20 March 2009
South Africans will observe Human Rights Day, 21 March 2009, recognising the struggles we have endured to achieve our democracy and reinforce our freedom. Basic human rights for all are firmly entrenched in our Constitution. The Government is determined to ensure that these rights are fully enjoyed by all.
The theme for 2009 is Celebration of 15 years of freedom and human rights.
We remain committed to our constitutional imperatives that are central to the tenets of the International Human Rights Declaration
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 March as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
Human Rights Day in South Africa represents a rallying cry around the world, in defence of people’s right to protest against unfair laws, and to demand their human rights.
We honour our heroes who have sacrificed their lives for our democracy in which all citizens, regardless of race, age or gender, are able to exercise their rights.
We have made many achievements in the last 15 years in creating a better life for all who live in South Africa
Through the social grants programme, the right to human dignity has been restored:
- 12 million people benefit from social grants
- 95% of South Africans live within 5km from a health facility
- we have surpassed the millennium development goals (MDGs) with regard to access to clean potable water.
The right to education has been practised:
- to date, the country has met its universal access to primary education as stipulated in the MDGs.
Some 9,9 million citizens have received houses, which enforces the right to housing.
We have strong representative institutions and an independent judiciary to strengthen and sustain our democracy.
While millions of lives have improved, many people are still affected by poverty, inequality and racism. We have triumphed over the forces of oppression and this means that we can overcome the further challenges we face.
The Gautrain project creates almost 12 000 jobs
The Gautrain project has created 11 700 direct jobs, with an opportunity to empower its citizens, and particularly to expand the economic activity of the province.
Koeberg to get R1,6-billion upgrade
The Koeberg nuclear power station is to get a R1,6-billion upgrade to increase the station's output and improve its reliability.
South Africa and Egyptian entrepreneurs selected for elite network
Entrepreneurs from Egypt and South Africa have been invited to join a global network of high-impact entrepreneurs in New Delhi, India. The selected entrepreneurs will be offered advice from successful business mentors and consultants to improve their skills in their countries’ economies.
South Africa to host 2009 Champions Trophy
The International Cricket Council officially named South Africa as the new hosts of the biennial Champions Trophy to be held from 24 September to 5 October 2009.
New national park unveiled in Knysna
The Garden Route National Park has been established in Knysna. Our parks are some of our most important conservation and tourism assets and South Africa is steadily increasing spending on national parks.