ANC backs Manuel as commission boss

THE ANC has thrown its weight behind National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, endorsing him as the right person to chair the mooted National Planning Commission.

THE ANC has thrown its weight behind National Planning Minister Trevor Manuel, endorsing him as the right person to chair the mooted National Planning Commission.

The party's national executive committee, which met at Esselen Park in Ekurhuleni at the weekend, said Manuel would report to the cabinet and other governmentstructures.

"The NEC received a report of the economic transformation committee on the National Planning Commission (NPC), energy and challenges in electricity," the party said in a statement.

"The NEC agreed that there should be NPC in government to coordinate and align the work of various government departments.

"The commission will be chaired by the minister responsible for NPC in the presidency."

The party said it wanted experts to be appointed to the commission, adding that Manuel's proposals should be endorsed by the cabinet.

"External experts will constitute the NPC. All proposals of the NPC will be presented to our governance structures including the Cabinet, for interaction and endorsement."

Cosatu has been lobbying for its former executive committee member Ebrahim Patel, who is now Minister of Economic Development, to have a bigger role in the commission.

It claimed Manuel was using the commission to create his own "kitchen cabinet", adding that he had failed to canvass the views of other ministries while formulating the green paper on national strategic planning.

At its congress, Cosatu general secretary Zwelinzima Vavi said: "We are opposed to the fragmentation of the state through building of fiefdoms or kitchen cabinets within the state."

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