21 March 2022
As the nation marks another Human Rights Day, the Federation of Unions of South Africa (FEDUSA) says widespread social injustice continues to undermine individual and socio-economic rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights.
Human Rights Day was set down by the government to commemorate 21 March 1960 when police used live ammunition to disperse marchers protesting against pass laws in Sharpeville in Gauteng and Langa in Western Cape. Today more than 60 years later, social injustice in the form of inequality continues to deny basic human rights to many South Africans as their lives continue to be negatively impacted by the ravages of climate change. Negative impacts of climate change are manifesting themselves in prolonged droughts in the Eastern Cape, generally dry weather conditions over the Western half of the country and violent tropical storms over KwaZulu Natal.
It is difficult to speak of any enjoyment of human rights for millions of workers who have lost their jobs to the COVID-19 and the July riots and unable to feed their families. FEDUSA calls on Government on this Human Rights Day to facilitate meaningful and inclusive discussions with social partners at NEDLAC and to move with speed to finalise the legislation that will enable the implementation of a Basic Income Grant. This necessary intervention will allow these unemployed workers to put food on the table as a fundamental human right.
FEDUSA further believes and will continue to advocate that a human rights based society cannot tolerate a continuation of the scourge of gender based violence against women and children. It is simply an indefensible scandal. It is also time for the government to recognize that women and children rights are human rights by implementing visible practical measures for their realization, alongside a framework that insists on consequence management for perpetrators of GBV, that only perpetuates societal ills due to lack of counselling and healing for both parties. Let us heal our Nation on this Human Rights Day before full recovery is realised.
For interviews please contact:
Ms Nomabandla Silinyana
FEDUSA Vice President: Social Justice and Gender
082 675 2667
Ms Riefdah Ajam
FEDUSA General Secretary
079 696 2625
Mr Ashley Benjamin
FEDUSA Deputy General Secretary
083 258 4433
072 637 8096