Tuesday, 22 November 1994
The legacy of apartheid is characterized by great political and socio-economic inequality. In order to address this, the African National Congress (ANC) along with the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and South African Communist Party (SACP) developed the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP). The programme was aimed at alleviating poverty and addressing the lack of social services in South Africa. It was also geared to promote sustainable economic growth and took on characteristics of both neo-liberalism and socialism. International support for this programme was garnered, and on 22 November 1994, RDP received this in the form an agreement with the government of Switzerland.
RDP consists of six principles, which include the promotion of peace, security and nation-building, and the integration of development, reconstruction and reconciliation. The achievements of RDP include the building of over one million houses between 1994 and 2001, the provision of clean water to 2.5 million people and establishment of 500 new clinics.
The criticism of RDP, at a local, as well as international level, has been leveled at housing, health care, water and land reform. This is based on the poor quality of the housing, the substantial decrease of agricultural laborers due to land reform and the poor medical treatment provided at RDP clinics. Another criticism is the RDP delivery rates. If current delivery rates are projected into the future, some people will still be waiting for their RDP houses in 2032.
The inefficiency with which RDP has been implemented has also been criticized. An example of this is the renovation of RDP houses, built inadequately in 1997, and targeted for renovation in 2008. Approximately 126 houses in the Ekurhuleni area were reported to be in a poor structural condition and they were not large enough to house families.
RDP can be considered as a work in progress as certain achievements have been made; however, far more developmental issues need to be addressed.
Source: sahistory| Image Cred: Transform SA