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SA Operation Phakisa to jumpstart growth: Zuma
June 20, 2014, 10:17 am

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma listening to a speaker during the SONA debate in Parliament on 20 June 2014 [GCIS]

Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa and President Jacob Zuma (front right) listening to a speaker during the SONA debate in Parliament on 20 June 2014 [GCIS]

South African President Jacob Zuma on Friday in a follow up to the State of the Nation address said Pretoria will launch an adaptation of the Big Fast Results methodology of Malaysia next month to aid the National Development Plan.

“In South Africa, we have renamed the Malaysian approach Operation Phakisa, to emphasise its critical role in fast-tracking delivery on the priorities included in the National Development Plan 2030. We want to find methods that work that will deliver results and we believe Operation Phakisa may provide the key,” said Zuma.

Zuma was responding to the debate on the State of the Nation Address in the National Assembly in Cape Town on Friday. South Africa is aiming for 5 per cent economic growth by 2019, 20 years after the end of apartheid.

The South African President had vowed to “jump start” the economy which is struggling in the face of a protracted mining crisis. The government earlier withdrew from negotiations between South Africa’s AMCU union and major platinum producers as the country bears the brunt of a five-month long mining strike.

About 70,000 workers downed tools in January, demanding higher pay.

The Big Fast Results initiative in Malaysia was used to bring together various sector experts to work together for 8 weeks to realize the vision of Malaysia becoming a high-income country.  The experts diagnose constraints, identify strategies that can quickly improve the situation and then construct detailed implementation plans and budgets to deliver results. The method also resets targets and evaluates ministers.

Responding to criticism about the gap between policy and implementation by the government, Zuma on Friday said “we are changing our approach”.

“A new culture of accountability and seeking to do better is coming into being,” Zuma promised.

Global credit ratings agency Fitch has given a negative outlook to South Africa while another agency Standard & Poor’s also cut its credit rating last week.

Meanwhile, Zuma also pressed for an African Stand by Force to tackle security challenges in the continent especially in the light of the attacks in Kenya last week that killed more than 70 people. Zuma stressed on “the need to find African solutions to our problems and the need to combat forces that can compromise African independence in the continent”.

“As the African Union meets next week we will certainly fight for Africa to create stronger institutions to solve its security problems in particular, for example an African Stand by Force,” he told the National Assembly on Friday.



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