electricians - to match the developmental imperative of the North West as a province," he said.

Gaba Tabane, a Member of the Premier's Economic Advisory Committee told the commission there was a need to "develop the monitoring and evaluation of key skills that are needed for a developing economy".

"I must admit that the National Planning Commission is doing very well in ensuring that all South Africans become part of this crucial plan. As we move along to the year 2030, it is important that the monitoring and evaluation of the plan be observed by the commission," he said.

Chairperson of the National Planning Commission, Trevor Manuel, thanked the people of the North West province for making their inputs in to the plan.

He called on all to get involved on the implementation of the plan.

"We fully support partnerships in particular where they promote the faster delivery of infrastructure projects and shares risk equally between the partners. Therefore, where appropriate, public-private partnerships will be used," he added.

Manuel and other members of the commission were in the province to popularise the NDP so that it is translated into targets to be incorporated into future performance and delivery agreements.

It also seeks to ensure that its aspects are incorporated into the stakeholders of the North West province's long- term planning exercises and implementation plans. -