Communication key to success of NDP


“We have a monitoring and evaluation part of the plan, which is a critical part of any ‘big change’ programme. If we are to take seriously that we are a partner, as business, in this whole story then it is correct that business should form part of the monitoring and evaluation teams,” Nonkululeko Nyembezi-Heita, chairperson of the JSE, told CNBC Africa.

“We are in a position to take some of the changes to larger audiences. There are things that are changing but there just isn’t sufficient communication of those.”

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She further emphasised the fact that monitoring and evaluation has not been attended to in the same degree and format that it should be.

Khulekani Mathe, acting secretary for national planning added to the discussion on the progress being made with regards to South Africa’s NDP, stating that government has been grappling with the same point.

“The monitoring and evaluation framework is geared towards monitoring what government does. We have no way of monitoring what other sectors of society, who have a much larger part to play in the plan, [are doing],” he indicated.

“We need to talk a lot more, to find ways in which the private sector is let in on those monitoring processes and vice versa because quite a bit is happening with government and it doesn’t get communicated.”

Mathe added that in his interactions with those in the private sector, he has found that there is also a lot that government is not aware of.

“There’s more that we need to do that we haven’t started doing but there’s a lot that we are already doing, we’re just not working together. We’re just not talking about it enough,” he said.

While some have argued that communication should be the easiest part of the process, Mathe stated that South Africa is continuously learning in this area.

“As South Africans we have to learn to, I suppose, give credit when credit is due. It’s easy to criticise any party, even when something is happening, and similarly it’s easy for government to criticise,” he explained.

“But, when we adopt a mentality of ‘We’re working together here’, then we can appreciate what the other party is doing, and that’s the part where we’re learning.”

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He also stated that as a country, South Africa needs to be able to meet deadlines, and it has previously demonstrated that it can.

“There is acceptance of this fact on all sides. It’s when we get to the level of implementation, that level of granularity that we have to start talking about specifics that need to be achieved,” Mathe said.

“The NDP operates at a high level, it talks about the need to create an enabling environment but what does that enabling environment mean for the mining sector, the agricultural sector. It is when you get to that level that you need to have a slightly different conversation that is a lot more informed.”