President Thabo Mbeki says he welcomes the African Peer Review Panel's controversial report on South Africa, which he had to defend before fellow African leaders on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Ghana this week.
Members of civil society who participated in the peer review process have criticised Mbeki for rejecting most of the substantial criticism of South Africa's governance in the peer review report.
Mbeki denies this, and says his only criticism was about the methods used by the panel in writing its report on South Africa.
The government has also been criticised for withholding publication of the report, possibly for another six months. But it claims this is the decision of the peer review panel, not the government.
As Mbeki points out, the report praises South Africa for many things, including its co-operative governance, its consultative budget formulation process, the South African Revenue Service and the provision of basic needs and socio-economic rights.
But it also identifies many problems, including violent crime, especially against women and children, slow service delivery, ineffective land reform and inadequacies in the tackling of HIV/Aids. …