National General Council
30 March 2007
South Africa has entered its second Decade of Freedom with the strengthening of democracy and the acceleration of the programme to improve the quality of life of all the people. We recognise that we are at the beginning of a long journey to a truly united, democratic and prosperous South Africa, in which the value of all citizens is measured by their humanity, without regard to race, gender and social status.
Inspired by the Freedom Charter and the principles enshrined in the Reconstruction and Development Programme, we continue unabated with our social transformation programme, informed by the democratic principles of the people-centred and people-driven state and a value system based on human solidarity. These pillars are the attributes of a caring society and it beckons us to forge a social compact – made up of all races – that has, as its central objective of social policy, the preservation and development of human resources and ensuring social cohesion.
Central to the task of social transformation is the role of the ANC in Government to confront the challenges of poverty and underdevelopment. This central focus was affirmed in both the 50th National Conference in Mafikeng and the 51st National Conference in Stellenbosch.
The Conference takes place after the release of the 10 year macro-social report, which among others, asserts the positive mood and confidence in the economy, the enormous strides that have been made in the delivery of basic needs, including housing, education, health, social development, and sport and recreation, and focuses our attention on a trajectory of accelerated delivery, acceleration in growth and social cohesion.
Since Mafikeng and Stellenbosch, in the 13th year of our democracy, we are able to reflect on the transition from an inhumane society characterised by racism, division, inequality, injustice and subjugation to a society that is ostensibly caring, open and democratic, committed to the ethos of non-racialism, non-sexism and freedom.
At this conjuncture we can and must re-affirm our commitment to redress poverty and inequality, and, on the back of macro-economic stability, develop an anti-poverty strategy that addresses income, asset and social poverty with the objective of eradicating poverty and creating employment. We do so as we advance towards the centenary of the ANC in 2012, and in terms of our commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDA), to halve poverty and unemployment by 2014. It also means that we should move hastily towards fulfilling and realising the other Millennium Development Goals in terms of education, health care, accommodation and the provision of basic services.
In the context of our continued resolve to challenge underdevelopment and eradicate poverty, and, against the background of the huge investment in infrastructure and its attendant possibilities, the emphasis on quality education and health must be recognised. We need educated and skilled citizens who are healthy and therefore productive to benefit from the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative and the diverse economic opportunities and possibilities that are now available to our citizens. Education and health must be prioritised as the core elements of social transformation.
The Conference also provides us with the opportunity to measure our performance against the mandate (resolutions) of Stellenbosch, identify the areas where government has succeeded and direct government and other institutions to expand and improve where necessary, identify challenges and constraints and determine how to remove such constraints and redirect policy where weaknesses and gaps have been established.
In doing so, and true to the spirit and principles of our Strategic and Tactics document, we must identify how the ANC cadres must support government by aligning ANC efforts with the objectives of government for our common benefit. What has emerged during the First Decade of our Freedom, is that to succeed in fulfilling the MDG, the approach of government among the three spheres has to be better co-ordinated (with particular reference to the Inter-Governmental Relations Act) and that the programmes of different departments must be fully integrated to ensure optimal delivery and provide for a broad front for social transformation. Such examples can be found in the ECD programmes, land and agrarian reform, education and training, human settlements strategies and a host of other projects. In all this we must underscore the role of the ANC cadres as agents and drivers of transformation, consistent with the principle of people-centred and people-driven democracy.
Our attack on poverty must seek to empower people to take themselves out of poverty, while creating adequate social nets to protect the most vulnerable in our society.
A combination of policies around a social wage, social grants, as well as programmes aimed at engaging people in the reconstruction of our communities can make a meaningful contribution towards the eradication of poverty.
On attacking poverty and the comprehensive social security:
- Government must continue with its plans towards a comprehensive social security system, through consolidation and ongoing review of all social security measures such as UIF and social grants.
- Government has taken bold steps in establishing a National Health Insurance scheme and must finalise its plans as soon as possible.
- Huge strides have been made in the delivery of free basic services and continued support through Project Consolidate and other mechanisms, must be strengthened to ensure delivery, especially in municipalities that serve the rural poor.
- Noting the expansion of the child support grant for children up to 14 years, steps must be taken to support vulnerable children above the age of 14 years.
- The ANC must continue to campaign to ensure that all children eligible for grants do access it and assist in the removal of obstacles including non-registration and the lack of proper documents. However, the huge strides that have been made in this regard must be celebrated, as some 8 million children are currently the beneficiaries of grants.
- The possibilities of equalising pension age and pension benefits is a matter that requires urgent review, especially in the light of the current legal challenges.
- We must continue to deal with the effects of unemployment through the extended public works programme which is linked to the Urban Renewal and Integrated Sustainable Rural Development Strategy. The implementation of the National Youth Service Programme creates huge opportunity for our unemployed youth and must be sufficiently expanded. The Expanded Public Works Programme and SETAs pay particular attention to the skilling of practitioners in the ECD and the ABET sector as agreed by government.
- We must continue with the significant implementation of the integrated food security strategy (as adopted by Cabinet in July 2002) and to further develop a sustainable food policy strategy that ensure food security at all times (especially during the times of vulnerability as a consequence of natural disaster, price hikes, etc) and which directly impacts on food prices for the poor, with a specific focus on women, the elderly, people with disabilities and children.
- We must celebrate the establishment of South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) which has had the effect of better co-ordination and management. It has resulted in weeding out corruption and theft on a grand scale and must continue combating and eliminating abuse of the social security system wherever it may occur. Cadres are urged to be vigilant and to report any corrupt activity or abuse in the social grant system.
- That in the context of the creation of jobs and the alleviation and eradication of poverty:
– Define clearly the poverty matrix of our country;
– Develop a proper database of households living in poverty;
– Identify and implement specific interventions relevant to these households;
– Monitor progress in these households as the programmes take effect in graduating them out of poverty;
– In this context, address all indigence, especially the high numbers of women so affected;
– Examine the experience of countries such as Tunisia and Chile to ascertain whether they point to some defect in our system;
– Co-ordinate and align all anti-poverty programmes to maximise impact and avoid wastage and duplication;
– Accelerate the training of social workers at professional and ancillary levels to ensure that identified households are properly monitored and supported; and
– Promote the intensification of the joint effort of all South Africans to promote social cohesion and human solidarity.
- Stellenbosch recognised the importance of the family and steps must be taken to ensure that its centrality in preventing moral decay and preserving human solidarity must be promoted in terms of policy as indicated by the Minister of Social Development.
- Recognising the impact of drug and alcohol abuse on the fabric of society, special steps must be taken to prevent such abuse through programmes in our schools and communities. This would require, among other things, continued integration of programmes among Education, Social Development, Sport and Recreation, and Health.
- Giving the scope of sound benefits to some 12 million of our people, it is important to link grants to economic activity, to ensure sustainable growth. To this end we may consider providing for a wage subsidy for low-wage employees, possibly directed at first entrants to the job markets, especially young people. In so doing, we can restore the dignity of beneficiaries through active economic activity and job creation.
- Stellenbosch conference mandated us to discuss the Basic Income Grant. It may be helpful to discuss the comprehensive social security net that include retirements benefits, social grants, free education and health care, household support, food security and a range of co-ordinated and focused benefits against basic income grants which would neither have the broad or deep impact on poverty eradication nor the broad mobilisation of resources to address diverse aspects of poverty and the well-being of our people. It is important that we do so in the context of our challenges as a developmental state rather than against the ideological backdrop of a welfare state.
- In seeking to achieve a comprehensive security system, there is a need to establish a new dispensation based on the principles of mandatory contributions, social solidarity and risk sharing. The system should be supported by a Government Sponsored Retirement Fund that provides for a mandatory system of retirement savings, with ancillary benefits such as post-retirement medical cover, disability, death and survivors benefits. Consideration should be given to:
– removing the means test in the old age pension system;
– dismantling and redistributing the tax benefits linked to retirement and medical scheme benefits for high income groups; and
– removing the ‘poverty trap’ through providing a social net, while also positively rewarding work effort, earnings and savings.
COMPREHENSIVE SOCIAL SECURITY
South Africa inherited a social security system that was underdeveloped by international standards. It is characterised by policy gaps, duplication in delivery and fragmented institutions. The social security system fails vulnerable groups who face risks such as poverty, ill health, disability, unemployment, injury on duty, etc. and this result in their effective exclusion from participation in society.
The Government’s Social Security Framework
Consistent with the objective of ensuring an inclusive, caring society, we divide social security interventions broadly, into three fundamental elements or “pillars”:
– Pillar 1 includes government provision of minimum endowments or social assistance to those identified as most vulnerable. While the aim is purely poverty alleviation, the outcomes often create an enabling environment for the poorest of the poor to participate in society, throughout their lifetimes.
– Pillar 2: The social insurance component requires that those who are employed save part of their income, and contribute to social solidarity measures to protect themselves and their families from facing catastrophic reversals in their well-being in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, old age, and death. The State must set up this arrangement to act as underwriter as society individuals and society often bears the risks of failures.
– Pillar 3: This pillar entails social security benefits that are more discretionary in nature for benefits in excess of those defined as necessary in Pillars 1 and 2.
Government adopted the framework (2004) and is now systematically moving “outsiders” (people who face barriers) to become “insiders” in society.
Progress: Implementing Comprehensive Social Security – Pillar 1: The provision of social assistance grants to over 11,8 million South Africans is evidence of government’s commitment to implementing and consolidating its efforts to provide minimum endowments or income support.
The income support is complimented with the provision of education (free to those who are poor), free health care and free basic services.
The Social Security Agency was set up become an effective and efficient national administrative system.
To respond to the plight of the poor who do not qualify for social assistance, government has set up Public Works Programmes to draw the unemployed into productive and gainful employment while also delivering training to increase the capacity of participants to earn an income once they leave the programme.
– Pillar 2: South Africa does not have a fully developed 2nd Pillar or system of social insurance. History and experience have proved that the role of the State is critical in providing the platform for a social insurance system to ensure the pooling of risks and to achieve social solidarity objectives. So far as possible, benefits should depend on criteria that are unrelated to socio-economic status.
The State cannot simply assume the role of consumer protection and watch failures of private providers such as we are now witnessing in the unfolding Fidentia saga.
While reviewing some policies and improving delivery by a number of agents such as the Unemployment Insurance Fund, work has been underway to look at best practices for the various components of the social insurance system.
Unemployment and maternity benefits: We have made significant progress in this area with the inclusion of more than 1 million farm and domestic workers in the unemployment insurance fund. The system has over the last 3 years become solvent and has significant reserves; unprecedented in the Fund’s history.
Compensation for injuries on duty and diseases and road accident arrangements require reform, given policy gaps, duplication with disability and health care in the first pillar and administrative inefficiencies.
Health Insurance: Government has made progress in increasing the number of people contributing to medical schemes, set up its own employee medical scheme, introduced measures to prohibit adverse selection by the private industry and other perverse practices. A Risk Equalization Fund, which will become operational this year, will be the platform for risk pooling in health provision. We will address a number of outstanding issues in our aim to set up a social health insurance system for South Africa.
Retirement: The prevention of poverty during old age is important. Most people, the world over do not save for retirement because of myopia and government must make the participation in retirement vehicles obligatory, prohibit early withdrawals, provide for portability and preservation of funds, and set up institutional arrangements for delivery.
In South Africa, only 6 million out of 12 million employed persons contribute to some form of retirement savings, using more than 14 500 funds. The system is fragmented, inadequate, prohibits portability, punishes those who wish to transfer benefits, excludes low-income people, the costs are the highest in the world and benefits do not always provide value for money. The system cannot solely rely on generous tax incentives to get people saving for their old age.
Government must reform South Africa’s system of retirement provisions and meet international best practice criteria of adequate coverage of employed persons, affordability for individuals and government, fiscally and financially sustainable and robust.
There must be better replacement rates that protect the poor. The system must link benefits to contributions of employees and provide for ancillary benefits of disability, survivors, and old age medical requirements.
We must also reduce the duplication that results in inefficiencies by having a consolidated delivery institutions.
– Pillar 3: Progress has also been made in this pillar, by enhancing regulation of the private retirement system and private health insurance. More work needs to be dine to improve governance of private providers, and prevent failures of fund managers, unfair practices, high costs of products and corruption such as we have seen in the Masterbond saga and the unfolding events in the Fidentia fund.
– These reforms have proved complex in many countries but we must undertake them with due consideration to the sensitivity of the matter, with prudence, with support of the international community whom we are already engaging and broad consultation. There is no evidence that the savings rates will decline, on the contrary, it ought to improve.
– International evidence from countries in Latin America, Europe and the East European countries confirm that properly constructed retirement systems hold significant benefits for the economy of the country.
Health work areas for 2007/08
The National Health Council (Minister and MECs for Health) adopted the following five priorities:
- Development of provincial service improvement plans
- Improving quality of care
- Strengthening human resources for health
- Improving health infrastructure (both clinic and hospitals)
- Strengthening priority health programmes
- Healthy lifestyles
- TB control
- Prevention of HIV
- Improving child health through increased immunisation coverage and maternal health through the implementation of strategies recommended by the Confidential Inquiries into Maternal Deaths Committee
In line with these priorities there are a range of activities that ANC members and branches can undertake and be involved in that would improve health services and health status.
In order to empower ANC branches and members about the legal framework (and policies) of the Department of Health it may be useful that branches obtain copies of the National Health Act, 2003 and familiarise members with its provisions.
Participating in health facility governance structures
Each clinic has a committee and each hospital has a board. These are governance structures and their primary roles include:
- providing an oversight function over the way the health facility functions, including the extent to which it meets the needs of the community that it serves and the quality of care that the facility provides;
- alerting the management of the facility of key issues that affect the health of the community, including complaints that community members may have about the way the facility functions;
- to protect the facility and its staff so that they may provide the best care possible – this includes not making hoax calls to the ambulance service as this wastes significant amounts of resources. ANC cadres are encouraged to become members of these structures and to play a role in advancing the health communities, including being role models for healthy lifestyles; and
- to assist the facility to develop service improvement plans.
ANC structures should lead community-based health lifestyles programmes -this involves mass mobilisation as well as targeted interventions to those that are more vulnerable. These include:
- getting community members to become involved in physical activity for at least 30 minutes per day;
- eating healthier meals – this could include starting community food gardens and agricultural co-operatives;
- stop using tobacco products;
- using alcohol responsibly;
- stop/not start using other drugs like marijuana, cocaine etc;
- reduction of interpersonal violence;
- not participating in risky behaviour – these include driving recklessly and under the influence of alcohol, not walking on roads whilst intoxicated, being sexually responsible (delay sexual debut, use condoms); and
- ensuring that the programmes are integrated and co-ordinated with the Departments of Education, Social Development, and Sport and Recreation.
Government must speed up the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme. Such a scheme enhances the equitable access by the general public to health care and reduce the inequities between the private and public health providers.
Health care in general
- Strengthen primary health care, especially in rural areas, by among others eradicating the backlog of health services and improving the availability of doctors and nurses, especially in clinics.
- Put in place strategies to ensure access to health care on a 24-hour basis.
- Accelerate strategies for the training and retention of health professionals.
With regard to child health, care givers should be encouraged to ensure that children are fully immunised as this will decrease the incidence of vaccine preventable diseases like measles. Caregivers should also be encouraged to take their children for regular checks, especially those under 5 years of age – to ensure that they are healthy (this includes monitoring the child’s weight and height).
All public health facilities provide reproductive health services. Community members should be encouraged to use these services for advice and treatment. It is very important to encourage expectant women to attend antenatal clinics to monitor their pregnancy and to deliver at hospitals.
TB is a growing problem in the country. ANC cadres can play a role in assisting to identify patients as early as possible and ensuring that they obtain treatment – TB is curable even in the context of HIV. Equally important is the need for support to TB patients to complete the course of medication – if a patient does not complete the full course of treatment she/he will not be cured and be highly susceptible to becoming multi-drug resistant. We have seen new strains of TB and what is now called extreme-drug resistant TB. The best way to ensure that patients do not become resistant to the drugs we have is to get them to treatment as early as possible and to ensure that they complete their treatment. ANC branches can participate in door-to-door and other mass mobilisation campaigns to reduce the burden of disease from TB.
That we recognise the growing threat of TB and the new strain of TB that is extremely drug-resistant. This would mean taking such measures including policy to ensure that its risk and effect on communities is understood and minimized and properly managed.
HIV and AIDS
- – HIV is also a big health problem. The best way to reduce the prevalence of people living with HIV and AIDS is to prevent its transmission. ANC branches should lead and participate in programmes that mobilise communities around this disease (both the prevention as well as the palliative aspects).
- – We should therefore further resolve to:
- Strengthen and accelerate the implementation of the national AIDS strategy, as amplified in the cabinet statement of 17 April 2002.
- The ANC to be at the forefront of community mobilisation and leadership around HIV and AIDS especially around awareness, prevention, voluntary testing and counseling, treatment and care. This should include clinical protocol guidelines, training programmes and support for health workers, infrastructure for the monitoring and follow up of patients, the treatment of opportunistic infections and the use of anti-retroviral drugs where appropriate.
- To accelerate research and testing on vaccines, as well as immunity boosters.
- To strengthen the functioning of national, provincial, district and local AIDS councils with appropriate accountability mechanisms
- Investigate making HIV and AIDS a notifiable disease, taking account of the issues of patient confidentiality and stigmatisation.
- To continue to fight the continued discrimination by insurance companies of dependants of people who have died of AIDS related diseases.
- Mitigating the impact of Aids by rooting out discrimination and stigma against infected and affected people and building psycho-social support, providing essential medical care, providing support to families caring for people living with AIDS and orphans and developing effective workplace programmes.
- Develop community capacity to respond to the pandemic including home-based care, by strengthening broad anti-poverty and community development programme.
Home and community-based services
Most communities have some access to home and community-based services, many of which are supported by government. ANC branches and cadres may volunteer their time and participate in the activities of CBOs and NGOs that provide these services. This will reduce the load of our public health facilities to a large extent.
Community Health Workers/Caregivers
The Department of Health has a number of potential areas in which people can volunteer their services. The most obvious one has been and continues to be the community health worker programme (called community care giver programme in our joint efforts with the Department of Social Development).
Human resources for health
As is well known, the provision of health services is labour intensive. This means that despite the high tech equipment that we now have, without doctors, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, occupational and speech therapists, etc. we cannot provide accessible and high quality care. We need to encourage the youth to embark on careers in health, to be committed to providing a service (rather than a concern for profits and making lots of money quickly) and be prepared to assist the poorest of the poor. This issue does not only apply to health services but applies to the provision of all social services. Caregivers should be encouraged to instil these values into the youth so that they can play meaningful roles in poverty alleviation as well as social cohesion in our community. We recognise the Joint Initiative of Priority Skills (JIPSA) and the importance of identifying Education and Health as priority skills for the Accelerated Shared Growth Initiative (ASGISA).
- The Stellenbosch Conference sought a review of Governments’ plan to fund education with due regard to the provision of educational resources for the poor, and analysing factors contributing to the growing cost of education.
- The introduction of no-fee schools has contributed significantly to access, and, this year we can celebrate that more than 5 million learners are the beneficiaries of attending no-fee schools. This constitutes approximately 40% of the total number of schools and represents huge strides in creating a caring society and fulfilling the right to free basic education.
- In addition and consistent with the mandate, R10,5 billion had been set aside in the MTEF for the resourcing of poor schools in terms of libraries, laboratories, classrooms and enhanced and improved teacher provisioning. Our focus must continue on improving on the provision of resources to these schools to redress the inequitabilities, and, enhance the quality of education among the masses of our people.
- To increase the number of no-fee schools in terms of the January 8th Statement.
- Consider measures to support schools that have good results but have a low-fee income.
- Introduce policy or legislation to deal with more equitable allocation of resources.
Eleven national examination papers were set, in the most popular subjects. These were compiled by a panel of examiners rather than one person, and over 90% of learners wrote these national papers. It has been agreed by all that these were of a much higher standard, with greater cognitive demand and less predictability.
Some early indicators are that:
- More students wrote and passed a much tougher examination.
- There have been poor results in respect of
- Matric endorsements (16.2%)
- Maths and Science: Maths HG 60.5%; Maths SG 48.3%; Science HG 51.3%;
Science SG 71%
– The Dinaledi schools have, on average, performed above the average, which is a positive trend.
– The DoE is currently analysing all the data. Initial indications are that inequality of results reflects resourcing inputs – across schools, districts and provinces. Management factors are important, at all levels, but the poorest performance has consistently been where there has been the largest growth in numbers over past five years (Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal), without the requisite funding growth (see below).
– The declines in Limpopo and KwaZulu Natal, because of their large size, had a negative impact on the overall results, and masks significant improvements by Eastern Cape, North West, Mpumalanga and Gauteng.
– In respect of the retention of learners (and the “dropout” phenomenon), exaggerated claims are made based on the fact that only 528 525 full-time candidates wrote matric in 2006 (out of an estimated cohort of 1 million). However to this must be added the 190 461 part-time candidates who also wrote matric in 2006, and n. SAQA has recently reported that in 2005 a total of 983 182 learners enrolled for exit-level qualifications at NQF level 4 (including the Senior Certificate and N3 College programmes), confirming that schooling is increasingly becoming just one option among many, and that many more are completing education to this level, although not in schools. In total, SAQA estimates that 3 238 536 learners are enrolled in accredited FET programmes from NQF levels 2-4: 2.9 million in public and private institutions, and 306 000 in workplace training programmes.
An investigation be undertaken by the Ministry in respect of retention of learners in the FET band (Grades 10-12) and the alternative career paths chosen by learners, after the compulsory period of learning (Grade 9).
- There is close monitoring of the teacher supply situation. Difficulties are experienced in recruiting specific skills (maths, science and technology, as well as commercial subjects and languages) in particular schools. Rural, and skill-specific incentives are currently being negotiated with unions. The option of foreign recruitment has arisen, with Zimbabwe as an example.
- The National Policy Framework on Teacher Education and Development has been published, and provides for
- bursaries for student teachers, with matching employment contracts, and
- continuing professional development, based around the accumulation of points.
– The Framework has been welcomed by all role-players.
– Overall quality of teaching is still below standard, despite many remarkable efforts made by teachers. The major problem is that of insufficient “time on task”:
- per day, with various disruptions that erode the 7 hours a day required at school, and no control over the other 1.5 hours per day for “preparation and marking”;
- per month, with early closure on Fridays, and every pay-day a “school holiday”, and
- per year, with many of the 200 days lost due to early closure for examinations, funerals, choir and sporting events, and other reasons.
– Districts are the level at which these issues must be controlled, but they have been neglected and under-resourced, and tend not to intervene, or do so without real authority. We must find ways to re-assert the authority of this level of official.
– Other problems include inadequate teaching skills, and we have developed various training interventions (including SABC broadcasts) to address these. In most cases, and where teachers have made some effort themselves, this has been effective. This is countered by the poor subject knowledge of many teachers, which is a much more pervasive legacy, and not as easily overcome.
– Teachers serving in local government remain a problem which cannot find resolution. This again needs to be managed at a school level, but competing power relations are involved. This is a general problem in regard to school leadership, which is often poor. There is a lack of political will to assert leadership responsibilities; the initial evaluation of teachers conducted within schools (and signed off by principals) reflected a near 100% “satisfactory” score!
– An “Advanced Certificate in School Leadership” has been developed for school principals, which will be offered by 16 universities. First enrolments, sponsored by the Department, are planned for May this year, and in time this would become an obligatory qualification for all school principals.
- The role of teachers serving as councilors must be reviewed as it impacts directly on contact time in school.
- To affirm that all principals should undertake a leadership, management and governance course.
- Affirm the Quality Improvement and Development Strategy (QIDS-UP) aimed at improving literacy and numeracy in the early grades, which should include the promotion of multi-linguilism and encourage teaching in the mother tongue.
- Ensuring that the manifesto of values is emphasised through the Life Skills and Life Orientation through publications such as “My Country, South Africa” and commemoration of anniversaries such as the 90th anniversary of the birth of Oliver Reginald Tambo, the 40th anniversary of the death of ANC President and Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Chief Albert Luthuli and the 30th anniversary of the death in detention of Steve Biko. Broadening our focus on the value of ubuntu for social cohesion and human solidarity. We must recognize the importance of history in developing a caring nation. This would mean that our history must form part of the curriculum.
- The 2010 World Cup provides us with an opportunity to mobilise our diverse national group into a united nation and must be used as a vehicle for nation building and reconciliation.
Higher education – funding and fees
– There have been increased budget allocations to Higher Education in 2007/08; some of this is to be used for targeted funding of key areas rather than general subsidy basis. Institutions and faculties producing African graduates in key skills areas will be prioritised.
– University fee increases average 8% this year. The above inflation increases are motivated by the high cost of foreign journals and books, and more competitive salaries for staff. We are currently analysing their reports on fee increases, including the question of the base from which the increase is effected.
– In regard to student performance, there are serious concerns regarding throughput rates. Most students take much longer than needed to complete their courses, if they complete at all. In many cases institutions have enrolled well beyond their capacity to deliver, as a means of increasing fee income. (Some have referred to this as “education by rumour”, since lecture rooms are so over-crowded that students sit in the corridors waiting for “rumours” to emerge about what was said.)
– There is an urgent need to focus on academic development, on teaching, and on curriculum reform in higher education, to ensure better student performance, and reduce resource wastage.
– The financial situation at some poorer universities is still critical.
– Universities providing access and quality outcomes in engineering and other identified important relevant fields must be additionally resourced.
– To affirm the course embarked on the enrolment planning and by the Minister of Education which includes effective management of resources in higher education institutions to ensure that there are sufficient competent lecturers, adequate resources etc to achieve optimal output and throughput. Planning also includes directing resources in areas of engineering, financial management and other skills identified by JIPSA. These initiatives must be supported.
National / Provincial relations and budgets
– Despite increased allocations to education, the funding realities for
provincial departments are experienced differently.
– Against an intended equitable share for education of 51%, allocations to education as a share of provincial budget are as follows:
- 2002/03 45.7%
- 2005/06 44.7%
- 2008/09 42.8% (projected)
– This has had the consequence of undermining some key initiatives and programmes – especially interventions aimed at redress and affirmative action for the poorest schools and learners. These include the following areas, where, despite agreement on it as priorities, have had little support or action taken:
- Dinaledi schools, which are not adequately supported by provinces. Monitoring visits by the Department reported that by August there were still no textbooks in some of these prioritised schools, and that incentives for teachers in Dinaledi schools were not utilised. (The Department, acting beyond its mandate, procured and distributed books to these schools.)
- QIDS UP – Increases to provincial baseline allocations have included funding for this programme to provide “minimum resource package” to poorest schools. However provinces report that money has not been specifically identified in Departmental allocations. As a result the programme has stalled as a “flagship” programme, and is not achieving the intended outcomes.
- ECD Integrated Plan – money has been allocated to provinces for the programme and channeled to Departments of Social Development. Again this is not specifically identified, so it tends to get lost in the general work of these departments. There has also been no additional money for Health or Education to play their part in this integrated programme.
Government therefore needs to consider a more centralised control of the funding of national priorities. Conditional Grants may be used if necessary, or the transfer of centralised funds (such as a central school building fund), to competent agencies could be considered. A case may also be made for ring-fenced funding to ensure funds reach the intended beneficiaries of these programmes. This is especially needed for new, poverty targeting interventions. It seems that provincial funding may be suitable for “normal business”, but special initiatives (such as additional teachers for under-performing schools) may need other mechanisms (such as a national pool of teachers).
Learning and Teaching Support Materials (LTSM)
The current model of LTSM procurement and provisioning is not very efficient. The DoE spend more than R3 billion a year on books and stationery, but do not see books on the desks of every child, which is a minimum resource. The DoE has a variety of procurement and distribution systems in place across provinces, some of which work better than others. Agencies in Gauteng and KwaZulu Natal do the buying on behalf of these two Departments.
New approaches should be explored. Either a market model (like the Western Cape) must be fully implemented, where schools get the money and buy from the bookseller of their choice, or a more centralised selection and procurement system, perhaps even including some state publishing, and making use of new production and distribution technologies now available.
National school nutrition programme
Consideration should be given to extending the national school nutrition programme to secondary schools. It seems illogical that children who finish Grade 7 suddenly find themselves out of the scheme.
ABET and literacy
– The very disappointing results of ABET level 4 examinations (equivalent to a GETC, or Grade 9 in school) compel us to review the approach. The main cause of this failure is that the GETC requires Mathematics and two languages, which is beyond the need of most students. High dropouts are also a consequence of this.
– Following the approval by Cabinet of the recommendations of the Ministerial Committee on Literacy, a mass-based Literacy programme will be planned during 2007, for full implementation from 2008-2012.
We have to consider a separation of these two fields, with
– formal ABET being offered to only those who intend to study further (at an FET College, for example), and
– Literacy being offered to those who simply want to read, write and be numerate.
Evaluation and monitoring Policy
There has never been an evaluation unit to determine whether the curriculum is being correctly implemented, to ascertain the competency of educators in different learning areas and to ascertain what support or interventions are necessary in schools to ensure better performance. Because of the negative perception of “inspectors” in the past, this area was not pursued.
In order to qualitatively improve on learner achievement, the establishment of a national education evaluation and development unit (NEED) will be the most suitable mechanism to monitor, evaluate and support the system of education.
Maths, science and Dinaledi schools
Mathematics and Science are important gateway subjects for entering the fields of Engineering, Health and Accountancy. The subjects as well as the professionals have been identified as priority skills by JIPSA. In 2002 Cabinet approved the establishment of Dinaledi Schools located in our urban and rural nodes to increase participation and improve performance in these areas. Originally 102 schools wee established and last year they were increased to 400. The intention is to expand the number of schools as they have impacted positively in terms of participation (especially among girl learners) and performance.
Increase the number of Dinaledi schools.
– These have rationalised and re-capitalised to the tune of R1.9 billion over the MTEF period for refurbishment of equipment and machinery, ICT, governance and staff development.
– 52 new programmes (on engineering, ICT, tourism, agriculture, financial management, etc. have been introduced. The private sector have been involved in the development of the curriculum to ensure that it is relevant and responsive.
– FET Colleges still allow for short courses offered by SETAs and other credible agencies.
– Companies have begun supporting FET Colleges. The programmes are accredited and will enable learners to go directly into jobs, enter tertiary institutions or become entrepreneurs.
– 700 million rand has been set aside for bursaries in FET Colleges to improve access. Costs per course have been capped.
– Legislation has been enacted to give colleges the authority to employ competent lecturers from industry in any of the fields.
– ANC professionals and business people and labour representatives must serve in councils of FET Colleges.
– ANC cadres must promote FET colleges as an alternative career path that addresses the medium and high-level skills demand.
– FET Colleges must be promoted as institutions that integrate education and training (theory an practice).
– Given the large size of the school sector, and the stretched capacity of provinces, consideration should be given to making FET Colleges a national function to ensure the success of our skills initiatives.
National Curriculum Statement
We can celebrate the establishment of a single national curriculum for Grades R to Grade 12 that is relevant, outcome-based and innovative, and anchored in sound literacy, numeracy and life skills.
Mass participation, physical activity and sport
Physical education must be offered in all schools. The school sport policy and its implementation need to be reviewed to ensure that teachers become the key drivers of school sport programmes. Emphasis must be placed on localized mass participation.
LAND AND AGRICULTURE
Communal former Homelands and Ex-South African Development Trust Area Land. South Africa is, despite urbanisation still predominantly a rural society, which is seriously underprivileged and undeveloped.
To implement the Communal Land Rights Act, 2004 (Act No. 11 Of 2004) (ClaRA) including its redistributive objective and make the development opportunities in these areas a reality.
- Litigation against the constitutionality of the ClaRA and the possible delays that may be experienced;
- The finalisation of the regulations under the ClaRA and the influence of the clara court case on the content of the Regulations in question;
- The finalisation and approval of the province specific implementation strategies and institutional arrangements for the implementation of the ClaRA;
- The cost of implementation ClaRA has also been raised as an issue. While the implementation of ClaRA is likely to put a strain on the fiscus, the option of not surveying communal land and other aspects of ClaRA implementation would retard development of the affected areas; and
- Powers of traditional leaders in the ownership of land by communities is also a contested issue by some traditional leaders.
- Managing evictions, both legal and illegal, and legally secure tenure for farm dwellers and workers.
- The tenure security of farm dwellers and workers living on white commercial farmers land is either non-existent or legally insecure because it is derived through a third party, i.e. the white commercial farmers and companies involved in agri-business. As a consequence of this, these farm dwellers and workers were very vulnerable to being evicted on the farms causing enormous social and economic problems for society and State.
- Redistribute white commercial farmland to the farm dwellers and workers through the redistribution programme and the sub-programmes. If the white commercial farm land is redistributed to the farm dwellers and workers, tenure insecurity and the possibility of evictions will be eliminated.
- The DLA is currently interrogating the existing legislative framework with a view to strengthening the tenure security of farm dwellers and workers living on white commercial farmland.
- The Prevention of Illegal Evictions from and unlawful Occupation of Land Amendment Bill (PIE) is the legislative measure proposed to deal with the spectre of eviction of persons including the farm dwellers and workers. The PIE has recently been published for public comment from whence it will follow the normal Parliamentary processes.
- Linkages to the land acquisition strategy (willing buyer-willing seller principle and PLAS).
- Conflict between security of tenure rights and restitution claims.
- Land acquisition for land and agrarian reform purpose;
- Escalating land prices;
- Long and protracted process of land acquisition; and
- Spatial planning issue, the identification of land needs, the kind of land need and the availability of the land to meet the identified and articulated needs. (This has to do with the identification of land need, the location and nature of the needs as well as the character of the land recipients).
Eliminate the inconsistency between the Constitution and the White Paper on South African Land Policy concept of compensation and the DLA’s concept restricted to the willing buyer-willing seller principle only. This will have the effect of reducing the land acquisition prices and simultaneously the lengthy process of land acquisition.
- Finalisation of the willing buyer-willing seller principle review;
- Designing the implementations systems and procedures;
- Integration and finalisation of the recommendations on the land tax and land ceilings issues.
Land and agrarian reform
The management of social and institutional partners in the implementation of land and agrarian reform.
The DLA has fragmented initiatives on how to deal with its social and institutional partners in the implementation of land and agrarian reform. Land and agrarian reform cannot be addressed in a sustainable manner by Government in isolation.
Development of an integrated partnership management strategy and the implementation of the strategy thereof.
Involvement of foreigners in the South African local land markets pushes up the land prices and thus makes land less available for land and agrarian reform programmes; increases the conversion of agricultural land use from live stock and other activities to game and lifestyle estates; and in some instances poses a security risk.
With regards to the matter of foreign ownership of land, it is recommended that conference must resolve to restrict ownership of land by non-South Africa citizens.
Amendment of land legislation
We are loosing a lot of cases in Court, precisely because of our weak land legislation. On restitution we have lost cases around the validity of otherwise valid land claims.
The finalisation of the amendment to the Expropriation Act of 1975, involving Public Works, is critical for dealing with those who are resisting our land reform process.
Regulate land use for socio-economic benefits
- Land to the people has been distributed, but it is a serious concern that some do not use the land optimally; it may therefore be prudent to regulate land use.
- Who must own the land, is it the State or the citizens? Current policy of government is to dispose off State Land and get communities or individuals to own land. Do we still want to continue with this view, which most communities and individuals support, or is it time to review it? The prevalent view is that land owned by individual’s leads to release of economic potential and remarkable growth, communal ownership retards growth as well as that by the state. What should be done with those households who have access to land but they are not using it productively?
- The phenomenon of rapid urbanisation is one of the most challenging social developments of our time, one which most African governments are ill-prepared to deal with. Its biggest impact was that it resulted in increased poverty (a process called the urbanisation of poverty) and the proliferation of slums in the urban areas. Hence, the determination in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) that in dealing with poverty the issue of slums has to be fundamental.
- In our case we have been caught at the crossroads. We are required to deal with a huge accumulated historical housing backlog whilst at the same time having to manage the phenomenon. This means that even if we were a normal society without the huge housing backlog from apartheid, we would still be confronted with the need to deal with the phenomenon of rapid urbanisation.
- We recognise that following the commitment we made as a government party in 1994 to deliver 1 million houses within five years that it had not been possible to meet that commitment. Hence, under the 1999 election manifesto we came to the conclusion that change needed to take place ‘at a faster pace’. We committed, in addition, that the success of our policies in this regard were to be looked at against the ‘Reduction of the number of homeless poor’.
- Given that the number historical backlog presently exist alongside a newly created demand for housing as a result of urbanisation we have to recognise that we have not achieved a reduction in the number of the homeless poor.
- Given the urgency we thus have decided to place this matter on the agenda of the Lekgotla in the belief that unless it receives priority within the movement’s and the Alliance programmes we could be faced with a serious crisis.
Housing demand and delivery since 1994
- Since 1994 we have made unprecedented achievements in the delivery of housing. Overall, 2,2 million houses were delivered by September 2006 providing accommodation to 8,4 million people. But the achievement gets obscured immediately when account is taken of the still huge and increasing demand we face. About 2,4 million households presently reside in informal settlements. Of these an estimated 8000,000 is on the approved housing subsidy list waiting for their homes to be provided.
- Clearly, despite the impressive delivery we have not made a significant dent into homelessness.
- Our analysis indicates that the demand has increased as the result of principally three factors, which are the following:
1. The search for better opportunities
Better socio-economic conditions particularly within metropolitan areas and other cities fuel the process of urbanisation.
2. Delivery and growth rates
The current delivery rate does not take into account the growth in demand. For instance, whilst delivery is geared towards providing a house forming the first generation of our urbanized peoples, and many of whom have been on the waiting list for over 20 years, provision is not being made for accommodating a presently increasing second and third generation and the newly urbanized.
3. New household formation
In consequence of the population increasing by 2.1% per annum there has been a net increase of over 4.2 million people between 1996 and 2001. In addition, we had an increase of 30% in the absolute number of households, where only a 10% increase was expected.
3. The 2010 Soccer World Cup
- The awarding of the 2010 World Cup to our country comes with positive results. However, it has fuelled further increases in prices of building materials which already were on an upward trend.
- For example, statistics indicate that between February 1998 and February 2005 prices in building material supplies increased by 143%, notwithstanding inflation. In contradistinction, the housing subsidy increased by just under 50%. When you add to this the scarcity of material such as cement, then it becomes clear that we have huge problems.
- The combination of these factors has caused low-income housing to be practically unaffordable which is why we are calling for special interventions.
4. Mobilising for human settlements to increase stability
- The hike in housing delivery that needs to be achieved to increase stability is more than double that of the current scale. The eradication of all informal settlements by 2014 would only be possible if that is achieved without fail. Thus, in accordance with our constitutional, policy and electoral mandates delivery has to be ‘faster’ and more responsive to create long-lasting impact.
- Accelerated delivery can only occur when all the stakeholders that matter in the delivery chain are mobilized effectively and purposefully. There is thus need to mobilize collectively for more efficiency and capacity for housing delivery to take place in accordance with the adapted strategy of Breaking new Ground (BNG).
The Cost of meeting the Housing Backlog (as a component of human settlements)
In order to eradicate the backlog, annual delivery rates of beyond 400,000 units are required at a cost that varies between R345 and R548 billion -with the total cost decreasing as the annual delivery rate increases. At a delivery rate of 498,865 the backlog will be eradicated by 2014 at a total estimated cost of R343 billion.
Under these circumstances projects are often implemented over several years when funding is available as opposed to being completed in the shortest time possible.
Limitations (due to scarcity and price) in acquiring suitably located land is a major constraint on the creation of sustainable human settlements. A Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) for housing land acquisition is therefore in the process of being formed. Further interventions to counter land constraints relate to the need for active support and promotion of densification of existing settlements to optimize the benefits of available quality amenities, infrastructure and economic functionalities. And this underlines the recognition that delivery must happen in more and more innovative and new ways. Hence, our identification of the need to build a scale for the next two years.
What has been done?
In accordance with policies and the resolutions of conferences the following progress has to date been made:
1. Anchoring the concept of human settlements
The BNG strategy, approved by Cabinet in September 2004, provided a shift from housing to human settlements. This involves a multi-dimensional approach responding to the significant socio-economic, demographic and policy shifts in housing delivery; redirecting and enhancing existing mechanisms to move towards more responsive and effective delivery. It is a key strategy for poverty alleviation, job creation, asset and wealth creation and empowerment, combating crime, promoting social cohesion, dismantling and bridging first and second economy divides, and leveraging growth in the economy.
Focus is oriented beyond the provision of basic shelter and directed towards achieving sustainable communities and the reversal of apartheid spatial development which is necessary if we are to achieve the social transformation South Africa needs.
2. Piloting accelerated development
The N2 Gateway Pilot Project was put up to derive lessons on how delivery of a new model can be accelerated. In the same light Cosmo City is a provincial project on integrated development.
The signing of the Social Contract for accelerated delivery An agreement was signed in October 2005 with various stakeholders on a quid-pro-quo basis, on how through combined effort we can increase our delivery rate.
3. Movement in the Financial Services Charter
Banks have committed themselves to providing R42 billion towards affordable housing. The process however has been slow due to banks dragging their feet and government remains uncoordinated. Notwithstanding R16 million of the committed total has to date been expended. A number of projects with banks are underway.
Agreement on inclusionary housing and facilitating access to land
- After an extensive research looking at international practices and agreement was reached with developers on inclusionary housing.
- Advanced work is underway and it is envisaged that a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) will be in operation to assist this determination including facilitating through land acquisition the implementation of inclusionary housing programmes. Such inclusionary housing programmes are generally based on the idea of requiring the developers of middle income and high income housing to also provide a proportion of affordable housing in their projects. It should be noted that an inclusionary programme in South Africa would need to be different from inclusionary housing programmes elsewhere in the world which usually apply only to larger housing projects (bigger than 15 units). The SPV incorporates a Housing Development Agency whose purpose would be to acquire, hold and prepare housing land for development and to have project management capacity. In this regards it is to function in the same way as the South African National Roads Agency (SANRAL).
4. Efficiency in the expenditure of allocated funds
Greater efficiency in the expenditure of allocated funds through the fiscus has been achieved. At present we are at 96% of the expenditure bracket.
What has still to be done (policy proposals)
- Additional measures that would need to be undertaken by the developmental state in support of the recommended shift in funding for housing and human settlements are the following:
- Interventions in the industry to curb the spiraling of prices in respect of building material supply in favour of house construction. The absence of interventions in this area is in fact a subtle contradiction to the outlook of the developmental state.
- In line with the outlook of the Developmental State adopt a central planning approach (guided by instruments such as the NSDP) for purposes of directing resouce allocation/distribution and overall coordinated response to prevailing socio-economic trends in a manner that is not undermined by the regional administrative complex. In this way a government-wide approach to Sustainable Human Settlements will be realized.
- Prioritise metropolitan areas and large cities for interventions (funding and capacitation) that seek to fast track upgrading of informal settlements and ensure national spatial restructuring in view of the space economy and preferred development trajectory.
- In the remainder of the mandate period leading towards 2014, the following are the tasks that remain to be done:
- A two-year special dispensation to fast-track delivery process and deliver housing and human settlements at greater scale;
- The prevention of further squatting through development of appropriate legislation;
- Mobilization of broad based stakeholders into a common front for human settlements delivery. This includes massification of the youth participation in housing delivery and other segments of the movement;
- Prioritizing service delivery;
- Restructuring the funding mechanism and consolidating all housing related subsidies to ensure greater alignment in the delivery of Human Settlements; and
- Initiating negotiations with unions for a more effective use of the living allowance being provided by mining companies.
POLICY FRAMEWORK FOR INTEGRATED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT
Historic context of youth policy development and implementation The general premise in analysing the challenges faced by young people is that considering that of the approximately 30% unemployed people, 70% of these are young people and this therefore means that South Africa’s socio-economic problems and challenges are essentially pertaining the development of the youth of our country. This therefore calls for concerted action at youth development if indeed the future of our country has to be put on a sustainable and vibrant development trajectory
- The role of the youth movement at the forefront of the liberation struggle against the apartheid system placed it in direct confrontation with the apartheid government. This made the apartheid government to identify most young people and youth movements as thorny motive forces for the liberation struggle that must be isolated, apprehended and permanently silenced. Throughout their lives, young people continued to pay the highest sacrifices as they continued to be targeted by the Apartheid Security Forces for imprisonment, torture, maiming and brutal murder for their stance against the unjust apartheid regime.
- Prior to the dawn of democracy in South Africa through the historic 27 April 1994 democratic break through, issues of youth development were never really prioritized nor institutionalized by the then Apartheid government. This was not by sheer accidental omission but rather through systematic design to isolate development of young people and use it as a tool to sentence the majority of the black youth population to a bleak future in the latter years of their life beyond their youthful life. During this period, issues of youth development were left mainly to civil society youth organizations and never really found expression within government structures, legislation, policies or programmes. At the level of government, development of the privileged white minority youth was addressed more along patterns of apartheid repressive systems and not as sectoral cross-racial youth issues.
National Youth Development Forum
The national negotiations of 1990 to 1993 ran parallel to a process of drawing the youth sector together around an agreed platform of key development priorities. This entailed long, difficult, negotiations with the youth wings of different political movements rallied together by a common commitment towards youth development. By 1993 at the end of the National Conference on Marginalized Youth, the National Youth Development Forum was ready to be launched as an implementing body, absorbing the National Youth Development Coordinating Committee (NYDCC), which had been formed to provide overall guidance to the youth sector. Designed as a non-partisan body that would co-ordinate and implement interventions in the sector, the NYDF was the culmination of years of hard work. The NYDF had three main tasks:
- To design and pilot innovative schemes such as the National Youth Service;
- To cohere the fractious youth sector around developmental rather than political goals;
- To build on the growing sympathy for youth that had begun to emerge in the early 1990s.
Reconstruction And Development Programme
As the 1994 Democratic Elections approached, the RDP emerged strongly as a blue -print of policy consensus among various contending forces in the transformation of South Africa.. Through the RDP, by 1994, the shape of South Africa had been largely settled in terms of policy and institutional arrangements. While no major mention of youth development initiatives were expressly mentioned in the RDP, the document went on to highlight the following in favour of youth development:
- The national youth service initiative as a policy proposal
- A youth Council proposal as an institution for championing youth development
The Reconstruction and Development Programme has therefore laid a firm basis on the framework for youth development
CHALLENGES BEYOND 1994
The situation of youth development prior to 1994 subsequently placed a mammoth challenge, both on the democratic government and civil society in general. The immediate preoccupation within government and the youth sector was then to come up with formidable, legislative and institutional mechanisms that could speak to issues of youth development and give hope to the multitudes of young people whose fait has already doomed to demise by the predecessor government of Apartheid. This in itself was not to become an easy exercise and the period since 1994 witnessed robust debates ensuing both within and outside government about appropriate institutional mechanisms to address issues of youth development.
- The challenges of youth development over the last decade have mirrored the extent to which the apartheid legacy sought to entrench itself in the socio-economic and socio-political life of South Africa. Such legacy manifests itself in the form of a dual economy, which despite significant initiatives and policy shifts to unwind this legacy remains a significant challenge that is yet to be effectively addressed.
- The government’s approach to youth development since 1994 has occurred within a broad spectrum of policy options characterized by institutional models that sought to address the structural deficiencies of our economy. The creation of the National Youth Commission and other corresponding institutions of youth development at provincial and local level were part of an institutional alignment to locate the youth developmental agenda at the centre of our country’s development.
- Addressing the challenge of youth development requires an approach anchored on seamless integration, sustainability and responsiveness to the demands and aspirations of South Africa’s youth. The approach in this regard must not only be to confront current challenges of the national economy vis-à-vis the global economy, but also to confront the internal issues that inhibit growth and development in a way that would meet the developmental needs of our people in general, and young people in particular.
- Therefore, there are two critical policy options that the national policy conference should pronounce on in as far as the institutional configuration to pursue youth development. These are, (a) maintain the status qou in terms of which the current youth institutions will persist as they are configured i.e. NYC, UYF or (b) the realignment and/or amalgamation of these into one institution.
In this regard, conference must strongly consider the idea of the National Youth Development Agency.
PROPOSED POLICY FRAMEWORK
- In 2004, while taking stock of the general Youth Development breakthroughs that has been made, it was noted that generally the Youth Commission had succeeded to come up with major Policy interventions to transform the youth sector. South African National Youth Policy adopted by National Youth Commission in 1997. This Policy intervention drew extensively on the approaches and priorities outlined in the World Programme of Action for Youth and further from the Commonwealth Youth Charter. National Youth Development Policy Framework, 2002-2007, which recognizes the rights and obligations of youth in a democratic context.
- The NYDPF served as an overarching policy document that governs youth development for government and its agencies.
- Furthermore, amongst the challenges that the policy conference should pronounce on are the following:
- Integration and alignment on youth development;
- Institutional configuration of the youth development.
THE INTEGRATED YOUTH DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY AS A PROGRAMMATIC RESPONSE TO THE IMPLEMENTATION OF YOUTH DEVELOPMENT MANDATE IN SOUTH AFRICA
- It will be crucial for the policy conference to analyse and consider the challenges and means with which those challenges were addressed in as far as youth development is concerned. These analyses will confirm the point that there is a need for an Integrated Youth Development Strategy (IYDS). This strategy should address the perennial challenge of institutional and programmatic capacity to meet the various development challenges faced by the youth of our country. Thus the adoption of the IYDS itself as the main strategic mechanism towards youth development in South Africa will constitute an important way forward.
- The IYDS as a long term programme must be two pronged with regards to actual implementation. Firstly, there must be those programmes that directly impact on youth development. The IYDS must be very vigorous on such direct impact programmes. Secondly, there must be those programmes which the IYDS works in conjunction with other development institutions both youth oriented and non-youth oriented. The bulk of the work that is required to drastically turn around the fortune on youth development resides on issues that would be dealt with indirectly and in conjunction with other institutions as the aim after all is to integrate youth development throughout all spheres of government, private sector and NGO’s development. This is basically because the very definition of youth development is conceptualized as a cross-cutting issue that must be integral to all developmental initiatives nationally, provincially and at the local level.
- The IYDS will seek to clarify the capability and capacity of programmatic and institutional mechanisms to respond effectively, efficiently and comprehensively to the broad challenges of youth development. The IYDS will thus enable youth policy makers and policy monitors to be able to initiate concrete interventions around a single vision that would be a point of reference for all stakeholders around the question of youth development.
There is an appreciation that youth development has assumed centre stage in South Africa since the dawn of democracy in 1994. However, there is an acknowledgment that despite such general commitment towards youth development, the absence of institutional and programmatic capacity to address youth development has meant that the historic backlogs created by apartheid persist.
Summary of Key Points
- The general premise in analysing the challenges faced by young people, the convention noted that considering that of the approximately 30% unemployed people, 70% of these are young people and this therefore means that South Africa’s socio-economic problems and challenges are essentially pertaining the development of the youth of our country
- Prior to the dawn of democracy in South Africa through the historic 27 April 1994 democratic break through, issues of youth development were never really prioritized nor institutionalized by the then Apartheid government.
- The national negotiations of 1990 to 1993 ran parallel to a process of drawing the youth sector together around an agreed platform of key development priorities.
- As the 1994 Democratic Elections approached, the RDP emerged strongly as a blue -print of policy consensus among various contending forces in the transformation of South Africa.In particular, the RDP highlighted the national youth service initiative as a policy proposal and a Youth Council as an institution for championing youth development
- The challenges of youth development over the last decade have mirrored the extent to which the apartheid legacy sought to entrench itself in the socio-economic and socio-political life of South Africa
- Addressing the challenge of youth development requires an approach anchored on seamless integration, sustainability and responsiveness to the demands and aspirations of South Africa’s youth.
- There are two critical policy options that the policy conference should pronounce on in as far as the institutional arrangement to pursue youth development. These are (a) maintain the status quo or (b) amalgamate youth institutions. In this regard conference must strongly consider the idea of the National Youth Development Agency.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSIONS
- What have been the key trends on Youth development in South Africa over the last decade?
- What has been the impact of institutions, policies and programmes established to expedite youth development?
- What achievements, setbacks and lessons that have characterize youth development since 1994?
- Are the current challenges permit institutional reform, if no why and if yes, what form should this assume?