Freedom Month 2014

1 Apr 2014 to 30 Apr 2014
20 years of freedom and democracy

In April we commemorate the historic occasion in 1994 when South Africa achieved democracy, where all its citizens became free from discrimination and oppression.

The first democratic elections in South Africa were held on 27 April 1994. It marked the dawn of a new phase of building a South Africa that truly belongs to all who live in it.

In 2014 South Africa will celebrate 20 years of freedom and democracy. This momentous occasion presents an opportunity for us to reflect on how our freedom and democracy were achieved; the progress we have made the past 20 years; and on how South Africans will work together to implement Vision 2030.

Achievements since 1994

Education

  • Our education system continues its upwards trend: more learners are being enrolled and our matric results since 2009 have increased dramatically.
  • A total of 767 865 learners were enrolled in Grade R in 2012 and the national pass rate for the matric class of 2012 was 73,9 percent.
  • The introduction of Annual National Assessments (ANA) post-2009 enabled the objective measurement of literacy and numeracy levels at lower grades for the first time. The first ANA results in 2011 supported our diagnosis that things needed to change in the basic education sector in order to produce better results.
  • The 2012 ANA results indicate that these changes are starting to bear fruit at the lower grades. Targets are also being achieved in other key education areas such as the training of artisans and increasing enrolments in further education and training colleges.

Health

  • Interventions made by the Department of Health to improve the quality of life are yielding results and the overall life expectancy of South Africans has improved significantly between 2009 and 2011 to 62 years.
  • Life expectancy is now firmly on an upward trend. Infant and under-five mortality rates have improved significantly and the maternal mortality ratio has started to decrease.
  • The tide is turning in the fight against HIV and AIDS. By March 2012, more than 20,2 million people had undergone testing since the HIV Counselling and Testing campaign started in April 2010.
  • Mother-to-child transmission of HIV has declined sharply and there has been a huge increase in the number of people living with HIV and AIDS who are receiving anti-retroviral treatment.
  • We have recently launched a revolutionary one a day tablet for people living with HIV.
  • The TB defaulter rate has continued to decrease, and now stands at 6,8 percent, compared to 8,5 percent in 2008/09. The rate of screening HIV patients for TB has significantly improved and currently nearly all HIV patients are screened for TB.

Economy

  • Government through the Presidential Infrastructure Coordination Commission (PICC) has unveiled a 20 year infrastructure development programme that will cost around R4 trillion over the next 15 years. Over the next three years we will spend around R844 billion on infrastructure development.
  • Our fight against unemployment and joblessness continues to show promise. Employment grew by 327 000 or 2,5 percent by the last quarter of 2012.
  • Since the first quarter of 2011, employment has grown for seven consecutive quarters.

Crime

  • We have begun to turn the tide against crime - overall levels of serious crime are on the wane and we will continue our push for a South Africa where all citizens are and feel safe.
  • Eighteen Strategic Integrated Projects (SIP) are in the pipeline which will fast-track infrastructure development to transform our economy, create a significant number of new jobs, and strengthen the delivery of basic services.

Basic services

  • Households with access to water services increased from 92 percent in 2009 to 94,7 percent in 2012.
  • Households with access to sanitation services increased from 64 percent to 84 percent in 2012.
  • Households with access to refuse removal services increased from 64 percent in 2009 to 72 percent in 2012.

Service delivery

  • By November 2012, citizens had logged more than 140 000 cases with the Presidential Hotline, of which 87 percent had been resolved. Since September 2012, monthly satisfaction testing is being conducted. Of 1 205 citizens surveyed, 65 percent rated their satisfaction with the resolution of their hotline case as high or average.
  • We have introduced a front-line service delivery monitoring programme. This involves officials from the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation (DPME) in The Presidency and the offices of the premiers carrying out unannounced visits to service delivery sites to monitor indicators such as queue management and waiting times, dignified treatment, cleanliness and comfort.
  • The focus is on facilities where the public is directly served – Home Affairs offices, South African Social Security Agency offices, police stations, health facilities, drivers’ licence centres, municipal customer care centres, schools and courts. Over 300 sites were visited over the past year.
  • Turn-around times have improved in some areas of service delivery. For example, the average time taken to issue an identity book has been reduced from 150 days to about 30 days. The average time taken to process an application for a social grant decreased from 30 days in 2010 to 21 days in 2012. There has also been an improvement in the average time taken by the police to respond to calls for assistance.

Rural development and land reform

  • The Commission on Restitution of Land Rights finalised a total of 1 272 land claims between 1 April 2009 and 30 September 2011.
  • Since 2009 a total of 1 306 346 hectares of land have been acquired and redistributed, benefiting 1 942 789 beneficiaries.
  • 71 292 people have been financially compensated for land claims.
  • Under the Comprehensive Rural Development Programme (CRDP) 2 447 household food gardens have been established in the CRDP sites.
  • To date 2 656 CRDP beneficiaries were skilled and capacitated in technical enterprise development trade. Fifty-two councils of stakeholders have been established as representative community forums.
  • CRDP has been rolled out to 157 rural wards and 143 698 poor households were profiled to access their needs.
  • The National Rural Youth Services Corps (NARYSEC) recorded 11 540 youth in the programme on 30 September 2012, up from 7 956 in September 2010.

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