Budget 2014: National Development Plan: The proof is in the budget

rp_Budget-2014-News1-150x1501-150x150.jpgCarien du Plessis @carienduplessis #budget2014 26 February 2014 14:17

Rather than just “make a noise” about implementing the National Development Plan (NDP), government has put it in the budget, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan has said.

When reporters asked him about the NDP this morning ahead of his budget vote in Parliament, Gordhan said “the proof is in the book”.

The budget review he tabled sported a long list of “NDP critical actions” and explanations on how these were being funded or implemented.

The budget of each department in the Estimates of National Expenditure also has to include a section on how the department is spending to comply with the NDP.

“When you don’t have the responsibility to govern or do all these balancing acts, it is easy to make a noise,” Gordhan said in apparent reference to opposition to the NDP by left-wing unionists.

He said rather than just saying government would do something, National Treasury was already reporting back on the things they have been doing.

There is also a table outlining infrastructure delivery, which forms one of the main components of the NDP.

In his speech to Parliament, Gordhan said success in implementing the NDP “depends on discipline, hard work, cooperation and sustained improvements in productivity, both in the public and private sectors”.

He said to create jobs and reduce poverty, the economy has to be grown at 5% a year or more.

The current projected growth rate is 2.8%.

Initiatives under way as part of the NDP include accelerated public infrastructure investment, a tax incentive for youth employment, the phasing in of the national health insurance scheme and steps to professionalise the public service.