August 16, 2012
From Creamer Media in Johannesburg, I’m Motshabi Hoaeane.
Planning Minister Trevor Manuel says quality education is the key to transforming the South African economy.
President Jacob Zuma urges political reforms in Zimbabwe ahead of polls.
And, The National Development Plan calls for the 'insulation' of public servants from political cronyism.
Planning Minister Trevor Manuel said yesterday that additional resources would not solve key problems such as poor education.
Subsequent to handing the National Development Plan (or NDP) to President Jacob Zuma, Manuel said it wasn’t so much how much money you throw at the problem, but rather how you transform the system.
He said the plan's objective of transforming the economy was dependent on the quality of education.
Deputy National Planning commission chairperson Cyril Ramaphosa concurred, saying accountability should come from the top where schools were concerned.
Meanwhile, a proposal to link a percentage of teachers' salary increases to pupil performance has been dropped from the NDP. It has been replaced with a proposal to give financial incentives to schools that show a significant improvement on their annual results.
South African President Jacob Zuma on Wednesday urged Zimbabwe's rival leaders to speed up political reforms seen as critical to avoiding another violent and disputed election. However, President Robert Mugabe signaled that he wouldn’t be pushed into endorsing a new constitution, which has already been accepted by his foes.
Local political analysts say Mugabe's ZANU-PF, which was forced to into a power-sharing government with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's Movement for Democratic Change, is likely to stall agreement on a draft charter to reverse proposals eroding sweeping presidential powers. This follows a disputed poll in 2008.
Zuma, who is mediating the Zimbabwe crisis, said he’d discussed various issues with Mugabe, Tsvangirai and, Welshman Ncube, the leader of a small MDC wing. Zuma said there was some progress on a new constitution, but minor hitches remained.
The National Planning Commission has strengthened its call for the state to move away from the cadre deployment system, in its revised plan released in Parliament on Wednesday.
The plan intends to build a professional public service that serves government, but is sufficiently autonomous to be insulated from political patronage.
It says the current requirement that Cabinet approve the appointment of heads of departments makes it unclear whether director generals are accountable to "their minister, to Cabinet, or the ruling party".
The commission says that after the fall of apartheid, there was good reason to give political principals "wide-ranging influence" over the public service. However, it suggests this has largely outlived its use.
Also making headlines:
The National Assembly approves the health amendment bill.
The Constitutional Court is asked to set aside Gauteng’s e-toll interdict.
And, Planning Minister Trevor Manuel says innovation is the key to progressing South Africa to high-income status.
That’s a roundup of news making headlines today.