Friday, November 7, 2003

South Africa: Special report on widening poverty gap

South Africa has made significant gains since the advent of democracy in April 1994. However, the country still faces serious problems. The most significant one - apart from the impact of HIV/AIDS - is the lack of economic and social rights for a large sector of the population. Research undertaken by a project team in the office of President Thabo Mbeki, assisted by the Department of Social Development, has attempted to capture the essence of the problem. Their report, titled "Towards A Ten Year Review", seeks to quantify the performance of the state in its constitutional obligations to its citizens, and its progress in redressing apartheids injustices. While the government's performance in provision of health, education and other basic services has been commendable, the report notes that "two economies persist in one country". More...