NDP an empty promise if not linked to national budget – Zuma | Infrastructure news

President Jacob Zuma will deliver the 2017 State of the Nation Address in Parliament this evening. Picture: NIC BOTHMA

President Jacob Zuma says the National Development Plan needs to be aligned to the country’s budget, or else it will remain an empty promise.

The President was speaking at the fifth anniversary of the adoption of the National Development Plan (NDP) at the Westin Hotel in Cape Town on Tuesday night.

“Cabinet has directed the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation to work with the Economic Cluster of government departments to ensure that there is alignment between the priorities in the NDP and the budget.

“This is an important step because the NDP will remain an empty promise as long as its noble goals are not matched with budget commitments,” he said.

Concrete steps to implementation

The President said government was taking other concrete steps to implement the NDP.

“Through the implementation of Operation Phakisa, our Big Fast Results programme, we have developed very specific interventions in the oceans economy, health, education, mining and agriculture sectors.

He said government is also implementing incentives and support services for investors through the Special Economic Zones programme.

He said the six Industrial Development Zones, established between 2002 and 2014, have attracted a total of 59 investors on site with an investment value of more than R10 billion.

“These achievements demonstrate that working together we can indeed do more. It is the same collective effort which made it possible for all of us to build a new nation from the ashes of apartheid.

Progress made in implementing the NDP

Meanwhile, the President said progress has been made in implementing the NDP.

“Since we started implementing the NDP, we have marked progress in a number of areas.

“More people live longer than before, life expectancy has improved. A lot more children are at school getting the education whose quality is gradually improving.

“Access to housing and basic services has improved through the construction of four million new houses since 1994, increasing connections to electricity to 95% of the households and piped water to 85% of households.

“The progress is, however, uneven across sectors. The reach of the basic services has not fully reached all citizens, especially those who live in the rural areas. Government thus continues to work daily, to expand the reach of water, electricity, roads, housing and other services to the people,” he said.

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