With the attention focused on the ANC for the coming national and provincial elections on 8 May 2019 the ruling party is feeling an intense pressure.
With the attention focused on the ANC for the coming national and provincial elections on 8 May 2019 the ruling party is feeling an intense pressure. The liberal movement’s electoral dominance since the end of apartheid has provided a strong reflection of stability on the political environment.
In 1994 during the first multiracial democratic elections the ANC symbolized freedom, economic emancipation of the people and social justice. South Africans went out in numbers to the different voting stations across the country to cast their vote with the hope for better change.
The party won 12,2 million votes and secure majority seats in the parliament, 252 seats out of 400.
After the first democratic elections there had been numerous changes in the country and the following are some of the examples:
Access to Adequate Housing
The right to adequate housing is one of the focused areas identified by the South African Human Rights Commission in order to effectively fulfill its mandate of promoting, protecting and monitoring the of Human rights in South Africa. The rights to have access to adequate housing goes beyond mere provision of bricks and mortar, its linked to other cross cutting rights. These includes rights such as public participation, equality, human dignity and access to information.
Water and Sanitation
With regard to water and sanitation the Statistic South Africa records reveal that although 88,6% of South African households had access to piped water in 2017, only 74,2% of households in Eastern Cape, and 74,7% of households in Limpopo enjoyed such access.
While South Africa has progressed in the supply of water to most urban and rural areas, water supply remains challenging in many communities in the country.
This situation does, however, represent a substantial improvement from that of 2002 when only 56,1% of households in Eastern Cape had access to piped water. Access to water in the dwellings, off-site, or on-site was most common in Nelson Mandela Bay 100%, the City of Cape Town 99,3% and the City of Johannesburg 98,4%.
Nationally, 63,9% of households rated the quality of water-related services they received as good. Satisfaction has, however, been eroding steadily since 2005 when 76,4% of users rated the services as good.
An estimated 46,4% of households had access to piped water in their dwellings in 2016. A further 26.8% accessed water on site while 13,3% relied on communal taps and 2,4% relied on neighbors’ taps.
Although generally households’ access to water is improving, 3,7% of households still had to fetch water from rivers, streams, stagnant water pools and dams, wells and springs in 2018. This is, however, much lower than the 9,5% of households that had to access water from these sources in 2002.
The records also reveals that, through the provision and the efforts of government, support agencies and existing stakeholders, an additional 20,5% of households in South Africa have access to improved sanitation since 2012.
Western Cape 94,1% and Gauteng 90,1% were the provinces with the highest access to improved sanitation in the country, while provinces such as Mpumalanga 67,6% and Limpopo 58,9% had the lowest percentages.
When analyzing in the metropolitan areas, the highest percentages of households with access to improved sanitation were recorded in the City of Johannesburg 95.1%, Buffalo city 93,6% and Nelson Mandela Bay 93,5% and lowest percentages were recorded in the City of Tshwane 82,3 and eThekwini 83,4.
Nationally, the percentage of households without sanitation, or who used the bucket toilet system decreased from 12,6% to 3,1% between 2002 and 2017.
Fight against HIV
South Africa has the biggest HIV epidemic in the world, with 7.1 million people living with HIV. Since the first democratic elections there had been huge improvements in the fight against this pandemic disease.
The country has the largest ART programme in the world, which has undergone even more expansions in recent years with the implementation of test and treat guidelines. South Africa was the first country in sub-Sahara Africa to fully approve Pre-exposure prophylaxis (PreEP), which is now being made available to people at high risk of infection.
The government also played a major role in rolling out of the 16 days of activism campaign in South Africa by mobilizing members of society, especially men to join hands in the fight to curb Violence Against Women.
Social assistance through grants is the democratic government’s most effective poverty-alleviation tool. The Social assistance programme has been expanding at an unprecedented rate, with the number of beneficiaries increasing from 2.7 million people in 1994 to 16 million people by 2013.
The old age grant was normalized so that blacks would also get a monthly income like their white counterparts, unlike pre-1994 when they received it bi-monthly. The age limit for men was gradually lowered from 56 to 60 to match the limit for women.
The Child Support Grant was introduced in 1998 and initially targeted children aged 0 to 7 years. The age limit of this grant was gradually raised to 18 years. The disability grant, Foster care, dependency grant and the war veterans’ grants were extended to all South Africans.
Although the ANC have achieved so much, their challenges seems to outweighing their positive attributes. The major challenges include inter alia unemployment, corruption, competition and loss of the confidence of the majority of South Africans. The ANC is said to face a tough poll on 08 May 2018 so the struggle continues.
In 2012 the then ANC Youth league President Julius Malema was charged with the allegations of calling for regime change in neighbouring Botswana and was suspended for 5 years. The fearless Malema never back down and he continue to fight tooth and nail after his suspension and he was expelled from the party together with his allies.
In less than a year Malema and Shivambu formed the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) which grew rapidly and the party is gaining support all over the country including the neighboring countries. In 2014 the EFF won 6.35 of votes in the National elections and securing 25 seats in the National Assembly. The EFF continues to grow and have gained much support across the country.
The EFF said it’s aiming to govern in Gauteng, the North West and Limpopo after the 8 May 2019 general elections. In their manifesto recently the EFF said that should the voters put it in power they will ensure that they pay the teachers, Police officers and civil servants a better salaries. The EFF also said it would provide a land, free education, and better jobs to the South Africans.
The EFF commander in Chief further Julius Malema also called on the police to vote for the EFF, saying they should not be shooting black people for protesting but rather criminals like ANC secretary general Ace Magashule. Malema also said that the EFF is not fighting against white people, but they are fighting against white privilege, and the white arrogance as well.
In the 2016 Local government elections the ANC lost control of Gauteng province’s two metros namely Tshwane and Johannesburg to its opposition party Democratic Alliance. The EFF gave its support in the election of Democratic Alliance mayors in the Tshwane and Johannesburg metros. The DA hopes to score more votes in these two metros and this shows that the ANC is in trouble.
In 2018 the former President Jacob Zuma appointed the Commission of inquiry following the Public Protector Madonsela’s report of state capture after an investigation into the Guptas’ influence over organs of state. Shortly after taking office, President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo the presiding judge for this commission, popularly known as Zondo Commission.
The Deputy Chief Justice is assisted by five other commissioners. The Commission holds hearing that are open to public. Several officials from different organizations came forward to testify against those who are implicated into state capture and more witness are said to come forward.
President Cyril Ramaphosa said the ANC will fight tooth and nail to curb corruption in the country.