South Africa: View From Up Close - Why This Plan Is Different


South Africans are tired of endless policy documents, roadmaps and frameworks. So what makes the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan different?

Full disclosure: Saul Musker works for the Project Management Office in the Presidency.

We are a people with an apparently endless capacity for both hope and cynicism. This is one of our best qualities - it also makes life in South Africa something of a roller coaster.

Why should we be hopeful, and not cynical, about the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan which President Cyril Ramaphosa announced to a joint sitting of Parliament on Thursday?

As many have pointed out, the plan includes a number of existing commitments, from energy reform to infrastructure investment. Some commentators have held this up as a weakness. Most of the same people would have complained if the plan was too new - "We don't need more plans, we need to implement the ones we have!"

The truth is that we need a bit of both, and the plan represents exactly that. One of the important features of the plan, as the president's address made clear, is that it selects a small number of mission-critical priorities from among the commitments of the National Development...

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