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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

PROVINCES

Introduction



The Provincial Offices implement the mandate of the Commission at a provincial level. The areas of work carried out by the Provincial Offices are as follows:

Legal services in the province are driven by Senior Legal Officer/s, Legal Officer/s and an Intake Officer. The Provincial Legal Services Unit (LSU) deals with complaints into alleged human rights violations, including but not limited to conducting investigations, drafting investigative reports, conducting mediations and litigating before the Equality Courts in terms of The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act, 2000 (PEPUDA). The Provincial LSU is guided by Sections 184(2) (a) & (b) of the Constitution, PEPUDA, Human Rights Commission Act 2013 and the Commission’s Complaints Handling Procedures.


Research and Advocacy: The provincial research and advocacy unit is led by the Provincial Human Rights Advocacy Programme (HuRAP) Officer. The sub-unit focuses on conducting relevant research in terms of Section 184(2)(c) of the Constitution and undertaking human rights education throughout the province as provided for in Section 184(2)(d) of the Constitution. 

The Provincial Offices strive to establish meaningful collaborative relationships with a variety of stakeholders without compromising its impartiality, Stakeholders include civil society organisations, tertiary institutions, faith based bodies, government departments and institutions, community based organisations, parliamentary structures, other Chapter 9 institutions and businesses.

Eastern Cape

The Eastern Cape (EC) Office operates from 4th Floor Oxford house, 86 Oxford street, East London.

At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 330. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 79 complaints. The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints per the nature of the complaint.

The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints by the nature of the complaint.

Achievements
  • Scholar Transport - following the investigation by the Commission and recommendations made pursuant thereto, the Eastern Cape Departments of Education and Transport have increased coverage and fleet for the transportation of learners to various districts within the province. There however remains much more to be done.
  • Access to Emergency Medical Services - the Province of the Eastern Cape has experienced major challenges over the years with regards to access to emergency medical services. Some of the factors contributing to the poor state of affairs include that the province is one of the most rural in the country, bad state of the roads, poor budgeting and planning at the level of the provincial government and an insufficient fleet of emergency vehicles.
  • Following a hearing hosted by the Commission in the Eastern Cape province, the Department of Health has now increased its fleet and emergency medical services have started improving and becoming more accessible.
  • Schools Infrastructure - the Commission has received a large number of complaints relating to poor infrastructure at schools, including poor conditions relating to water and sanitation. The Commission has put a considerable amount of pressure on the provincial Department of Education to address these challenges. To date, the Department has developed plans to address these challenges and improvements are already evident.
  • Access to Water and Sanitation- A number of complaints have been investigated by the Eastern Cape Provincial Office relating to inadequate access to water and sanitation and a number of investigative reports have been issued. Although there has been improvement in some areas, the vast majority of people in rural parts of the province still experience challenges.
  • The right to equality - There have been significant successes before the Equality Courts over recent years with court orders being made in favour of the Commission and complainants who have approached the Commission for assistance. There are however a growing number of equality related complaints being lodged with the Eastern Cape provincial office.

Provincial Manager: 

Mr Thabang Kheswa
Acting Provincial Manager

TeL: 043 722 7828

Fax: 043 722 7830
E-mail: ymvovo@sahrc.org.za

Free State

The Free State (FS) Office operates from 18 Keller Street, Bloemfontein.



At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 340. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 22 complaints.

As per graph above, the FS Provincial Office found that 20% of complaints received did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

Achievements
  • The provincial office successfully mediated a matter relating to racism at the University of the Free State – “Reitz racist video” - in 2008. The settlement agreement was made an order of court.
  • During the service delivery protests in 2012, a dispute arose between Zastron residents and Mohokare Local Municipality. The matter was successfully mediated by the provincial office.
  • Pursuant to the expulsion of pregnant learners from school in accordance with learner pregnancy policies adopted by Welkom and Harmony High Schools, the Commission joined the matter as amicus curiae (friend of the court). The pregnancy policy was found to be inconsistent with the Constitution and learners were re-admitted and allowed to proceed with their studies.
  • An investigative report was prepared in a matter relating to open (unenclosed) toilets in Rammolutsi, Viljoenskroon. The violations were remedied and the recommendations were implemented. A report was also prepared in a matter where learners were exposed to racist caricature and display of apartheid flag in class at Wilgehof Primary School. Following the preparation of the report, the teacher was dismissed. An own initiative investigation into allegations of racism at Dr Viljoen Combined School led to a investigative report. An anti-racism policy was adopted by the school and a workshop on diversity management and anti-racism was conducted. A complaint by the residents of Sibuyile Park Informal Settlement in Bloemfontein related to insufficient access to water, no access to toilets, no refuse removal and no access to housing. Following the provincial office’s investigation, the Municipality installed 6 stand-pipe taps which provided adequate water and a regular refuse removal service was instituted. 22 temporary toilets had been delivered to Sibuyile Park informal settlement; the toilets will be serviced / cleaned by a service provider once a week; 2 rolls of toilet paper will be provided per toilet per week.

Provincial Manager: 

Mr Buang Jones

Acting Provincial Manager

Tel: (051) 447 1130/33

Fax: (051) 447 1128

Email: akhompeli@sahrc.org.za;
Lditeho@sahrc.org.za

Gauteng

The Gauteng Provincial (GP) Office operates from Forum 3, Braampark, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein, Joahnnesburg.

At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 887. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 151 complaints.

The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints by the nature of the complaint.

Achievements
  • The provincial office investigated key complaints of national interest involving the Child Protection Register; the Lindela Repatriation Centre, Alexandra Women’s Hostel; Standard Bank; and M-Net amongst others.
  • It has also successfully embarked on restorative justice initiatives in a number of matters notably involving the e-tolling system, and those relating to race through alternative dispute resolution.
  • The Gauteng Provincial office created precedent in its litigation preventing the provincial department of Human Settlements from proceeding with an eviction and securing the engagement of parties toward amicable resolution of their dispute.
  • A number of stakeholders work closely with the Gauteng Office to promote an understanding and respect for basic human rights through advocacy and research including community advice centres.

Provincial Manager: 

Ms Chantal Kisoon

Tel: 011 877 3750/58
E-mail: nvkwaza@sahrc.org.za

KwaZulu Natal

The KwaZulu Natal (KZN) Office operates from First Floor, 136 Margaret Mncadi, Durban.


At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 362. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 97 complaints.

As per graph above, the KZN Provincial Office found that 12% of complaints received did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

Achievements
  • The provincial office maintains a good relationship with the various sectors of stakeholders in the province
  • The provincial office has instituted equality court proceedings in several matters
  • A number of advocacy and outreach interventions have been conducted within the province
  • The provincial office participates in various provincial structures around human right issues

Provincial Manager: 

Ms Tanuja Munnoo

KZN
 Office
Telephone number: 031- 3047323
E-mail: kboyce@sahrc.org.za

Limpopo

The Limpopo (LP) Office operates from First Floor, Office 102, Library Garden Square, Corner of Schoeman and Grobler Streets, Polokwane.


At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 314. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 75 complaints.

As per graph above, the LP Provincial Office found that 13% of complaints received did not fall within the jurisdiction of the Commission.

Achievements
  • For the past three years, the Limpopo Provincial Office has successfully resolved numerous human rights complaints related to human rights violations by the government and private individuals. Water and sanitation
  • After the tragic death of a grade 3 learner who drowned after falling into a pit-toilet in Chibeng outside Polokwane, and a subsequent SARHC investigation, Within three weeks of the conclusion of the SAHRC’s investigation, and as a direct result of the Commission’s findings, the Department of Basic Education built new toilets for the benefit of the learners at Malamulele Secondary School, Lukwarani Primary School at Vhembe District. Working with the Department of Basic Education, the SAHRC has thus been responsible for the provision of water and sanitation to more than 15 schools around the province.
  • After interventions by the provincial office, many villages in Limpopo now have access to water.
  • The provincial office also intervened in Thulamela Municipality a person with disability was discriminated against. After the work of the SARHC, the individual received their house.
  • The provincial office is currently working with all stakeholders in the Mapela community to resolve challenges that result in Human Rights violations
  • The provincial office has worked with the Department of Basic Education to ensure the admission of many children to different schools around Limpopo
  • Through intervention by the provincial office, peace and stability was brought to Mapela communities through a mediatory process facilitated by the office

Provincial Manager: 

Mr Azwidini Victor Mavhidula


Tel: 015 291 3500

Fax: 015 291 3505
E-mail: mngobeni@sahrc.org.za

Mpumalanga

The Mpumalanga (MP) Office operates from 4th Floor Carltex Building, 32 Bell Street, Nelspruit.


At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 213. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 44 complaints.

The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints by the nature of the complaint.

Achievements
  • Instituted Equality Court proceedings in 5 cases and obtained positive judgments in 3 cases since 1 April 2015. Also litigated in the Pretoria High Court.
  • Invited and presented at the Commission of Enquiry on Socio-economic rights on farms established by the Premier in terms of section 127 (2) (e) of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, read with section 2 (1) of the Mpumalanga Commissions of Inquiry Act, 1998 (Act No. 11 of 1998).
  • Participated in the Establishment of the Provincial Youth Development & Older Persons Machinery; Part of Mpumalanga Provincial Aids Council headed by Premier Mabuza.
  • Secured permission to attend Select Committee Sessions in the Provincial Legislature.

Provincial Manager: 

Mr Eric Mokonyama

Tel: 013 752 5890
E-mail: cngwenyama@sahrc.org.za

North West

The North West Provincial Office (NWPO) operates from 25 Heystek Street, Rustenburg.

At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 457. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 205 complaints.


The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints by the nature of the complaint.

Achievements
  • Drafted investigative reports with findings and recommendations, including in a matter where a learner was excluded from participating in school sports activity because of her race and a matter where two learners were forced to eat human faeces based on allegations that they had relieved themselves in an unauthorised site
  • The provincial office instituted litigation in a matter where a complainant was called a “bobejaan”
  • In a matter where a Traditional Kgosana uttered discriminatory epithets to the complainant, the parties reached a settlement with the assistance of the provincial office
  • Amicable settlement was reached between parties in a matter where a retail store searched black women’s personal handbags when they exited the store. The retail store agreed to align its policies with the provisions of Chapter 2 of the Constitution.
  • The provincial office conducted research into the workings and effectiveness of equality courts and whether the State was delivering on its responsibilities to assist in the attainment of children’s right to basic education.
  • The provincial office educated residents in the province, including farmworkers and farm dwellers, university students and community members, about human rights, human rights violations and how and when to seek assistance from the Commission during instances of human rights violations.
  • The Provincial Office regularly conducts radio interviews aimed and spreading human rights advocacy throughout the province.


Provincial Manager (Acting):

Ms Mpho Boikanyo

Tel: 014 592 0694
E-mail: pmochadibane@sahrc.org.za

Northern Cape

The Northern Cape Provincial Office (NWPO) operates from 45 Mark and Scot Road, Ancorley Building, Upington.

At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 114. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 19 complaints.

The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints by the nature of the complaint.

Achievements
  • A public hearing into human rights violations taking place in respect of the Khomani –San community h was chaired by Judge Jody Kollapen, the former Chairperson of the SAHRC. A report with findings and recommendations was launched in November 2004 and which led to the successful prosecution and conviction of police officers responsible for the murder of Optel Rooi;
  • In 2013, a grade 10 learner was expelled from a local high school allegedly as a result of discrimination by his maths teacher on the basis of his sexual orientation. The discriminatory behaviour was condoned by the school management insofar as the school principal himself took the learner home with orders that the boy would be allowed back into school when he cut his hair and behaved like a boy. The matter was successfully mediated by the Northern Cape provincial office on an urgent basis and the learner was re-admitted to school. The school’s code of conduct was also amended to reflect tolerance for diversity and a prohibition against discrimination.
  • Since July 2012, the Northern Cape provincial office hassuccessfully litigated in the Equality Court in a number of hate speech matters. Matters brought before the Equality Court by the provincial office included those relating to use of the K-word and where the word “baster” was found to constitute hate speech which affects the dignity of a person.
  • In collaboration with BlackSash and Siyafunda, the Northern Cape provincial office was featured on Special Assignment in February 2015 to raise awareness of illegal deductions from social security grants and its adverse impact on poor and vulnerable groups, such as children and persons with disabilities.

Provincial Manager: 

Ms Chantelle Williams


Tel: 054 332 3993/4

Fax: 054 332 7750

E-mail: zlouw@sahrc.org.za

Western Cape

The Western Cape (WC) Office operates from 7th Floor ABSA building, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town.


At the end of the third quarter of the current financial year, the total number of complaints recorded was 573. The total number of new complaints registered during the third quarter amounts to 110 complaints.

The bar graph above illustrates the percentage breakdown of complaints per the nature of the complaint.

Achievements
  • Equality Court judgments by agreement including following mediation:
  • Bougardt matter (complaint against a pastor posting statements amounting to hate speech on social and other media);
  • Sunette Bridges matter (complaints against Ms Bridges for encouraging racially offensive statements amounting to hate speech on social media);
  • Coulson matter (complaint of discrimination regarding the refusal of guest house owners to afford a same sex married couple accommodation due to their sexual orientation);
  • The provincial office hosted a 20 year commemorative event on Africa Day with special focus on Xenophobia on 20 May 2015 in Zwelathemba, Worcester
  • A stakeholder engagement was hosted with regards to the rights and responsibilities of non-nationals at Belville on 28 July 2015
  • The provincial office hosted a stakeholder engagement on gender abuse in the Western Cape at Atlantis on 24-25 August 2015
  • The provincial office engages regularly in media interventions included the print media, radio and television including two appearances in 2015 for Human Rights Day in March and International Human Rights Day in December on Expresso, morning television on SABC 3.
  • The provincial office hosted various public outreach engagement: Clanwilliam Cederberg Municipality, 21-22 August, 2015; Louwville, Vredenburg, Saldanha Municipality, 1-2 September 2015; Beaufort West, Beaufort west Municipality, 21-22 September, 2015 and Uniondale, George Municipality, 27-28 October, 2015


Provincial Manager: 

Mr Karam Jeet Singh

Tel: (021) 426 2277

E-mail: ssalie@sahrc.org.za

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