South Africa News

Paul Mashatile: SA in a much better place under ANC than 29 years ago

With elections on the horizon, Deputy President Paul Mashatile has credited the successes of the country to the African National Congress-led administration, saying the country is in a better place under the governing party.

Mashatile highlighted the achievements during his first annual address to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) on Tuesday.

The deputy president said he was addressing the House exactly 10 years after the passing of South Africa’s first democratic president, Nelson Mandela.

Mashatile focused on the progress made by the ANC government since the apartheid era.

“On an occasion such this, we recall his wisdom and tenacity in fighting the apartheid system and dedication to building a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society.

“We do not only recall but rededicate ourselves to the vision of our founding president that of building a better life for all!” Mashatile said.

South Africa better now

Mashatile said he can’t talk about the progress in shaping the future of people without reflecting on where the nation has come from.

“Our journey as a leading political party started back in 1994. As an ANC-led Administration, we can unequivocally state that South Africa is in a much better place now than it was 29 years ago.”

Referring to the 2022 Census Report, Mashatile said there has been significant inroads in undoing the legacy of decades of apartheid spatial planning and its consequences on the lives and livelihoods of South Africans.

“We have accelerated the provision of social services over the past few years by investing in education, healthcare, housing, water and sanitation, among other things.”

Load shedding

As the country battles relentless load shedding, Mashatile spoke about the impact of the power cuts on South Africans.

“Load shedding remains a stubborn challenge in our efforts to grow the economy. Load shedding has adversely affected the economy, people’s overall quality of life, and the safety and security of citizens.”

He said the ANC-led government continues implementing the Energy Action Plan to end load shedding and achieve energy security.

“To this end, the ANC-led government continues implementing the Energy Action Plan to end load shedding and achieve energy security

He presented the plan’s five key pillars:

  • Fix Eskom and improve the availability of existing supply
  • Enable and accelerate private investment in generation capacity
  • Fast-track the procurement of new generation capacity from renewables, gas and battery storage
  • Unleash businesses and households to invest in rooftop solar
  • Fundamentally transform the electricity sector to achieve long-term energy security

Healthcare

Mashatile said South Africa has also provided health care for over 50 million South Africans without private health insurance, ensuring that South Africans can rely on the healthcare system.

“To improve access to health care through the focus on primary health care, the ANC-led government has constructed 1,749 clinics and 56 hospitals since 1994 to enhance primary health care access.

“However, there is still significant inequality in access to quality health care. As a result, the ANC government will continue to engage key stakeholders, including organised business and labour, to find amicable solutions on critical areas that may hinder the passing of the National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill to enable every South African to receive appropriate standardised quality health care regardless of their ability to pay,” he said.

Last week, the NCOP delayed passing the controversial National Health Insurance (NHI) Bill.

While the NCOP was scheduled to vote on the draft legislation on Wednesday, the matter has since been deferred to next week.

NCOP chief whip Seiso Mohai proposed the date of 6 December.

“I want to confirm that the consideration of the National Health Insurance Bill of 2019 that it be deferred to the 6th of December, next week on Wednesday… so the motion is amended as such,” Mohai said.

“The NHI Bill is currently before the NCOP; having received enthusiastic support from most participants during the public hearings in provinces, we remain optimistic that the NCOP will allow stakeholders to develop progressive solutions towards finalising this important bill. We are a democracy anchored on dialogue and finding one another no matter the difficulty,” said Mashatile.

Economy

He said the sixth administration was committed to “transforming the economy along a developmental growth path to create decent jobs”.

“Due to Covid-19, our nation has experienced over 2 million job losses and the closure of several businesses.

“We also experienced the violence of the July 2021 riots, where over 350 people tragically lost their lives, and significant damage was caused to our economy, he said.

Water

Mashatile also spoke about the access to clean drinking water.

“In 1994, only 6 out of 10 South Africans had access to clean drinking water. That figure has increased to nearly 9 out of 10 South Africans today.

“Today, two out of three South Africans have access to flushed toilets, and 8 out of 10 have improved sanitary facilities. These measures have enhanced millions of South Africans’ quality of life and dignity,” he said.

Progress

Mashatile said South African has made significant progress despite the challenges,

“Despite all these challenges, over the past five years, the ANC government, in collaboration with labour, business, and civil society, has focused on building and growing an economy that serves all South Africans,” said Mashatile

Mashatile said the NCOP is critical in strengthening democracy in communities towards an equal, prosperous, non-racial and non-sexist society.

“We should all work together to address the collapse of many municipalities, which has had a devastating impact on citizens who must, daily, deal with sewage spills, water shortages, uncollected garbage, countless potholes, unmaintained cemeteries, and inaccurate billing.

“I urge you to continue playing your part to ensure that provinces are given an influential voice in the national legislative process,” Mashatile said.

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The former Generations star got into detail as she shared a real story of the time she ran into her deadbeat baby daddy whom she had been with for almost a decade before their split. Read More