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» South Africa’s National Development Plan: What role are you willing to play?

May 12, 2014

South Africa’s National Development Plan: What role are you willing to play?

“It is absolutely essential that the oppressed participate in the revolutionary process with an increasingly critical awareness of their role as subjects of the transformation.”

Paulo Freire

In the backdrop of our twentieth year as a ‘free and democratic’ society, it should be inevitable that as the future of our great nation (South Africa), we ought to care deeply about our tomorrow.

We, as Mbewu Movement are a collective of young, ambitious individuals who care about loving our country and our continent as much as we love ourselves as we have been watered with love by our families and friends. An additional ingredient to that ‘caring’ is having constructive discussions about the possible realities South Africa can give birth to and taking action in any positive way you can to influencing the realities of our country.

I recently landed on the South African government website ( development plan) and wondered how many young South Africans are aware of the National development goals? How many of them know that without their active participation, these goals will not become a lived reality? What efforts are being made by the government, civil society and perhaps even private sector to ensure that these goals are in fact everyone’s business in South Africa?

So, the current situation has been listed as:

  • Divided Communities
  • Too few jobs
  • Crumbling infrastructure
  • Resources intensive economy
  • Exclusive planning
  • Poor education
  • High Disease burden
  • Public service uneven
  • Corruption

And the proposed solutions have been listed as:

  • Unite the nation
  • Create jobs
  • Expand infrastructure
  • User resources properly
  • Inclusive planning
  • Quality education
  • Quality healthcare
  • Build a capable state
  • Fight corruption

I would definitely congratulate the planning commission that managed to narrow these issues and solutions into real and relevant categories. What I would ask though is- Now what? And how?

Will this be another poetically written document by the best thinkers in South Africa that sits beautifully on our collector’s items shelf next to the constitution? Or are we, with the guidance of our elders going to collectively see to the proposed solutions becoming a lived reality for all? Within reason though, because we all know that plans of a socialist nature have boundaries when they are implemented in a neoliberal, capitalist and only twenty years old democratic society.

As young (South) African’s, pessimism should have no place in our hearts; do not get me wrong, there is a lot to be upset and complain about where the well-being of our country and continent is concerned. However, we, now more than ever have way more resources to take collective, constructive and organised action towards shaping the present and future we want to see our country and continent develop into.

There are many game-changers, thinkers, doers that came before us and what a shame it would be if we dropped the baton.

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“Leaders who do not act dialogically, but insist on imposing their decisions, do not organize the people–they manipulate them. They do not liberate, nor are they liberated: they oppress.” 

Paulo Freire