HURISA Statement on Mandela Day 18 July 2019
“To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity and to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others” – Nelson Mandela.
It was Mr. Mandela who visited Norway in 1992 to request assistance from the Government of Norway to set up an effective monitoring system for addressing the politically motivated public violence that was threatening South Africa’s transition process from apartheid to multiracial democracy. And therefore, the Human Rights Institute of South Africa (HURISA) would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of President Nelson Mandela, the father of our democracy.
The 18th of July marks the birthday of both Adelaide Tambo and Nelson Mandela. At HURISA, we salute these two freedom fighters today and every day. As a tribute to Adelaide Tambo, to Nelson Mandela and to all South Africans who navigates the path of fighting for justice; we commemorate that which captures the essence of the soul of our non-racial democracy – remembering that South Africa emerged from a culture of gross human rights violation.
Year 2019 is a significant year in South Africa marking its 6th democratic election since 1994 and marking 25th Anniversary of its human rights and democratic dispensation. It is also the year that coincides with the 25th Anniversary of HURISA originally known as the Institute for Research into the Study of Public Violence. It is for this reason that HURISA heightens the impetus of the year 2019 by creating vibrant dialogue platforms at provincial and national level to raise human rights issues affecting South Africa today.
For more information contact
HURISA Communication and Advocacy
Mobile 063 319 8346
South Africa – VNR Inputs
Focal Point from MGoS is:
Ellie Lederman – firstname.lastname@example.org
Leanne Hartill – email@example.com
Country-specific inputs received from:
• José María Toledo Soto – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Kate Donald – email@example.com
• Ayman Okeil – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Anna Henry email@example.com
• Nonhlanhla Sibanda Moyo firstname.lastname@example.org
• Corlett Letlojane email@example.com
• Kim Windvogel firstname.lastname@example.org
Instructions to draft the statement(s):
• Please read these points carefully
• Prior to drafting please read all inputs received for your country and in addition the cross-cutting inputs (google doc)
• Make sure that the statement uses all country-specific inputs received below. Not all who have inputted will be able to attend the HLPF. It is the responsibility of those who are drafting the statement to consider the inputs and key messages from those who will not be there in person
• Communicate with the entire group whose email addresses are copied in above. Suggestion: prior to drafting you may send an introductory email and propose a call to discuss or you can communicate via email.
• Feel free to engage more people in the statement writing but always make sure to introduce them and be transparent in all the communication
• We advise that you use this google doc for drafting and we ask that you use this google doc to submit your final statement.
• Keep in mind that these statements are collaborative. Therefore always be respectful.
Statement #1 (please do not exceed 300 words)
We commend the considerable progress South Africa made since 1994. However, we note the slow pace of localisation of the SDGs.
Equitable access to quality education remains a major challenge, especially among learners living in economically marginalised areas; How does government plan to address SDG 4?
South Africa is ranked as one of the ten most violent places in the world. Levels of gender-based violence are particularly high, with a femicide rate five times that of the global average; communities are living in fear, the army has recently been dispatched to certain communities affected, this is not a solution and could have negative effects on the very people living in those communities. What long term, sustainable plans are being put in place to address the violence South Africans face on a daily basis?
In terms of the impact of climate change, poor and marginalised communities bear the brunt, with child and female-headed households affected disproportionately; How will government address this?
We note with concern that South Africa is categorised as an upper middle-income country, which does not consider the high levels of inequality. This categorisation has implications in terms of trade, technology transfer, and access to development support.
How will the country tackle corruption and illicit financial flows that robs the country of at least 11 % of public expenditure?
As Civil Society we note with excitement that our gvt has now adopted an institutional framework for the coordination of sustainable development. We call on our government to ensure that within the next 12 months this framework is operationalised.
Statement #2 (can be delivered in case time permits)
We note that achieving the SDG’s is a challenging task. However time is not on our side and the delivery of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in South Africa requires a new sense of urgency. How will South Africa demonstrate the urgent implementation of the SDG’s by 2030 considering that those who drafted the NDP lacks equitable gender analysis related to SDG 5.
In your statement you mentioned that SOUTH Africa is propoor, but I come from a province that penalizes people who are homeless, by fining them enormous amounts for sleeping on the street.
You mentioned collaboration in your statement, but we express our concern that there was not an inclusive process to consult civil society when preparing the VNR. The SDGs cannot be achieved in South Africa without mobilizing the considerable energies of communities, the youth that make up 60% of our country, various social movements and civil society, this relates to SDG 17 ensuring that no one is left behind through creating enabling environments for transparent and collaborative partnerships.
In the spirit of leaving no one behind how do we reconcile the women empowerment mentioned in your statement when only 7% of Healthcare facilities provide abortions on demand when it is supposed to be a right under the choice on termination of pregnancy act for all South Africans.
We call the government’s attention to the 2018 recommendations of the UN Committee for Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Committee called on the government to:
• Review fiscal policy, to better mobilize domestic resources and increase its redistributive effect
• Increase levels of funding in the areas of social security, health, quality education
• The Committee also called for the decriminalisation of sex work, the protection of sex workers from all forms of harrassment and violence. Which directly relates to SDG 8, decent work, which is enshrined in the constitution of the country that mentions that each person has the right to their own occupation and to be free from all forms of discrimination.
How does the government plan to address these recommendations in a way that is both constitutionally gender responsive, inclusive of the youth of South Africa and sustainable for all?
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The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is part of the Civic Space Initiative, implemented
by CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law
(ICNL), in partnership with ARTICLE 19 and the World Movement for Democracy, with support of the
Government of Sweden.
This report is wholly financed by the Government of Sweden. The Government of Sweden does not
necessarily share the opinions here within expressed. The author bears the sole responsibility for the
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The Enabling Environment National Assessment (EENA) is part of the Civic Space Initiative, implemented by CIVICUS: World
Alliance for Citizen Participation and the International Center for Not-for-Profit Law (ICNL), in partnership with ARTICLE 19
and the World Movement for Democracy, with support of the Government of Sweden.
This report is wholly financed by the Government of Sweden. The Government of Sweden does not necessarily share the
opinions here within expressed. The author bears the sole responsibility for the content.Read More