2014 Development Indicators widely welcomed

Pretoria - The latest set of South Africa’s Development Indicators have been widely welcomed with experts saying the data is credible.

“These indicators give a mirror image of how society functions and this is data of quality that is accessible and credible,” said Statistics South Africa (Stats SA’s) Statistician General Pali Lehohla.

Lehohla was speaking at the release of the 2014 Development Indicators in Pretoria.

The Development Indicators are an initiative of the Department of Performance Monitoring and Evaluation to track progress made in various areas of development.

There are 86 indicators which are clustered in 10 themes ranging from economic growth and transformation, employment, education and safety and security, among others.

These indicators are used as criteria to measure progress and assist government to track, using quantitative measures, the effectiveness of government policies and interventions towards achieving the national goals in areas of development.

The data showed that in the case of economic growth and transformation, the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate in South Africa averaged 3.7% in the past 10 years, while annual growth rate averaged 1.5% in 2014.

Professor Johann Kirsten who is head of the Department of Agricultural Economics, Extension and Rural Development at the University of Pretoria said that it is very important for society to reflect on its development.

“It’s very good that we have these indicators. It’s good to look back into the mirror to see how we have performed. At the same time the indicators present us with good stories and some bad. It’s good to have a set of data because you cannot create policy if you don’t have evidence.

“It’s critical that we take these numbers forward and actually assess if they speak to our policies,” said Kirsten, who has also served as a council member of the National Agricultural Marketing Council.

He also voiced concern at the country’s high levels of inequality and poor economic growth.

Dr Danny Titus who has been appointed as part time Commissioner at the South African Human Rights Commission for a period of seven years described the report as being highly credible.

– SAnews.gov.za