Protecting the Inheritance: Governance and Public Accountability in Democratic South Africa

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A rural housing action plan must be developed to address this. While recognising that rural incomes are far lower, the democratic government must consider rural housing needs in calculating backlogs, and make provision for gradually improving housing in rural areas.

Accountability and governance in the public sector: Kimi Makwetu

In particular, labour tenants require security of tenure, and legal defence and advice offices must be established to assist farm workers in cases of eviction. All actors in the housing sector must be identified and their roles clearly defined, to enable coordinated and efficient housing provision. Role players include civic associations and other community groups, the public sector, non-governmental organisations, private sector developers and construction materials firms, trade unions, financial institutions, etc.

The work of the National Housing Forum should be encouraged to continue, but there must be effective public sector participation as well. Duplication, inefficiency and ineffectiveness must be eliminated. The costs of housing construction must be kept as low as possible while meeting the proposed standards. Bulk-buying facilities and other support mechanisms must be introduced in order to maximise use of local materials and to develop products that lower costs and increase the efficiency of housing provision. The building materials industries must be examined, both to improve productive output and to reduce costs.

Cartels, price agreements and market share agreements must end, and consideration must be given to public, worker and community-based ownership where the market fails to provide a reasonably priced product.

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Community-controlled building materials suppliers must be encouraged, possibly with government subsidies to enhance competitiveness. An enforceable Code of Conduct must be established to guide developers. Special funds must be made available to support small and medium-sized enterprises. Resources should be provided in the form of loans for bridging finance, and grants for training and entrepreneurial development.

Delivery systems will depend upon community participation. While the central government has financing responsibilities, provincial and local governments should be the primary agencies facilitating the delivery of housing and should be particularly active in the delivery of rental housing stock. Organisations of civil society should play a supportive role in relation to local government to enhance the delivery process. The roles of various entities in the private sector the construction and supplies industry, etc.

Address by Public Protector Adv. Thuli Madonsela at the Sanef KZN Quarterly Council Meeting

Delivery systems should aim to maximise job creation, the use of local materials, and local income generation and training. Support must be provided to black and, more generally, to small builders. Beneficiary communities should be involved at all levels of decision-making and in the implementation of their projects.

Communities should benefit directly from programmes in matters such as employment, training and award of contracts. Key to such participation is capacity building, and funds for community-based organisations must be made available. Educational institutions must also be reorientated to provide the skills needed for development.

Today, more than 12 million people do not have access to clean drinking water and 21 million people do not have adequate sanitation toilets and refuse removal. Less than half the rural population has a safe and accessible water supply, and only one person in seven has access to adequate sanitation.

Communities have had little say in the provision of water and sanitation, and decision-making in the water delivery agencies has reflected broader apartheid ideology. Access to water resources is dominated by a privileged minority while the majority of the population enjoy little or no water security. The existing limited water resources are also unevenly distributed, with 70 per cent of the country receiving 11 per cent of the rainfall. Apartheid South Africa used its military and economic might to coerce its neighbours into acting as sources of water, sometimes to the detriment of these countries' own water needs and of the sub-continental watertable.

The fundamental principle of our water resources policy is the right to access clean water - 'water security for all'. The RDP recognises the economic value of water and the environment, and advocates an economically, environmentally and politically sustainable approach to the management of our water resources and the collection, treatment and disposal of waste.

The long-term environmental costs of sourcing water from neighbouring countries and between provinces must be given greater consideration. South Africa is also a drought-prone country, and a national drought management system and water reserves are a priority. Water management has three main goals: meeting every person's health and functional requirements, raising agricultural output, and supporting economic development.

Decisions on water resources must be transparent and justified so as to reduce conflict between competing users. The use of water must be balanced with a realisation of the dangers of overuse and inappropriate disposal. Community organisations must also receive training in water management and must ensure such management is integrated into overall planning.

Water supply to nearly per cent of rural households should be achieved over the medium term, and adequate sanitation facilities should be provided to at least 75 per cent of rural households. Particularly in rural areas, the RDP must develop appropriate institutions, including village water committees.


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Consultation with communities is essential in the provision of water. To ensure that every person has an adequate water supply, the national tariff structure must include the following:. Since there is likely to be a need to import water from other countries, a future democratic government must pursue a policy of mutual cooperation with its neighbours and create bilateral and multilateral treaties which ensure the fair and adequate allocation of water resources to the benefit of the people of the region as a whole.

Rural women in particular face a heavy burden collecting wood which is an inefficient and unhealthy fuel. Urban households face high costs for paraffin and gas. Coal, where it is available, is cheap but results in severe health problems, an underpaid workforce, and the failure to assess and internalise environmental costs. Furthermore, some 19, black schools 86 per cent and around 4, clinics are currently without electricity.

Little attention has been paid to utilising sustainable energy sources such as solar power. At present there are around electricity distributors and more than 1, domestic electricity tariffs in South Africa. Rural electrification has been largely ignored except for commercial white farms. Future energy policy must concentrate on the provision of energy services to meet the basic needs of poor households, stimulate productive capacity and urgently meet the energy needs associated with community services such as schools, clinics and water supplies.

Energy policies must be developed on the basis of an integration of supply-side and demand-side considerations. Immediate policies to meet energy needs must include a low-smoke coal programme, improved management of natural woodlands, social forestry programmes, commercial woodlots, and support for the transport of wood from areas of surplus to areas of need. Gas and paraffin prices must be reduced through better regulation and by bringing bulk supplies closer to households. This will involve the adoption of least-cost planning approaches; the improvement of dwelling thermal performance; the promotion of energy-efficient appliances; the use of solar water heaters; appliance labelling, and the implementation of time-of-use electricity tariffs.

Financial assistance to ensure households have access to efficient appliances will be essential. The environmental impact of different energy sources must be assessed. An accelerated and sustainable electrification programme must provide access to electricity for an additional 2. Both grid and non-grid power sources such as solar cells and generators must be employed. All schools and clinics must be electrified as soon as possible.

Communities must be involved in the planning and execution of this programme. Micro, small and medium-sized enterprises must be given support and shown preference in the tendering process. This must be financed from within the industry as far as possible via cross-subsidies from other electricity consumers. Where necessary the democratic government will provide concessionary finance for the electrification of poor households in remote rural areas. A national Electrification Fund, underwritten by a government guarantee, must be created to raise bulk finance from lenders and investors for electrification.

Such a fund could potentially be linked to a Reconstruction Fund to be utilised for other related infrastructural financing needs. A national domestic tariff structure with low connection fees must be established to promote affordability. A national Energy Policy Council should be established to bring together stakeholders including the government, unions, civics, the energy industries, and consumers. To assist with this a powerful, independent, national electricity regulator must be established to enforce public policy, ensure long-term financial viability, assure environmental sustainability, and act as an ombuds in the event of conflicts between consumers, government and the electricity industry.

Under apartheid the provision of telecommunications was racially distorted.


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  • For black people it is estimated that less than 1 line per persons is in place compared with about 60 lines per white persons. Other countries with comparable per capita wealth have 30 lines per persons. The situation is far worse in rural areas. The lack of infrastructure has also restricted the provision of services to peri-urban and rural areas. Other telecommunications networks are not well integrated into the existing Telkom network.

    An effective telecommunications infrastructure which includes universal access is essential to enable the delivery of basic services and the reconstruction and development of deprived areas. In terms of the RDP, telecommunications services must be provided to all schools and clinics within two years. This has burdened the workforce with enormous travel distances to their places of employment and commercial centres, and thus with excessive costs. Apartheid transport policy deprived the majority of people of a say in transport matters, and has led to the payment of huge travel subsidies; exposed commuters to vast walking distances and insecure rail travel; failed to regulate the kombi-taxi industry adequately; largely ignored the country's outrageous road safety record; paid little attention to the environmental impact of transport projects, and facilitated transport decision-making bodies that are unwieldy, unfocused, unaccountable and bureaucratic.

    There is inadequate access for emergency services in rural areas, inadequate public transport frequencies and route coverage, poor coordination, and other inefficiencies. Indeed, in many rural areas there is no public transport at all. All privately-controlled passenger transport must be effectively regulated and controlled. A future transport policy must:. The majority will be unable to afford private transport and will be dependent upon public transport. Given the need for increased mobility and the cost and environmental impact of accommodating the private motorist, the future emphasis must be on the provision of safe, convenient, affordable public transport.

    Commuters should be encouraged to use public transport, and should be actively discouraged from using cars via parking, access and fuel levies. The funds so raised must be used to directly benefit the provision of public transport. As a first priority, rail transport must be extended. Bus lines must act as feeders to rail services, or as prime movers if rail is not available.

    The subsidisation of parallel services along a common route will be avoided. Rural areas require more frequent public transport and improved facilities, at affordable costs. However, the provision of primary road infrastructure must be directed towards and take cognisance of public transport needs.

    A hierarchy of modes should guide the financing of infrastructure improvements and payment of operating subsidies for public transport. Travel modes should not compete. In rural areas, provincial governments and district councils must present transport plans, including extensive road building and road improvement. Central government funds allocated to ameliorate this situation via education, enforcement and engineering have been negligible.

    Road safety must be given the priority it deserves. The transport authorities must be charged with the task of reducing accidents and must be given the funds to achieve that goal. The organisation should be accountable to the public and responsible for the provision, coordination and funding of all public transport and the infrastructure necessary for public transport in cooperation with the national public works programme. The organisation should specifically address current problems such as uncoordinated tariff structures, duplication of services, and conflict as a result of different forms of ownership.

    Minimum norms and standards, policy frameworks and the format of transport plans for national, provincial, urban and rural areas should form an integral part of the responsibilities of this organisation. The MTAs could undertake local authority projects on an agency basis.

    The MTAs must be accountable to democratically elected metropolitan governments, and all transport projects must be in accord with metropolitan plans. Funding for public transport would come both from central government and from local rates and taxes. The MTAs must be empowered to impose such levies and taxes as may be appropriate and the funds thus raised must be used primarily to promote public transport.

    Infrastructural development must, however, be extended through democratic consultations with various stakeholders.

    Harmonisation of infrastructural, legal and operational aspects of regional Southern African transport must be considered a priority. Adequate public transport at off-peak hours, and security measures on late-night and isolated routes, must be provided. Additional subsidies for scholars, pensioners and others with limited incomes will be considered. South Africa's apartheid policies, combined with the underregulated activities of local and transnational corporations, contributed to the degradation of environmental resources, including soil, water and vegetation.

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    They encouraged the misuse of fertilisers and pesticides. They placed workers' lives at severe risk because dangerous practices and substances were inadequately monitored mining in South Africa remains an extremely dangerous job. Poverty and environmental degradation have been closely linked.

    In general, existing environmental policies allow inefficient and wasteful use of water, energy and raw materials, and high levels of air and water pollution. To achieve this, the government must work towards:. To accomplish this, procedures must be set in place which oblige decision-makers to demonstrate what environmental considerations they take into account when considering projects. Measures such as land reform, provision of basic infrastructure, housing and targeted rural assistance including extension services , and the maintenance of food security should ultimately reduce pressure on the natural environment.

    It must make use of environmental auditing, with provision for public disclosure. It must monitor those activities of industry which impact on the environment. The fishing stock must be managed in a way that promotes sustainable yield and the development of new species. The democratic government must assist people to have access to these resources. Legislative measures must be introduced to establish democratic structures for the management of sea resources. South Africa has wide-ranging environmental legislation.

    However, responsibility for implementation is scattered over a number of departments Agriculture, Water Affairs and Forestry, Health, and Mineral Resources from national to local authority level. The Department of Environmental Affairs administers only a few of the relevant Acts. This has resulted in discrepancies, anomalies and ineffectiveness. The South African legal system makes it difficult to obtain locus standi in the courts on environmental issues. It must legislate the right of access to information on environmentally harmful practices.

    It must also require compulsory environmental impact assessments for all large-scale projects. It must establish an environmental ombuds and criminalise environmental offences. It must review and conform with international conventions and agreements on environmental issues. Strong provincial departments of Environmental Affairs must be established. A national Department of Environmental Affairs must ensure overall standards and financing of environmental protection.

    Such a body must facilitate the gathering, collation and publication of data on the environment. It must also provide an interface between civil society and public agencies responsible for the environment and natural resources. Many thousands of adults, especially the elderly, are hungry, and millions of people, young and old, live in constant fear of being hungry. It must enhance the efficiency of marketing so that farmers receive good prices while consumers pay as little as possible.

    To that end, the government should curb the powers of marketing boards and monopolies, and review the effect of tariffs. These simple data will provide measures of food security in each area, measures which are essential both for health planning and for targeting relief, for instance during drought. More widely, South Africa currently lacks an early warning system which can alert central authorities to threats to food and water security.

    Richard Asante

    The RDP should establish institutions to collect and monitor nutritional and other key socio-economic and agricultural data. The health care and social services that have developed are grossly inefficient and inadequate. There are, by international standards, probably enough nurses, doctors and hospital beds.

    South Africa spends R per capita per annum on health care. This is nearly 10 times what the World Bank estimates it should cost to provide basic public health services and essential clinical care for all, yet millions of our people are without such services or such care. Health services are fragmented, inefficient and ineffective, and resources are grossly mismanaged and poorly distributed.

    The situation in rural areas is particularly bad. The aim is to ensure that all South Africans get infinitely better value for the money spent in this area, and that their mental, physical and social health improves both for its own sake and as a major contribution to increasing prosperity and the quality of life for all.

    All of this will have a positive impact on health. Many other policies and programmes affect health, and their implications should be explored and considered. This must include both public and private providers of goods and services and must be organised at national, provincial, district and community levels. All relevant legislation, organisations and institutions must be reviewed in order to redress the harmful effects of apartheid; encourage and develop delivery systems and practices that are in line with international norms and standards; introduce management practices that promote efficient and compassionate delivery of services, and ensure respect for human rights and accountability to users, clients and the public at large.

    The NHA must develop national policies, standards, norms and targets, allocate the health budget, coordinate the recruitment, training, distribution and conditions of service of health workers, and develop and implement a National Health Information System. This must include providing secondary and tertiary referral hospitals, regulating private hospitals, running training facilities and programmes, evaluating and planning services, and any other support the districts may request.

    The aim is to encourage high-quality, efficient services through decentralised management and local accountability. Each DHA must be responsible for the health of between , and , people in a defined geographical area.

    About DHAs will, between them, cover the whole country and their boundaries must, as far as possible, be the same as the new local government boundaries. Each DHA will be responsible for all primary health care services in its district, including independent general practitioners and community hospitals. The DHA must have as much control over its budget as possible, within national and provincial guidelines.

    Each DHA must appoint a team, led by a District Health Manager and linked to a District Development Committee, to evaluate, plan and manage health services in the district, including management of the district health budget. The system must encourage the training, use and support of community health workers as cost-effective additional or alternative personnel.

    This emphasises community participation and empowerment, inter-sectoral collaboration and cost-effective care, as well as integration of preventive, promotive, curative and rehabilitation services. Other strategies must include a charter of patients' rights that will be displayed in all health facilities; a Code of Conduct for health workers; a programme to promote gender balance in all categories of health workers; restructuring statutory bodies; support and supervision of staff at peripheral facilities and inter-sectoral structures at district, provincial and national levels.

    This must include better transport facilities and in-service training programmes for midwives and for traditional birth attendants. Targets must include 90 per cent of pregnant women receiving antenatal care and 75 per cent of deliveries being supervised and carried out under hygienic conditions within two years. By , 90 per cent of deliveries should be supervised. These services must be free at government facilities by the third year of the RDP. In addition, there should be established the right to six months paid maternity leave and 10 days paternity leave.

    Breast-feeding must be encouraged and promoted, and the code of ethics on breast-milk substitutes enforced. A more effective, expanded programme of immunisation must achieve a coverage of 90 per cent within three years. Polio and neonatal tetanus can be eradicated within two years. The government must ensure that appropriate information and services are available to enable all people to do this. Reproductive rights must be guaranteed and reproductive health services must promote people's right to privacy and dignity.

    Every woman must have the right to choose whether or not to have an early termination of pregnancy according to her own individual beliefs. Reproductive rights must include education, counselling and confidentiality. Unless action is taken, substance abuse is likely to increase enormously.

    Abuse of these substances causes immense physical, mental and social damage and costs the country millions of rands each year. The RDP must aim to reduce greatly the present levels of substance abuse and to prevent any increase. Comprehensive strategies to change behaviour must include education programmes, reduction of advertising and increasing the price of tobacco and alcohol. Strong penalties for major drug traffickers must be imposed. It must also increase access to relaxing environments such as recreational facilities. This is not in the interests of people who use all types of healers.

    The RDP must aim to improve communication, understanding and cooperation between different types of healers. A programme to combat the spread of sexually transmitted diseases STDs and AIDS must include the active and early treatment of these diseases at all health facilities, plus mass education programmes which involve the mass media, schools and community organisations. The treatment of AIDS sufferers and those testing HIV positive must be with utmost respect for their continuing contributions to society. Discrimination will not be tolerated.

    AIDS education for rural communities, and especially for women, is a priority. Access to services must be improved by the development of emergency response centres and appropriate transport and ambulance services, especially in rural areas. Particular attention must be given to protecting the health of the most vulnerable, including domestic, farm and commercial-sex workers. Workers must have a say in the application of laws, through their health and safety committees. Workers should be given check-ups for major diseases in the workplace.

    Penalties for violation of occupational health standards must be stricter. Laws must conform to International Labour Organisation standards and other international standards, and unions and state agencies must be empowered to monitor and enforce safety and health standards. An overhaul of workmen's compensation must include administrative restructuring to ensure swifter payment, increasing the coverage for permanently disabled workers to realistic levels, minimum benefit levels in support of low-wage workers, greater use of the compensation system to encourage better workplace health and safety standards, and a combined board to deal with preventive and compensatory aspects of worker safety and health.

    A National Advisory Board on health technology should be established and should include representatives from all levels of the NHS. The Advisory Board must develop appropriate and rational policies, devise a system of quality control, and advise on regulations governing the importation and use of expensive technologies.

    This system must ensure that accurate and comparable data are collected from all parts of the health system, that data are analysed at health-facility, district, provincial and national levels, and that those collecting the data see it as a useful and interesting activity. Mechanisms must be established for sharing information between different programmes and sectors.

    This should increase consultation with patients, and should help to overcome the isolation and fragmentation of research efforts and to strengthen links between research, policy and action. Special attention must be directed to health systems research in order to improve the effectiveness of health service delivery. This will require incentives to attract staff to underserviced especially rural areas and increased training of Community Health Workers and Environmental Health Officers.

    The aim is to train 25 per cent of district health personnel by the end of , and 50 per cent by the end of This must involve improving human resource planning and management systems; reviewing all training programmes; reviewing selection procedures, and developing new and often short training programmes to reorient existing personnel and to train new categories and auxiliary workers. This must be done mainly by reallocating staff and budgets to district health services. An essential drugs list must be established to reduce the current wasteful expenditure on inappropriate drugs.

    The present racially-based, discriminatory social welfare services are piecemeal responses. They have little impact on the root causes of social problems and on the disintegration of the social fabric. Social welfare includes the right to basic needs such as shelter, food, health care, work opportunities, income security and all those aspects that promote the physical, social and emotional wellbeing of all people in our society, with special provision made for those who are unable to provide for themselves because of specific problems.

    There must be a comprehensive review of all the policies and legislation regulating social welfare and social security. In particular the National Welfare Act of , the Social Work Act of , and Acts dealing with child and family welfare must be changed. New umbrella legislation which provides the framework for a development-oriented social welfare system based on the principles of equality, equity, access, user involvement and empowerment, and public accountability must be developed.

    Unnecessary bureaucratic procedures must be removed. Such departments must be responsible for the planning, coordination, regulation, provision and evaluation of social welfare and community development services required at provincial and district levels. The management and distribution of social services at provincial, district and community levels must fall within the provincial department's authority. The national social security system must be designed to meet the needs of workers in both formal and informal sectors, and of the unemployed, through:.

    Social assistance in the form of cash or in-kind benefits should be given to those most at risk such social assistance could take the form of work opportunities in public works programmes; the provision of food, clothing and health care to those in need; cash in the form of disability grants, foster care grants, maintenance grants, or grants for veterans according to predetermined criteria.

    Community-based and community-planned rehabilitation programmes must be encouraged to meet the needs of the disabled, and the democratic government must make adequate resources available for rehabilitation. The rights of children must be protected and measures must be taken to ensure that community-based and workplace care centres are provided for children in need of alternate care. The RDP must ensure that immediate steps are taken to remove all children from prisons and police cells. Alternate detention centres with proper health facilities, counselling and other support services must be provided for children.

    Special programmes protecting homeless children, especially those on the streets, must be put into place. The existing pool of social service workers and their conditions of service must be reviewed. The present number of social workers approximately 7, is inadequate, and their training is often inappropriate. Many social workers must be reoriented and retrained within a developmental approach to social welfare.

    The national, provincial and local social welfare departments must have both specialised and generic social service personnel at management, middle-management and operational levels. The curricula of social welfare and community development educational institutions must be reviewed. Within a five-year period a minimum of another 3, community development workers must be trained to work within provincial and local government structures to aid the process of prioritisation of community needs and allocation of resources. Social service managers must be trained with due regard to the need for affirmative action.

    Inter-sectoral units on areas such as mental health, child care, women, and juvenile justice must be developed to plan and implement integrated strategies aimed at improving services to these target groups. In addition, the relationship between social welfare, health, community development and labour institutions and related sectors must be improved.

    First, the system is fragmented along racial and ethnic lines, and is saturated with the racist and sexist ideology and educational doctrines of apartheid. Second, there is a lack of access or unequal access to education and training at all levels of the system. Vast disparities exist between black and white provision, and large numbers of people - in particular, adults and more especially women , out-of-school youth, and children of pre-school age - have little or no access to education and training.

    Third, there is a lack of democratic control within the education and training system. Students, teachers, parents and workers are excluded from decision-making processes. It results in the destruction, distortion or neglect of the human potential of our country, with devastating consequences for social and economic development. This is evident in the lack of career paths offered to workers and in the effect this has on worker motivation and the general productivity of the economy. And more importantly, apartheid education and its aftermath of resistance destroyed the culture of learning in large sections of our communities, leading, in the worst-affected areas, to a virtual breakdown of schooling and conditions of anarchy in relations between students, teachers, principals, and the education authorities.

    People and communities were denied resources and facilities to develop their own cultural expression. High illiteracy rates, the lack of an effective educational system, and extreme poverty compounded this cultural deprivation. The state, special interest groups and wealthy South Africans promoted distorted culture in order to accommodate apartheid ideology and needs, with a bias toward Eurocentric high art. Many of the youth are presently outside the socio-economic mainstream of the country.

    People are, and must remain, the architects of the RDP as it unfolds in the years to come. The provision of opportunities for people to develop themselves in order to improve the quality of their own lives and the standard of living of their communities is a central objective of the RDP, alongside ensuring that basic needs are met, the society is democratised and the economy grows.

    The Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) - The O'Malley Archives

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