Deputy President David Mabuza Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Deputy president, David Mabuza, met with commissioners from the National Planning Commission’s Project Team on township economy on Wednesday. The meeting was to bring Mabuza up to speed on the research that the commission has been doing as far as township economy is concerned.

The meeting was initiated in line with Mabuza’s key delegated responsibility of coordinating interventions to stimulate and support township and rural economies through the implementation and consolidation of socio-economic models. 

This part of work includes the championing of high impact tourism empowerment and value chains for SMMEs in special economic zones.

As per their mandate, the national planning commission has done extensive research on key drivers towards an inclusive economy as outlined in the third chapter of the National Development Plan which is on economy and employment.

According to the plan dubbed Vision 2030, economic participation in rural areas will rise from 29% to 40% as a result of reformed land tenure, support to farmers, expanded social services, higher agricultural output, mining, social investment and tourism. These are some of the interventions that will need to be considered in order to transform this segment of the economy. 
 
Mabuza welcomed the input by the delegation on the work done thus far in framing interventions required in stimulating the townships and villages into the new growth points of the economy. 

He took the opportunity to petition the delegation to expand their work beyond the township economy, to include economic activities taking place in our rural communities and villages.
 
“In including the rural economy, we acknowledge the contradictions and configuration of our country’s political economic history and thus commit ourselves to shaping policy processes and outcomes that will result in the successful realisation of radical economic transformation,” he said.

Mabuza also tasked the team to look at various models currently being implemented in different provinces, in order to draw lessons from those that have not worked and to replicate those that have successfully been implemented. 

He called on the delegation to look at the models in relation to comparative advantages that each province or district presents for the potential economic growth.
 
The delegation was led by Dr Thami Mazwai, who is a National Planning Commissioner and project leader on the township economy, and was accompanied by other commissioners, academics specialising in this field of work and senior executives of the African Development Bank. 

The Mercury