2007-09-28 : DA: SA´s going backwards


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2007-09-28 : DA: SA´s going backwards

Postby GOSA » Fri, 2007-10-05 08:51

DA: SA´s going backwards
Witness Fri, 28 Sep 2007

By Sue Segar

International rankings bely ANC´s upbeat reports of progress,
says opposition

South Africa is not progressing as well as the ANC says it is,
and this is shown by examining comparisons of the country´s
performance in various developmental areas.

This was the view of DA parliamentary leader Sandra Botha in
Cape Town yesterday, following a DA study of South Africa´s
performance in a range of international comparative studies and
local surveys.

The surveys are the Human Development Index (HDI), the Economic
Freedom of the World Index, the Global Competitiveness Index,
the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer, the
Global Peace Index, the Seventh UN Survey of Crime Trends and
the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study.

"It is clear that there is a need for far more vigour and
commitment in our efforts to reverse the downward trends
evidenced in these reports, but the ruling party is unlikely to
show this vigour and commitment until it openly recognises the
problems it faces," Botha said.

Botha said South Africa´s performance in some of the individual
surveys can be summarised as follows.

"In 2001, South Africa held the 94th position on the Human
Development Index, which measures life expectancy at birth,
adult literacy, GDP per capita, and school enrolment rates. By
2006 we had dropped to the 121st position, out of a total of
177, placing us firmly in the bottom third of the index.

"In 1990, South Africa scored 5,9 out of a possible 10 on the
Economic Freedom of the World Index, which measures the extent
to which countries have put in place the building blocks for
successful economic development. In 2000 that had risen to 7,3
out of a possible 10, but then in 2005 and 2006 our score
dropped to 6,9 and 6,8 respectively.

"According to the Global Competitiveness Index, between 2006 and
2007 South Africa lost five places, sliding from 40th place to
45th place out of 125.

"According to the Transparency International Global Corruption
Barometer, low levels of corruption are important for economic
and social stability. The South African public believes that
between 2004 and 2006:

o corruption in political parties has gone up slightly;

o parliament has become more corrupt;

o corruption in the legal system has dropped slightly;

o corruption in the police has increased slightly."

Turning to the UN crime trends report, covering 1998 to 2000,
Botha said that, of all the country´s problems, crime is
probably the one that preoccupies South Africans most.

"Despite ANC denials of the problem, it is not hard to see why
this is when one looks at the statistics. In 2000 ... South Africa
reported 3 422 743 total crimes, or 12 686 people for every
crime committed.

"Of those crimes, 21 995 were homicide and 53 008 were reported
rape. In 2000, a total of 165 488 people were in prison, or, to
put it another way, one prisoner for every 262 people living

Botha said that, in 2000, China had a population of 1,2 billion
and reported 3,6 million crimes; India had one billion people,
and reported 1,7 million crimes; and Russia had a population of
149 million and reported 2,9 million crimes.

"The stark reality is that it is not the size of our population
that contributes to the amount of crime in South Africa, but
rather the ease with which people are able to commit these

On maths and science, Botha said that in 2003, SA came last out
of 48 countries.

She said the ANC has a tendency to loudly berate the DA and
others who criticise its record in key areas of delivery for
being anti-South African. "Yet international comparisons paint a
reality that cannot be denied. They tell a story of a slowly
developing country whose economy has become less free and open,
whose development standards are dropping, and [that has]
education of a low and declining quality."

Published: 28 September 2007
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