9 March 2011

The New Growth Path

Development, Part 8c

The New Growth Path

Download the NGP Framework at:
[36 pages, PDF]

On 23 November 2010 South Africa’s Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel introduced “The New Growth Path” (NGP). His four-page introduction can be downloaded from the link below.

Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies had issued the 2010/11 – 2012/13 “Industrial Policy Action Plan” ("IPAP2") earlier in the same year (18 February 2010), as we noted yesterday.

On 30 April 2010 the 24 members of the National Planning Commission were appointed, with an expectation that they would work publicly and transparently to produce a 25-year National Strategic Plan and/or a 5-year Medium Term Strategic Framework within one year, with subsequent annual updates.

Since their appointment, nothing has been published by thes National Planning Commission. What we do have are the two earlier Green Papers published by the National Planning Minister and Commission Chair, Trevor Manuel. These are instructive.

Three streams

How can the Communist University in particular cope with three different streams of documents from three different ministers, on development?

With or without the appointed National Planning Commission’s first full attempt at planning, it is bound to be difficult for anyone to synthesise these three sources and come up with a concretised description of South Africa’s new post-Polokwane development plans in total.

What we can do for now is to take one of these documents, the first Green Paper, and use it to generate a discussion about the requirement for development planning in South Africa at the present time. If that document has obvious flaws, then so much the better. We will be less likely to treat it as gospel, and more likely to have a discussion. The other documents are made available and comrades are therefore free to study them and to refer to them. After that, the struggle continues.

And the others?

The ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League have briefly noted the New Growth Path, and both have promised to comment upon it further.

The ANC YL has tended to treat the question of development entirely as a matter of nationalisation and redistribution of the “cake” of “white capital”, but has most recently added the “revolutionary” act of making babies to their short list of revolutionary priorities.

The SACP has broadly welcomed the New Growth Path, and before it the IPAP2. The Party is anxious to see how any wage-subsidy would be safeguarded against the obvious potential forms of abuse.

COSATU has some criticisms; we await further particulars and will return to COSATU in the next part of this course.

One thing is for sure: Nobody wants an Incomes Policy.

Images: Ebrahim PatelGOELRO Plan document, 1920.

Please download and read this document:

Further reading:


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