Government urged to address policy confusion

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: File

President Cyril Ramaphosa. Picture: File

Published Jul 10, 2024


The Foundation for Education and Social Justice Africa has urged the government to set out its priorities to improve the lives of ordinary people.

The organisation said poverty and unemployment continued to impact the living conditions of millions of South Africans negatively, especially the youth who were the hardest hit.

The organisation said this as the first Cabinet lekgotla of the Government Of National Unity (GNU) is expected to take place on July 11 and 12.

The much-anticipated lekgotla will comprise 11 political parties.

This will be the first time in 30 years that a high number of parties will be participating in drafting the country’s policies for the next five years.

The foundation’s spokesperson, Hendrick Makaneta, said the first task of the Cabinet lekgotla should be to address the issue of corruption and unemployment.

Makaneta said there were still graduates who remained unemployed, adding that there was no doubt that the majority of those who were unemployed had no tertiary qualifications.

“The data that is reflected from the records of Statistics South Africa continues to depict unemployment in the form of a pyramid where the majority of those in the base of the pyramid are unskilled.

“The second burning issue in addition to unemployment is crime. The upcoming first cabinet meeting that is scheduled for July 18 should take time to reflect on the burning issues of unemployment and crime and resolve to reaffirm education as an apex priority of government,” he said.

Makaneta said that as the foundation they remained convinced that it was only through education that the child of farmworkers could become the president of a great nation.

“It is encouraging that the first Cabinet meeting of the seventh administration will take place on Mandela Day because it was the late president Nelson Mandela who taught us that education is the most powerful weapon that we can use to change the world.

“His words are as true today just as they were when he first uttered them. We reiterate that Cabinet should look at areas where urgent collaboration is required between two or more ministers such as the abolishment of pit latrines in our schools.

“This area of work requires collaboration between the Minister of Basic Education, the Minister of Public Works, the Minister of Water and Sanitation and certainly the Minister of Justice to ensure that once and for all our children are given the necessary dignity that they deserve through proper sanitation.”

He said it was imperative for the Cabinet to alleviate the confusion surrounding policy issues and agree on common policy directions.