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The Reconstruction and Development Programme

Government of South Africa Country Resources Development and Poverty Strategies South Africa 1994 Policy document development

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The Reconstruction and Development Programme - A policy framework

The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) is a South African socio-economic policy framework implemented by the African National Congress (ANC) government of Nelson Mandela in 1994 after months of discussions, consultations and negotiations between the ANC, its Alliance partners the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the South African Communist Party, and mass organisations in the wider civil society.

The ANC's chief aim in developing and implementing the Reconstruction and Development Programme, was to address the immense socioeconomic problems brought about by the consequences of the struggle against its predecessors under the Apartheid regime. Specifically, it set its sights on alleviating poverty and addressing the massive shortfalls in social services across the country—something that the document acknowledged would rely upon a stronger macroeconomic environment. Achieving poverty alleviation and a stronger economy were thus seen as deeply interrelated and mutually supporting objectives. Hence the RDP attempted to combine measures to boost the economy such as contained fiscal spending, sustained or lowered taxes, reduction of government debt and trade liberalisation with socially minded social service provisions and infrastructural projects.

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