Progress made in advancing human rights

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

The South African Local Government Association (SALGA) has called on South Africans to reflect on the progress the country has made in advancing human rights.

“Despite continued local government’s challenges in providing access to services to the poor and vulnerable persons, it is recognised that significant progress has been made in terms of meeting human rights by the local government since 1994,” SALGA said in a statement.

SALGA said the local government has provided about 12.5 million people with access to housing, along with further improvements in access to other basic services including adequate water, sanitation, electricity and refuse removal.

Although progress has been made in advancing human rights, SALGA has encouraged South Africans to consider what the country still needs to do in the future to promote human rights event further.

“We must remember what Nelson Mandela once said: “To deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity”.

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.

“While individuals are entitled to human rights, individuals are also to respect the human rights of others. At the State level, the State assumes obligations and duties to respect, to protect and to fulfil human rights. However, the principle of obligation is being challenged perpetually,” SALGA said. –

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