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