http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 14.49Change: 0.10
R/$ = 10.50Change: 0.05
Au 1294.90 $/ozChange: -0.67
Pt 1407.50 $/ozChange: -21.00
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Nelson Mandela 1918 - 2013   Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science & Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Contact Us
 
 
 
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Aug 31, 2012

Use the plan

Back
Education|South Africa
education-company|south-africa
© Reuse this



ONGOING SERVICE DELIVERY PROTESTS, the Limpopo textbook saga and, far more graphically, the Marikana tragedy all serve to highlight the social distance that has emerged between South Africa’s poor and the governing political elite, as well as society’s business elite. It even appears that a social chasm has developed between union officials – many of whom are caught up with their own, or with the African National Congress’s (ANC’s), power struggles – and the workers they represent.

It’s a gulf that some are now actively seeking to exploit and one that could even signal something of a tipping point for the ANC – a political unit that has, hitherto, been able to count on almost unwavering electoral support from the very communities that are increasingly showing anger at being let down.

Dealing with this social distance is undeniably difficult, if not downright life threatening, not least because it is being led by forces and formations that have not previously engaged in, or benefited from, processes of social dialogue.

Notwithstanding this reality, the onus is on government and the traditional organised formations within business, labour and civil society to engage these new forces in an effort to rebuild the credibility of social dialogue as a useful instrument for dealing with seemingly intractable problems.

True, this will be as painstaking a process as it was in the early 1990s. But such a conversation is required if we are to restart the process of building social cohesion and arm people with the tools needed to fend off those willing to exploit the current gaps for questionable ends.

There is little question that the root causes are poverty and income inequality – indeed it is common cause that South Africa is now one of the most unequal societies, if not the most unequal society, on the planet. However, dealing with these fundamental ills will involve a number of actions over an extended period.

So what can be done in the short to medium term to show that the main social partners, which have drifted from their bases, are truly alive to the plight of the poor and stand ready to take active steps to deal with the causes of poverty?

Again there are no easy answers. But a good start could be a high-profile social compact around a well-articulated vision for the country – a vision backed by short-term deliverables, particularly in the areas of education, health and welfare, as well as medium- and long-term action plans.

Remarkably, such a vision was released just as the Marikana tragedy was unfolding. Sadly, though, the National Development Plan 2030 (partly because of what took place in the North West province) has, to date, failed to capture the imagination of society. There are also serious questions about whether the plan will ever really receive the support it requires to make an impact, as it does not align neatly with the agendas of those seeking ascendency within the ANC.

Nevertheless, it exists. It is a solid product of both social engagement and empirical research and sets out objectives with which few could have argument: eliminating poverty and materially reducing inequality by 2030.

It would be an opportunity missed if the social partners failed to use the plan to generate consensus on the problems, build momentum around some sound actions to deal with these problems and, most importantly, to reinspire and re-energise South Africa’s fed-up citizenry.

Edited by: Terence Creamer
© Reuse this Comment Guidelines
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Editorial Insight News
Trade and Industry Minister Dr Rob Davies took the high road when responding to news that Nigeria had officially surpassed South Africa as the continent’s largest economy. Following a rebasing of its gross domestic product (GDP), Nigeria’s statistician-general...
Article contains comments
Besides frighteningly frank warnings (which some have disparaged as being apocalyptical) about the threat posed by climate change to everything from food security to human health and ecosystems, one of the stand-out themes from the latest Intergovernmental Panel for...
With South Africa poised to open the way for shale gas exploration, it was interesting the gain insight into the issue of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) from UK special representative on climate change Sir David King. King, who was born in Durban in 1939 and...
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
Few would argue with the notion that unemployment, which stands at around 25% on the narrow definition as reported by Statistics South Africa, remains one of the country’s most pressing challenges. Fewer still could contest the view that South Africa’s education...
Renewable-energy projects, such as this Northern Cape solar farm, seen as key to low‐carbon energy supply.
Upfront investment costs will and should remain a critical consideration as South Africa moves to upscale and accelerate its infrastructure programmes. But one of the lead authors of the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) argues that the...
The barrier to efficient water service delivery in South Africa was not of a technological nature but rather related to legal and Constitutional challenges, Water Research Commission (WRC) CEO Dhesigen Naidoo said on Thursday. Opening a WRC debate under the theme...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Steel 2014: A review of South Africa's steel sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Steel 2014 report provides an overview of the global steel industry and particularly of South Africa’s steel sector over the past year, including details of production and consumption, as well as the country's primary carbon steel and stainless...
Projects in Progress 2014 - First Edition (PDF Report)
This publication contains insight into progress at the delayed Medupi and Kusile coal-fired projects, in Mpumalanga and Limpopo respectively, as well as at the Ingula pumped-storage scheme, which is under construction on the border between the Free State and...
Automotive 2014: A review of South Africa's automotive sector (PDF Report)
The report provides insight into the business environment, the key participants in the sector, local construction demand, geographic diversification, competition within the sector, corporate activity, skills, safety, environmental considerations and the challenges...
Construction 2014: A review of South Africa's construction sector (PDF Report)
Construction data released during 2013 hints at a halt to the decline in the industry during the last few years, with some commentators averring that the industry could be poised for recovery. However, others have urged caution, noting that the prospects for a...
Electricity 2014: A Review of South Africa's Electricity Sector (PDF Report)
This report provides an overview of the state of electricity generation and transmission in South Africa and examines electricity planning, investment in generation capacity, electricity tariffs, the role of independent power producers and demand-focused initiatives,...
Defence 2013: A review of South Africa's defence industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2013 Defence Report examines South Africa’s defence industry, with particular focus on the key players in the sector, the innovations that have come out of the defence sector, local and export demand, South Africa’s controversial...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
The Electronic Systems Laboratory (ESL) of the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering at Stellenbosch University is strongly reaffirming its position as one of South Africa’s leading centres for satellite technology and expertise. It is currently...
MORE IN SA Phase 2 should see local content on the mainline locomotive increase from 65% to 80% by the end of 2014
The world’s lowest-cost diesel-electric locomotive is not made in China, but in Pretoria, at RRL Grindrod Locomotives’ newly upgraded 30 000 m2 plant. The company’s locomotive pricing is “more competitive than any other original-equipment manufacturer (OEM)...
The South African Defence Review 2012, released to the public at the end of last month (despite the year given in its title) recommends the creation of the post of Chief Defence Scientist. This official would be responsible for the management of defence technology...
AltX-listed engineering technology company Ansys has been awarded an R188-million contract by Transnet to supply integrated dashboard display systems to the freight rail utility’s locomotives. Black-owned and controlled Ansys developed the bespoke integrated system...
South Africa’s sole nuclear power station Koeberg, which is located in the Western Cape, breached a major operations milestone on April 4, which marked the thirtieth anniversary of Unit 1 having been connected to the grid. Eskom, which operates the two-unit plant,...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks