AFRICA/SOUTH AFRICA - After elections; the Bishops: "Now we have to face the challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality"

Monday, 20 May 2019 elections   economy   unemployment   bishops  


Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) - "In the next five years, the mending of the social contract will therefore depend on the extent to which the ruling party, working with the oversight functions of the 6th Parliament, have managed to rebuild the economy while tackling the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality", warn the Bishops of South Africa in their message on the outcome of the presidential, parliamentary and provincial elections held on 8 May, which saw the party of outgoing president Cyril Ramaphosa, the African National Congress (ANC) assert itself once again as the Country's first party. The ANC’s margin of victory was the smallest since the party began, which Ramaphosa attributed to voters expressing their frustration with corruption in the party and the serious economic and social crisis that South Africa is experiencing. A fact emphasized by the Bishops in their message sent to Fides: "we therefore expect all the political parties in the 6th Parliament, and not just the ruling party, to put the Country first and work collectively to develop effective measures to arrest the collapse of the economy and the looting of the state resources, and to spur economic growth so that it creates jobs". "In particular, we call on the ruling party to develop a national strategic plan, with measurable targets that can be subject to accountability, to address youth unemployment, which is a ticking time bomb and has at some level contributed the disenchantment and voter apathy among the youth".
Finally, the Bishops call for urgent measures to control rampant corruption, which, among other things, has contributed to aggravating the inefficiencies in essential strategic sectors such as the supply of electricity. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/5/2019)