SA is better today than it was in 1994 – Mthembu

2013-06-26 13:04

South Africans should take pride in the achievements made since the adoption of the Freedom Charter 58 years ago, ANC spokesman Jackson Mthembu has said.

“South Africa is a better place today than it was in 1994. We are on course, building the society envisaged by the representatives of the people of South Africa 58 years ago,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

The charter was adopted in Kliptown on June 26, 1955, bringing together members of the African National Congress, the SA Indian Congress, the SA Congress of Trade Unions, the Coloured People’s Congress, and the Congress of Democrats.

The charter stated the groups’ core principles and began with the words: “The People Shall Govern”.

Mthembu said the ANC had spearheaded a radical overhaul of legislation to guarantee and protect human rights for all.

“Our people take part in governance through organs of people’s power and our country holds regular, free and fair elections where anyone is free to start or vote for a party of their choice,” he said.

There was also freedom of language, religion, culture, and politics, reinforced by the Human Rights Commission.

Mthembu said the country’s wealth was still concentrated among the “few beneficiaries of apartheid and colonial rule”.

Progressive policies and legislation had thus been enacted to realise the goal of everyone sharing in the country’s wealth.

“The ANC national conference has resolved to identify strategic minerals that require special public policy interventions,” he said.

“The ANC government continues to act decisively against anti-competitive behaviour and seeks to dismantle monopoly industries opposed to the inclusive growth of our economy.”

Mthembu said the country boasted a progressive labour relations regime that protected the rights of all workers.

“Under the ANC government employment has increased by more than 3.5 million since 1994, and provided social grants to more than 15 million people without discrimination to alleviate poverty.”

He said the party was confident the National Development Plan would create more jobs, eliminate poverty, and reduce inequality.

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