South Africa: Professor Barney Pityana Should Put South Africa First

press release

The Presidency has noted the article by Professor Barney Pityana published in the media criticising President Jacob Zuma's leadership and that of government. In his criticism and accusations, he further calls for President Zuma to resign.

The Presidency wish to place it on record, that it has not received any letter from Professor Pityana. Government appreciates constructive criticism which should assist in the governance and improving of the lives of the people of this country. However, Professor Pityana's article deliberately ignores the gains our country is making under this administration and leadership of President Zuma.

He further fails to offer solutions to the challenges facing the country. The Presidency wishes to reiterate, and this is of public knowledge available for ease of reference, that it has been since 2009 that President Zuma championed the development of the country's vision. The National Development Plan today articulates a clear vision for South Africa, which is Vision 2030.

The NDP provides a roadmap to a South Africa where all will have water, electricity, sanitation, jobs, housing, public transport, adequate nutrition, education, social protection, quality healthcare, recreation and a clean environment.

In 2009 this administration adopted the five priorities, which were endorsed by the majority citizens of our country as key and which if done well, would lead South Africa to its development. In his 2013 State of the Nation Address, delivered only two weeks ago, President Zuma gave account on progress the government continues to make.

The President announced that by end of March 2013, government will have spent about R860 billion on infrastructure development which he outlined in detail. He further announced that in South Africa, tourist arrivals grew at 10.7% between January and September 2012, which is higher than the global average of 4%.

Government has also announced a R126 million Human Settlements Development Grant for people who cannot access mortgage bond. In education since 2009, the country's matric results are improving year on year which is an indication of success of government interventions in education. FET College enrolments have grown from about 350 000 in 2010 to over 650 000 in 2012.

(National Student Financial Aid Scheme) NSFAS funding for loans and bursaries to students in universities and colleges have increased from R2.375 billion in 2008 to over R6 billion this year.

The 2011 census shows that our educational levels have increased significantly; the proportion of South Africans with a Grade 12 education or higher has risen from 28.8% in 2001 to 40.7% in 2011, an increase of 41.3%. A school participation rate of 7 to 15 year olds in 2011 was 98.8%. This is contrary to the alleged collapse of education system in our country.

In health, South Africa's life expectancy has increased from an average baseline of 56 years in 2009 to 60 years in 2011. The country has also witnessed significant decrease in infant and under five years of age mortality.

The levels of crime continue to drop and there is an increase of 8% in the public appreciation of how government is doing in reducing crime levels which was 32% in November 2007 to 40% in November 2012. Victims of Crime Survey 2012 (VOCS) shows that 38% believed that the level of violent crime had decreased in their area of residence compared to 33% who said that crime had increased, 29% believed that crime had stayed the same during the period 2009 to 2011.

Since the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Task Team in 2010, good progress has been made in recovering the proceeds of corruption. Criminal assets of 59 persons to the value of R816 million have already been frozen. Nearly R78 million has already been forfeited and returned to the state.

There is a lot that this government has done, which Prof Pityana will never see or acknowledge. The National Development Plan calls for the participation of everyone in our country to realise Vision 2030. Professor Pityana will hopefully soon be able to participate with the rest of society to realise this vision, once he puts South Africa first.

Issued by: The Presidency

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