The South African government is set to launch an initiative - inspired by the "Big Fast Results" methodology successfully applied by Malaysia - to fast-track the delivery of priorities outlined in the country's National Development Plan, President Jacob Zuma announced in Cape Town on Friday.
Responding to the debate on his State of the Nation address in Parliament, Zuma said government officials had held discussions with their Malaysian counterparts on a South African adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology.
He said the initiative, dubbed Operation Phakisa, would be launched in July. "We want to find methods that work, that will deliver results, and we believe Operation Phakisa may provide the key."
The National Development Plan (NDP), also known as Vision 2030, is the country's 30-year framework for growing the economy while tackling unemployment, poverty and inequality.
Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe, speaking during the debate on the State of the Nation address earlier this week, said the Big Fast Results methodology involved bringing key stakeholders together in "laboratories" for intensive planning at a practical and detailed level; setting targets which are made public; rigorously monitoring progress with implementation; and making the results public.
Using this methodology, Radebe said, the government of Malaysia had been able to register impressive results within a short period.
The first implementation of Operation Phakisa - the economic sector "laboratory" - will initially be led by the Department of Environmental Affairs, and focus on unlocking the economic potential of South Africa's oceans.
Radebe said there was massive untapped economic potential related to the country's oceans, in the areas of marine transport and manufacturing, offshore oil and gas exploration, aquaculture and marine protection services and governance.
"It is estimated that unlocking the economic potential of our oceans can contribute up to R177-billion to GDP by 2033 compared to R54-billion in 2010," Radebe said, adding: "This sector has the potential to employ one-million people by 2033 compared with 316 000 in 2010."
The second implementation of Operation Phakisa - the health sector "laboratory" - will apply the new methodology to improve service delivery in clinics nationwide, promoting Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi's "ideal clinic" initiative.
The laboratory will be undertaken in collaboration with provinces, districts and clinic managers with the aim of producing a detailed plan for improving service delivery in public sector clinics. The plan will include indicators, targets and timeframes, as well as a guideline for clinic managers to develop and sustain these improvements.