The National Planning Commission (NPC) is a diverse and independent advisory body and think tank – comprising carefully chosen experts in various fields and sectors - appointed by the President. It is the custodian of South Africa’s National Development Plan (NDP): Vision 2030. The Commission is appointed for a five-year period and is chaired by the Minister in the Presidency. The basic role of the NPC is to advise government, and indeed all of society, on the implementation of the NDP: Vision 2030.
Institutional set up of the National Planning Commission
The members of the current NPC were appointed on a part-time basis for a five-year term starting on 15 December 2021. The Minister in the Presidency responsible for Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME), Maropene Ramokgopa, is the Chairperson of the Commission and the Deputy Chairperson is Professor Tinyiko Maluleke. Decisions of the NPC are taken at plenary meetings of the Commission.
The Secretary of Planning, Dr Kefiloe Masiteng, is the head of the secretariat, and is supported by the Acting Deputy Secretary of National Planning, Mr Ashraf Kariem, and a team of sector experts. In addition, technical support is also drawn from the DPME. The work of the secretariat entails co-ordinating the workstreams of the Commission, managing the research and consultative processes, administration, drafting reports, and liaising with stakeholders.
National Planning Commission Secretariat
The work of the commission is supported administratively and technical by a full time Secretariat. This entails coordinating the work streams of the Commission, managing the research and consultative processes, drafting reports, liaising with stakeholders, as well as logistical support for NPC meetings.
The Secretariat is headed by a Secretary of Planning, Dr Kefiloe Masiteng supported by the Acting Deputy Secretary of National Planning, Mr Ashraf Kariem and a team of sector experts. In addition, technical support is also drawn from the Department of Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME).
National Planning Commission Mandate
On their appointment, the President outlined the mandate of the NPC as follows:
Lead the development of a strategy for a post-Covid-19 economy and society to deal with the country’s triple challenge of poverty, unemployment, and inequality by 2030.
Support strong leadership that will be required to mobilise society to promote the acceleration in implementing the National Development Plan towards 2030.
Assist in forging a conversation among key stakeholders, leading to effective and impactful social compacts on a number of key issues facing the country.
Advise on key issues like food security, water security, energy choices, economic development, the economy’s structure, social cohesion, education, health, 4IR, public transport, industrial development, spatial planning, and climate change.
Undertake research and building a body of evidence on critical matters for long term planning and development of South Africa. Strengthen the use of evidence and the quality of empirical data, generated from impact assessments for national planning.
Monitor, review and assess progress in achieving the NDP.
Provide evidence-based advice on futuristic national planning and foresight scenario planning to implement the plan towards 2030 better.
Contribute to the development of international partnerships and networks on national planning.
National Planning Commission Work Streams
The Commission has structured itself into three thematic workstreams, each with a convening chairperson. Each workstreams includes several task teams.
Workstream 1: Active Citizenry, Capable State and Leadership
The focus of this workstream is on rallying bold and courageous leadership across society. This entails the mobilisation of active citizens, eradication of corruption, building a capable and development state as well as social cohesion and nation building. The workstream supports the creation of a National Spatial Development Framework (NSDF), creating a social compact, improving the effectiveness of justice and policing services, and the formation of international partnerships between regional planning bodies and the NPC.
Workstream 2: Economy
This workstream has focused on seeking ways of addressing the core challenges of unemployment, poverty, and inequality. To this end, it has conducted research and stakeholder engagements on revitalising the economy, infrastructure, labour market reforms, state-owned enterprises (SOEs), and rejuvenating township and rural economies.
Workstream 3: Enhancing the Quality of Life
The central concern of this workstream is the elimination of absolute poverty and seeking ways of addressing the core challenges of unemployment and inequality. This entails the definition and creation of a social protection floor below which no South African should live. To further their objective, the workstream has focused on reducing the cost of living for poor households, youth labour market transitions, universal health coverage, and early childhood development.