26 March 2012

National Democratic Revolution, Introduction

National Democratic Revolution, Part 0

National Democratic Revolution, Introduction

The CU National Democratic Revolution (NDR) course will be serialised on the CU-Africa list in the second quarter of 2012.

The NDR is the product of a class alliance (unity-in-action) against an oppressor class. The clearest original statement of this theoretical principle was made by V I Lenin at the Second Congress of the Communist International (2CCI) in 1920, in his Report of the Commission on the National and Colonial Question. We will return to the 2CCI statement in due course.

In practice, the NDR works to extend democracy to all horizontal corners of, and to all vertical layers within, the national territory and its population. In the cause of national democracy, it also overcomes non-class contradictions such as those of race and gender.

The NDR is always historical, in the sense of being a practical piece of work carried out in changing objective conditions, by individuals acting through the structures that they have consciously created. This series will trace the world history of the NDR from the distant past up to the present, attempting to cover the salient features, if not all the detail.

The living history of the NDR in South Africa is that of the African National Congress, embodying as it does the class alliance that is the functional heart of the NDR.

COSATU, and organised labour in general, are vital components in the necessary process of rendering an objectively-existing class-in-itself into a self-conscious class-for-itself. The working class leads and lends class-consciousness and a sense of purpose to the peasantry and to the petty-bourgeoisie. The working class is indispensable to the NDR.

But labour unions are not sufficient by themselves for the NDR; it also requires a party of generalising professional revolutionaries. That party is the SACP.

The theoretical pattern of the NDR was set in 1920 by the Comintern, and immediately afterwards by the conference of “The Peoples of the East”. Before we come to this we will look at the ancient history of the nation.

Coming up to date we will find, in parts of the ANC, that the NDR is treated as if it is complete, or in stasis, or that it is an end in itself.

The NDR story is one of the materialisation and triumph of an idea all around the world, but also of a new threat: that the NDR could be treated as a meaningless commonplace, taken for granted, or even worse, expropriated as a political weapon by the very forces that the NDR exists to oppose.

Unlike those who want to call closure on revolution and declare a static “National Democratic State”, the communists know that history will insist on moving on, beyond NDR, towards the revolutionary end of class conflict itself, and towards the corresponding withering-away of the State.

The challenge posed by this study of the NDR is therefore to learn how to carry out the National Democratic Revolution to its utmost possible extent, and then to be able to conceive of an even greater degree of freedom: a freedom that is beyond democracy and which is more than the mere crushing of a minority by a majority, which is the essence of democracy.

As Lenin pointed out in “The State and Revolution”, written on the eve of Great October, the withering away of the state has to become a burning issue. Before we get to that point in our studies, we must, in the next post of this new course on the National Democratic Revolution, begin again from the beginning.

The first week’s postings of this new course will commence next Thursday, 29 March 2012.

16 March 2012

Imvuselelo Campaign

Development, Part 10a

Imvuselelo Campaign

The SACP’s call to “swell the ranks” of the ANC is not an attempt to gain a majority in the ANC and thereby to take it over. To do that would be counter-productive. The SACP does not need another clone of itself. The SACP needs the ANC to be the ANC: The expression of National Democratic Revolutionary class alliance, and of unity in action; in short, the SACP needs the ANC to be South Africa’s liberation movement.

The growth of the ANC is a tactical necessity for a South Africa that is still trying to realise its full freedom. This is the same reason that the SACP has been building the ANC since the 1920s, without any pause. At the beginning of their relationship the ANC was a much smaller organisation than the SACP.

The ANC complements the SACP and COSATU. No one of these three can replace or substitute for either of the others. None of them can do without the others. All three have to be grown, for the sake of all three.

Now, while the SACP is aiming for half a million members, the ANC is pushing for one million. The organised trade union movement may altogether have three million members.

This growth of mass democratic formations is the working out of the National Democratic Revolution, which moves towards completion in proportion to the democratisation of the popular masses in various mass democratic structures, elaborated at different levels and throughout the country.

The ANC’s expansion and extension plan is called the Imvuselelo Campaign. The linked document below is made up of part of an ANC statement re-launching the Imvuselelo Campaign on 12 August 2010, plus a link to the “How to join the ANC” pages on the ANC web site.

Tomorrow we will look at the role of Trade Unions and the actual and potential role of SADTU in particular.

15 March 2012

The Party Goes Local

Development, Part 10

The Party Goes Local

The final part of this course on Development is concerned with the building of the mass collective Subject of History, starting with the main agent of such organisation, the communist party, in this case, the South African Communist Party, the SACP.

The SACP is in the process of converting its branches to “Voting District” branches. The SACP is also determined to achieve a 500 000 membership by 2014, or roughly one per cent of the South African population.

Urban Voting Districts in South Africa contain some 3,000 voters on average located within a radius of some 7,5 km of each Voting District’s single voting station. Rural Voting Districts accommodate some 1,200 voters located within a radius of some 10 km of the voting station. There are normally several, often four or five, Voting Districts in each electoral ward.

SACP Party Branches are supposed to have a minimum of 25 members according to its Constitution, which has not changed. The same rules apply to the new situation.

The next item in this last part of the Development Series will focus on the ANC’s Imvuselelo Campaign, and the third and final instalment will focus on SADTU’s recruitment, which in turn is in parallel with recruitment by other trade unions within and outside of COSATU, our federation, and with other mass organisations.

Localisation of the Alliance

What are the implications of all this recruitment? What qualitative changes may arise from the envisaged quantitative increase?

The National Democratic Revolutionary Alliance has been called “tripartite”, referring to the SACP - the vanguard party of the working class, the ANC – the mass, class-alliance, unity-in-action liberation movement, and COSATU, the federation of mass industrial trade unions. But in addition to these, the historic “civic” movement SANCO has a status as the fourth member of the Alliance.

The qualitative change which can be expected if the SACP succeeds in creating a substantial number of branches at Voting District level; and if the ANC is able to consolidate its 100-member-plus-per-ward branch structure; and if the local structures of the Trade Union movement can become similarly well-defined; is that the localisation of the Alliance will become a practical possibility.

For many years past, sundry expressions of disappointment been heard saying that the Alliance does not function at local level. The main stumbling block to this local functioning of the Alliance was never a lack of intention but rather the lack of equivalent basic structures across the three main organisations. The SACP especially was apt to be patchy in terms of its coverage on the ground, with hardly any organisational correspondence to the ANC at branch level. SACP Districts have also hardly talked to ANC Regions or to COSATU locals. Only at Provincial and National levels have the three structures been equivalent across all three of the main Alliance organisations.

The coming increase in membership of the SACP and the ANC will mean that it will be possible to populate viable parallel structures all the way down to branch level. This in turn will open up the prospect of a renewed relevance for SANCO, which can be the locus of combination with other mass organisation, of women, of religious people, and more.

The implications for the possibility of conscious, all-round development of the country in the fullest sense are profound.

The downloadable document is a compilation of the Commission Report on Building a Strong SACP from a Conference of Commissars, and notes on forming Voting District Branches, including relevant extracts from the SACP Constitution.

12 March 2012

Draft NDP on Health

Development, Part 9c

The National Planning Commission: 

Draft National Development Plan 

Chapter 10 on Health

Linked below is a PDF file, formatted for printing as an A5 booklet, made up of extracts from Chapter 10, Promoting Health, from the draft National Development plan. It has been formatted in this way for use as a short discussion text in the "Development" course of the Communist University.

This NDP chapter on Health seems to be more concrete (in the Hegelian and Marxist sense) than other chapters we have looked at from the NDP. The parts of this chapter make up an organic whole. It appears to be more of a plan and less of a wish-list.

This may be because of the considerable amount of serious research that has been done in government, in the ANC, in the SACP, and by unions such as NEHAWU, with a view to creating a National Health Insurance scheme, to which the ANC is committed, as is the current minister of Health, Cde Aaron Motsoaledi.

The full, 29-page, 527 KB PDF document is here.


What has the draft National Development Plan achieved so far? It is not revolutionary and it can barely be called “progressive”. It is incremental and gradualist. It is a linear extrapolation from the present, and is not a dialectical or concrete conception. In that way, we can say that it is not even scientific.

But South Africa’s draft National Development Plan is at least an attempt to look forward. So to that extent it represents a rejection of laissez-faire (let-it-be), and it embraces dirigisme (steering, or “intervention”). For this much we should be grateful, and it is not a small thing.

The NPC has an advantageous position within the Presidency, and it has the presumed support of its 26 members, who are prominent people in many walks of life. But the NPC has no big battalions. It also lacks the practice of public dialogue. So it is unlikely to be able to do very much more.

“Policy” will in practice be driven by the kind of action that NEHAWU and other agents have undertaken over the years, which produced the body of thought in the field of health that the NPC was obliged to take into consideration. The NPC then acted as an aggregator, and not as an initiator; and this may be how things will proceed all around, i.e. that the NPC will endorse and sanctify initiatives that come from outside of itself.

Some confirmation for this view of the NPC’s future is given by the news that the National Development Plan will not be proclaimed until July 2012, or in other words, well after the ANC Policy Conference.

Thus, the living democracy of the mass democratic movement, within the framework of the National Democratic Revolution, will continue to have priority in determining the country’s future.

What role will the NPC have?

The leaders of the NPC are not very good communicators. The documents that they sent out were extremely difficult to handle, and are still difficult to handle even after many complaints.

Their attempts to communicate using innovative (so-called “social”) media did not take them towards dialogue, but towards proselytising and indoctrination.

In the world of popular communications, the NPC was unable to improve on the patronising, condescending tone of “tips for Trevor”.

Whereas the ANC’s forthcoming Policy Conference is the apex of a dialogic pyramid that goes, via ANC branches and sub-Branches, all the way down to localities all over the country; while on the other side it has a majority in parliament and a firm hold on the executive government.

The ANC is closely linked to other dialogical agents, including the SACP, and with other trade unions apart from NEHAWU and SADTU, which we have already mentioned.

This combined alliance mechanism can, and does, produce real dialogue, and it is incomparably larger than any other public mass in South Africa. It is by itself a medium of mass communication, and a larger one by far than any other in the country.

The NPC did not want to let go and risk the planning process getting out of its hands and becoming bigger than itself - for example, by taking off as an internal dialogue of the ANC and its allies.

The NPC took an awkward, visitor’s position on the op-ed pages of the bourgeois mass media.

The NPC up to now has been neither fish nor fowl. It has tended to fall between two stools. It was neither vanguard, nor mass.

It will have to change if it is going to have a future. Especially, it will have to improve its communication skills.

10 March 2012

Draft NDP on Education

Development, Part 9b

The National Planning Commission:

Draft National Development Plan

Chapter 9 on Education
Attached is an extract from Chapter 9 of the draft NDP, called in full “Improving Education, Training and Innovation”. The full chapter (997 KB PDF) can be downloaded by clicking here.

As with other chapters of the NDP draft, this one is practically impossible to summarise, because it is an eclectic mixture of points pulled out of the thin air of bourgeois common sense.

It has no organic integrity, let alone any sense of a unity-and-struggle-of-opposites that would drive education forward in a way that corresponds to the dialectical nature of human history to date.

This chapter exposes the National Planning Commission’s lack of any concept of humanistic human development. The NPC is trapped within bourgeois utilitarianism, which is only a little better than bourgeois post-modernism.

This document is of the “end of history” variety. It anticipates no qualitative change, but only “improvement”. As well as having no revolutionary perspective, it is unable to anticipate the inevitable periodic “crises”, or even to take into account the one that we have, the so-called “meltdown” that continues to get worse and more threatening.

Not being historical, and so being trapped in the present, the document becomes a barely-disguised intervention in current struggles between the DA and SADTU. The National Planning Commission has lazily assumed that the projection until 2030 is doomed to live within the narrow concerns of the mostly-white constituency represented by Helen Zille and her cohorts, today.

SADTU issued a statement on 13 November 2012, taking issue with a number of the many bullet-points in the NDP draft. Here are three of SADTU’s responses:

  • Political and union interference in appointments: SADTU’s role is that of ensuring that proper processes are followed in the appointment/promotion of teachers and district officials. The recommendation should deal with those responsible for employment such as the SGB and the District office to perform their duties in the best interest of our country and not to allow improper influence.
  • Increase teacher training by Funza Lushaka bursaries: While we welcome the bursaries, we maintain that we don’t believe that the universities have the capacity to train the number of teachers needed. Our universities have abandoned research in favour of making profits. We therefore reiterate our call for the re-opening of teacher colleges to have focused and dedicated training.
  • Regular testing of teachers: The regular testing of teachers in subjects they teach is an insult to teachers. Instead, teachers should undergo regular refresher courses on the subjects they teach. The recommendation is based on preconceived ideas and not on the reality faced by teachers. This will add to the low morale the teachers are already suffering from because the policies are de-professionalizing teaching.

The National Planning Commission was not assembled on the basis of any common theoretical understanding. Clearly, it failed to build such an understanding. Perhaps it never attempted to do so. Consequently, it only managed to descend to its lowest common denominator, made up of ad hoc common sense and the fashionable ideas of the day. In the case of Education, this means that the National Development Plan is just about as "uneducated" as it imaginably could be.

In the next instalment, on Health, we will see that the situation was not quite the same, because the prevailing ideas are much more theoretically well developed. On Health the NPC soaked up some good material and was able to use it in the NDP.

All of this goes to show that the prevailing level of understanding of education in South Africa is very low, including within the liberation movement.

Draft National Development Plan

Development, Part 9a

Trevor Manuel

The National Planning Commission:

Draft National Development Plan

The South African National Planning Commission (NPC) handed over its draft National Development Plan (NDP) to the President of the Republic, Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma, on 11 November 2011.

This rather long post is a new addition to the CU “Development” course. It will have to serve the purpose of introducing the NDP, as well as one particular chapter of it (Chapter 3 on Economy and Employment – see towards the end of this message).

The draft closely follows the format of the “Diagnostic” document that the NPC had released a few months earlier.

In the three-page “popular plan” version of the NDP, the NPC states that after a three-month consultation period (November 2011 to February 2012) the plan is to be turned into reality.

The plan is apolitical and a-historical. It makes no reference to the Freedom Charter or to the National Democratic Revolution. It does not mention the world’s first-ever National Plan – Lenin’s tremendous GOELRO Plan, adopted by revolutionary Russia in 1920. Nor does the NDP make any critical comment on the political philosophy of development. Searches of the entire NPC web site, including the 444 pages of the plan, for the words “Lenin”, “Socialism”, “Dialectic”, “Slovo” or “Mao” return nil results. The term “Capital”, on the other hand, returns 130 results. Try it yourself. Google for [selected term]” site:www.npconline.co.za.

Instead of doing what we have done in our CU course on Development, the draft NDP applies the logic of “therapy to victim” (T2V).

NDP not dialectical

Which means that problems, or sicknesses, are “diagnosed” in terms of received wisdom or “common sense”. Of course, the solutions for those problems are predetermined by the definition of the problems/sicknesses that the “diagnosis” uses, or invents. Subsequent progress from then on is only imagined as inevitably gradual, or as incremental or marginal, but not as dialectical, or revolutionary.

The product of this kind of reasoning is a set of bullet points, mixing the seemingly sublime with the clearly banal (read some of these bullet points later on in this message). It is eclectic, and it refuses to take on board any acknowledged, as opposed to tacit, “meta-narrative”. In other words, it refuses politics. It just sees South Africa as sick, and it sees the itself, National Planning Commission as South Africa’s technocratic healer. It sees SA as being under doctor’s orders, with the NPC in the rôle of bossy doctor.

The result of this “T2V” can only possibly be a “best practice”: a cleaned-up, marginally-improved version of the status quo. It cannot possibly be a revolutionary break. Unlike the National Democratic Revolution, the NDP is not even a preparation for revolutionary, qualitative change

Back to the future?

This is a conservative, Southern African “Herman van Rompuy” or “José Manuel Barroso” type of document. Barroso and van Rompuy are the unelected technocratic leaders of the European Union (EU).

As with the EU, so also with the NPC: The politics are not visible, but the politics are certainly there. The politics are hidden under the technocratic white coat of these specialists in “diagnosis”. The politics are bourgeois. But the bourgeois crisis cannot be avoided, or managed, unless it is recognised, and not hidden.

Like Europe, SA is being diagnosed in this document as sick, but only because it does not conform to a sick system. We are then prescribed more of the same sick system as a remedy. We should rather avoid the European catastrophe. We should not be tempted to follow Europe into the abyss.

Resources and links

Immediately below are some resources and links. We will take excerpts from three Chapters of the NDP draft for the remainder of this part. The first (see below, and attached) will be Chapter 3, on “Economy and Employment”. The second will be Chapter 9, on Education, and the third will be Chapter 10, on Health.

The remaining parts of the draft National Development Plan are available via the links given immediately below, or by going via the NPC web site home page at http://www.npconline.co.za.

In its final, tenth, part the CU course on Development returns to a vision of development as being the formation of the free-willing collective human subject of history, and especially of the formation of the democratic mass organisations of South Africa. The process of mass political education, organisation and mobilisation will open the way to South Africa’s true and dialectical human development, but if it gets stalled and is not able to proceed, then South Africa will revert to the condition of the European Union, where there is a crisis of political and democratic legitimacy, and a corresponding absence of sufficient organised mass popular power to overcome the reactionary powers at the centre of the EU.

The alternative to the inevitable failure of technocracy, is mass, democratic organisation.

More on the NDP, and resources

(from the Foreword)

“The National Planning Commission is not a government department. It consist of 26 people appointed by the President to advise on issues impacting on long-term development. This gives the commission the license to be honest, bold, cut through the silos of government and take on board the views of all South Africans. It also requires us to be humble, never pretending that we have a monopoly on wisdom. This is a proposed development plan, subject to public comment and criticism.”


(from the Popular Plan)

“This is a draft plan. We also want people to tell us their views. Everyone must participate. It must belong to all of us. After we have had everyone’s feedback, the President, on behalf of the country, can adopt it.

“The commission was appointed by the President for five years, from May 2010 to May 2015. In the next three months we will consult as many people as possible to improve the plan. The time we have left after that we will use to make sure that the plan is turned into a reality.

In other words, when the time declared for national debate has expired, some time after February, 2012, the NPC will convert itself into a paid lobby for these policies, located inside the presidency.

National Development Plan Downloadable in Sections (English):

If the links below don’t work, please click here to go to the NPC’s page of links

Click here to read the popular plan:
Two parts of the NDP, bullet-pointed, from the “popular plan”:

Create Jobs

        Create 11 million more jobs by 2030:
        Expand the public works programme
        Lower the cost of doing business and costs for households
        Help match unemployed workers to jobs
        Provide tax subsidy to businesses to reduce cost of hiring young people
        Help employers and unions agree on starting salaries
        Make it possible for very skilled immigrants to work in South Africa
        Make sure that probationary periods are managed properly
        Simplify dismissal procedures for performance or misconduct
        Take managers earning above R300 000 out of the CCMA process
        Reward the setting up of new businesses, including partnering with companies
        Increase value for money for tourists by selling regional packages that meet all pocket sizes. Consider a single visa for SADC visitors
        Deal with confusion over policies to do with transport, water, energy, labour and communication

Education and Training

        Develop a nutrition programme for pregnant women and young children, to be piloted by the Department of Health for two years
        Make sure all children have two years of pre-school
        Get rid of union and political interference in appointments and appoint only qualified people
        Increase teacher training output by expanding “Funza Lushaka” to attract learners into teaching, especially those with good passes in maths, science and languages
        Regularly test teachers in the subjects they teach to determine level of knowledge and competence. Link teacher pay to learner performance improvements
        Good schools should not be burdened with the paperwork that poor performing schools have to do to improve. Schools performing very poorly should receive the closest attention
        Change the process of appointment of principals and set minimum qualifications
        Gradually give principals more powers to run schools, including financial management, procurement of textbooks and other educational material, as well as hiring and firing educators
        Increase the number of university graduates and the number of people doing their doctorates
        Build two new universities in Mpumalanga and the Northern Cape
        Build a new medical school in Limpopo and a number of new academic hospitals
        Consider extending the length of first degrees to four years on a voluntary basis
        Provide full funding assistance covering tuition, books, accommodation and living allowance (in the form of loans and bursaries) to deserving students
        Grant seven-year work permits to all foreigners who graduate from a registered South African university 

Chapter 3 on Economy and Employment
Herewith, attached, is the National Development Plan, Chapter 3 on Economy and Employment and
The chapter begins:
“Achieving full employment, decent work and sustainable livelihoods is the only way to improve living standards and ensure a dignified existence for all South Africans.
“This will be achieved by expanding the economy to absorb labour
“We can reduce the unemployment rate to 6 percent by 2030.”
As we have said, the National Development Plan is a gradualist plan, and not a revolutionary plan. It works from the unspoken assumption that what we have would be good enough, if only it was improved. In this chapter, 2030 looks very much like 2012, only with some of the bad bits cleaned made a bit better.
The chapter begins with some projections and some generalities. After page 7, it goes into “Employment scenarios”. This is so-called scenario planning, which is a kind of dreaming. Is that bad? You be the judge.
Then the chapter proceeds to “challenges”.
Thereafter, from pages 15 to 45 the document is mainly prophecy, or declaration. Sentences are written as “need to be”, “would be” and “will be”, without much sense of difference. It is not altogether clear whether this is a guide or a model, or an intended set of laws.
There is a Conclusion on the last three pages (49-48).
Is this chapter from the NDP on employment, just a wish-list? You be the judge.
And if it is a wish-list, is that bad?
It would be bad if the wish-list is taken as a plan, because a wish is something less than a plan.
Below is an extract from the bottom of page 27, and page 28, taken as an example of the declaratory nature of the chapter. It proposes an orthodoxy, or standard view. This particular view is about what COSATU calls “labour brokers”.

Extract (p.27):

Regulating temporary employment services

Private temporary employment and placement services have significantly contributed to labour market matching in the past two decades. This may partly be explained by formal employers seeking to circumvent labour regulations. It may also be caused by the rapid expansion of services sectors, which have been the main source of employment growth. Bhorat estimates that 900 000 people have been placed in some work opportunity as a result of the temporary employment services sector. These services are essential given the fragmented labour market, where low-income households are generally far from economic opportunity with weak labour market networks. Most new opportunities are in services activities, which often involve changing jobs periodically. These employment services raise the chance of achieving more regularised employment, as well as access to skills training for new placements. Such a service provides the opportunity for regulation and access to benefits for workers.

The private labour placement sector and temporary employment services need to be effectively regulated to ensure that the opportunity for labour matching is available to vulnerable workers, while protecting basic labour rights. Some basic provisions would ensure that after six months with a temporary employment service and/or client, they would be jointly and severally liable for unfair dismissal and unfair labour practices. The temporary employment service would be responsible for the employment relationship regarding the Unemployment Insurance Fund, the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act and the Skills Development Act.

08 March 2012

Mineral-Energy Complex

Development, Part 9

Mineral-Energy Complex
South Africa’s largest centres of material production are in minerals and energy, and these two “sectors” are highly interdependent. For example the mineral, coal, is the mainstay of the electricity-generating industry of the country, while electric energy is in turn indispensable to the gold, platinum and other mines.

No question of “development”, in the material sense, in South Africa can be properly addressed without reference to the mineral-energy complex.

The SACP’s discussion document “Expanding Democratic Public Control over the Mining Sector” (linked below) therefore has implications beyond the mining sector, and beyond the energy sector. This document is a window on the way that development - the dynamic dialectical unity-and-struggle-of-opposites otherwise called the class struggle, and its relationship with the state, are playing out before our eyes.

It is a remarkable document. Not only is it a theoretical masterpiece, helping us to see clearly what is what and who is who, but it also stands comparison with the best of journalism, because it illuminates the South African situation so well, as a narrative.

One of the quotations given in the document is from Frederick Engels, on nationalisation, as follows:

“the transformation…into state prop­erty, does not do away with the capitalistic nature of the productive forces… The more it [the bourgeois state] proceeds to the tak­ing over of productive forces, the more does it actually become the national capitalist, the more citizens does it exploit. The work­ers remain wage-workers – proletarians. The capitalist relation is not done away with. It is rather brought to a head.” (En­gels, “Socialism: Utopian and Scientific”, 1880).

The workers in nationalised industries, including teachers, remain proletarians. They sell their labour-power for cash and they have constantly to renegotiate their pay and conditions with an employer who can be as ruthless as any other capitalist.

This is the second last week of the “Development” series. In the remainder of this part we will look at the South African National Planning Commission’s draft National Development Plan.

07 March 2012

The New Growth Path

Development, Part 8c

The New Growth Path

[36 pages, PDF]

On 23 November 2010 South Africa’s Minister of Economic Development Ebrahim Patel introduced “The New Growth Path” (NGP). His four-page introduction is downloadable via links below.

Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies had issued the 2010/11 – 2012/13 “Industrial Policy Action Plan” ("IPAP2") earlier in the same year (18 February 2010), as we noted yesterday.

On 30 April 2010 the 24 members of the National Planning Commission were appointed, with an expectation that they would work publicly and transparently to produce a 25-year National Strategic Plan and/or a 5-year Medium Term Strategic Framework within one year, with subsequent annual updates.

The last to publish their projections was the National Planning Commission, not counting the two earlier and quite instructive Green Papers published by the National Planning Minister and Commission Chair, Trevor Manuel, which have already been sent out in this part. We will return to the draft National Development Plan in the next part of the course.

Three streams

How can the Communist University in particular cope with three different streams of documents from three different ministers, on development?

With or without the appointed National Planning Commission’s first full attempt at planning, it is bound to be difficult for anyone to synthesise these three sources and come up with a concretised description of South Africa’s new post-Polokwane development plans in total.

The struggle continues.

And the others?

The ANC Youth League and the Young Communist League have briefly noted the New Growth Path, and both have promised to comment upon it further.

The ANC YL has tended to treat the question of development entirely as a matter of nationalisation and redistribution of the “cake”.

The SACP has broadly welcomed the New Growth Path, and before it the IPAP2. The Party is anxious to see how any wage-subsidy would be safeguarded against potential forms of abuse.

COSATU has some criticisms; we will return to COSATU in the next part of this course.
Image: Ebrahim Patel; GOELRO Plan document, 1920.

03 March 2012

Industrial Policy Action Plan

Development, Part 8b

Industrial Policy Action Plan

On 18 February 2010 South Africa’s Minister of Trade and Industry Rob Davies introduced “IPAP2” in a speech to the, National Assembly, now a 4-page document (download linked below). Introducing the Plan, he wrote:

“As a country, South Africa has no alternative to the course of action we propose. Manufacturing and other productive sectors of the economy are the engines of long-term sustainable growth and job creation in developing countries such as our own.”

The full 2010/11 – 2012/13 Industrial Policy Action Plan (4-part PDF) is at:

This is the Industrial Policy document that Polokwane promised.

Towards the end of the introductory document Dr Davies writes

“It is estimated that the IPAP will result in the creation of 2 477 000 direct and indirect decent jobs over the next ten years. It will diversify and grow exports, improve the trade balance, build long term industrial capability, grow our domestic technology and catalyse skills development.”

This is the kind of good work that puts empirical meaning into the term “developmental state”.

Image: Dr Rob Davies. Cde Davies is also a member of the Central Committee of the South African Communist Party.