April 2019 marks the 25th anniversary of South Africa's official transition to democracy. Twenty-five years into the democratic era, we look at how far we've come and how far we still have to go. In the second article of this series, the issue being considered is: How well does democratic South Africa take care of its population when it comes to providing social welfare, health and education?
"Over the past 25 years, the lives of the people of South Africa have changed for the better," the ANC's 2019 election manifesto declared.
Among the pieces of evidence it cited to defend this claim:
"Children from poor communities have access to free education. In the past five years the number of HIV positive people on antiretroviral treatment has doubled while the overall rate of new infections is decreasing. Over 17.5 million of our most vulnerable citizens receive social grants."
The continued expansion of the number of South Africans accessing social grants has long been touted by the government as one of its major successes in the democratic era.
Before 1994, many of the current forms of social assistance did not exist, and some of those that did were available only to white...