MEDIA STATEMENT BY THE
INKATHA FREEDOM PARTY

 


IFP: GOVERNMENT TO BLAME FOR SOUTH AFRICA'S POOR SHOWING ON HDI

September 20, 2005

The IFP notes with shock and disappointment that South Africa this year ranks 120th on the UN Development Programme's Human Development Index (HDI) list of 177 countries.

The HDI measures achievement in terms of life expectancy, educational attainment and adjusted real income.

"When one considers how much emphasis on human rights, democratic participation, empowerment and service delivery the ANC government has placed since 1994, this is a disastrous showing," said IFP President, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi MP.

"The government's self-congratulatory rhetoric at home is no match for independent statistics from overseas sources. These spell unambiguous failure," added Prince Buthelezi, noting that South Africa has fallen 35 places in the HDI rankings since 1990.

Statistician and report co-writer, Claes Johannson, said this was mainly the result of the fall in life expectancy brought about by the HIV/Aids pandemic and scholastic under-achievement.

On the positive side, inequality was decreasing, real income was up and indications were that life expectancy was levelling out and would start rising soon.

The IFP, however, maintains that none of this is happening fast enough.

"The progress which the government is making in transforming South Africa's economy and society barely translates into improvement in the lives of the people on the ground," said Prince Buthelezi.

"The government is boasting happy numbers while independent statistics expose the misery and humiliation of individuals, particularly in the rural areas, across this country," concluded Prince Buthelezi.

Contact: 084 555 7144