In South Africa, it sometimes feels like the news is always bad.
It’s in the nature of a personal injury firm to have to face – and help remedy – things that have gone horribly wrong. These include tragic incidents on the roads, in our country’s healthcare system and in other contexts.
However, leading up to Heritage Day 2019, we’d like to celebrate some successes. We consider some of the achievements that have been made, in South Africa and within our firm.
Achievements worth celebrating
Based on the fast facts published by South Africa: The Good News, these are just some of the things we can be proud of in South Africa:
- our constitution is considered one of the best in the world, with a strong focus on protecting human rights and minimising inequality
- we became the first country to voluntarily dismantle a nuclear weapons programme
- we have the highest level of international certification for our tree plantations; 80% of them are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)
- literacy rates for people over 20 have consistently remained over 90% since 2002; they have increased from 91.9% in 2002 to 94.3% in 2017
- the percentage of South Africans with access to safe drinking water has increased from 62% in 1994 to 94% in 2013
- access to electricity has increased from 34% in 1994 to 88% in 2012
- we were the fifth country in the world to legalise same-sex marriages, in November 2006 – well ahead of, for example, the United Kingdom and Sweden
- we rank second in the world for number of official languages – a sign of respect for our country’s diversity.
Other fun and interesting South African facts
From inventions to natural wonders, South Africa has plenty to brag about. These are some of our favourites:
- the Cape Floral Kingdom is the only floral kingdom that’s encompassed entirely in one country
- South Africa has 46 Blue Flag beaches around the country
- South Africans were responsible for inventing the CAT scan, dolosses, the Kreepy Krauly, Q20 and Pratley’s Putty, which was even carried aboard Apollo 11!
- four South Africans have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – and two of the winners lived on the same street in Soweto
- we were the first country to provide full protection status for Great White Sharks.
In many respects, things are getting better
There’s no denying that South Africa faces many challenges. Nonetheless, the country has made some significant progress.
According to a researcher at the Socio-economic Rights Institute of South Africa, 89.9% of South African households now have access to piped water – an increase of over 100% since 1994. 63.9% now have access to refuse removal services, and 87.6% have access to electricity.
Internationally, we’re faced with a steady influx of bad news. However, the reality is that much of the world’s population is better off today than in the past.
Over the last 20 years, the number of people living in extreme poverty has almost halved. It has dropped significantly in Sub-Saharan Africa, too.
Source: Our World in Data
Our firm: positive achievements so far in 2019
As a firm, here’s what DSC Attorneys has to celebrate going into Heritage Day 2019:
- our legal services have helped many people in difficult circumstances get the financial compensation they needed and deserved
- our team, which reflects South Africa’s diversity, continues to grow and is phenomenally dedicated
- we continue to be directly involved in opposing mooted legislative changes that will undermine the rights of those injured by road accidents or acts of medical malpractice (namely the RABS Bill and the State Liability Amendment Bill)
- we’re proud that our most recent golf day raised R220,000 for the Woodside Special Care Centre and that in 2019, we’ve continued to support the Christine Revell Children’s Home
- we offer on-going support to OCAL Global in their quest to champion the cause of the differently abled. OCAL’s activities this year included raising funds to provide differently abled children in the Northern Cape with wheelchairs
- we provide pro bono training of student nurses in ethics and medico-legal hazards, both for private and public health institutions
- DSC Attorneys staff have made a point of regularly donating blood this year – such a simple but important way to make a positive difference!