Over the next few months South Africans will have their opportunity to debate what kind of country they want South Africa to be.
The National Planning Commission (NPC), headed up by former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, has been tasked to define the South Africa we all hope to achieve in 20 years’ time and to map out a path to reach the objective.
South Africa needs an informed discussion about the major issues confronting the nation.
Key factors that will have an impact in whether South Africa will offer a better life for all its citizens by 2030 are:
- food and water supply
- spatial planning
- climate change
- the economy
The NPC has not beat around the bush regarding what has gone wrong since 1994, as well as what has been achieved.
Access to primary education now includes almost all children of school going age. Houses have been built for 10 Million people and primary healthcare has been expanded, as has access to electricity and water.
There have been four national and provincial elections, which have been effectively conducted and the results accepted by all, which indicates that democracy is alive and well in South Africa.
The Auditor General office is respected and the Special Investigating Unit, Public Protector and a free media are all firmly entrenched in South Africa.
However, the NPC has identified that the objective of a prosperous, united, non racial and democratic South Africa could be derailed with what has gone wrong since 1994.
Worldwide many civilizations, empires and countries have declined rather than progressed. The Roman Empire, the Hapsburg Empire, Argentina and a number of post colonial African countries bear witness to this.
The threats facing South Africa have been identified by the NPC as:
- Rising corruption
- Weakening of state and civil society institutions.
- Poor economic management
- Skills and capital flight
- Politics dominated by short-termism, ethnicity or factionalism
- Lack of maintenance of infrastructure and standards of service.
South Africans are only too aware that these threats are already evident in the country and if they are not addressed, decline will result.
The time to turn things around and build on our successes as a nation has arrived.
Have your input in the South African national debate and email your suggestions to :