President Cyril Ramaphosa has called on all South Africans to not only read the newly launched 25 Year Review report - but critically engage with its content in a bid to craft the country’s next trajectory.
The President said while the report allows government the ability to interrogate the forces that impact on the lived reality of the 57 million people who live in the country, it also empowers government to be effective agents in molding the events of tomorrow.
The President made the remarks at the launch of the 25 Year Review Report in Mbombela, Mpumalanga, on Friday.
The report reflects on the country’s liberation and achievements in the last 25 years.
Anchored on government’s key priorities such as poverty, unemployment and inequality, as espoused in the National Development Plan (NDP) 2030, the review examines the extent to which these priorities have been addressed.
In addition, the report highlights the unfinished business to be tackled by the current administration.
In terms of education, the report notes that the matric pass rate has increased from 58% in 1994 to 78.2% in 2018.
“We have almost doubled the number of special schools for children with disabilities and special needs.
“Total university enrolment has also doubled, and now stands at over a million,” highlighted the President.
The report also notes that while there has been an increase of women in the judiciary, parliament, legislature, cabinet and in the public service, violence and gender-based crimes against women still persist.
Thanking the authors of the report, Department of Monitoring and Evaluation Director-General Nompumelelo Mpofu said the report is a culmination of 18 months of work and consultation with governmental, non-governmental organisations and stakeholders through various colloquiua with over 1000 participants and over 350 organisations.
“It reflects on all areas of government and particularly examines what has been achieved where the challenges have been points us very clearly to the direction for the next 25 years,” said Mpofu.
On health, the report shows that life expectancy has improved, while child and infant mortality rates have been significantly reduced.
Access to antiretroviral therapy in the public health sector has grown from 45 500 patients in 2004 to over 4.7 million in 2019.
Spatial planning and the economy
But while the 25 Year Review Report notes all the legal and policy instruments of redress in place, poverty and inequality still persist.
“This is largely the result of skewed ownership and participation patterns in our economy,” said President Ramaphosa.
In addition to this, President Ramaphosa also noted spatial planning as a thorn in the country’s efforts to address economic inequalities.
“Spatial planning is among the areas that still require urgent attention.
“Although three million houses have been provided to poor families, many of these are located far from economic opportunities and social services,” said the President.
With the report serving as an analytical review, the President called on South Africans to use it for robust debate and as a springboard for government’s renewed efforts to advance its national and international agenda. – SAnews.gov.za