APRM members commend South Africa for inclusive report

Johannesburg- South Africa (PANA) – The African Pe-er Review (APRM) Member States have strongly endorsed the process South Africa undertook in completing the Country Self-Assessment Report and agreed that its process was "inclusive, participatory and innovative," a government statement disclosed here Wednesday.
According to the statement issued by President Thabo Mbeki's office, the panel commended South Africa for meeting the tight time frames required by the APRM guidelines in a participatory and transparent manner.
President Mbeki met with his peers at the 7th summit of the African Peer Review Forum in Accra, Ghana on the fringes of AU Summit this week where he presented South Africa's response to the APR Panel's Country Review Report.
The Review Report identified 18 South African best practices worthy of emulation, including Cooperative Governance, popular participatory governance practices and the highly consultative Budget Formulation Process.
Others were the achievements of the South African Revenue Services, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange, the JSE and Triple Bottom Line Reporting, the self-reliance in development funding, provision of basic needs and socio-economic rights and the successful promotion of gender equality in the public sphere.
Mbeki stressed that South Africa and the Panel "are of one mind on the centrality of governance and the soundness of the democratic framework that has been built over the past 13 years.
" South Africa had raised concerns around the panel's methodological approach and President Mbeki emphasised that the concerns were raised in the spirit of peer review and genuine debate and dialogue, but did not amount to a rejection of the report.
"Indeed the concerns were raised in order to strengthen the process as a genuine peer review exercise.
The panel and the Heads of State and Government concurred with South Africa's observations," Mbeki said.
In the area of democracy and political governance, the Programme of Action (POA), contains actions to deal with racism, sexism marginalisation, crime, lack of awareness, poor access to information and impairing the full enjoyment of human rights.
Others include the need for active engagement of all communities in the fight against crime and violence, the need to fight corruption and build a national integrity system.
Concerning economic governance and management, the POA addresses inadequate public consultation, education and feedback in policy making, underdeveloped capacity and skills, blockages to service delivery, lack of deeper economic integration within SADC and unemployment.
About governance, the POA contains actions to address challenges such as company legislation not being transformative and requiring review; the underdevelopment of key institutions and certain social groups, the failure by consumers and shareholders to assert their rights and the need to develop strong corporate governance in civil society organisations.
In the area of socio-economic development, the POA emphasises the need to build consensus amongst stakeholders on definitions and measurements of poverty, the need for more effective land reform, strategies for ensuring children's nutrition, health and development need improvement.
The POA also mentions the need to adequately address the challenges of crime and violence particularly against women and children, the need to strengthen the integrated and holistic approach to combating HIV and AIDS, TB and malaria plus other communicable diseases.

04 july 2007 13:54:00




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