If poverty and joblessness is not addressed with vigour, social stability could take a hit, new ANC Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa said on Sunday.
Writing in the Sunday Times, Ramaphosa placed great emphasis on the National Development Plan (NDP) as goverment's blueprint to boost, among others, the economy, job creation and investment.
"Fortunately, most sectors of society - including the cabinet - have accepted and endorsed the plan," Ramaphosa is quoted as saying in the article.
He said the next step would be to make hard policy choices and implement them.
"The plan is to get South Africa working, and the NDP contains a set of interventions that will lead us to growth and development - and we need both."
He said the instability of global financial markets, coupled with downgrades by two ratings agencies should spur the country on to increase domestic savings for investments.
Ramaphosa encouraged the public to participate in dialogue and buy into the NDP.
"Social partners need to understand that what is at stake is the future of our country, and an entire generation of youths that will be lost if we concern ourselves with narrow sectoral interests."
Ramaphosa said trust and cooperation would be a key ingredient for the plan to work.
"In the new year the ANC will rapidly develop a programme of action to realise the NDP's objectives and all our deployees have been instructed to ensure these objectives are integrated in all economic activities and other social interventions to speed up the socio-economic emancipation of our people."
Ramaphosa served as deputy chairman of the National Planning Commission, which drafted the NDP.