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SACP: Manuel and his plan must go

15 May 2013 - 03:22 By GEORGE MATLALA

The ANC is struggling to find support for the National Development Plan from its alliance partners.

The SA Communist Party has blastedthe 30-year plan, which labour federation Cosatu has also derided.

In its discussion document on the National Development Plan, the Communist Party said the plan did not get a "unanimous and resounding" endorsement at the ANC's Mangaung conference last year.

"Clearly, contrary to an impression created by the media and fallen into by some leading ANC comrades, the ANC's Mangaung conference did not produce a unanimous and resounding endorsement of the NDP in all its detail," the document stated.

The Communist Party is calling for the National Planning Commission, led by Minister in The Presidency Trevor Manuel, to be dissolved next year.

The Communist Party said it agrees with Cosatu that the plan would produce "low-quality jobs", erode workers' rights and fail to industrialise the economy.

Manuel has long had an acrimonious relationship with the ANC's alliance partners, who wanted him to be excluded from President Jacob Zuma's 2009 administration.

"We must also aggressively foreground the institutional lessons learned from the National Planning Commission experience. The National Planning Commission should now be dissolved ... and with the incoming 2014 administration, a new, more organic state planning capacity should be established," the Communist Party document said.

The National Development Plan has been adopted by the cabinet and the ANC.

The Communist Party did, however, find some positive proposals in the National Development Plan.

It said it provides the government with long-term planning and supports its infrastructure programme, and would make the public service more professional.

The party objected to the claim by the National Union of Metalworkers that the plan would advance state policies. It warned that the plan should not be used as a "political football".

"Some in Cosatu are seeking to use their total rejection of the plan as a diversionary tactic in their internal battles, and in an attempt to drive wedges within Cosatu and between Cosatu and alliance partners."