Our future - make it work

National Development Plan 2030 - 2012 version

The National Development Plan is a plan for the country to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 through uniting South Africans, unleashing the energies of its citizens, growing an inclusive economy, building capabilities, enhancing the capability of the state and leaders working together to solve complex problems.

President Jacob Zuma appointed the National Planning Commission (NPC)in May 2010 to draft a vision and national development plan for consideration by Cabinet and the country. The NPC is an advisory body consisting of 26 people drawn largely from outside government.

After releasing a draft plan in November 2011, the NPC held extensive consultations with South Africans, including government, unions, academics, industry bodies, non-profit organisations, religious associations and the general public. The response was overwhelmingly positive and the inputs have helped to strengthen the proposals made in the plan.

The plan in brief

High-level objectives to be achieved by 2030

  • Reduce the number of people who live in households with a monthly income below R419 per person (in 2009 prices) from 39 percent to zero.
  • Reduce inequality, as measured by the Gini coefficient, from 0.69 to 0.6.

To make meaningful progress in eliminating poverty and reducing inequality, South Africa needs to write a new story. The National Planning Commission envisions a South Africa where opportunity is determined not by birth, but by ability, education and hard work. Above all, we need to improve the quality of education and ensure that more people are working. We need to make the most of all our people, their goodwill, skills and resources. This will spark a cycle of development that expand opportunities, builds capabilities and raises living standards. We cannot continue with business as usual. We need to change the way we do things; the sooner we do this, the better.

Enabling milestones

  • Increase employment from 13 million in 2010 to 24 million in 2030.
  • Raise per capita income from R50 000 in 2010 to R120 000 by 2030.
  • Increase the share of national income of the bottom 40 percent from 6 percent to 10 percent.
  • Establish a competitive base of infrastructure, human resources and regulatory frameworks.
  • Ensure that skilled, technical, professional and managerial posts better reflect the country's racial, gender and disability makeup.
  • Broaden ownership of assets to historically disadvantaged groups.
  • Increase the quality of education so that all children have at least two years of preschool education and all children in grade 3 can read and write.
  • Provide affordable access to quality health care while promoting health and wellbeing.
  • Establish effective, safe and affordable public transport.
  • Produce sufficient energy to support industry at competitive prices, ensuring access for poor households, while reducing carbon emissions per unit of power by about one-third.
  • Ensure that all South Africans have access to clean running water in their homes.
  • Make high-speed broadband internet universally available at competitive prices.
  • Realise a food trade surplus, with one-third produced by small-scale farmers or households.
  • Ensure household food and nutrition security.
  • Entrench a social security system covering all working people, with social protection for the poor and other groups in need, such as children and people with disabilities.
  • Realise a developmental, capable and ethical state that treats citizens with dignity.
  • Ensure that all people live safely, with an independent and fair criminal justice system.
  • Broaden social cohesion and unity while redressing the inequities of the past.
  • Play a leading role in continental development, economic integration and human rights.

Critical actions

  1. A social compact to reduce poverty and inequality, and raise employment and investment.
  2. A strategy to address poverty and its impacts by broadening access to employment, strengthening the social wage, improving public transport and raising rural incomes.
  3. Steps by the state to professionalise the public service, strengthen accountability, improve coordination and prosecute corruption.
  4. Boost private investment in labour-intensive areas, competitiveness and exports, with adjustments to lower the risk of hiring younger workers.
  5. An education accountability chain, with lines of responsibility from state to classroom.
  6. Phase in national health insurance, with a focus on upgrading public health facilities, producing more health professionals and reducing the relative cost of private health care.
  7. Public infrastructure investment at 10 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), financed through tariffs, public-private partnerships, taxes and loans and focused on transport, energy and water.
  8. Interventions to ensure environmental sustainability and resilience to future shocks.
  9. New spatial norms and standards – densifying cities, improving transport, locating jobs where people live, upgrading informal settlements and fixing housing market gaps.
  10. Reduce crime by strengthening criminal justice and improving community environments.

Building a future for South Africa's youth

South Africa has an urbanising, youthful population. This presents an opportunity to
boost economic growth, increase employment and reduce poverty. The Commission,
recognising that young people bear the brunt of unemployment, adopted a "youth lens" in preparing its proposals, which include:

  • A nutrition intervention for pregnant women and young children.
  • Universal access to two years of early childhood development.
  • Improve the school system, including increasing the number of students achieving above 50 percent in literacy and mathematics, increasing learner retention rates to 90 percent and bolstering teacher training.
  • Strengthen youth service programmes and introduce new, community-based programmes to offer young people life-skills training, entrepreneurship training and opportunities to participate in community development programmes.
  • Strengthen and expand the number of further education and training (FET) colleges to increase the participation rate to 25 percent.
  • Increase the graduation rate of FET colleges to 75 percent.
  • Provide full funding assistance covering tuition, books, accommodation and living allowance to students from poor families.
  • Develop community safety centres to prevent crime and include youth in these initiatives.
  • A tax incentive to employers to reduce the initial cost of hiring young labour-market entrants.
  • A subsidy to the placement sector to identify, prepare and place matric graduates into work. The subsidy will be paid upon successful placement.
  • Expand learnerships and make training vouchers directly available to job seekers.
  • A formalised graduate recruitment scheme for the public service to attract highly skilled people.
  • Expand the role of state-owned enterprises in training artisans and technical
    professionals.

As a country, progress has been substantial and our history provides many examples of South African coming together to achieve amazing things: our democratic transition, our constitution a regular and credible elections.

We still have a lot to do if we are to move towards the inclusive and just society envisaged in our constitution by 2030. Fortunately the challenges that confront us are not insurmountable.

The success of this plan will be judged by its ability to change relationships among people, within families, between people and the state and within the state itself. The plan is about brining about transformation - to achieve a virtuous cycle of confidence and trust a growing economy and expanding opportunities.

To achieve our vision, each South African must make a contribution. Active citizenry requires showing inspirational leadership at all levels of society, Leaders should mobilise communities o take charge of their future, raise grievances and assume responsibility for ensuring outcomes achieved.

Elements of a decent standard of living

Income, through employment or social security, is critical to defining living standards, but human beings need more than income. They need adequate nutrition, they need transport to get to work, and they desire safe communities and clean neighbourhoods. These elements require action either from individuals, government, communities or the private sector.

The National Development Plan makes a firm commitment to achieving a minimum standard of living which can be progressively realised through a multi-pronged strategy. In the plan, we do not define that minimum standard of living but we do provide a framework for the adoption of a minimum standard of living by society. This approach is consistent with the Commission's view that the achievement of such a floor would require support and participation from all social partners and hence its definition is left for ongoing wotk of the Commission.

Going forward

In the remainder of its five-year term, the Commission will raise awareness of the plan among stakeholders, drive a long-term research agenda and advise government and society on the implementation of the plan. We will also work with the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to monitor the implementation of the plan.

Summary of the plan in all official languages

Contact details

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