Growth and development will unite citizens

In his foreword for the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP), the province’s premier Senzo Mchunu writes: “The National Growth and Development Plan remains the only document since the adoption of the Freedom Charter that will unite people of this country for many more years to come.”

Mchunu commends President Jacob Zuma for taking the bold step of implementing the National Development Plan and points out that this will go down as one of the “epoch making decisions of our generation”.

He goes on to state: “When we developed our own Provincial Growth Development Plan (PGDP) we deliberately aligned it to the NDP because we want to unite the people of KwaZulu-Natal behind a common goal of creating a prosperous province for future generations.”

The PGDP is essentially a 20-year plan to grow the economy of the province for the improvement of the quality of life of all people living there.

The vision of the province is succinct: “By 2030, the province of KwaZulu-Natal should have maximised its position as a gateway to South and Southern Africa, as well as its human and natural resources so creating a safe, healthy and sustainable living environment. Abject poverty, inequality, unemployment and the current disease burden should be history, basic services must have reached all of its people, domestic and foreign investors are attracted by world class infrastructure and a skilled labour force. The people shall have options on where and how they opt to live, work and play, where the principle of putting people first and where leadership, partnership and prosperity in action has become a normal way of life.”

In February 2011 the KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Executive Council tasked the Provincial Planning Commission (PPC) to lead the way in realising this vision by developing and advising it on matters related to:

  • A long term strategic development perspective and vision of the province,
  • Ensuring coherence in policy development and planning across Provincial Government; and
  • Strengthening performance monitoring and evaluation to assess the pace required to deliver on the desired outcomes by 2030.

The PPC comprises nine commissioners, eight part-time commissioners and a full-time chairperson appointed by the premier to serve for a period of five years. The PPC seeks to complement the National Planning Commission (NPC), advises and makes recommendations to a Planning Sub-Committee of Cabinet on matters related to: ?

  • A long-term strategic development perspective and vision of the province;
  • Ensuring coherence in policy development and planning across the Provincial Government; and
  • Strengthening performance monitoring and evaluation to assess the pace required to deliver on the desired outcomes.

When tasked with the development of the PGDP, the PPC first undertook a detailed Strategic Analysis of the Province, which details the status quo regarding each of the province’s sectors of growth and development and seeks answers to various questions including questions like:

  • How and where do we create sustainable jobs that build on our growing integration into Southern Africa, Africa and the world?
  • How do we ensure that our people, and in particular our youth, have the education and skills to take up these job opportunities?
  • How do we address social ills and restore pride in communities that are prepared to work hard at improving their quality of life?
  • How do we reduce crime, violence and corruption?

After a broad consultation process, the PGDS (Provincial Growth Development Strategy) was adopted in principle by the Provincial Executive Council in August 2011, noting the need to prepare a detailed implementation plan in the form of the PGDP. It was also emphasised that the PGDS and the PGDP should be fully aligned to the National Development Plan.

From the very first version of the PGDP the focus has been on identifying the indicators that will be used to measure progress of movement towards the Vision, and the setting of targets to be achieved by 2015, 2020, 2025 and 2030. The PPC has been facilitating and supporting the lead departments to develop these detailed trajectories to ensure that the roadmap is and remains absolutely clear on what is required to achieve the 2030 Vision for KwaZulu-Natal. The PGDP further identifies specific interventions and catalytic projects which is intended to propel the province towards achieving the set targets.

The first version of the PGDP was subsequently adopted at the August 2012 Executive Council Lekgotla with an instruction for all departmental work plans to be aligned with the PGDP. The PPC was also tasked to ensure that the PGDP is refined as it is implemented and that refined versions be presented to PEC Lekgotla, usually convened in August each year.

According to the PGDP, KZN by 2030 should be a prosperous province with a healthy, secure and skilled population, acting as a gateway to Africa and the world.

The plan outlines: job creation, human resource development, human and community development, strategic infrastructure, environmental sustainability, governance and policy and spatial equity as strategic goals that need to be achieved. The goals and objectives are to be implemented within an enabling institutional framework with support from civil society, organised business and labour groups.

In essence the PGDP is about the systems put in place to achieve the 2030 Vision for the Province by:

  • Creating jobs through developing and optimising opportunities in the various sectors of the KZN economy;
  • Developing the skills of people in the province to ensure that it is them who will benefit from the jobs the province hopes to create;
  • Ensuring that the human and social environment is conducive to a healthy, safe and secure living environment for all people living in the province;
  • Promoting the development of strategic infrastructure to support social, economic and environmental development in KZN;
  • Ensuring that sustainable development practices are adhered to at all times;
  • Promoting good governance practices and policy alignment to support this growth and development trajectory for KZN; and
  • Facilitating spatial equity to ensure that all geographic regions of the province receive attention and are optimally developed.
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