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Zuma Backs South Africa’s National Development Plan

South Africa’s 20-year economic plan is the only way to create jobs and improve living standards in Africa’s largest economy, President Jacob Zuma said in a year-end message.

The National Development Plan, drawn up by an advisory panel led by former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel, sets out the investment needed in roads and rail projects, health, education and other services to boost growth in Africa’s biggest economy.

“We have a long road to travel to prosperity,” Zuma, 70, said in the statement posted on the Presidency’s website today. “And we have a plan to get us to that destination: the comprehensive National Development Plan.”

The government is struggling to cut a 25.5 percent unemployment rate and income disparities that rank among the highest in the world. White South Africans earn on average six times more than black households, Zuma said, citing data from a Census published earlier this year. The NDP, as the government’s economic plan is known, sets targets for cutting unemployment to 14 percent by 2020 and 6 percent by 2030.

“The plan outlines the type of society we should be in 2030, where all will have water, electricity, good health, libraries, good schools, roads, good hospitals and clinics, safety and security, recreational facilities, a growing economy and jobs.”

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