Politics

People's lives have improved since 1994, says Ronnie Kasrils

People's lives have improved since 1994, says Ronnie Kasrils

Durban - Despite corruption damaging the country’s economy, South Africans should be grateful to have a democracy as lots of lives have improved, said struggle stalwart Ronnie Kasrils on Thursday evening.

The former minister under Thabo Mbeki’s cabinet was in Durban on Thursday evening to launch his biography entitled 'Catching Tadpoles: The Shaping of a Young Rebel', which talks about his life from a young age until he joined the Struggle.

Speaking to Independent Media on the sideline of the launch, Kasrils said since 1994, there had been achievements as many people now have homes, electricity, basic free water and equal pension for all races. 

“Black people used to get a quarter of the pension that whites were getting.

“So there have been advances, people must not say there were no advances and it was worthwhile.

“Many of our young children are becoming university graduates, which was not the case under apartheid,” he said.

However, he said the government could have done much better if it was not for the corruption “in the system that has been evident unfortunately in the ruling party and in state-owned enterprises”.

“As we have seen with Eskom or Transnet but also in the private sector. 

“So now we are fighting for cleaner government, we are fighting to get rid of corruption in departments, which have to a large degree faulted and having not been delivering as they should,” he said.  

Kasrils said President Cyril Ramaphosa was working hard to fight corruption.

He said with Zondo Commission into State Capture underway, “we are beginning to see some aspect of corruption being exposed”.

“We have seen some people, including a former minister (Bongani Bongo) arrested recently and the only way you can defeat corruption is by charging people who have committed corruption and having strong prosecution against them and if necessary seeing them imprisoned,” said Kasrils.

Political Bureau