SA to miss development goals: DBSA


South Africa is unlikely to meet its development goals on its current path, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) says.

“The DBSA’s analysis suggests that, on our current path and capacity, many of our country’s development goals are unlikely to be met,” the DBSA said in a statement on its Development Report 2011, Prospects for South Africa’s Future. Those goals related to employment, re-industrialisation, skills development and climate change, the South African Press Association reports.
“The characteristics and extent of GDP growth and employment creation are unlikely to be sufficient to address high levels of poverty and inequality, whilst the effectiveness of the South African state remains hampered by significant capacity gaps,” the DBSA said.

South Africa needed a “higher level of realism” about what it could achieve and within what timeframes and parameters.

The country needed “a clearer set of actionable priorities, partnerships that can implement them, and a professional public sector that can ensure that these priorities and the state’s routine work are implemented as required,” said DBSA group executive for development planning Ravi Naidoo.
“As with developmental states anywhere in the world in the past century, this requires capable and stable political governance that ensures that priorities and skilled professionals remain in place long enough to enable implementation.”

Editor of the report Sinazo Sibisi said South Africa needed to act now to improve the quality of education, enhance political governance and stabilise government administrations. There needed to be increased partnerships between public enterprises, private companies and communities to find solutions, Sibisi said.

He emphasised a need to act differently “by taking conscious action to put long-term national interests before short-term individual gains and to let go of dysfunctional values systems and outdated paradigms, thus opening the way for South Africa to chart a new course”. The report is part of a series started in 2003 as part of the DBSA’s contribution to South Africa’s development planning.