Blame apartheid for SA ills - Zuma
PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma has blamed the mushrooming of shacks around cities and lack of service delivery in South Africa on the country's colonial past and the apartheid regime.
"Apartheid South Africa did not plan for the majority of the people," he said, speaking during the second Civil Registration and Vital Statistics Conference in Durban yesterday.
"As a result, a largely fragmented and selective civil registration system was used to perpetuate the discrimination and marginalisation of the majority of the population.
"In 1994, it's like we were almost starting afresh. As such, people sometime think that service delivery in South Africa is abnormal. Infrastructure was planned for a minority and that is why we have so many shacks as people flock into the cities to get jobs and to be economically active," he said.
Zuma said prior to 1994, less than 600000 births were registered throughout the country, and 64% of these were late registrations.
"This has improved significantly since the first democratic elections. The rate of birth registrations has more than doubled and we now achieve 1.2million birth registrations per year."
Out of a total of 1086901 children registered in the 2010-2011 financial year, 946031 were registered before their first birthday.
This is 87% of children registered, which is 17% higher than the target of 70% that was set.
"We have also seen a dramatic decline in late registrations of birth especially by black people who, due to difficulties before, tended to register births late or not at all," he said.
The late registration of persons of 15 years and older decreased from 354588 in the 2009-2010 financial year to 110902 in the 2011-2012 financial year.
Zuma said civil registration was important for the entire continent.
"Africa cannot fulfil its development agenda unless we know who we are, where we live, work and play and what we need to better our living conditions on the continent."
He said there were still people on the African continent who are born and die without leaving a trace in any legal record of their existence - a phenomenon known as the "scandal of invisibility".
"It means that the most vulnerable people in Africa remain unseen and not counted. They practically do not exist," Zuma said.