Pretoria: Considerable progress has been achieved in implementing the objectives of the Population Policy and International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Programme of Action.
This is according to the Fifteen-Year Progress Review of the Implementation of the Population Policy for South Africa (1998) presented by Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini on Wednesday.
The report shows that many poverty alleviation programmes addressing income, human capital and asset poverty have resulted in more South Africans today having access to some form of household income, even if only in the form of a social grant.
“More South Africans also have access to formal housing, piped water, electricity and decent sanitation. Census 2011 data shows that South Africans overall are enjoying a higher standard of life, particularly in formal urban areas,” the review report noted.
The Minister unveiled the report during the 7th African Population Conference (APC) taking place in Pretoria.
The review report provides a comprehensive assessment of population trends and dynamics since the adoption of the Population Policy for South Africa in 1998 and is also supportive of the priorities identified in the National Development Plan.
The report also covers a broader set of themes including poverty and inequality; migration; population, environment and development; gender; sexual and reproductive health and rights; HIV and Aids; people with disabilities, children, youth and families.
Minister Dlamini said Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) had been identified as the first population priority for the current term of government.
“It is important to note that the SRHR of all who live in South Africa is important and will be addressed, but particular attention will be paid to the sexual and reproductive health and rights of adolescents,” said Minister Dlamini.
The second identified population priority is gender equality, equity and the empowerment of women.
Minister Dlamini said specific attention will be paid to combating gender based violence and the unequal relationships that continue to exist between men and women.
The third and fourth priorities deal with the changing population age structure, migration and urbanisation.
“We all know that the South African population age structure has changed and continues to change. These changes have implications for what the South African population will look like in future and we need to start paying attention and prepare for the emerging population and development issues the country will face in the future.
“Specific attention will be paid to all forms of migration and rapid urbanisation as well as issues around the lack of migration data and government’s ability to integrate that data into planning and the subsequent implications for service delivery, particularly at the local level,” the Minister said.
She said an Inter-Ministerial Committee on Population Policy had developed its work programme based on the population priorities and recommendations identified in the review report.
SOURCE: SOUTH AFRICAN OFFICIAL NEWS