ISSUE 05 | 2016
SA remains committed to democracy
The developments and innovations that have been achieved by our young democracy have revealed the uncompromising fortitude of the ANC for the betterment of its people.
Despite South Africa leading economic growth on the continent for many years, a large portion of the nation has still remained oppressed when it comes to accessing the development intended to improve their lives.
A pre-democratic South Africa comprised policies that deprived and limited the masses. Fast-forward 22 years and the consequences of democracy have fashioned this country into one that has become a leader on the continent in developing and empowering all its citizens to build a greater nation. This has culminated in South Africans gaining equal opportunity to access service delivery by virtue of their citizenship rather than the colour of their skin.
Perhaps what has been even more heartening is that the ANC has remained steadfast in its commitment to ensuring that this democracy, albeit young, continues to strive for the everyday South African. This notion is embodied in the sentiments of many of the party’s leadership who have emphatically expressed that the ANC is not and will not be distracted by any factions or elements, in not only providing citizens of this country with development and service delivery, but also the creation of a united, non-racial, non-sexist and democratic society.
This has been exemplified in the momentous innovations that South African citizens have enjoyed since the end of oppression. In ensuring that the country remains abreast with developments around the world, the ANC government has presented key technologies such as the Smart ID Card, set to replace the old green barcoded ID books – an innovation designed to assist in combating identity theft, fraudulent activities related to driving licences, social grants, financial institutions as well as insurance.
In enabling South African citizens to access this key innovation, online platforms have been prepared. This has also been achieved through the partnership with major financial institutions signifying the realisation of business in supporting the governing party’s ultimate goal of spearheading economic and social change.
More than this, we are evolving our ability to bring service delivery to more South Africans than ever before. South Africans can now access ID applications online and through their banks – new bounds of service delivery never before seen in our country. Over 4.1 million Smart ID Cards have been issued to date, with a further 2.2 million to be issued this year.
The trend of innovation has also spilt over to other aspects of society such as education, a pivotal cog in the development of a successful country.
In realising this [goal], the government has taken stringent measures towards improving the quality of teaching and learning in schools throughout the country in what can be described as a highly inspiring programme to equip learners with tablets and install IT infrastructure in public schools in order to make full use of this innovation.
It has to be acknowledged that South Africa’s education system has been for many years immersed with both obvious and more subtle divisions in order to fully appreciate the significant strides made in this regard. During apartheid, palpable partitions were enforced by the Bantu Education Act; post-apartheid the struggle has been to overcome the more understated divisions of private and public education.
The e-learning programme is an instrument for breaking the barriers of education delivery and has aided in the provision of world-class education to all learners of this country, emphasising the government’s continued resolve in uplifting the quality of life of all South Africans. Accentuating this is the recent online school registration system which the government has introduced and earmarked to end the tedious process of physically registering learners.
This is a further indication that the government continues to [invest] in innovation that will improve service delivery for the people of this great nation.
[First appeared in The Star newspaper of 27 April 2016]
Malusi Gigaba, MP
Minister of Home Affairs