Trevor Manuel outlines plan on YouTube

08 November 2011 - 02:56 By ANDILE NDLOVU

Three days before the National Planning Commission hands over its 2030 plan to President Jacob Zuma, a video narrated by its chairman, Trevor Manuel, has been released on YouTube.

The 10-minute animated video outlines the aims of the 26-member commission.

"The president invited the planning commission to take an independent and critical view of South Africa and use this to produce a vision and plan focused on the detail of a much better quality of life for all by 2030," Manuel says.

He lists the nine biggest challenges facing South Africa as:

  • Poor educational outcomes;
  • Unemployment;
  • A high disease burden;
  • Divisions within society;
  • Failure of public services, especially in delivering to the poor;
  • Parts of the country where people are "locked into poverty";
  • Failure to exploit natural resources well;
  • Crumbling infrastructure; and
  • Corruption.

Manuel, the former finance minister, says "the shadow of history as defined by race and class is still very evident in our education system . South Africa is ranked 139th in the world when it comes to literacy and numeracy skills of pupils at Grades 3 and 6. This is carried through from these grades into high school and beyond ."

The "ugly animal" corruption has "raised its head again", says Manuel.

"We see it in the awarding of contracts and tenders. We have to deal with corruption to ensure that we can get a proper return on the taxes collected and that we can deliver better services to all the people."

Talking about infrastructural development, Manuel says more money has to be spent on roads, railways and ports, which he says has not been done "for about a generation".

"We demonstrated that as a nation we can spend very well, for the Fifa 2010 World Cup.

"All South Africans talk about are potholes in our roads around the country, [while] many South Africans are exposed to water schemes that are not working . we have to spend money on the maintenance of our infrastructure."

After the commission hands its report to Zuma, it will be up to the cabinet to define the policies and schedule for considering its plan.

The commission members include Business Leadership SA chairman, Robert Godsell, executive chairman of the Shanduka Group, Cyril Ramaphosa, political strategist, Joel Netshitenzhe, chairman of the Post Office, Vuyokazi Mahlati, and University of Cape Town department of social development head Vivienne Taylor.