UNITED DEMOCRATIC MOVEMENT

MEDIA RELEASE

 

GOVERNMENT CALLED UPON TO ASSIST POOR

STATEMENT ISSUED BY DICKSON MKONO, MP
UDM SPOKESPERSON FOR PROVINCIAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT

Government's failure to deliver basic services to the majority of South Africans leads to inhumane living conditions. The appalling reality is that many South Africans have to deal with issues such as not having running water, electricity, or rubbish removal services. Added to this, the day's struggle is far from over or won for most scholars who are undernourished, and have to travel exorbitant distances to a makeshift school that has no toilet facilities, no textbooks, and no running water. This is the daily reality for most South Africans. Government has infringed the basic constitutional rights of millions and is guilty of gross negligence. Add to this dire formula the season of winter and one see the average South African 's hardships multiply.

While some politicians play nit-picking games, many children starve due to malnutrition, exposure to extreme conditions that leave them vulnerable to life-threatening illnesses and diseases. It is pathetic that the Departments of Home Affairs and Social Development shift national responsibility for the malnutrition programmes, not giving any consideration for the hundreds of children who die. Many families also suffer as a result of shack fires, which government conveniently and cowardly ignores hoping that this problem will disappear. The reality is that countless shacks have burnt down across the country, many claiming the lives of their occupants. This also included a community kitchen and crèche. Coupled to this is the gloomy state of our economy.

It is pathetic that government cannot get its act together, adding to the disparity between the haves and the have-nots becoming an increasingly wider rift, which is highlighted annually during the catastrophic harsh winters.

The UDM calls on government to assist the poor by implementing integrated programmes that address housing, welfare, education and economic upliftment issues.

Enquiries:
Mr Dickson Mkono, MP
UDM Spokesperson on Provincial and Local Government
083 961 5333

Cape Town
16 August 2001.