Getting a plan in place

“The PEMP is fashioned around the Malaysian model, which advocates for accelerated impact through ‘Big Fast Results’,” says Basil Sikakhane, the Chief Director of the Province’s Poverty Eradication Programme. For such results to be achieved, the following is required: the co-ordination of all departmental or public sector programmes, the integration of public sector programmes, and the integration of all public sector, private sector and civil society programmes in a well-co-ordinated and focused manner.

“In addition to the integration and co-ordination, PEMP requires that game-changers be focused on households and wards that have been profiled and have emerged as extremely or absolutely poor. ‘Big, Fast Results’ through integration and co-ordination must align to the focus of the National Development Plan. For this to happen, the PEMP must be aligned to the Provincial Growth and Development Plan (PGDP), which is aligned to the NDP. The alignment and link of the PEMP to the PGDP becomes clear in the unpacking of the KwaZulu-Natal Vision 2030 and the supporting strategic objectives.”   

To see an illlustration of the PGDP, click on…

Strategic objectives: job creation 

The province plans to unleash agricultural potential by developing crop, horticultural and livestock production, as well as developing emerging commercial farmers by enhancing agricultural value-adding marketing. The plan includes the expansion of irrigation schemes and water-use efficiency as well as protecting and rehabilitating agricultural resources. Expediting the resolution of blocked land reform projects, as well as implementing the Makhathini Integrated Development Plan, are part of the vision. 

Trade and investment is to be enhanced through sectoral development and the efficiency of government-led job creation programmes will be improved. SMMEs and entrepreneurial development are to be promoted and the knowledge base will be developed to enhance the knowledge economy. 

To see an illustration of the implementation of PEMP, click on…

Human resource development 

Early childhood development, primary and secondary education are to be improved, with skills alignment being supported by economic growth. Youth skills development and life-long learning will also be enhanced. 

Human and community development 

Poverty alleviation social welfare, the health of communities and citizens plus sustainable household food security will be targeted, as will the development of sustainable human settlements offering safety and security to all. Investment will also be made in social capital. 

Strategic infrastructure 

Plans are already afoot for the development of both the Durban and Richards Bay ports as well as the envisioned dig-out port on the old airport site. Dube Trade Port remains a focus area for growth and development into an aerotropolis while smaller airports around the province, that already have the potential to carry large planes, will be upgraded to assist with cargo exports. 

Plans are in place to develop the rail link between Richards Bay and Limpopo through Swaziland to access the coal mining industry in Limpopo, plus the extension of the John Ross Highway to link to Gauteng via Vryheid. Cato Ridge has been targeted to become a dry port and future container and logistics hub. Plans for the required road and rail links to make this feasible are in place. This development will greatly enhance the Durban-Free State-Gauteng Transport Corridor. 

The province also intends to continue developing its ICT infrastructure by increasing the broadband footprint, improving water resource management and supply and improving energy production and supply. 

To see an illustration of PEMP pillar and game changers, click on:…

Environmental sustainability 

Negotiations are underway with community leaders to increase the productivity of land. An increase in viable agricultural practices will empower the people and assist in the alleviation of poverty. The province intends advancing alternative energy generation and reducing the reliance of fossil fuels, as well as managing the pressure on biodiversity. Adaptations are also being formulated to deal with climate change.

Governance and policy 

Policy, strategy co-ordination and inter-governmental relations are to be strengthened and government capacity increased. Participative, facilitative and accountable governance is to be promoted, and fraud and corruption eradicated.

Spatial equity 

Spatial concentration and co-ordination of development interventions are to be actively promoted and effective spatial planning and land management systems are to be applied across the province. As part of this strategy for the future, the provincial government also plans to make Durban Africa’s most caring and liveable city. It aims to achieve this goal by meeting the basic needs of residents, strengthening the economy and building skills and technology. 

Employment creation:  The focus of phase 1 and phase 2 of PEMP

Recent figures show that conservatively, 25% of South Africans are unemployed. When those who are no longer actively looking for work are added (the expanded definition), the unemployed population is 34%. A worrying trend in these extremely high unemployment figures is that 63.1% of the youth of the average age of 25 are unemployed. This is a very high figure. More than 50% of the unemployed are women. 

The National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP) is currently the leading public/ private partnership that offers opportunities for generation of income by poor communities. The KwaZulu-Natal Department of Education has identified the opportunity for local communities to supply fresh produce to the NSNP. 

The pilot project was in the Ilembe District Municipality. Here, Enterprise Ilembe (a government established development agency) was contracted to supply fresh produce sourced from local farmers to schools in the district. The pilot project experienced various teething problems such as: delays in payment, quality of fresh produce, costing challenges, inability of local farmers to meet demand, logistical support like lack of pack houses and inadequate transportation arrangements. 

However, notwithstanding these challenges, the pilot provided many lessons, and other districts proceeded to establish development agencies. These development agencies now also participate in the NSNP.

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