18 July 2019
The Policy Unit in the Presidency is being reconstituted to act as the nerve centre of policy coordination.
President Ramaphosa announced this during the Presidency’s 2019 Budget Vote Speech in parliament.
He acknowledged that policy coordination has weakened.
“Frequent reshuffles of Ministers and a high turnover of senior managers at both national and provincial government has led to instability, misalignment and confusion.”
The president declared that public policy must be evidence-based and effectively coordinated.
The new unit will be “leading evidence-based policymaking, liaising and operating with think tanks and research institutions and have line of sight on strategic policy interventions”.
According to the president, provincial Growth and Development Strategies that are fully aligned with the Medium Term Strategic Framework will be in place by the end of August 2019.
The agenda of the Presidential Coordinating Council (PPC) will also be refocused in “order to sharpen and strengthen cooperative governance and to implement a well-coordinated and coherent national programme of action”.
The PCC brings together the president, premiers, ministers and representatives of local government (SALGA and metro mayors) to plan, coordinate and report on matters concerning service delivery and economic development in provinces and municipalities.
Local economic development will be a key focus area.
“If we are to deliver on our electoral mandate, we have to take development to the people: to where they study, where they work, and where they live.”
A new integrated district based approach to addressing service delivery challenges will be rolled out.
“This means targeted development – development that localises procurement and job creation, that promotes and supports local businesses, and that involves communities instead of foisting it on them.”
The president also indicated that meetings between ministers and the respective MECs will be more regular and meaningful.
Performance agreements with ministers and deputy ministers will be signed by the first week of September 2019 when the medium term strategic framework is expected to be approved by cabinet.
The president emphasized that the executive of the 6th administration will speak with one voice and not “pursue pet projects that are disjointed and misaligned with national priorities”.
“It will epitomise a caring state that is prudent with public finances and that derives its respect from (the) masses through hard work and not outward shows of excess like bling and blue lights.”
A progress report on the implementation of the stimulus package that was announced last year will be provided in the coming weeks.