NPC aims to restore confidence in economy

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

The National Planning Commission (NPC) says urgent steps must be taken to restore confidence in the economy in order to reduce poverty, unemployment and inequality.

“The trends pertaining to key objectives of the National Development Plan (NDP), namely, to reduce poverty, inequality and unemployment have seen a backward slide,” said the NPC at its third annual NPC Lekgotla.

The NPC’s statement is informed by the registered GDP growth rates of average 3% between 2010 and 2013, the low growth trap, sitting at an average GDP growth of 1%.

These low growth rates have resulted in increased poverty rates from 36.4% in 2011 to 40% by 2015, unemployment has increased to 27.7% as of the third quarter of 2017, and inequality remains high.

The Lekgotla took place in Benoni from 9 to 11 February 2018 and convened under the leadership of its Chairperson Minister Jeff Radebe and its Deputy Chairperson Malegapuru Makgoba.

“There is an urgent imperative to turn around the situation. The immediate priority is to restore confidence which will enable us to undertake specific measures to reignite economic growth. In this regard, raising the level of investment is critical, and at World Economic Forum in Davos we succeeded to generate renewed investor interest in our economy,” said NPC Chairperson Minister Radebe.

In a bid to get back on track, the Lekgotla resolved to spend the remaining two and a half years of its five-year term towards restoring confidence in the NDP and promoting accelerated implementation to address poverty and social inequalities.

To this end the Lekgotla made the following key decisions:

The Economy

The NPC said it is working on a series of research papers which provide a roadmap out of the current economic slump.

“These papers will shortly be released for public and stakeholder engagement. The first set of papers deal with short-term actions to revitalise the economy, SMME development and on Energy and Water Security,” said the NPC. 

Spatial Planning

The NPC said it received a briefing on the status of the development of the National Spatial Development Framework to redress the legacy of apartheid spatial injustice.

Following the briefing, the NPC resolved that the final framework should be integral in the legislation currently under development by the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation.

Township and Rural Economies

According to the NPC, government small and medium-sized enterprises (SMME) policies are not achieving the desired transformative impact especially as a pathway out of unemployment and poverty.

In light of this, it will engage with Development Finance Institutions (DFI’s) about their role and mandate in stimulating development.

Prioritising Implementation of the NDP

The NPC identified 54 priorities from the NDP which it said will ensure that the country makes the required progress towards achieving the goals of the Plan.

“These priorities were identified on the basis of their impact on the NDP’s apex targets of reducing of unemployment, poverty and inequality,” said the NPC.

These indicators will be measured and assessed periodically to assess progress in the implementation.

“As government transitions into the next cycle of medium-term planning for the country, we will be engaging on these matters with leadership in the Executive, in particular with the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation, and other key stakeholders within and outside government,” said the NPC.

The Commission was also briefed by the Mapungubwe Institute of Strategic Reflection (MISTRA) in partnership with University of South Africa on their project on South Africa’s Scenarios to the year 2030 initiative, premised on the NDP: Vision 2030.

Following the briefing the NPC have agreed to collaborate with the project going forward.  – SAnews.gov.za

 

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