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It’s been nearly a decade since SA adopted the National Development Plan (NDP), or what is commonly called Vision 2030. “In it is possibly the secret to SA’s success”, announced one commentator as the NDP was handed over to the president. She further warned, “What [former president Jacob] Zuma does with it between now and when his term of office ends is where the challenge lies, and everyone, knows it”.

As we look back, she was correct. Plans are always about what we do with them. For a while, the national budgets were closely linked to achieving the targets of the NDP. Successive finance ministers, who plan our income and expenditure, matched this to the NDP, from skills to infrastructure and health. Now, less than eight years before the 2030 deadline, we are starting to take stock, and wondering if we will make the goals. By all accounts that plan has not delivered on the outcomes we had hoped for. In parts we have overspent, and in others underspent. More money is being use...

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