Mangaung — Minister Trevor Manuel will not stand for re-election to the ANC's top body, the National Executive Committee.
In an interview with me last month, Manuel said he had been a member of the NEC for 21 years and the time had come for him to move aside and allow younger people to step up. He said he had been mulling over his decision for some time and had informed his comrades a few weeks ago.
"Some of us have been around the block and must mentor another layer of leadership," he said. "I want to take myself out of the equation."
Manuel pointed out that he had implemented the resolution passed at the last ANC elective conference in Polokwane in 2007 to come up with a National Development Plan (NDP).
He has devoted the past four years to a comprehensive analysis of the challenges facing the country and drawing up a plan to meet them. The national and provincial NDP offices are functional and ready to proceed with implementation. The National Development Plan will take centre stage in policy discussions this week and the conference this week is widely expected to endorse it.
Contrary to some reports, the NDP encompasses both the New Growth Path (NGP) adopted by Parliament as well as the Industrial Path Action Plan 2 (IPAP). The NDP is the broad overall plan for the country. The NGP deals with the challenge of creating decent jobs and the IPAP with the reindustrialisation of the economy.