Basic services must reach all citizens

Friday, December 1, 2017

Deputy Minister of Communications Tandi Mahambehlala says although government has made progress in a number of areas, the reach of basic services has not fully reached all citizens, especially those who live in the rural areas.

“A lot more children are at school and are receiving quality education. We have also expanded the reach of water, electricity, roads, housing and other services to the people. However, we are aware that the reach of the basic services has not fully reached all citizens, especially those who live in the rural areas,” said the Deputy Minister at an imbizo in Duncan Village in the Eastern Cape on Friday.

“We have succeeded in creating a relatively large black middle class which is actively involved in the economic life of our nation. However, this achievement has not fundamentally transformed the structure and ownership patterns of the economy. We are hopeful that through the number of initiatives that are being implemented, we will be able to change the status quo,” Deputy Minister Mahambehla said.

The Deputy Minister was speaking at a time when government was marking National Imbizo Focus Week.

Izimbizo allow leaders from national, provincial and local government to intervene and solve the challenges community members face on a daily basis. It is also a chance for government principals to update communities on concrete steps that have been taken to implement the National Development Plan (NDP).

As the country observes the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children campaign, Deputy Minister Mahambehlala urged the community to join government in the fight against gender-based violence.

“Violence against women, children and in particularly elderly women is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world. It affects their health, social and psychological well-being, and is also a threat to lasting peace and development in our communities.

“As government we are also encouraged that our criminal justice system has taken a harsh stance against the perpetrators of this violence and giving them longer prison sentences,” said the Deputy Minister, who referred to the sentencing of a man in the Johannesburg High Court to 32 life sentences and 170 years in prison for crimes that include child rape, exploitation, sexual assault and child pornography.

However, the Deputy Minister said that despite these positive developments in the judicial system, more still needs to be done to ensure that not a single or child becomes a victim of abuse in South Africa.

“As the Ministry of Communications we have also done our part to prevent children from being abused. We have amended the Films and Publication Act to protect them from harmful content on online platforms.

“Whilst we accept that internet is an extraordinary tool for development, more needs to be done to create a supportive environment for children and young people so that they can flourish without prejudice online. We are a government seized not only by the empowerment of our women but also their protection.” – SAnews.gov.za

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