10 May 2009

South Africa: New Planning Commission to Boost Govt

Pretoria — The newly established National Planning Commission (NPC) will accelerate government's efforts to boost the economy, reduce poverty and ensure smooth infrastructure development.

"The commission will go a long way to drive policy implementation and delivery outside the bureaucratic constraints of government departments and their fragmentation according to line functions," President Jacob Zuma told the media on Sunday.

He told the media that the NPC would be responsible for strategic planning for the country. It will also ensure that there was one National Plan to which all spheres of government would adhere.

The National Plan would include economic matters.

"This would enable us to take a more comprehensive view of socio-economic development in the country," explained the President.

Officially announcing his new cabinet and the changes in the new government, President Zuma said the commission would operate from within the Presidency but outside of the Cabinet.

The head of the commission will report directly to the President and work hand in hand with various portfolios.

Mr Zuma said the commission should not be seen as replacing government line functions but as ensuring a seamless interface between line function departments through co-ordination of activities around joint priority projects that require a multifaceted approach.

He described the commission as the "champion of delivery in assisting government fulfil its uppermost priorities".

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