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28 June 2017

By Commissioner Andre Gaum

The process of the admission of pupils to schools for the 2018 academic year is well under way.
This is an opportune time to speak about the impact of admission policies on social transformation.
The management of the admissions raises a number of important issues around co-operative governance and separation of powers, as well as the reasonable exercise of public power or functions. Read more
By Sinethemba Memela, Tatenda Muranda and Querida Saal, SAHRC researchers

Which department should take the lead in the provision of special-needs  housing?

Two years after the finalisation of a special-needs housing policy, it is yet to be tabled for approval.

The housing sector is beset with challenges, most notably a severe housing shortage, a sizeable backlog in housing provision and severe overcrowding. Despite these challenges, government’s efforts in addressing the housing problem must be acknowledged. Between 1994 and 2014, about 2.8 million state-subsidised houses and in excess of 875 000 serviced sites were delivered, benefiting around 12.5 million people. Read more
20 June 2017
By Bongani Majola, SAHRC Chairperson

The health department recognises this but not everyone, including asylum seekers, knows this

June 20 is World Refugee Day. There are about 65.6-million forcibly displaced people, and 22.5-million international refugees, the recent report by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees states.
South Africa is host to a refugee population from many parts of the African continent and beyond. They
are fleeing persecution, civil conflict and wars that threaten life and limb. Refugees and asylum seekers
here face a number of problems and access to healthcare is arguably one of the most pressing. Read more
23 March 2017

The Constitution is clear. All people have the right to dignity, equality and freedom. As the Supreme Court of Appeal once noted, “human dignity has no nationality. It is inherent in all people – citizens and non-citizens alike – simply because they are human”. This inherent right arising out of our humanity extends not only to everyone’s right to life, freedom and security of the person, religion, language and culture, belief and opinion. It also extends in the Constitution to socio-economic rights such as housing; healthcare, food, water and social security; education; amongst a range of other. Read more
21 March 2017

By: Prof. Bongani Majola (Chairperson: South African Human Rights Commission)

Racism on the increase in South Africa?"is the question asked the most asked of the South African Human Rights Commission. The question arises due to the impact of social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which have given voice to millions, but have, as a side effect, also complicated both the country's attempts to address the racial discrimination of our past and our efforts at social cohesion. Read more
20 March 2017

Human Rights Day reminds us of sacrifices

RACISM has the ability to undermine the democratic progress of the country and can single-handedly cause deeper divides between race groups. World leaders have often preached about the dangers of racism, including former President Nelson Mandela, who said: “No one is born hating another person because of the colour of his skin, or his background or religion. People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate they can be taught to love for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has urged people from all walks of life to take an Anti-Racism pledge this Human Rights Day. This involves making a personal promise to refrain from hate speech and to embrace diversity. Read more
10 March 2017

As the nation reels from more xeno-phobic violence, another equally egregious form of institutionalised xenophobia played out far from the glare of public attention. It was directed at schoolchildren, com-pounding the violation and infring-ing on the basic right to education.
13 February 2017

Thandiwe Matthews

DESPITE the significant achievements over the past 22 years of democracy, deep inequalities and unfair discrimination remain commonplace. The majority of complaints received by the SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) relate to discrimination based on race.
By Commissioner Mohamed Ameermia, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for right to housing and access to justice

SYNERGY between Statistics South Africa (Stats-SA) and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is crucial for the achievement of the goals of Sustainable Development Agenda 2030. Disaggregated data is essential in measuring whether governments globally are reaching their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set out by the UN for Agenda 2030.

06 October 2016

By Advocate Mohamed Shafie Ameermia, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Access to Justice and Housing

In a landmark judgment on September 13 this year, the Constitutional Court engaged in some nimble judicial crafting to cure impugned parts of section 65J (2) of the Magistrates’ Court Act 32 of 1944.

The case stemmed from an application brought by Stellenbosch University’s Legal Aid Clinic in 2015 to the Western Cape high court on behalf of 15 low-income consumers, who were struggling under the burden of garnishee orders that had been issued against them.

21 September 2016

Their objective, apart from making profits, must be to alleviate the inequality in the communities that provide their labour

FOR more than a century, mining has been an extremely lucrative sector in South Africa, contributing significantly to economic growth and development of the country and indeed, the continent. Read more
18 September 2016

By Commissioner Lindiwe Mokate, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Children’s Rights and Basic Education

Protests that target schools have taught us that we all have a role to play in safeguarding children’s rights, writes Lindiwe Mokate.

South Africa is among the countries that have the highest number of protests in the world - an estimated 13 500 a year, according to the police.

10 May 2016

By Dr Martin Nsibirwa

South Africa in line with accepted international human rights standards recognises the right to assemble, demonstrate, picket and petition. Section 17 of the South African Constitution recognises the right in the following terms “[e]veryone has the right, peacefully and unarmed, to assemble, to demonstrate, to picket and to present petitions”. Often we refer to this right as the right to protest.

19 May 2016

ADV Mohamed Ameermia

ON MAY 8 the whole country remembered with fond memories the day when the Consti­tutional Assembly, 20 years ago, adopted the Constitution, which would be the blueprint of our country.
However, as was noted by Cyril Ramaphosa who at the time was the chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly, "The real legacy of the Constitutional Assembly is not merely in the books that will be distributed, it lies in the growing awareness of what a Constitution means. I appeal to you all to nurture this, to claim the Constitution as your own. We have a Constitution we can be proud of, now let's make it work."
10 May 2016

By Adv. Bokankatla Malatji, SA Human Rights Commissioner

A few months before the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will celebrate its twenty years of existence, and during the month where the nation celebrates National Disability Month, it is an opportune moment to reflect on the right to equality for persons with disabilities. Our reflection begins with a reiteration of the SAHRC mandate which informed some of the work the SAHRC has done in promoting right to equality for persons with disabilities. In particular the recent work we have done in the province of Limpopo.

17 May 2016

By Advocate Shafie Ameermia, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Access to Justice and Housing.

On 8 May 2016, the whole country remembered with fond memories the day when the Constitutional Assembly 20 years ago adopted the Constitution which would be the blue print of our country. However, as was noted by Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa who at the time was the Chairperson of the Constitutional Assembly, “[T]he real legacy of the Constitutional Assembly is not merely in the books that will be distributed, it lies in the growing awareness of what a Constitution means.

10 May 2016

Discrimination is not only often racist in nature, equality in education and other rights are denied to many

By Commissioner Bokankatla Malatji

PRIOR to 1994 South African society was built on an institutionalised system of segregation thot was racially oppressive and discriminatory. However, discrimination did not only take the form of racism hut also manifested through discrimination on the basis of and disability. Read more
24 April 2016

By Dr Danny Titus, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Human Rights and Law Enforcement & Prevention of Torture

In 2015, the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACHPR) adopted Guidlines on Arrest, Police Custody and Pre-Trial Detention (the Luanda Guidelines). The Luanda Guidelines outline legal measures for African Union States in order to strengthen national systems and practices focusing on arrest, police custody and pre-trial detention.
21 April 2016

By Advocate Shafie Ameermia, SAHRC Commissioner responsible for Access to Justice and Housing
As recent as September 2015, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) where the leaders linked the concept of development with the notion that effective measures which ensure access to justice to all people and at all levels should be in place.
15 March 2016

By Chairperson Lourence Mushwana, Commissioner responsible for Migration & Equality

As you know, the Commission is a constitutionally-enshrined body, first envisioned in the country’s interim Constitution and included in Chapter Nine of the final Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996.
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Understanding PAIA

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

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