Closure of the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) Office was preceded by little public debate and reallocation of the programme’s funds to the Ministry of Finance.
However, the closure of the RDP office did not mean the demise of the programme. In 1996, within the individual departments’ budgets, R7.5 billion was given to the RDP in addition to the R2.5 billion that had been initially disbursed.
While concerns of how South Africa will achieve development, democracy, reconstruction, and economic growth are warranted, responses from government have reiterated that reconstruction and development remains a core government commitment and policy.
So far, the Reconstruction and Development programme has been successful in that it has captured the imagination of the country and set the nation thinking positively after decades of internal warring. Additionally, it has propelled the government to reprioritise and reset its focus.
It remains unclear what the South African government’s approach is in dealing with the complex issues that plague our development and growth.