24 November 2006
The government is to roll out a R6.1-billion literacy campaign over the next five years, targeting 4.7-million South Africans who were previously denied access to education.
“Illiteracy is hampering our people’s ability to enjoy the full benefits of the country’s democracy and economic successes,” government spokesperson Themba Maseko said following a Cabinet meeting in Pretoria on Wednesday.
“This campaign will target 4.7-million South Africans who were denied access to education and training under apartheid.”
Education Minister Naledi Pandor is to submit a detailed implementation plan for the campaign to the Cabinet next year.
It will target young people, women and adults with special learning needs, kicking off in 2007 with 1.2-million learners.
The campaign will be aligned with other government programmes, such as the Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa (Asgi-SA), the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and the National Skills Development Plan.
Through Asgi-SA, the government aims to achieve 6% economic growth by 2010 and to halve unemployment and poverty by 2014, while the EPWP promotes skills development by employing labour-intensive methods in construction projects.
“The plan will address issues such as the scarcity of literature in African languages, mobilisation of society, the use of electronic media, the role of civil society and the contribution that could be made by retired professionals such as principals, teachers, nurses, and magistrates,” Maseko said.
Public service academy
The Cabinet also approved a proposal for the establishment of a public service academy to replace the South African Management Development Institute (SAMDI), where government employees currently receive specialised training.
The new academy would “play a key role in the overall transformation of the public service and enhance government’s capacity to deliver services to the public,” Maseko said.
He added that the academy’s programmes would be delivered in collaboration with higher and further education institutions in the public and private sectors.