The Good News About South Africa
We’re so often bombarded with bad press about our country that it can become difficult to see the wood for the trees. Words like poverty, unemployment and inequality are constantly kicked around like dead leaves, obscuring our view of the positivity and strength rooted deep within the soil of South Africa.
Rather than get bogged down, let’s get 2018 off to a stellar start by reviewing a few of the incredible sustainable development goals that were achieved last year and looking ahead, how we can keep these seeds of determination growing strong.
Top Sustainable Development Goals in South Africa 2017
“We now have an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate the implementation of sustainable development in South Africa; to deliver the goals and bring governments, businesses and people together to embark on a new path towards a more sustainable and better planet for all” – JT Radebe
Among the 17 sustainability goals listed in the Millennium Development Goals Report, these are the ones that stood out the most to us at Brownie Points.
End Poverty in All its Forms Everywhere
It’s very encouraging to know that poverty in South Africa has greatly reduced since the 2000’s. Financial assistance is now offered to over 17 million people through the rapid expansion of social grants, reaching more children and elderly than ever before. About 14% of our population lived below the international poverty line in 2006; an increase in living standards caused this number to drop almost a whopping half to 7.4% by 2015.
Furthermore, only 7% of households were classified as multimendensionally poor (not limited to purely monetary conditions) in 2016 which was down from 17,9% in 2011. To top it off, total expenditure on essential services in 2015/2016 amounted to 20% of the total government budget with about half of this spent on social protection. Some very impressive stats to say the least!
Ensure Healthy Lives and Promote Well-being for All Ages
Good health is the strong backbone to an uplifted and prosperous people and in South Africa we are seeing very positive inroads to improving our health situation. The number of women who die from childbirth complications has decreased by half since 2010 and in 2016 an impressive 97% of births was attended to by skilled healthcare personnel.
Our infant mortality rate has also decreased by more than 10% since 2010. And as we continue to battle the spread of HIV AIDS through our country, significantly the number of HIV infections in South Africa decreased from 2.2 per 1000 uninfected population during 2002-2005 to 1.9 per 1000 uninfected population in 2008-2012.
Ensure Access to Affordable, Reliable, Sustainable and Modern Energy for All
The protection of our planet and indeed our people relies heavily on our sustainable distribution of energy. In 2016/2017 we surpassed our target of connecting 169722 households to the grid by over 37000 houses. This means a total of 4.7 million new households have been plugged in since 1994! This has gone a long way in uplifting impoverished communities and supporting small business owners. This increase in access to electricity has also been a great enabler in the eradication of poverty in our country.
But of course, we know that an increase in access to non-renewable energy isn’t the answer to our planet’s problems. So it was encouraging to note that South Africa’s amount of energy produced from renewable sources increased dramatically from 16,1 GWh produced in 2012 to 6089,8 produced in 2017!
How You Can Help in 2018
These are just some of the incredible goals being achieved in South Africa’s social sector. Undeniably we still have a long way to go to decreasing crime and inequality, eradicating poverty and uplifting our people through adequate health care, sanitation and access to resources, but there is no need to be despondent. We can all do our bit to help our country. Rather than set resolutions only at the beginning of each year, we encourage you to set and review resolutions each and every day. Every day we are given a new opportunity to bring something good into our world.
So no matter what your situation in life, your background, your skills, never feel too insignificant to make a big change. Here at Brownie Points we give you all an opportunity to make a difference, to connect to your community and spread the good vibes to others. And the best part? We reward you for it too!
So whether you are an individual, a company or an NPO, get in touch and let’s start building a better future together today.
Happy 2018! Let’s make a it a great one.
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