The New Growth Path (NGP) for South Africa : can the policy be applied in the local government sphere

11 Nov 2016

In October 2010, with the introduction of the New Growth Path (NGP), the new national economic policy for South Africa by the Minister of Economic Development, Minister Ebrahim Patel, the government was severely criticised on all fronts. It was claimed that the NGP policy is not investment friendly; contains no new concepts or innovative ideas; and is too vague. According to economic analysts, the policy is similar to the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) and the Accelerated and Shared Growth South Africa (ASGISA) economic policies, neither of which made a significant impact on economic development in South Africa. Since the release of the NGP policy, a debate has raged on what exactly the policy aims were to accomplish and how it can be implemented, specifi cally in the local sphere. This article analyses the content of the NGP to determine the feasibility and potential of its implementation in the sphere of local government. National government has provided the broad framework within which local government must implement the NGP policy and has undertaken to make the necessary resources available. The article will also investigate comparative case studies on national growth plans in the BRICS group of countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and provide guidelines on how implementation can be achieved in South Africa. Furthermore, a better understanding of the NGP is provided which will assist municipalities in the successful implementation of the NGP by the creation of a positive investment environment.