/Developing a capable state requires commitment

Developing a capable state requires commitment

2019-06-30 07:00

Building a
capable developmental state and its government with accountability, honesty and
integrity will be the Presidency’s focus, writes Jackson Mthembu.

Our
strategic vision as outlined by President Cyril Ramaphosa in his first State of
the Nation Address (SONA) for this Sixth Administration delivered on 20 June
2019 in Parliament, reflects our commitment to achieving the status of a developmental
state as envisioned in our National Development Plan (NDP) Vision 2030. The president
reaffirmed the NDP as our lodestar approved by all parties in our society.

While
progress on the implementation of our NDP targets has been slow particularly on
the economic side, we reaffirm our commitment to achieving our goal of
addressing challenges of inequality, poverty and unemployment and economic growth.

The seven priorities
announced by the president emanating from our electoral mandate, will play a
catalytic role in achieving a number of NDP targets in the next five years.
Government departments will be measured according to their performance in
achieving the following seven priority areas:

1.     
Economic transformation and job creation

2.     
Education, skills and health

3.     
Consolidating the social wage through reliable and quality basic services

4.     
Spatial integration, human settlements and local government

5.     
Social cohesion and safe communities

6.     
A capable, ethical and developmental state

7.     
A better Africa and world

Our new
Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2019 – 2024, which includes
resourcing, social compacts and accountability mechanisms have a limited set of
priorities emanating from our electoral mandate. This new implementation
paradigm is a radical shift to a comprehensive framework inclusive of
resourcing, integration of all public sector institutions, social partners,
accountability mechanisms. This informs all levels of government planning
through an integrated planning framework.

The new MTSF
now combines a 5-year NDP Implementation Plan with a revamped integrated monitoring
system and accountability framework – ministerial/DG performance agreement with
clear targets and milestones. It will incorporate resourcing through private
sector investment, development finance institutions and SOEs and public entities’
roles. It further outlines the budget prioritisation framework, labour movement’s
involvement on the skills revolution and civil society in promoting participatory
democracy.

It will put
more emphasis on social partnerships resources and skills deployment by the private
sector and government. It allows for a clear line of sight for the president,
Cabinet and Parliament. The 5-year NDP implementation priorities will also be
spatially referenced, in accordance with the National Spatial Development
Framework and will be monitored through an implementation delivery model based
on district municipalities.

The NDP
5-Year Implementation Plan forms the basis for departmental strategic plans and
annual performance plans. The
structure of government including Cabinet clusters, ministerial and technical implementation
fora for coordination and implementation will be streamlined for better results
and effective delivery.

Similarly,
early in this Sixth Parliament we will be presenting the proposed Integrated Planning Framework, which
will ensure better integration across all levels of government. We will be
further outlining the implementation model (similar to Operation Sukuma Sakhe
in KwaZulu-Natal) which will also
spatially reference project monitoring at district municipalities for all levels
of government and private sector.

The
Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) has already
spearheaded a Public Private Sector Growth Initiative (PPGI) to promote
economic growth and create jobs. The private sector has committed investment of
R840bn in 43 projects in over 19 sectors of the economy to create 155 000 jobs
in the next five years. As government, we have committed to prioritise the
elimination of growth inhibitors or binding constraints to ensure successful
implementation of these projects.  

We further
commit to a robust community engagement and consultation programme through the
various Izimbizo programmes involving the president and ministers and will
include this in ministerial performance agreements. We will ensure that government
departments prioritise payment of their debt to each other, to municipalities,
to state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and the payment of service providers within
30 days. We will also revive Operation Masakhane to encourage our communities
to pay for services they receive and restore the culture of payment.

We are broadening our monitoring system to include frontline service delivery monitoring,
citizen-based monitoring, community-based monitoring and more effective use of presidential
hotline. All these will be linked to our programme of action and its biannual review
weeks linked to performance assessments of ministers, deputy ministers, and directors
general. 

A capable
developmental state requires effectively coordinated state institutions with
skilled public servants who are committed to the public good and capable of
delivering consistently high-quality services, while prioritising the nation’s
developmental objectives.

We will
ensure the appointment of the head of public administration as espoused in the
NDP 2030 by April 2020 to spearhead the professionalisation of the public service
and move to making appointments of head of departments more permanent to promote
stability in the public service. We must also enhance the role of a national school
of government to capacitate the entire public service for the successful
implementation of our seven priorities with the necessary skills and
competence.

Developing a
capable state requires commitment in overcoming corruption and lack of
accountability and this needs a strong political will, sound policies and
active citizenry. Therefore, we will ensure an improvement in financial and performance
management and audit outcomes for all levels of government with targeted
increase of unqualified and clean audit outcomes in five years. Similarly, we
shall ensure the promotion of ethics and integrity management throughout the public
service and private sector and enhance capacity of law enforcement agencies to
fight corruption and crime.

To invoke
the profound words of our iconic writer, the late Prof Es’kia Mphahlele, whose
centenary we celebrate this year:

“Everybody
who is willing to work and has a nation-building vision rather than aspirations
for a sectional power-base should be allowed to come forward and contribute
ideas and hands.”

With these
words, I call upon all South Africans to join hands with us in pursuit of a
better and more prosperous South Africa. It is a new dawn – let us rise to its
promise.

– Mthembu is Minister in the Presidency.

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