In 1996 the province launched the first Provincial Growth and Development Strategy (PGDS). The aim of the PGDS was to create a focused strategy and implementation framework for provincial growth and development. The PGDS was intended to guide the detailed plans of government department and stakeholders by defining a common set of principles, goals, priorities and objectives for the province.
The PGDS vision was of a united, democratic and peaceful province where the inequalities of the past have been eliminated. The fundamental goal of the PGDS was to create sustainable economic and employment growth and to provide basic services for all the people in the province.
The strategic pillars of the PGDS were:
- Job creation;
- Investment in people;
- Meeting basic needs;
- Sustainable use of natural resources;
- Rural development;
- Redistribution of income;
- Crime prevention and an
- Efficient and effective civil service.
The PGDS argued that to succeed in strengthening the economy of the Eastern Cape and work to meet the asspirations of the people of the province, the commitment, action and ideas of many different participants and interest groups were required (labour, business, NGOs, women, youth , civic and religious organisations - to name but a few). In the spirit of reconstruction and development at the time a number of social partnerships was constructed around key areas of delivery in the province. The PGDS aimed to mobilise all the constituents of the province and strive to achieve the common target of sustained economic growth through a process of social dialogue and joint ventures. Examples of such initiatives included the establishment of the Eastern Cape Socio-Economic Consultative Council (Ecsecc) the Masakhane Campaign and community policing initiatives.