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Manuel: SA's development not about money

Nov 18 2011 12:06 I-Net Bridge

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Johannesburg - The national development plan (NDP) isn't just about money, Minister in the Presidency Trevor Manuel said on Friday.

Manuel was addressing a briefing in Johannesburg organised by the New Age newspaper on the NDP, released a week ago by the National Planning Commission.

Manuel is chairperson of the NPC.

"Before we see money as an obstacle, let's rather examine other alternatives," Manuel said.

Some problems - such as SA's education system - would not be solved merely by adding resources, he noted.

"Here we have to change the parameters. If the teachers aren't in class on time to teach, that's a problem - so fix it. Those teachers are paid already."

Manuel added that in the country's leafy suburbs, the education system works.

"However, for the majority the system doesn't work."

The NDP - released on November 11 in Pretoria - suggests SA needs an education system with high-quality early childhood education, with access rates over 90%, by 2030.

It also found that there should be quality school education with globally competitive literacy and numeracy standards, as well as further and higher education and training that enables people to fulfil their potential.

The NDP calls for the higher education sector to be expanded so that it would be able to contribute towards rising incomes, higher productivity and the shift to a more knowledge-intensive economy.

Finally, the NDP wants a wider system of innovation that links public institutions such as universities with areas of the economy consistent with the plan's economic priorities.

Manuel told the briefing that if education could not be transformed in the next five years, there would be more and more unemployed young people in SA.

When people became tired of waiting for services, they would toyi-toyi, he said.

"And then they'll burn down the library. Clearly SA needs to adopt a different approach."

He warned that when people feel disenchanted, they disengage.

"We must ensure that we re-enliven active participation in citizenship to ensure that democracy is dynamic."
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