Campaign to celebrate Human Rights Day

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

As part of celebrating Human Rights Day, Public Service and Administration Minister Ayanda Dlodlo announced that her department will embark on a campaign to encourage public servants to observe Batho Pele principles. 

Batho Pele requires public servants to be responsive, timeous and efficient at all times when rendering services to members of the public. 

“We must practically live according to the mantra of the public service – We Belong, We Serve, We Care,” said Minister Dlodlo said.

Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday, Minister Dlodlo said she is extremely concerned about a growing number of incidents where public servants have been found either on the wrong side of the law or acting unprofessionally and neglecting their duties. 

She said this type of conduct degrades the image of government in the eyes of the public, who expect and deserve high standards of performance and professionalism. 

“We have to be firm against those people who take their work for granted and in the process violate the citizen’s rights to services. We must act even harsher against those who are involved in corrupt activities and acts of misconduct in the public service,” Minister Dlodlo said. 

Today, South Africa is commemorating national Human Rights Day in remembrance of the 69 protesters, who were killed by apartheid security forces during the anti-pass law protest in Sharpeville, Vereeniging.

The incident famously known as the Sharpeville Massacre took place on 21 March 1960 after thousands of anti-apartheid activists from Sharpeville and across the country protested against racial pass laws, which violated the basic human rights of black people. 

The 21st of March was declared in the new democratic era as Human Rights Day to honour those who fought for liberation and to celebrate the many rights guaranteed under the Constitution of the Republic.

The national Human Rights commemoration will start with a wreath laying ceremony at Sharpeville Memorial Centre, followed by the formal programme, where Deputy President David Mabuza will address the nation at George Thabe Cricket Sports Ground in Sharpeville, Emfuleni Local Municipality.

On Tuesday, Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa in partnership with other government departments, private and civil organisations held a Human Rights dialogue at the Vaal, in Johannesburg.

The dialogue forms part of the 2018 Human Rights Month under the theme, “The year of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela: promoting and deepening a human rights culture across society”.

The main topic for the dialogue was human rights and the language question - Are Afrikaans - only medium institutions antithetical to the founding values of the Constitution? –

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