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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

29 May 2014

By Commissioner Mokate, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Children and Basic education

Despite having been abolished for 18 years, corporal punishment in schools continues with alarming frequency with the General Household Surveys 2012, indicating that some 2.2 million children were made subject to the practise in this year. Of late, the SAHRC has noted a considerable rise of incidence of corporal punishment in schools.

10 March 2016

By Chairperson Lourence Mushwana, Commissioner responsible for Migration & Equality

It is not a co-incidence that the South African Human Rights Commission decided to launch the Right to Food which on a day prior to the Human Rights Day in South Africa.

There must be a particular reason for the Constitutional imperative which states that ‘everyone has the right to adequate food and water’

02 March 2014

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

Hartbeespoort, Rooikoppies, Vaalkop and Klipvoor Dams are located in the Madibeng Municipality. Four dams...that should be more than enough water for everyone, to drink, wash and wallow in on scorching summer days in the North-West Province. The world’s third largest chrome producer and the richest Platinum Group Metals Reserve are in Madibeng. During Apartheid and Democracy the wealthy owners of the mines, tourist companies, agribusiness and other large industries did not experience water shortages or water cuts. Yet communities who are Black and poor, living next to the dams complained to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) that they went without water for days, weeks and months.

12 November 2015

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

On International Rural Women’s Day this week, over 250 rural women from across our country marched to Parliament. Their pamphlets and green t-shirts (over colourful traditional clothes) were imprinted with an image of a joyous woman. Hands encircling the earth, fingertips enfolding Africa, she proclaims:  “Women – guardians of seed, life and earth”.

12 November 2015

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

It is a small ordinary garden, with colourful spring flowers on the one side and a neat vegetable patch on the other. I want to photograph it, to capture the courage that creates beauty.

Everything else we have listened to and seen that day, seem designed to crush the human spirit. The horrific statistics of poverty, inequality, unemployment, precarious employment, food insecurity, lack of access to housing, water and sanitation, ill-health and gender based violence speak of the destruction of human life. The flowers show how human beings survive.

05 October 2015

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

On October 3, the 20th anniversary of the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC), we travelled to Xhora Mouth in the Eastern Cape to report back to the community that laid a complaint regarding access to emergency medical services, which led to the SAHRC hearing on emergency medical services in the Eastern Cape earlier this year.
28 August 2015

By Commissioner Janet Love, SAHRC Commissioner for Environment, Natural Resources & Rural Development; and Researcher Angela Kariuki
 
eGoli! The “Place of Gold”, the popular nickname adopted for Johannesburg in its formative years, is the economic hub of the country and the continent, generating a large percentage of South Africa’s GDP. The province in which it falls, Gauteng, is responsible for at least a quarter of the country’s total mineral production – the bulk of this being gold.
19 August 2015
 
By Dr Danny Titus, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Human Rights and Law Enforcement & Prevention of Torture
 
At a summit on rural safety and security in 1998 our former president Mandela was quite clear when he referred to the immediate human suffering, the lack of security and stability in our rural and farming community. He referred to the serious disruption to our economy, the threat of reduced growth and production, loss of wages and profits, and in time unemployment. He was referring to the attacks and killings on farms. He continued to state that "the government deplores the cold blooded killings that have been taking place on farms," and that "killings on farms, and crimes in general, have been a feature of South African life for many decades."
09 August 2015

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care
 
Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo – Bread and Roses
 
The song of women on the march in 1956, honours the love that ensures the survival of millions of families and communities. One of the meanings of Imbokodo is ‘grinding stone’ referring to the work countless women do to produce food for our world. In contrast to the production of weapons of death, creating food to nourish and sustain life is not counted in the GDP, the measurement of economic growth.

09 August 2015

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

Dignity is the inherent worth and value of every human being. Humanity’s birthright was silenced by apartheid’s capitalist and patriarchal paradigm, which devalued, fragmented and destroyed human beings.

The earth, air and water that sustain life became commodities to exploit for profit.

06 August 2015

By Commissioner Shafie Ameermia, Commissioner responsible for Access to Justice & Housing
 
In a recent ruling by the Western Cape High Court, Judge Siraj Desai, noted that, “[t]he facts underpinning this application relate to the debt collection procedure employed by the micro-lending industry and give rise to significant disquiet, if not alarm.”

01 August 2015

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

The song of women on the march in 1956, Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo, honours the love that ensures the survival of millions of families and communities.

One of the meanings of imbokodo is “grinding stone”, referring to the work countless women do to produce food. In contrast to the production of weapons, creating food to nourish and sustain life is not counted in the gross domestic product, the measurement of economic growth.

02 June 2015

By Commissioner Shafie Ameermia, Commissioner responsible for Access to Justice & Housing
 
The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa with its entrenched Bill of Rights has received international acclaim for being the most progressive legal instrument in securing human rights to date. Furthermore, an empirical study of the constitutions of the world, found that the South African Constitution is amongst the most influential benchmarks for modern constitution-making.

24 November 2014

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

From high-profile cases to cases that never make the headlines, it is clear that there is no ceasefire of the war in homes, neighborhoods and workplaces. Patriarchs, from pulpits and podiums, attack the dignity of people who do not conform to militarized masculinity and submissive femininity. Every day we hear of misogynistic attacks on babies, children, heterosexual and lesbian women and people who are gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex.

28 August 2014

Video presentation by Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, Commissioner responsible for Basic Services & Health Care

At the recent meeting between State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy and Parliamentary Committees MPs weighed in on ‘this independence thing’ of Chapter Nine Institutions. One MP asserted that there must be ‘one country, one voice!’ Instead of being vigorously challenged, she was supported by other MPs opposed to Chapter Nine Institutions criticising Government.

24 March 2014

By Minister Connie September, Minister of Human Settlements

Positive results will soon be felt by the people whose dignity has been assaulted by the bucket toilet system, says Human Settlements Minister Connie September.

26 April 2013

By Chairperson Lourence Mushwana, Commissioner responsible for Migration & Equality 

The South African Human Rights Commission is honoured that the Network of African National Human Rights Institutions and the Association for the Prevention of Torture chose it to host vital training in investigating allegations of torture.

It could not come at a more crucial time. As a country, we are experiencing torture, ill-treatment and police brutality of a magnitude we have not experienced since we became a democracy.

20 March 2013

By Deputy Chairperson Pregs Govender, SAHRC Deputy Chairperson responsible for Basic Services & Health Care
 
There are good people across our society, in Government and in civil society, who are deeply committed to our Constitution. They work hard and are committed to changing the reality of unemployment, poverty, inequality and violence. The biggest obstacle they identify is the lack of planning, the silo-mentality, the territorialism and egoism. These factors hinder co-ordination and co-operation within and between departments and spheres of Government. It has negative impact on policy and budget development, preventing the implementation of policies that could shift this reality. The result is a widespread perception that Government does not care.

03 December 2012

By Commissioner Bokankatla Malatji, SAHRC Commissioner responsible to Disability & Older Persons

South Africa joins the international community in commemorating World Disability Day which is celebrated every year on the 3rd of December. It must be acknowledged that South Africa is a signatory and has ratified the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and it is legally bound by the Convention’s provisions. The observance of this day aims to promote an understanding of disability issues and mobilize support for the dignity, rights and well-being of persons with disabilities. It also seeks to increase awareness of the importance of integrating the rights of persons with disabilities in every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.

18 September 2012 

By Kayum Ahmed, SAHRC CEO

If you could choose to belong to any racial group, which one would you choose? Forget about the colour of your skin, your ethnic origin, or your mother tongue for a moment.
 
Would you stick to the racial group that you have historically been assigned to, or would you change your race?

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