Manuel makes his pitch to be able to plan stuff

By Daily Maverick Legacy 7 October 2009

You wouldn’t think anyone would have to walk on eggshells just to have the right to plan stuff, but such is the odd position of planning minister and Cosatu hate figure Trevor Manuel. He addressed the parliamentary ad-hoc committee yesterday making a plea for his new unit to be allowed to do its work and promising not to stand in the way of policy. In an oblique reference to being singled out by Cosatu after presenting a green paper on his new ministry, Manuel said the proposals for a national planning commission were not “written in the pub down the road”, but carried the authority of the cabinet. Cosatu has accused Manuel of trying to create a super ministry which would see him become SA’s de facto “prime minister”. Rather rich coming from labour commissar Zwelinzima Vavi. The major recipient of capital inflows over the past decade have all been countries with planning capabilities, including China, India, Brazil and Malaysia, he told the committee. But in a sort of act of appeasement to Cosatu he added, “we think we shouldn’t be gatekeepers on policy”. Manuel’s high wire act reflects the tricky distinction between “policy” and “planning” – where does one start and the other end, and the answer to that remains a contested issue.

Gallery

While we have your attention...

An increasingly rare commodity, quality independent journalism costs money - though not nearly as much as its absence.

Every article, every day, is our contribution to Defending Truth in South Africa. If you would like to join us on this mission, you could do much worse than support Daily Maverick's quest by becoming a Maverick Insider.

Click here to become a Maverick Insider and get a closer look at the Truth.


TRUMP’S UN BLUSTER

US president’s vow to drop countries that are ‘not our friends’ threatens US aid to SA

By Peter Fabricius

"We spend the first year of a child's life teaching it to walk and talk and the rest of its life to shut up and sit down. There's something wrong there." ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson