Development plan can galvanise South Africans: iLIVE
To suggest that South Africa is not ready for a common vision of a prosperous stable society, sadly does not take the country forward ("2030 vision is blind", yesterday).
It was faith in the future that kept the oppressed going in the darkest period of our history.
The National Development Plan, and especially the vision that underpins it, does just that. The plan urges all South Africans to rally around the vision of a future that is cohesive and stable and with high levels of trust among the citizenry. We cannot afford to step back from this vision.
In the past we have reached a tipping point and South Africans of all persuasions have refused to give in to pessimism and, instead, forged ahead towards a just society.
When violence in the early 1990s threatened to derail our struggle, we did not say South Africa was not ready for democracy. When the Boipatong massacre, killings in KwaZulu-Natal and deaths on our roads and trains threatened to undermine our efforts at establishing a more just society, we did not reel back and say South Africa was not ready for a united, non-racial and democratic society. Our leaders overcame the temptation of intellectual surrender and pessimism, and forged a constitutional order that brought justice for all South Africans.
The National Development Plan presents us with the same opportunity - to rally the country around a common vision.
The tragic events at Marikana should deepen our resolve and commitment to build a society in which violence plays no part in the way we resolve differences.
The suggestion that our society is not ready for the development plan comes precipitously close to giving up on the millions of people who remain mired in poverty. This temptation should be resisted by all.
Societies around the world, and across time, have persevered to create more prosperous and stable societies. Japan, in the decade after the Second World War, was beset by labour unrest, political violence and killings.
Towards the end of the 19th century, the US seemed near collapse. Racial conflict was intense, the economy went through recurrent crises, corruption was rampant, and inequality between rich and poor was growing and towards unprecedented levels.
Despite these problems, leaders across the spectrum of that society laid down a vision for the country, and rallied Americans around that vision. The rest is history.
In the plan that was presented to the president and parliament last week, the National Planning Commission made bold and practical suggestions to address what seem like intractable and precipitous problems in South Africa.
The proposals provide a basis for unity across party political lines and mobilise all to be engaged in practical action to give effect to the plan. We laid down practical proposals and suggestions to establish accountability across sectors.
The National Development Plan calls upon our people, especially our leaders in politics, business, labour and academic institutions, to take responsibility for creating a better society for all.
While this vision is about 2030, the work starts now. Every institution and society ought to have short-, medium- and long-term plans. None of these terms is a luxury.
We are encouraged that a wide section of society that contributed towards the plan, has embraced it, and insisted on its implementation.