The year 2020 marks the 26th year of democracy in South Africa. It also marks that we have only 10 years remaining to achieve Vision 2030, as outlined in our lodestar, the national development plan (NDP).
The plan sets out year-on-year targets to be achieved by 2030. These include dismantling the structural economic elements that remain unchanged and continue to undermine economic growth endeavours, among others.
It is for this reason that the government has adopted a radical shift in the delivery implementation model as articulated in June last year by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his State of the Nation address (Sona) for this sixth administration.
The government will, over the next five years, focus on the following seven priorities, which arise from the electoral mandate given to the governing party by the people of South Africa in May 2019.
• Transform the economy to serve all South Africans, and create jobs;
• Invest in the capabilities of all the people, through education, skills revolution and healthcare;
• Advance social transformation through strengthening the social wage;
• Tackle the persistence of apartheid spatial development and create sustainable and safe settlements and effective local government;
• Advance nation-building and social cohesion to create a safe South Africa for all;
• Renew and build a capable, honest developmental state; and
• Build a better Africa and world.
Priority six — a capable, ethical and developmental state — is one of the core responsibilities of the department of planning, monitoring and evaluation.
If we are to achieve our national imperatives, we must build a capable developmental state to constantly monitor and evaluate the implementation of our development strategies such as the national development plan and its various programmes, particularly as we are moving closer to 2030.
Therefore, as part of the planning, monitoring and evaluation of the work of the government across all spheres, we have developed the 2019 to 2024 medium-term strategic framework, which will serve as our plan for implementing the activities of this sixth administration.
The new framework, which will be launched after the 2020 State of the Nation address in February, combines the NDP’s five-year implementation plan with a revamped integrated monitoring system and accountability system. This will show how, where, when and by whom priorities will be implemented in which portfolio or level of government. In this way we will monitor the effect of each government programme and whether they are delivering the desired outcomes and thus be able to make the necessary interventions if and when the need arises.
Linked to the five-year implementation plan is the assessment of all ministers, deputy ministers, premiers and directors general through performance agreements. They will all sign agreements with the president before the 2020 State of the Nation address and these will be subjected to assessment by the president on a sixth-month cycle.
Key to building a developmental state is ensuring stability and professionalism in the public service. Paramount to the establishment of the developmental state is filling critical positions such as heads of departments, chief executives of state-owned companies and other senior management positions. To strengthen government performance and reinforce public confidence, qualified, skilled and dedicated individuals will be appointed to manage and implement government programmes. The department of planning, monitoring and evaluation is advertising the position of the director general, who will spearhead the planning, monitoring and evaluating the government’s work.
The department will in, in 2020, also present the proposed Integrated Planning Framework Bill to Parliament, which will ensure better integration across all levels of government. This will minimise duplication and wastage of resources by streamlining the structure of government planning at national, provincial and local levels. This will promote effective implementation of all the mandates the government carries, working together with all social partners, to help ensure a better life for all South Africans.
The continuous monitoring of the three pilot projects of the district development model (in Lusikisiki, eThekwini and Lephalale) launched in 2019 will also form a crucial part of the integration and streamlining of the government’s work across all spheres. This will, over the next five years, give the president a clear line of sight of how government programmes across the length and breadth of the country are performing.
It is only through the diligent implementation of government programmes aligned to the seven priorities that the year 2020 will count as we move closer and closer to Vision 2030. Let us join hands in pursuit of a better and more prosperous South Africa as envisaged in the national development plan.
We invite all South Africans to book their date with the government on February 13 to listen to the president when he outlines the government’s plans for the year ahead and the next five years through #Sona2020
Jackson Mthembu is minister in the presidency