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From the RDP to the NDP: A critical appraisal of the developmental state in South Africa as it relates to land reform and rural development
Karriem, A., and Hoskins, M.

The advent of democracy in 1994 had to contend with a state that bore the deep scars of the apartheid regime: inequality, poverty and unemployment.  The ANC-led government believed that these issues could be addressed by an interventionalist development state. In the light of this, the Reconstruction and Development Plan (RDP) was launched – an attempt at redressing the inequalities of apartheid by transformation in the areas of the economy, employment, land ownership and housing. A second intervention was made in 1996 with the introduction of the Growth, Employment and Redistribution (GEAR) programme, a market-oriented programme whereby market forces would promote development. In 2011 the National Development Plan (NDP) was released, the aim of which was poverty eradication and job creation. This ambitious objective is considered against the actual performance of the state, given the major barriers of a weak bureaucracy and the ‘willing buyer, willing seller’ (WB/WS) land policy. Drawing on developmental state theory, the state’s achievements since 1994 are critically evaluated.  It is argued that the NDP’s objectives of eradicating poverty and creating jobs can only be realised through a transformative developmental state with a competent and dedicated bureaucracy and a centralised planning agency with a mandate to co-ordinate government departments and implement policies.

Keywords: Development state; interventionalist state; transformative development state; state bureaucracy; centralised planning agency.