R/€ = 13.71
R/$ = 10.87
Au 1200.75 $/oz
Pt 1243.00 $/oz
Sep 14, 2007
Manuel acknowledges development is not automatic and that growth is not enoughBack
Pretoria|Refilwe|Africa|Development Bank Of Southern Africa|Education|PROJECT|Roads|Siyenza|System|Systems|Water|Africa|Bank|Bank’s Approvals|Building|Services|Systems|Tangible Services|Transport|Jay Naidoo|Trevor Manuel|Water
© Reuse this Democracy, Finance Minister Trevor Manuel declared recently, was about a programme to achieve “measurable change” to improve the lives of people and not about “one day in 1994”.
Speaking at a recent Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) function in Refilwe township, near Cullinan, north of Pretoria, Manuel said there was still much work to be done to advance a democratic programme that delivered tangible services.
“It is not enough to say the economy is growing at five per cent, or more, when the gains of that are only in the lives of a few people. We want measurable change in the lives of all of our people,” Manuel asserted, adding that there were lists of issues unaddressed in every aspect of community life.
To achieve this, Manuel said government had to hone in on three priorities.
Firstly, it had to “push ahead” from the current levels of growth by dealing with the current constraints.
“If we want to push it ahead, we have to understand what is not in place,” the Minister argued, lamenting, in particular, the poor institutional frameworks at municipal level.
With the help of organisations such as the DBSA, which was now fully aligned with the State’s development goals, systems had to be put in place to support institution building within local government.
A key measure would be a closing of the gap between the bank’s approvals, which stood at over R8-billion in 2006/7, and disbursements, which stood at about R3,7-billion, while continuing to shift its risk appetite towards the poorer municipalities.
“But that risk appetite also needs to be absorbed and the capacities have to be in place to absorb the funding,” Manuel stressed.
DBSA chairperson Jay Naidoo concurred, asserting that market and institutional failure was undermining the ability of poorly resourced municipalities to engage in viable borrowing.
“Part of our challenge as DBSA is to improve the absorptive capacity through initi-atives such as Siyenza Manje (we are doing it now) . . . which has recruited close to 100 retired engineers, project managers and financial experts, who are paired with young professionals to improve the absorptive capacity of the municipalities so they can begin taking loans from ourselves and other banks,” Naidoo reported.
He added that capacity building remained a major focus and that the DBSA was planning to spend close to R1,5-billion in this area in the years ahead.
Manuel’s second priority for government was to ensure that the base of beneficiaries was broadened.
This, he said, meant that taxes must be used to build schools and clinics, deliver electricity and replace the ‘bucket system’ with proper sanitation. “We must build more roads, ensure there is proper public transport and make communities safer. We must set a target and say, ‘We want our mothers and daughters to be able to walk around at night without fear’.”
The third priority was to identify the constraints to even faster growth. Specifically mentioned were limitations on electricity supply and the lack of skills.
He called for a “better partnership” to support the democratic programme, which, he said, would come under strain if there was no visible sign of improvement at the 3 152 schools that don’t have water, the 8 470 schools that have only pit latrines, and the 1 532 schools that have no toilet facilities at all.
“We must be able to fix this and fix this very soon, because, if we don’t, the quality of education will take a knock,” Manuel said, stressing the need for active parental involvement in education.
“We are conscious that develop- ment is not automatic . . . development is also not a snapshot, but rather a process. And, ultimately, it is a policy that has to be underpinned by measurable improvements,” Manuel concluded.
Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu© Reuse this Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
Other News This Week News
Article contains comments
Updated 57 minutes ago South Africans needed to become more entrepreneurial and create their own jobs, instead of expecting government to create jobs or rely on private-sector employment. “We need to become masters of our own destinies,” Small Business Development Deputy Minister Elizabeth...
Updated 58 minutes ago Plans to increase gross domestic expenditure on research and development (GERD) to 1.5% of gross domestic product by 2019 are yet to be formally adopted, despite the target being incorporated in the draft strategic plan of the Department of Science and Technology...
Updated 1 hour 8 minutes ago Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) would, in future, focus more strongly on the trends of long-term unemployment in its quarterly labour force surveys (QLFSs), statistician-general Pali Lehola said on Thursday. Releasing the QLFS for the three months ended September...
Recent Research Reports
Defence 2014: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Defence 2014 report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key participants in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial multibillion-rand...
Road and Rail 2014: A review of South Africa's road and rail infrastructure (PDF report)
Creamer Media’s Road and Rail 2014 report examines South Africa’s road and rail transport system, with particular focus on the size and state of the country’s road and rail network, the funding and maintenance of these respective networks, and the push to move road...
Real Economy Year Book 2014 (PDF Report)
This edition drills down into the performance and outlook for a variety of sectors, including automotive, construction, electricity, transport, steel, water, coal, gold, iron-ore and platinum.
Real Economy Insight: Automotive 2014 (PDF Report)
This four-page brief covers key developments in the automotive industry over the past 12 months, including an overview of South Africa’s automotive market, trade figures, production and the policies influencing the sector.
Real Economy Insight: Construction 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the construction industry over the past 12 months. It provides an overview of the sector and includes details of employment in the sector, infrastructure and municipal spending, as well as insight into companies’...
Real Economy Insight: Electricity 2014 (PDF Report)
This five-page brief covers key developments in the electricity industry over the past 12 months, including details of State-owned power utility Eskom’s generation activities, funding and tariffs, independent power producers and prospects for the sector.
This Week's Magazine
Integrated energy and chemical company Sasol has partnered with Unisa Graduate School of Business Leadership (SBL) professor and founder and CEO of PanAvest Partnership Dr Douglas Boateng to publish a series of books on executive supply chain management aimed at...
The World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF’s) 2014 Living Planet Index (LPI) indicates that there has been a 52% decline in vertebrate species since 1970. The Index tracked the trends of 10 000 discrete populations of over 3000 vertebrate species between 1970 and 2010.
Rwanda has joined a number of East African countries seeking to import electricity from Ethiopia as its demand grows. After it became apparent several generation project it is implementing will not come on stream early enough, now plans to import 400 MW from Ethiopia...
Metrorail’s first new passenger train will arrive in November next year, says Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA) CEO Lucky Montana. “Next year we will be able to put our hands around the infrastructure and equipment we have been talking about for so long.”
The Competition Commission has launched an investigation into what it says are “price fixing, market division and collusive tendering in the market for the manufacture and supply of automotive components to original equipment manufacturers” (OEMs, or vehicle...