Voters must act when government lacks political will to tackle cadre deployment and graft
When it was launched in August 2012 the National Development Plan (NDP) used the slogan “Our Future — Make It Work”. Prepared by the National Planning Commission under the chairmanship of Trevor Manuel (with Cyril Ramaphosa as his deputy), the plan is divided into 15 chapters covering all the major facets of planning for a future that works.
The economy looms large over several chapters — understandably so — with housing, education, promoting health, social protection, safer communities and fighting corruption all given chapters of their own.
A combination of adverse world economics, the “nine wasted years” of the Zuma presidencies and, to a lesser extent, the delaying effect of the Covid-19 pandemic, have combined to thwart or delay many of the constitutionally sound objectives of the NDP.
The professionalisation of the police and the demilitarisation of the police service have not occurred. Rampant serious corruption with impunity, state capture and kleptocracy have characterised and informed the delaying, if not undermining, of a future for SA that works.
Read the chapter envisaging the building of a resilient anticorruption system and weep. The failure to tackle corruption head-on has seen regression to a future that may well not work. SA is greylisted, so in the company of South Sudan and Haiti.
SA finds itself in fiscally straitened circumstances with joblessness rife, especially among those who are not in education, employment or training (Neets). New investment has been scared off by deployed cadres and the kleptocrats, thus crippling economic development and starving SA’s people of the funding needed to make the NDP work.
The first order of business for the state to turn around the lack of progress toward the people-centric goals of the NDP is to tackle serious corruption head on now, so that the end goal date of 2030 does not arrive before a future that works is at least a prospect. The tinkering, fiddling, procrastination and dithering currently in evidence simply won’t do.
If those in government cannot muster the necessary political will to act by ending cadre deployment and radically reforming the capacity of the state to fight corruption, it is for the voters of SA to replace them with politicians who can.
Paul Hoffman, SC
Director, Accountability Now