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Truth and Denial
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TRUTH AND DENIAL: A DA ANALYSIS OF SOUTH AFRICA’S PERFORMANCE IN INTERNATIONAL SURVEYS AND SOCIAL INDICATORS
The African National Congress government presents a glowing picture of what South Africa looks like in terms of human and economic development, safety and security and education.
The Democratic Alliance has undertaken a study of South Africa’s performance in a range of international comparative studies and local surveys, in order to contrast it with the view presented by the ruling party and evaluate the accuracy of the picture presented to us.
These surveys represent the key areas of economics, human development and safety and security. They are a mixture of qualitative and quantitative research methods and outputs, and from them it is possible to draw out trends and make strong inferences.
These studies show a very different picture to the one posited by the ANC. Given the enormous economic resources at our disposal, South Africa should being doing far better both in terms of our economy and other development indicators, such as poverty and infrastructure. In fact, when considering year-by-year positions on various indices, South Africa is actually backsliding rather than improving.
The studies we took into account include:
The Human Development Index, where South Africa slid 27 places between 2001 and 2006;
The Trends in International Maths and Science Study, where South Africa dropped 11 places from 1999 to 2003; and
The Global Competitiveness Index, where South Africa moved down 5 places from 2006 and 2007.
In addition, the Transparency International Global Corruption Barometer showed a slight deterioration in public perceptions of corruption in South Africa between 2004 and 2005. There was a small improvement in 2006, but it is clear that the public still believe that corruption is a major problem in South Africa.
Other surveys, which did not have year-on-year rankings, but where South Africa scored badly were:
The Global peace index;
The Seventh United Nations Survey of Crime Trends and Operations of Criminal Justice Systems, covering the period 1998 – 2000; and
Poverty in the World.