Business Day Live on the 4 May 2015

As the term of office of the first National Planning Commission (NPC) ends, it is appropriate to reflect on the circumstances that led to its appointment and its experiences over the past five years.

The realisation that SA needs a generic, long-term plan that looks beyond electoral periods and private-sector return cycles started to dawn towards the end of the first decade of democracy. This was highlighted in the government’s 10-year review.

The unit was mandated to examine the experiences of various countries and to make proposals on SA’s planning framework. Visits were undertaken to countries such as Brazil, India, Malaysia and South Korea; there were interactions with peers from Nigeria, Sudan and other countries; and additional case studies were examined.

There had been some form of long-term planning in the government before the establishment of the commission in 2010. The 1994 Reconstruction and Development Programme was one such long-term perspective. But like a curator’s egg, it was a somewhat unbalanced mixture of immediate targets and long-term ideals.

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