SA on track for millennium goals - Zuma

2014-12-19 14:17
President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

President Jacob Zuma (Picture: AP)

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Johannesburg - South Africa is on track to achieve most of the United Nations millennium development goals (MDGs) by the 2015 deadline, President Jacob Zuma said on Friday.

"We have made good progress with the eradication of extreme poverty, the achievement of universal primary education, attaining gender equality and the empowerment of women," he said in his end of year statement.

"We are reducing maternal and child mortality and continue to mobilise global partnerships for development," he said.

The eight MDGs include halving extreme poverty, halting the spread of HIV/Aids, and providing universal primary education by 2015.

Zuma said the country had made dramatic progress in the fight against HIV/Aids.

"To date, 2.7 million South Africans are on antiretroviral treatment, which has improved life expectancy. A total of 3 590 public health facilities are now initiating patients on antiretroviral treatment compared to 490 in February 2010."

Stigma around disease

One of the greatest successes was the remarkable 67% reduction in mother-to-child HIV transmission from 8% in 2008 to 2.6% in 2012.

He said 20 million people had to date been tested for HIV through the HIV counselling and testing campaign launched in 2010.

"This indicates that the stigma around the disease is being eradicated, which will assist prevention efforts."

He said the National Health Insurance scheme was being implemented at a number of pilot sites. It is intended to make access to health available to all, regardless of class or financial means.

Zuma said within the first 100 days of the fifth administration, 45 schools were completed.

"Eighty-one schools were provided with sanitation, 58 with electrification and 88 with water."

In addition to three new universities being established in Gauteng, Northern Cape, and Mpumalanga, 16 sites had been identified for the construction of 12 new technical and vocational education and training college campuses.

131 000 electricity connections

Zuma said more than 11 million households were electrified, doubling the number of households with access to electricity in 1994.

From April to October this year, 131 089 electricity connections were made.

"Government is working hard to make Medupi and Kusile power stations come onto the grid faster to promote energy security. We are also licensing independent power producers while exploring various energy options including coal, gas, nuclear, solar and renewable energy options."

He said government had entered into negotiations with nuclear vendor countries and recently signed inter-governmental framework agreements with Russia, France, China, the US, and South Korea as part of the process.

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