National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel’s National Development Plan Launch Speech

During a joint sitting of both houses of parliament and the handover of South Africa’s first national development plan (NDP), national planning minister Trevor Manuel spoke about the importance of the plan in the future of the country.

Manuel kicked off his speech by saying, “This plan is the product of thousands of inputs and perspectives of South Africans. It is a plan for a better future; a future in which no person lives in poverty, where no one goes hungry, where there is work for all, a nation united in the vision of our Constitution.”

He carried on to say that the Commission had approached thousands of South Africans across the country, with a special effort made to listen to the South African youth and as a result there were clear messages from citizens: While South Africans are concerned about the problems of joblessness, education and faltering services amongst others; they are proud to be South African and want to see it succeed and be a part of the process of making South Africa a better place.

A Holistic Approach

Manuel and the national planning commission view the plan as critical for the future of the country to eliminate the inequality and poverty rife throughout the land. He states that the NDP will take a holistic approach to the country’s problems “with progress across several fronts simultaneously over a long period of time.”

Manuel says that there will be precise targets included which we need to aim for. A specific example he provides is that of creating 11 million jobs over the next two decades.

South Africa has seen progress since 1994 but unless the country sees a change in tactics, it will not reach its target of eliminating poverty and reducing inequality by 2030. In light of this, the NDP to meet these goals rests on six “pillars”:

  1. Unite all South Africans around a common programme to fight poverty and inequality and promote social cohesion.
  2. Have South Africans be active citizens in their community and in the development of the country.
  3. A growing and inclusive economy with higher investment, better skills, rising savings and greater levels of competitiveness.
  4. Building capabilities of the people and the state.
  5. A developmental state capable of correcting historical inequalities and creating opportunities for more people while being professional, competent and responsive to the needs of all citizens.
  6. South African leaders putting aside narrow sectarian interests in favour of national interest and putting the country first.

However, Manuel added, that South Africa needs to be aware of the global trends and their impact on South Africa’s development or face the possibility of being left behind and “confine future generations to poverty and hopelessness.”

Question of Implementation

A big question being raised by the public is how is the state going to implement the plan? Manuel says that while government will first set the plan in motion should it be adopted, it also outlines many actions and responsibilities for sectors across South African society.

“The plan will only succeed if we share collective responsibility to hold one another accountable to get things done. As the Commission, we will play our part. The life of the commission does not end with the handing over of the plan.”

The Commission had been appointed for a five year term and they still have half of that time left. During this time they plan to help mobilise society in support of the plan and help advise government and the public on various implementations that can be made to achieve the long term goals.

Manuel ended his speech by saying, “The National Development Plan is an opportunity to remake the future, to re-energise our people to strive for a future that is worthy of our proud history, built in the vision of our Constitution. The National Development Plan is a call to action to unite as a country, to unleash the energies of our people to build a better future. It is our future; we have to make it work!”


The Plan and the Executive Summary of the Plan can be viewed below:

Executive Summary-NDP 2030 – Our future – make it work – (4.93 MB) [PDF]

NDP 2030 – Our future – make it work – (23.9 MB) [PDF]

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