By: Chris Bathembu
Cape Town: South Africans need to take ownership of the country’s development, National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said on Wednesday.
Manuel visited Khayelitsha and Mitchells Plain outside Cape Town as part of popularising the National Development Plan (NDP) ahead of the State of the Nation Address by President Jacob Zuma on Thursday.
The NDP document, which has been approved by Cabinet, makes far-reaching proposal for the country, including reducing South Africa’s unemployment from 25 percent to 6 percent and eliminate poverty and inequality by 2030.
Manuel, who was accompanied by National Planning Commission deputy chairperson and businessman, Cyril Ramaphosa, said South Africans from all walks of life needed to “take ownership” of the document.
The two visited community gardening projects in Khayelitsha, where they encouraged communities to grown their own food.
Manuel said food security formed an important part of the NDP, adding that part of what government needed to do was to encourage cooperatives which would produce food for both households and the commercial markets.
It emerged during the visit that only one in 10 households in Khayelitsha was able to be guaranteed food security, with the majority of people in the area struggling to find employment.
Manuel emphasised that chief to the development plan was ensuring that government encouraged rapidly growing local economies.
“Of course we can’t do things on behalf of the people but we can’t expect people to do things without support. The plan is largely premised on getting active citizenry.”
The document needed to give South Africans a chance to reverse the imbalances of the past, he said. Ramaphosa said the NPC planned to take a series of campaigns to ensure that South Africans were part of proposals contained in the NDP. “What we say in the plan is that people must be their own liberators,” said Ramaphosa.