Restoring SA after apartheid

Wednesday, May 8, 2024

As South Africa celebrates reaching the historic milestone of 30 years of democracy, Minister in the Presidency Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, says in their reflections of this journey, South Africans should remember the kind of state that was inherited by government in 1994.

“For some, 30 years may seem like a long time, yet when we consider what the democratic state inherited in 1994, it was always clear that our journey would be long and with many highs and lows. In 1994 we were a fractured nation,” Ntshavheni said on Wednesday in Pretoria.

Addressing the launch of the 30 Year Review Report, the Minister said the very fabric of the country had been torn apart by apartheid’s policies, which had systematically excluded black South Africans to the fringes of society.

“Planning and development in South Africa before 1994 was fragmented, thus enabling their exclusion and marginalisation from developmental opportunities,” the Minister said.

The 30 Year Review Report reflects on the work South Africa has collectively undertaken to build a democratic, prosperous and free South Africa.

“Thirty years of freedom and democracy in South Africa is a journey through triumphs, challenges, and ongoing progress. It's a testament to the resilience and spirit of a nation that has overcome immense adversity to embrace unity, democracy, and equality.

“While milestones like the end of apartheid have been monumental, there's recognition of the work still ahead to address systemic issues and ensure that freedom truly reaches every corner of society. It's a time to celebrate progress, honour those who fought for change, and commit to building a future where every South African can thrive,” the Minister said.

She emphasised that the South Africa of today is much better than the South Africa of 1994.

According to the World Bank, South Africa is the leading economy in the African continent with nominal GDP of over $US373 billion.

“Gross Tax revenue collection increased from R147.3 billion in 1996 to R2.155 trillion in 2023/2024 - the ever growing economy, while facing headwinds at present, has demonstrated the ability to create jobs and employment despite historical and structural challenges. South Africa has 750 000km road network and it ranks 11th amongst the countries with the largest road network,” the Minister said.

South Africa’s road network that is paved and/or tarred is at 159 272 kilometres. It ranks 19th globally.

“It is no small feat that South Africa has achieved universal access to education for children between the ages of 7 - 15 years and we are on track to achieve universal access to Early Childhood Development. Through the National Student Financial Aid Scheme, and its predecessor Tertiary Education Fund of South Africa (TEFSA), the government continues to break generational poverty with families and households having first time graduates -  something many would not have dared dream of," the Minister said. –