In a meeting held at the Union Buildings , the National Planning Commission (NPC) welcomed Deputy President Paul Mashatile’s commitment to supporting bold efforts aimed at achieving the goals of the National Development Plan (NDP). The NPC, a diverse and independent planning body composed of experts from various fields, urged the Deputy President to facilitate the institutionalization of long-term planning across government departments and spheres. This move is seen as critical for the country to meet its developmental objectives and improve service delivery. Alongside long-term planning, the meeting also discussed social cohesion and the district development model.
The NPC plays a crucial role in advising on the country’s long-term development, as outlined in the National Development Plan: Vision 2030. Its work is organized into three thematic areas focusing on the economy, social protection, and state capacity, as well as active citizenry.
Draft National Development Planning Framework (NDPF) Bill
One of the key discussions during the meeting centered around the draft National Development Planning Framework (NDPF) Bill. The purpose of this bill is to embed and institutionalize a coherent planning system that involves both the government and the broader citizenry. The NPC believes that only such an integrated approach can lead to better service delivery and the advancement of the NDP’s development goals. The bill envisions the NPC, along with the Department of Planning, Monitoring, and Evaluation (DPME), as essential, permanent, and formal planning instruments. In his capacity as the Leader of Government Business, Deputy President Mashatile was urged to support the swift passage of the NDPF Bill through Parliament.
Promoting Social Cohesion and Nation Building
The National Development Plan aims to achieve significant progress in social cohesion by 2030. However, the NPC noted that the country has not made sufficient headway in this direction. To address this, the NPC is developing a Framework for Social Cohesion, which aims to involve all segments of society to expedite the attainment of social cohesion goals. The framework proposes the creation of a social cohesion gauge, using various indicators to measure the state of social cohesion in the country.
The NPC further suggested the establishment of a multiparty, parliamentary portfolio-type committee focused on social cohesion and reconciliation. This committee, if formed, would elevate social cohesion to a top government priority and include it among the functions of the Presidency, given its significance in Deputy President Mashatile’s mandate.
District Development Model (DDM)
Recognizing the potential of the District Development Model (DDM) to accelerate the implementation of the NDP’s objectives, the NPC presented several proposals aimed at strengthening its implementation. The DDM is a model designed to enhance coordination and collaboration among different spheres of government and stakeholders at the district level to accelerate development and service delivery. Deputy President Mashatile, as the official allocated to the DDM portfolio, was urged to expedite initiatives that strengthen intergovernmental relations, promote merit-based appointments, and separate the political-administrative interface at all levels of government.
Deputy President’s Full Support
Deputy President Paul Mashatile expressed his full support for the NPC’s work and emphasized his belief in the importance of long-term planning. He pledged to assist the NPC with the issues raised during the meeting and assured ongoing engagement. Moreover, he proposed seeking the NPC’s advice on broader economic concerns, suggesting the possibility of a ‘Codesa’ focused on the economy. Deputy President Mashatile firmly stated, “We must bring all stakeholders together. We must sort out the South African economy. We can do it!”
Additionally, Deputy President Mashatile sought the NPC’s guidance on suitable modalities that would allow for stable coalition governments in the future.
The meeting concluded with an agreement to maintain continuous working engagement between the National Planning Commission and the Office of the Deputy President, given his role as the Leader of Government Business.
As the NPC and Deputy President Paul Mashatile unite in their commitment to long-term planning and development, the hope of achieving the National Development Plan’s ambitious goals remains steadfast. The nation looks forward to witnessing the positive outcomes of these collaborative efforts, aimed at building a prosperous and inclusive future for all South Africans.