Peer review report not rejected

05 July 2007 - 02:00
By unknown

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

President Thabo Mbeki has dismissed accusations that the government has rejected an African Union African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) report on South Africa's performance because it was too critical of the government.

Some of the criticisms include the government's failure to tackle violent crime, corruption, slow land reform, unemployment, HIV and Aids and poor service delivery.

The APRM is a panel consisting of African leaders set up by the AU to measure the social, economic and political performance of African countries.

Mbeki gave his response to the report in Accra, Ghana, at the 7th Summit of the African Peer Review forum earlier this week.

The full report is expected to be released within six months.

A statement released yesterday by Mbeki's spokesman, Mukoni Ratshitanga, said the government had raised concerns about the panel's "methodological approach".

"President Mbeki emphasised that the concerns were raised in the spirit of peer review and genuine debate and dialogue, but did not amount to a rejection of the report.

"The concerns were raised to strengthen the process as a genuine peer review exercise," the statement read.

Mbeki's view was endorsed by the panel and heads of state, according to the statement.

The APRM highlights a number of "huge strides" made by this country and identified 18 best practices "worthy of emulation", stated Ratshitanga.

These included corporate governance, popular participatory governance practices, Batho Pele, multipurpose community centres, the consultative budget process, the performance of the South African Revenue Service, the JSE Securities Exchange and others, he said

However, Mbeki's statement did acknowledge the APRM's call for action in a number of areas.

The recommendations include the need to intensify efforts to uproot, among others, racism, sexism, crime, poor access to information and corruption.