National Planning Commission cartoon

National Planning Commission

National Planning Commission – Is Trevor Manuel adding value?

Last week, Trevor Manuel, the Minister of National Planning and top-dog of the National Planning Commission (the NPC), begged South Africans to make their voices heard once again. His team is in the process of formulating a vision statement and 20 year development plan for South Africa – and by the sounds of it, are still in the very initial stages of the process.

If South Africans feel that the concept of service delivery is a foreign one to their government, then they should also consider educating their politicians about the concept of stakeholder value. Wonkie believes the 26-fat National Planning Commission has shown little real value to the South African public since its creation by Jacob Zuma after the 2009 elections.

“Tell us about the South Africa you want”

… Trevor Manuel

That insightful prompt comes after over 2 years at the helm by the ex-finance minister. At worst, in a global corporate, such a visioning exercise takes no more than a couple of days – including consultation. Regardless, the question here is not one of whether government should be as efficient as corporates, or whether the two are even comparable. It is question of value, the return on investment – ROI. If you’re one of the 26-fat team, the ROI is great – you’re getting paid heaps for producing… well, quite frankly, very little. If you’re in the largest stakeholder group however, the general public, your ROI is currently negative.

Consider this perspective: the public made their voices heard in the last national election. Regardless of race, they voted based on the naive belief that the promises made by campaigning politicians would be delivered. That, Mr Manuel, is what South Africa wants. Spending 2 years and still not knowing the goal of what you’re supposed to be planning toward deserves an audience with a firing squad.

Instead, South Africans can look forward to an additional squandering of tax-payer funds through a host of public forums over the next few months. Sadly, the result of all this effort will get South Africa no closer to where it needs to be. The inevitable conclusion will be that the country needs a plan to address some key challenges:

  1. Stupidly high unemployment
  2. An education system that doesn’t work
  3. Poor public service delivery
  4. Rampant crime and corruption
  5. Disease and a health care system that cannot cope

These are already known, accepted challenges by both government and the public. Pontificating using dictionaries and expensive panels to rephrase and repackage the challenges does not help the country. The question the National Planning Commission should have been focusing on answering, Trevor “Choice not Fate” Manuel and deputy chairman Cyril Ramaphosa, is what is the plan to do something about the challenges?

Click to leave YOUR OPINION on Trevor Manuel and the National Planning Commission.

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If your organisation, like the National Planning Commission is finding itself constantly dithering around with new strategies, visions and over-elaborate plans that rarely get executed, then perhaps it’s time to take action and hire a business coach. For a lighter look on the subject of personal coaching, visit Wonkie’s coaching for life page.

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Click to leave YOUR COMMENT on Trevor Manuel and the National Planning Commission.

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  1. Dukie 743 says

    Waffle, waffle, waffle. That is all the politicians of South Africa ever do once the respective elections are over. They have got what they want and now it is time to claim their expensive vehicles, bodyguards, and luxurious living. They will then work out how they can fleece the SA taxpayers until the next election in three years time. Politicians are parasites. Show me a poor one?

  2. Johan Lotz says

    We the South African Public want a Government that works. Government departments that are consumer friendly and service delivery. If I Phone a department a computer answers the phone and put me on hold forever. It is not expectable. Your Salaries in Government is high enough to you to take responsibility for your Department Mr. Minister. If you cant do the job resign and let some one who CAN DO THE JOB….

  3. I am speaking from a white perspective. As a yardstick if I were to canvas all my friends, business acquaintances,family and people I meet thru’ sporting activities such as golf, cycling and tennis not one would vote for the ANC. The main reason being is that the amount of tax payers money that is usurped through corruption and fraud is diabolical. Corruption withinn the police force is unacceptable and the lack of service delivery is shocking. An added factor is the tolerance that the ANC show towards Malema. In any developed society he would not be considered a legitimate force. He is seen by us as a total racist, bereft of any intelligence or social graces. It is indicitave of the ANC’s general attitude and political outlook that he is tolerated at all.

  4. we can start by capping politicians salaries like they do in austraulia, secondly the goverment needs to set realistic deadlines and consequences for themselves thus entering into a contract with the nation, it must then be up to the nation to decide if this deadline has been met or not, the respective ministers should then get a merit system in place and a clear mandate and be held accountable by the people and not by the ruling party

  5. Ant Duke says

    He’s been this national planning thing for two years or so? Now he’s asking us? If you have the heart for it dear Trev, tell us wot you think of your chum’s plans to deny us our freedom of speech? To boost the SABC coffers because they tell the government’s racist version and get Manyi’s (read our) money…? You are a gigantic let down and betrayer of your people’s faith..

  6. Ag pleeez, all these forums and committees, etc are just a plot to add more hogs to the trough. The country is busy imploding and the ANC is partying. I am actually losing my compassion for the masses of unemployed. If they keep on believing and voting the ANC into power they must not complain. All the Nations Crooks party needs to get rid of Juju and have a radical change at the top. But will that ever happen? Noooo!

  7. Not one of those 26 FAT CATS has a sense of responsibility and neither are the genes for a sense of responsibility in the make up of a black man present,hence the failure of the ANC.They are only there because of the uneducated masses,but they voted for them,so suffer the consequences.
    a Racist remark but TRUE.

  8. Trevor was given the ‘fancy job’ to try to keep the ANC’s Coloured voters in the kraal. However he does not really have a job so spends his time waffling garbage. Even on the Justice Factor he could not explain away the codswallop

  9. Trevor is just following the example of the rest of the Zuma government. Since Zuma became president he has not done anything, excepot talk. Trevor and Cyril are following the leader and collecting fat cheques every month. In short, they are fiddling, while Rome is burning! They all have plans, but nobody to implement them, probably out of fear that if they take action it might actually lead to a result. That would mean they have to move on to the next task! All 26 should actually be added to the list of unemployed, getting handouts from government/taxpayers including expensive vehicles they are unable to drive themselves, because it is too complicated. We even pay fortheir booze, their weddings etc.! Without jobs in government they would starve! And we trust those guys to govern the country!?

  10. Trevor Manuel shld not be allowed to get away with this, hope he sees your cartoon Wonkie.

  11. Ken Pagel says

    I think that Mr Manuel is one of two gifted ministers in government. PLease keep up the good work! But please ignore the cretins.Cosatu is the biggest cause iof destroying any hope of creating jobs. The communists do not contribute anything to government but unasked for critism But please cut out apartheid completly and treat white people the same as blacks.Its time ANC matures and starts behaving Like a govrnment instead of a tired old freedom party

  12. The majority including the president do not like Manuel and they seem to torpedo all his decisions and input. When the SAWP(Shuddup and work party) gets voted in, in the next election Granny will send all the loafers who do not want to work to an uninhabited island close to Madagascar. and all the criminals to the Antartic so they can freeze all their assets and their wicked ways. Our country will have a new name: Rebornia. the rebirth of a genuine loveable non racist rainbow nation. All those trustworthy, hardworking citizens who remain, will be working happily together in a totally crime and corruption free country. So we do have much to look forward to after the next election.

  13. What do South Africans want? Does the ANC government really care? Assuming they do, here is my suggestion: Instead of a ’26-fat’ planning commision just look at any functioning government (e.g. Britian, USA etc) and do what they do. And instead of telling the private sector and ordinary citizens that they must get involved and do the job for which they’ve paid tax, use the taxes you collect to do what a modern, democratic government is meant to do – supply policing, education, health care, roads etc etc. And stop winging and whining that the media is against you! The media is a democratic society’s watchdog, the mouthpiece of the ordinary citizen. It is their job to be critical, it’s not a praise singer. If you do something right don’t expect to be patted on the back, that’s what you’re supposed to do! If you’ve built a certain number of houses, good! Now build some more! That’s what government is for – TO MAKE SURE THE COUNTRY RUNS LIKE CLOCKWORK SO THAT BUSINESS FLOURISHES, JOBS ARE CREATED, MORE TAX COLLECTED SO THAT THE POOR CAN BE CARED FOR AND LIFTED OUT OF THEIR POVERTY etc etc. That’s all we want Minister Manuel.

  14. pietpompies says

    I think because of the insignificant progress Trevor Manual has made with the
    National Planning Commission he would like to get the International Monetary Fund job notwithstanding the fact that he said he did not apply for the job or put his name in the hat. Give the job to the French girl I get the impression she knows what she is doing! It’s time Jacob Zuma asks Trevor a few questions.
    Nice Tax payers money paying their salaries and other expenses – another ‘gravy train’!!!

  15. I do not understand where Wonkie is going with this. are you saying that it wrong for the NPC to consult with public?

  16. @Believe it or not – Wonkie has no problem with consultation but the current exercise is pointless. The NPC was appointed over 2 years ago – for the NPC to engage in consultation 2 YEARS later about what the goal of the plan should be is stupid – what has Trevor Manuel, Cyril Ramaphosa and the rest of the team of 25 been doing for the last 2 years besides gobbling tax payer money?

    If it took them 2 years just to reach the point of figuring out what the target is, how long is it going to take them to actually MAKE a workable plan – 10 years? Let’s not even discuss executing the plan, which is in the end what should be benefiting the country.

  17. PM thanks for info but after so many years the real anc has been exposed to those who have open eyes and ears. The plans they think of is how can they personally gain more, and as we all know that they do not want their plans to be exposed the reason for wanting to prevent the media and the public requesting information. Anybody that has trust in the anc obviously have hidden agendas themselves. After the next election they will soon all be in the Antartica, sadly missed by those on the island near Madagascar.

  18. The PLAN will no doubt be a secret that cannot be revealed due to the new secrecy law.

  19. @Garth – LOL! Good one! I may use that for a future cartoon actually 🙂

  20. carole Segal says

    I wholeheartly agree with the Minister has put forward, it would be great if these items can happen. Look forward to seeing something change for the better

  21. I do not believe that there is a plan. Look at our problems. Poor Education, Unemployment, Crime, Corruption, Failing Infrastructure, Poverty, Women and Child abuse, Unions, Declining farm output, Cadre deployment and not least Juju and, Jimmy.Let us take a simple example, Juju and his gang in the ANCYL want to Nationalise the mines. If this is not idiotic lack of education, intelligence then what is? The Nationalisation of mines elsewhere has been unmitigated disaster. Let us be reasonable Nationalisation works when it is logical. Our Public transport is a disgrace that propagates crime, disrupts the economy, endangers workers and is neither efficient or effective. Now let us Nationalise that.

  22. pietpompies says

    O yes! and Juju and his gang want to ‘annexe’ all the white farms and ‘give’ it to the disadvantaged mahala. I dont think uncle Bob was such a good influence! What a cataclysmic situation will ensue! What will happen to all the farm workers? Who will produce the food?

  23. GatvolinSA says

    @ Glyn: I think it necessary to point out at this juncture that the American government only works so long as there is a war they can fight in. Without a war footing their entire government and economy implode. As for the British government, I would not ever laud a government that has three cameras per citizen and denies basic human rights such as to be questioned before being shot by the police because someone thought you looked suspicious.
    The grass is not always greener on the other side folks, it just looks that way from here. Trick of the light.
    What we need to do is rise up as a nation and put in place a system where dishonesty is rewarded with instant death. That is proven dishonesty mind you, not just heresay!
    We need a system where politicians are shot on site for wanting to be a politician.
    If being governed by falible humans is irksome then don’t be governed by them. Govern yourselves. Make it mandatory for every person to serve in the military in order to qualify for citizenship. Take criminals and terminate their threat to the public. Why should hard working honest folks have to pay to support a luxurious lifestyle of the criminally deviant? Why do criminals have more rights than common citizens? Only when that changes will this country begin to change. But the government has too many pals in prison to dare to reform the jail systems and make them a deterrent instead of a reward.

    There is a prison warden in the US who got it right. What he did was make the prison a business and the inmates employees. The harder you worked the better you got paid. Your pay went to buying meals and sleeping space. Failure to work saw you sleeping outside in a tent under just a ratty blanket. Use of the television and the library became paid for privileges instead of rights. In a fortnight even the most troublesome inmates were model inmates. We need to do the same here.

    We as a society need to put the principle of JUSTICE above all else. But not blind justice that is based on revenge. No I mean genuine justice. When you know what that means you will have reached a point where you can see why it is necessary.

  24. Nda Nxumalo says


  25. @ Gatvolin, indeed interesting but many are now (off this topic) saying that using your credit card for tollgates is a very dangerous way of paying. Your card no will be open to abuse and the banks will not be allowed to reverse those debits on your card!!!! we will be paying cash when using tollgates. At least some employment for cashiers.

  26. Gatvolin is right America needs a war. Look at their industrial production? It is almost negligible except for some awful gas guzzlers. Most of their goods come from China even their maney to fight wars comes from China. If china went bust so would the USA. America’s only major exports are war and unlovely tourists who foul up Europe every year. The USA economy and their society both need restructuring.

  27. Using your credit card or even engaging in credit is dangerous. It increases the money supply and is therefore inflationary. The current financial crisis can be pinned down to uncontrolled credit being encouraged by the major financial institutions

  28. @ Garth, you are obviously well educated and informed and we love reading them.

  29. So he now says a worker in Malaya earns one quarter of his COSATU counterpart and produces three times as much. No surprise here! But can we make the same comparison at ministerial level? Compare pay packages, cars, air flights, number of cocktail parties attended etc. Cme on Clever Trevor

  30. What is actually so very sad, is the fact that Trevor is intelligent and is being dragged down into the quagmire of Zuma’s kraal.

  31. There is a lesson in economics that Juju and his fellow travellers just do not get.
    They shout and scream, sing and toyi toyi demanding Nationalisation and Farm takeovers to the point where many politicians believe it can work and therefore must be implemented. They are all wrong. Any country that has Nationalised its mines has eventually had to sell them becuase they are now a shambles. Some cannot even be rehabilitated. there appears to be a singular lack of understanding of the enormity of Capital investment needed to open mines and run them. New ventures often take 15 to 20 years to produce a profit. No government with other priorities can afford that. Land reform is necessary but not as necessary as providing food for the nation. If a farmer does not significantly invest and reinvest in seed, machinery, transport and infrastructure he will not be able to produce what is needed and Agriculture will die or be supported by foreign aid or government handouts and somewhere will come a day when we will be faced with Famine.
    Somethings should not be nationalised the mines plod along on the back of foreign capital and Agriculture on the back ofdedicated farmers who reamain solvent despite the odds.
    But somethings need to be Nationalised the most obvious one is Public Transport. Our workers are screwed by taxi owners, toll road operators, fuel prices, bad driving, unlicensed vehicles and drivers and there is nothing they can do about it. Employees in the Taxi industry are exploited and cannot join Unions and continue to work in conditions that cannot be challenged. Maybe the KFC Kid and his pals should shout about that, but the Taxi industry Capitalist owners who are above the law would cause havoc if it was even suggested. Get real Malema etc and adopt sane policies instead of the populist rhetoric that pours out of your mouth. It may be enough bile to get you and your cohorts elected but it is wrong for the country and will drive us into non productive poverty. Ask Trevor.

  32. Again I missed a story. For many years I worked in a large factory with some 9000 workers, the majority who came to work in Taxis, they travelled on average some 40 kms a day. There was no alternative form of transport in the area. At least once a month on a Friday the Taxis would not turn up ti take the workers home. After a quick toyi toyi they would start walking, many of the employees who had cars would give them lifts. These were predominantly white, Indian and EE staff. We could not drive anywhere near a taxi rank or we got attacked. At least Juju and his ilk do not have to walk home.

  33. pietpompies says

    Garth, you are absolutely right.But you know what – you are farting against thunder. Juju and his pals do not understand what you are saying. All they see now is R & c falling into their pockets and new black Mercs etc. I worked in Northern Rhodesia and the copper mines worked like clock work. When Zambia came about and the mines were nationalised it was the end of copper production and huge unemployment.I am convinced Zuma and his cadres use Juju to do their dirty work.

  34. I wonder if juju and his comrades watch themselves on TV. Obviously not as they continue to show that they are using their brains in reverse …or we just dont get it. THEY are comedians and extremely funny as they never do what they say. The comedy is obviously called PROMISES.

  35. gwebu bongani maxwell says

    hi sir i am happy about the NPC that was introduced by government it shows that the government really care about us. In my mind i am having a project that will close the gap that the government want to reach. I am already presented my project from Thulamela municipality this month about development of biogas digester so challenges that i have is the funds. I am asking for help from your department

  36. I think we should nationalise all the Chicken farmers so that the people will get cheap fried chicken. Unfortunately the biggest problem will get even bigger and that is Fatboy’s waistline.

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