Tshediso Matona. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON
Tshediso Matona. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON

We are far off from the target of the National Development Plan (NDP), according to the head of the National Planning Commission secretariat, Tshediso Matona.

Business Leadership SA CEO Bohang Mohale laid the blame at Jacob Zuma's feet, saying: "For the first three years we did nothing with the NDP because we had a president who didn't care about plans because stealing was his only objective."

Zuma is facing corruption charges in relation to the arms deal, and has been linked to the capture of state-owned enterprises by the Gupta family. He and the Guptas have denied wrongdoing.

Speaking at the Vision 2030 Summit at Emperors Palace on Wednesday, Mohale said the government had come out with many plans but there had been little in the way of execution.

"The challenge we've always had is, can we actually do something," he said.

Matona said: "The NDP is very ambitious given the current context. We cannot achieve this if we stay along this path that we’re on."

Growth in the economy would fuel the momentum but this is dependent on investment, he said.

"We can do better going forward," said Matona.

The structure of SA’s economy, despite all its strengths and capacity, tended to reproduce inequalities, he said, calling on the private sector to play its part.

"We have nearly R1-trillion of public sector investment planned for the next three years but the private sector also needs to play its part," he said.

Mohale said BLSA's objective was to strengthen the partnership with government, he said. 

The goals of the NDP are to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030. This calls for sustained growth of 5.4% and a 6% decrease in unemployment by 2030.

However, growth is expected to average 1.5% in 2018, according to Treasury, and unemployment remains uncomfortably high at 26.7%.