South Africa’s plan for a better future

first_imgSouth Africa’s National Development Plan, a blueprint for eliminating poverty and reducing inequality in the country by 2030, was presented to President Jacob Zuma by National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel during a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday.‘We say to one another: I cannot be without you, without you this South African community is an incomplete community, without one single person, without one single group, without the region or the continent, we are not the best that we can be’ – from South Africa’s National Development Plan (Photo: South African Government, via Flickr, CC BY-ND 2.0)Brand South Africa reporter South Africa’s National Development Plan seeks to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030 by drawing on the energies of the the country’s people, growing an inclusive economy, enhancing the capacity of the state, and promoting leadership and partnerships throughout society.Following months of public consultation and revision, the National Development Plan 2030 was handed over to President Jacob Zuma by the chairperson of the National Planning Commission, Minister Trevor Manuel, during a joint sitting of both Houses of Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday.The commission released a draft of the plan in November, following this up with six months of nationwide public consultation. The revised document, entitled “Our future – make it work”, takes into account inputs received from South Africans from all walks of life, as well as business, labour, government departments, the nine provinces, and state-owned enterprises and agencies.The Cabinet will now consider the plan before making an announcement on its implementation.NDP 2030: Our future – make it work “This is a historic occasion,” Manuel told Parliament on Wednesday. “This plan is the product of thousands of inputs and perspectives of South Africans. It is a plan for a better future, a future in which no person lives in poverty, where no one goes hungry, where there is work for all.”He said the plan was about the actions that all South Africans should take to secure the future chartered in the country’s Constitution.Eliminating poverty, reducing inequalityThe plan focuses on the elimination of poverty – reducing the proportion of households with a monthly income below R419 per person from 39 percent to zero – and reduction of inequality in South Africa.Other goals include increasing employment from 13-million in 2010 to 24-million by 2030; broadening the country’s ownership of assets to historically disadvantaged groups; ensuring that all children have at least two years of pre-school education and that all children can read and write by grade 3; providing affordable access to healthcare; and ensuring effective public transport.Manuel said that, during the consultation process, it emerged that there was an incredible amount of goodwill that needed to be tapped into.However, there were problems in the country that needed strong leadership, such as joblessness, children who could not read or count, services that did not function, and public officials that were uncaring.Interventions for a better futureThe plan emphasises the need for a strategy to address poverty and its impacts by broadening access to employment, strengthening the social wage, improving public transport and raising rural incomes.It also outlines the steps that need to be taken by the state to professionalise the public service, strengthen accountability, improve coordination and prosecute corruption.It calls for private investment to be boosted in labour-intensive areas, competitiveness and exports. It also stresses the need for jobs to be located where people live, for informal settlements to be upgraded, and for housing market gaps to be closed.The plan suggests that public infrastructure investment be set at 10 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).It says that crime can be reduced by strengthening the criminal justice system and improving community environments, and that National Health Insurance should be phased in with a focus on upgrading public health facilities, producing more health professionals, and reducing the relative cost of private healthcare.‘Doing things differently’“Progress over the next two decades means doing things differently,” the plan states, setting out six interlinked priorities:Uniting all South Africans around a common programme to achieve prosperity and equity.Promoting active citizenry to strengthen development, democracy and accountability.Bringing about faster economic growth, higher investment and greater labour absorption.Focusing on key capabilities of people and the state.Building a capable and developmental state.Encouraging strong leadership throughout society to work together to solve problems.While achieving of these objectives will require progress on a broad front, the plan states, “three priorities stand out”:Raising employment through faster economic growth.Improving the quality of education, skills development and innovation.Building the capability of the state to play a developmental, transformative role.Removing structural impediments“A sustainable increase in employment will require a faster-growing economy and the removal of structural impediments, such as poor-quality education or spatial settlement patterns that exclude the majority,” the plan argues. “These are essential to achieving higher rates of investment and competitiveness, and expanding production and exports.”At the same time, the plan stresses the need for business, labour, communities and the government to work together to achieve faster economic growth.“Social cohesion needs to anchor the strategy. If South Africa registers progress in deracialising ownership and control of the economy without reducing poverty and inequality, transformation will be superficial.“Similarly, if poverty and inequality are reduced without demonstrably changed ownership patterns, the country’s progress will be turbulent and tenuous.”Manuel said the methodology used in the plan “was to set overarching objectives, to set key targets for various sectors, and to make recommendations on how these targets can be achieved.”Linkages between goalsHe also noted that there were linkages between the goals in the plan.“Better quality schooling will make it easier for young people to access the labour market. But it also enables workers to improve their productivity, to learn faster on the job and to raise their incomes and living standards.”He added that good public transport would help people search for work over a wider area, and help get them to work faster and more cheaply, but it would also enable people to live fuller lives with more family and recreation time.Manuel said the National Planning Commission would now turn its attention to mobilising society to support the plan and conducting research on critical issues affecting long-term development, and advise the government and its social partners on the implementation of the plan.The African National Congress (ANC) welcomed the plan and commended the Commission for the work it had done. The Democratic Alliance (DA) also welcomed the plan, saying it hoped the government would align its programmes to the goals contained in it.Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Putting Value on Green Enhancements

first_imgSeeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 1Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 2Seeing Red on a Green Property Appraisal — Part 3To Capture Green Value, We Need a Long PerspectiveGreen Building Appraisal and Financing IssuesWhen Green Poses an Appraisal ProblemGetting a Grip on Green-Home Appraisals and InsuranceA Step Toward Fairer Green Home ValuationsGreen Home Appraisal Woes One Broker’s Take on the Selling Power of GreenMarketing High-Performance HomesThe institute detailed the new addendum in an announcement March 7, and listed a variety of other initiatives it’s taken to educate the industry on green building.The addendum would supplement information appraisers already gather for Fannie Mae Form 1004, the most widely used form by mortgage lenders. The new addendum is a five-page document that asks appraisers to collect a variety of additional data–everything from the type of insulation in walls and roofs to the tilt angle for solar panels on the roof. The information would then be used to help establish a market value for the property. Appraisers may not know about the formOne obvious question is how many residential appraisers have heard of the forms or incorporated them into their work routines.“Impossible to know,” says Ken Chitester, director of communications for the Appraisal Institute. “I will say that green remains very much a niche within the valuation profession. There are experts in the field, but frankly there is not yet great demand in the marketplace for it. [Green building] is an endlessly fascinating and quickly growing and rapidly developing area of valuation. But it is still a niche.”Chitester says the Appraisal Institute is by far the largest group of its kind in the country. But it represents just 27% of the country’s appraisers. Two-thirds of all appraisers do not belong to any professional organization.That may help explain why even licensed appraisers with years of experience in the field may not have heard about the original addendum or its successor, despite what Chitester called “tremendous” outreach efforts and the hundreds of classes the institute has offered on green-building since 2008.Education, Harney writes, is a continuing problem. He cites industry critic Sandra K. Adomatis of Punta Gorda, Fla., writing: “Most appraisers have no specific training in valuing high-performance or green features and tend to ignore them or undervalue them in their appraisal reports to lenders. This hurts sellers and buyers alike.” One potential sore point for homeowners spending lots of money on energy-saving features like extra insulation and solar panels is that any added value for the house can be overlooked or ignored by real estate appraisers, selling agents and mortgage lenders.In a recent Washington Post column, author Ken Harney characterized this problem as a “chasmal disconnect in the marketplace.” Not only do appraisers lack training in how to set accurate values on green homes, Harney said, but a “vast majority” of multiple listing services make no efforts to list a property’s green features. So, even as a majority of consumers say they are interested in energy-saving features in the houses they buy, the marketplace doesn’t have an effective way of making that information available or factoring it into selling prices.Against this backdrop, the Appraisal Institute, a professional trade group representing 23,000 appraisers nationwide, has developed a new “Residential Green and Energy Efficient Addendum” to help appraisers quantify green features and energy efficiency upgrades. It’s an update to a form originally released in 2011 and was compiled with input from the U.S. Green Building Council and the National Association of Home Builders. RELATED ARTICLES center_img Adding complexity and cost to appraisalsFilling out the addendum will make an appraiser’s job more complicated and more time-consuming, and that could prompt them to seek higher fees from the management companies that hire them on behalf of lenders. At the same time, management companies have an incentive to keep payments to appraisers as low as possible because they pocket the difference between the lender’s fees and what the the appraiser charges.“This is another example of scope creep,” Chitester says, “which is to say that lenders have been seeking for several years more work but not paying more money to appraisers. Since the economic downturn in the real estate industry, appraisers have typically had to find more comparable sales than in the past and spent more time and do more work, but not get paid more.”Finding comparable sales, which appraisers are required to do in establishing value for a house, can be problematic under the best of circumstances. Lenders require a certain number of comparables, or “comps,” of recent sales, and may set parameters that make acceptable comps few and far between.And when a house has lots of energy-saving or green features, it’s even harder to find like properties to compare it to. That will change as more green houses are built. But for now, appraisers in some parts of the country may work years without coming across a single solar panel, wind generator or LEED certification.“Bottom line for sellers with significant energy conservation investments,” Harney writes: “Make sure your realty agent gets them highlighted in the MLS listing. And make sure that the appraiser who is sent to value your property uses the green addendum and has adequate training to do the job. Othewise the money you spent may not get the fair treatment it deserves in the valuation.”Editor’s note: The author’s wife is a licensed real estate appraiser in Maine.last_img read more

AAP MLA assaulted by Punjab sand mafia

first_imgAn Aam Aadmi Party MLA in Punjab was allegedly assaulted by a group of people involved in illegal sand mining near Nurpur Bedi in Rupnagar district on Thursday, prompting Chief Minister Amarinder Singh to seek a detailed report on the incident.Leader of the Opposition in the Punjab Assembly Sukhpal Singh Khaira alleged that MLA Amarjeet Singh Sandoa was attacked for trying to expose the ongoing illegal activities of the sand mafia.The AAP MLA and his gunman, head constable Sukhdeep Singh, were injured in the incident.“Both were taken to a civil hospital, from where Mr. Sandoa was referred to PGI, Chandigarh, for further check-up after he complained of chest pain,” an official spokesperson said.Three arrestedThe police have arrested three persons allegedly involved in the incident. The spokesperson said three relatives of Ajwinder Singh — the key accused from Baihara village — have been arrested. Ajwinder and another accused, Bachittar Singh, of Bhauwal village fled after the incident. Those arrested have been identified as Jaswinder Singh Goldy, Manjit Singh and Amarjit Singh, all residents of Baihara. One vehicle and two guns were seized from them.The Chief Minister has sought a detailed report from the Deputy Commissioner and asked him to ensure a free and fair probe.The two PSOs attached to the MLA have also come under the Chief Minister’s scanner for evidently failing to protect him and have been transferred to the police lines. “The Chief Minister has directed the DGP to investigate their role in the entire episode,” the spokesperson added.‘CM should resign’Reacting to the alleged attack, the AAP in Delhi said the Chief Minister should resign if he cannot rein in the mafia.AAP spokesperson Ashish Khetan said Mr. Sandoa had raised his voice against the sand mafia in the past as well. He said the Chief Minister had during last year’s election campaign promised to rid the State of the drugs, transport, extortion and mining mafia. “Instead, the influence of the mafia has increased. They are carrying out lethal attacks on MLAs,” he said.The AAP has demanded a new policy to put an end to illegal mining and also called for a White Paper detailing the loss of revenue caused to the State by illegal mining during the past 15 years.last_img read more