Constitution Mondays to help build the nation

2014-06-15 06:00

Move over Football Fridays. Government now wants South Africans to celebrate Constitution Mondays once a month.

The aim is to highlight constitutional values in the media, which will help with social cohesion and nation-building.

This idea forms part of one of the outcomes of government’s new five-year plan, or the medium-term strategic framework. It is still under wraps, but City Press has seen a copy of the document, on which President Jacob Zuma is expected to base his state of the nation address on Tuesday night.

Social cohesion is one of the new outcomes added since 2009 to the plan, which sets measurable targets for government departments and which is based on the National Development Plan for the first time.

There are 14 outcomes in total, and these include an overhaul of the public service, better education, health and housing, local government, international relations, creating a safer South Africa, and rural development.

Other targets set in the social cohesion chapter include:

» Popularise the Moral Regeneration Movement and the charter of good values;

» Getting schools to say the preamble of the Constitution in school assemblies, including in sign language;

» Improve enforcement of the Employment Equity Act;

» Convene a summit on nonracialism and xenophobia by December;

» Get provinces to include at least one African language in official communications;

» Clean cities – create two new public parks per ward, and strengthen sporting bodies;

» Improve voter turnout to local and national elections by 10%, and improve parents’ participation in school governing bodies elections;

» Promote citizen-based monitoring of government service delivery;

» Foster a “social compact”, part of which should be about sustainability. The sense of entitlement (created by government in the main) should be replaced with a sense of ownership and responsibility;

» By 2019, half of all representatives in Parliament and legislatures should be women;

» By 2019, 65% of people surveyed should be of the opinion that race relations are improving, versus 40% currently;

» 66% of South Africans should be proud of our sporting teams by 2019; and

» 10% of over-18s should belong to a charitable organisation.

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