DCoG Deputy Minister Andries Nel

Deputy Minister Andries Nel’s Address during the Debate on the Implementation of the National Development Plan

Address by Mr Andries Nel, MP, Deputy Minister for Cooperative Governance & Traditional Affairs during a debate on: “Implementing the National Development Plan in Phases to Ensure Efficient Monitoring and Evaluation of its Targets Measured Against the MTSF” in the National Assembly on 27 November 2018

 

Chairperson

Honourable Members

We are grateful to follow many of the speakers who enriched this debate with thoughtful and constructive -albeit critical – interventions, that were made in the spirit of working together to build a social compact between government, labour, business and civil society to implement our National Development Plan: Vision 2030.

 

Others, however, chose to remind us of George Meredith’s saying that: “Speech is the small change of silence.”

 

And while they were at it, forced us to recall Umberto Eco’s insight that: “For every complex problem there’s a simple solution, and it is wrong.”

 

Others confronted us with the observation that: “The triumph of demagogues is fleeting. But the ruins are eternal.” (Charles Peguy)

 

Our national challenges are poverty, unemployment and inequality.

 

South Africans are extremely concerned about unemployment, crime and corruption – including gangsterism, drug dealing and gender based violence.

The root causes of these problems are complex and difficult.

It is the African National Congress that, for 106 years, has been the home of all South Africans who love their country and who want unite as many people as possible to work together to solve difficult and complex problems and to create a better life for all in a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous nation.

Running like a golden thread through this history is the ability of the ANC to unite people and to lead with vision, and with a plan to realise that vision.

 

1943: Africans’ Claims

1949: ANCYL POA

1955: Freedom Charter

1969: Strategy and Tactics – Morogoro

1985: Strategy and Tactics – Kabwe

1989: Harare Declaration

1991: Constitutional Principles

1992: Ready to Govern

1994: Reconstruction and Development Plan.

 

The ANC says what it means and it means what it says.

 

The National Development Plan is part of this long tradition.

 

We challenge anyone to show us which of these plans have not been implemented or are not being implemented.

 

Yes, there have been obstacles and setbacks – both objective and subjective.

 

But the ANC lives by Cabral’s injunction: “Tell no lies, claim no easy victories.”

 

Throughout its history the ANC has engaged in self-criticism and has taken action to correct and renew itself, no matter how painful it might be.

 

The ANC was at the forefront of requesting a commission of enquiry into state capture.

 

It has encouraged its members to testify. Today it started testifying as an organisation, led by its National Chairperson.

 

The National Development Plan recognises the interlinked realities of persistent colonial and apartheid spatial patterns and very rapid urbanisation – already 66 percent of South Africans live in urban areas, by 2050 this is expected to reach 80 percent.

 

It recognises that there are powerful interests concerned with maintaining the spatial status quo.

 

It commits that, whilst a fundamental reshaping of the colonial and apartheid geography may take decades, by 2030 South Africa should observe meaningful and measurable progress in reviving rural areas and in creating more functionally integrated, balanced and vibrant urban settlements.

 

For this to happen our country must:

 

  • Clarify and relentlessly pursue a national vision for spatial development;

 

  • Sharpen the instruments for achieving this vision; and,

 

  • Build the required capabilities in the state and among citizens.

 

The NDP sets out five overarching principles to which all spatial development should conform:

 

  • Spatial justice;
  • Spatial sustainability;
  • Spatial resilience;
  • Spatial quality;
  • Spatial efficiency.

 

These are the principles that inform South Africa’s Integrated Urban Development Framework (IUDF) adopted by Cabinet on 26 April 2016.

 

The IUDF marks a New Deal for South African cities and towns, steering urban growth towards a sustainable model of compact, connected and coordinated cities and towns.

 

It recognises that the country has different types of cities and towns with different roles and requirements, and that the IUDF must be implemented in locally relevant ways.

 

The IUDF’s premise is that jobs, housing and transport should be used to promote urban restructuring as outlined in the NDP.

 

The objective is to transform urban spaces by:

 

  • Reducing travel costs and distances;
  • Preventing further development of housing in marginal places;
  • Increasing urban densities to reduce sprawl;
  • Improving public transport and the coordination between transport modes; and
  • Shifting jobs and investment towards dense peripheral townships

 

Recently President Ramaphosa addressed Parliament on the need to strengthen security of tenure, release of well-located urban land and, where necessary, to expropriate such land to promote spatial transformation.

 

The IUDF has three cross-cutting priorities:

  • Strengthen rural-urban linkages;
  • Promote urban resilience;
  • Create safe urban spaces.

 

We welcome the deployment of anti-gang units in Cape Town.

 

Implementation of the IUDF requires an all-of-government and all-of-society approach.

 

On 30-31 October the SA Urban Conference brought together all three spheres of government, business, labour, civil society and it was agreed to establish a National Urban Forum and to work towards an Urban Summit, which will complement the Jobs and Investment Summits.

 

Managing urbanisation and transforming apartheid and colonial spatial patterns requires capable developmental local government.

 

Government is supporting and intervening in dysfunctional municipalities through the Back to Basics programme and the deployment of district support teams in line with the NDP.

 

These matters are not just technical. They are political.

 

On 6 November the Cape Times carried this headline: “City slammed for apartheid spatial planning: activists outraged by ‘exclusive’ development.”

 

The article reads: “Activists advocating for affordable housing in the Central Business District say the city has once again missed an opportunity to address spatial planning after it dismissed an application for inclusive housing at the old Christian Barnard building.”

 

One of the activists, Jared Rossouw said: “We can only imagine that councillors do not want to disrupt the business-as-usual approach which has become entrenched where developers secure extra rights to build bigger and higher earning massive windfalls for their shareholders. We are simply asking the city to comply with the law and do everything in its powers to ensure that we build an inclusive city for generations to come, rather than a playground for the rich.”

 

These matters seem to lie at the heart of the political instability besetting the Cape Town Metro, as evinced by the resignation of former Mayor Patricia de Lille and 9 other members of the Democratic Alliance.

 

Earlier in the year Natasha Marriam wrote in Business Day (9 May 2018) that: “… (de Lille) claims that her woes began in 2014 when she presented a document on transforming the spatial landscape of the City of Cape Town. She says her agenda would have done away with apartheid spatial planning in the city and would have begun to develop it as a truly inclusive place to live.”

 

Marriam argues that, “The facts show there is a real pushback against a truly transformative agenda in the DA, and the woke South African electorate can see right through it.”

 

It is this electorate that will be voting next year.

 

We echo the calls for peaceful, free and fair elections made by religious leaders during the “2018 National Day of Prayer for All South Africans” this past Sunday at FNB Stadium.

 

We call upon all South Africans, especially young South Africans, to be part of the new era of hope and renewal; to work together to grow the economy, create jobs, fight crime and reduce poverty by registering to vote.

 

Register now at the local IEC office responsible for your voting district or register at the your voting station on the final registration weekend on 26-27 January 2019.

 

We call upon all spheres of government, labour, business, civil society, traditional and religious leaders to encourage and to assist citizens to register to vote.

Register to vote, and vote ANC.

 

I thank you.