29 Apr 2014 17:00pm
WINDHOEK, 29 APR (NAMPA) South Africa is a better place to live in now than in 1994, South African High Commissioner to Namibia Yvette Myakayaka-Manzini said here on Monday.
She said this as part of the 20th anniversary of her countrys first democratic elections held in South Africa on 27 April 1994.
South Africa celebrated its 20th year of freedom and democracy with a main parade and series of entertainment activities in Pretoria on Sunday, during which South African president Jacob Zuma also delivered a message.
Myakayaka-Manzini was quoted as saying in a media statement issued by the South African High Commission here that without the sacrifices made by South Africans and the international community, particularly the frontline States and Nigeria who suffered apartheid violence and AN economic stranglehold, they would not be celebrating this 20th anniversary.
We thank all of you. Our freedom is yours too, she stressed.
Since 1994, South Africa has made great strides in addressing the legacies left behind by more than three centuries of colonialism and apartheid, said the High Commissioner.
The new democratic government in 1994 had thus put in place a solid and vibrant constitutional democracy, and progress was being made in achieving the reconstruction and development priorities of growing the economy, improving access to education, fighting poverty, creating employment, rural development and also fighting crime and corruption.
Myakayaka-Manzini said the track record of the government, both its successes and challenges, were outlined in the recently-released South African Twenty Years Review - 1994 to 2014, which confirms that South Africa has a good story to tell, and that it is a much better place to live in now than it was before 1994.
The High Commissioner cited achievements such as the complete overhaul of the micro-economic and fiscal management of the economy; the allocation of more than R800 billion for infrastructural development; the prioritisation of building an inclusive and progressive education system; poverty eradication programmes by extending social benefits to vulnerable groups; and the delivery of housing, healthcare and water and electricity to the people.
This is a major challenge for the country, going forward with economic empowerment, rural development and expending land ownership, she noted.
South Africas foreign policy had also come of age from isolation to occupying centre-stage in world affairs.
Its reach is furthermore extensive through its diplomatic presence in the world, and especially the prioritisation of Africa and the strengthening of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) and the African Union (AU).
So too has South Africas bilateral relations with Namibia grown in leaps and bounds through the elevation of relations to the level of Heads of State under the South Africa/Namibia Bi-National Commission (BNC), Myakayaka-Manzini added.