Image: 123RF/ Daniel Ernst
Image: 123RF/ Daniel Ernst

Ignore the doomsday prophets who claim the country is on the skids: according to a new UN report, South Africans are living lives that are longer and healthier than ever before.

The UN Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development Report (HDR) shows that SA's human development score has increased to 0.699.

According to Brand SA’s GM for Research, Dr Petrus de Kock: “This means that South Africans today enjoy a longer, healthier life, have better access to education and a more decent living standard.

"The National Development Plan (NDP) identifies human development as a critical part of inclusive growth and acknowledges its inadequate improvement in relation to education, health and safety.”

De Kock said the value had been steadily improving from 0.621 in 1990.

“SA is classified as being located in the medium human development category, and the country’s HDI of 0.699 is above average in this category. The country’s performance is even more impressive when compared to the rest of sub-Saharan Africa, which has an average HDI score of 0.537,”  De Kock said.

SA's score is, however, lower than that of Botswana, Libya and Gabon.

The top five nations in terms of human development are Norway,  Switzerland, Australia, Ireland and Germany.