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SAHRC on Mbeki's State of the Nation Address

The South African Human Rights Commission comments on President Thabo Mbeki's State of the Nation Address

11 February 2005

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) welcomed President Mbeki's State of the Nation Address, as it focussed considerably on a commitment to improve socio-economic conditions to advance human rights, particularly for vulnerable groups.

SAHRC Chairperson Jody Kollapen said: "We welcome the progress made by government, but note with concern that some of the important targets set have not, or will not be met.

"We appreciate the President's acknowledgement that government's weaknesses have resulted in the slow delivery of some services, especially school infrastructure, water, sanitation and public works programmes at a much slower pace than previously planned.

"But we welcome his plan to improve government competencies such as management, organisational and technical competencies - including the capacity of provinces and local government - so that government may meet its socio-economic objectives."

Kollapen applauded Mbeki for his plans to reduce the number of children in police and prison custody, increase the amount of sexual offences courts, create correctional facilities with a focus on rehabilitation and education, and expand policing to more areas.

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