Senekal last week had nothing to do with solutions. It was all about politicians’ testosterone. It was all about politicians’ egos. What useful idea came out of all that heat and noise generated by all those politicians in Senekal last week? There is nothing. Nothing that makes SA a better place. Nothing that leads us to a better understanding of race relations in SA after 1994. Nothing that is a solution to farm murders – many of whose victims are poorly paid, desperate black people – or a solution to the incredibly horrendous murder and crime problem in this country.
The MRC’s Rapid Mortality Surveillance report shows that life expectancy rose 6% between 2009 and last year, from 56.5 to 60 years, reversing the downward trend that began in the 1990s as the HIV epidemic grew rapidly. Between 2009 and last year the infant mortality rate fell 25%, from 40 deaths per 1,000 live births to 30 per 1,000, and the mortality rate for those under five dropped at the same rate, from 56 per 1,000 to 42 per 1,000 over the same period. These statistics were seized upon by African National Congress secretary-general Gwede Mantashe last week to attack Mr Mbeki after the former president delivered a speech at Fort Hare University criticising South Africa’s political leadership. Mr Mantashe was notably silent about the fact that many senior ANC figures who remain in government today did little or nothing to challenge Mr Mbeki’s HIV/AIDS policies when he was president. – Tamar Kahn in BUsiness DayBACK TO TOP