The Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill provides for offences related to several forms of discrimination, including those on the basis of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, and nationality. The bill was originally drafted with only hate crime in mind. However, in response to the recent increase in hate speech incidents, especially on social media platforms, the department of Justice and Constitutional Development made the decision to include a hate speech provision. The bill, through the criminalisation of hate speech and hate crime, intends to ensure greater alignment between practice and constitutional provisions that protect vulnerable groups. It will not only enforce harsher sentencing and larger fines, but will also implement educational and sensitivity training programmes for both the public and public service staff as a means of making its effect felt on a grass roots level.
The Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) in Partnership with Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES), the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and Open Society Foundation for South Africa hosted a dialogue on the ‘Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill’ on Thursday, February 23rd 2017, at the Sunnyside Park Hotel, Parktown, Johannesburg. The dialogue sought to explore whether the Bill will be effective in addressing some of the systematic hate crimes plaguing South Africa.
Despite its significance within SADC and growing evidence of its contribution to poverty alleviation and food security, informal cross border trade (ICBT), is yet to occupy its rightful place in regional policy making. Discussions on regional integration remain largely biased towards big business. It is therefore encouraging to note that the 2016 South Africa – Zimbabwe Bi-National Commission (BNC) included discussion on the facilitation of free movement of people, introduction of a one stop border post and promotion of people to people linkages. The informal and small businesses sectors can help address high unemployment in the region, especially among youth.
In terms of SA-Zimbabwe nexus, the Beitbridge border post is the busiest in the region. A 2015 study by the Southern African Migration Programme (SAMP) identified Zimbabwe is the main country of origin for cross border trade with SA, constituting 29% of all traders. In 2012 Chiliya et al estimated 70% of Zimbabwean women of reproductive age to be involved in cross border trade. The Strategic Business Partnerships for Growth in Africa (SBP) in a 2006 survey estimated an annual spend of R6 million among some 114 randomly polled cross border traders and shoppers in central Johannesburg. Perhaps for this dominance, the introduction of import restrictions by the Zimbabwe government in June 2016 triggered an outcry.
This dialogue forms part of efforts to place ICBT on the policy agenda within the region, by first providing an opportunity for engagement between relevant stakeholders and the lead ministry in South Africa. The dialogue is also an opportunity to address several inter-connected issues, including unemployment, poverty, migration, regional integration, gender, peace and security, socio-economic justice and economic development among others.
Venue: Alliance Française, 155 Loop street, Cape Town
Registration: 17H30 – 18H00 (Wine and light refreshments will be served)
Chair: Marissa van Rensburg, SALO
- Keynote speaker: Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery
- Sanja Bornman, Chairperson of the National Hate Crimes Working Group
- Mabhuti Mkangeli, Senior Community Fieldworker, The Triangle Project
Open discussion: 19H15 – 20H00
Vote of thanks
Wine and light refreshments will be served
SALO would like to thank the following (in alphabetical order) for their direct support for this event:
The Alliance Française du Cap and the Consulate General of France in Cape Town, Irish Aid and the Embassy of Ireland, Pretoria; The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Pretoria; Open Society Foundation for South Africa
On Thursday 24 November 2016 SALO in collaboration with the Embassy of France in Pretoria and the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) hosted: A Multi-stakeholder Dialogue on French and South African OGP Commitments: Sharing Experiences and Best Practices on Co-creation with Civil Society
On 20 September 2016, South Africa handed over the chair of the Open Government Partnership to France. This half-day multi-stakeholder workshop looks at South Africa and France’s OGP commitments (and the APRM in the case of South Africa) with the aim of highlighting and sharing lessons on best practices around co-creation with civil society.
This workshop explored these issues, in the context of the forthcoming OGP summit to be held in Paris from the 7th to the 9th of December 2016.
Date and Time: Thursday 24 Nov, 9am – 12pm (followed by a light lunch)
Venue: Alliance Francaise, 99 Rivier Street, Sunnyside, Pretoria
On 14th September 2016, SALO attended the National Consultative Roundtable on Sustainable Development Goal 5 (SDG Goal 5) that was organised by Ilitha Labantu organisation in Cape Town.
The roundtable was addressed by the Ilitha Labantu founder, Ms Mandisa Monakali and Mr Themba Kalua, UN Women Multi-Country Office Deputy Representative among other speakers.
Some of the issues raised as far as SDG Goal 5 is concerned:-
– Women still face a lot of discrimination due to many societal factors. There is still a lot of work that needs to be done in order to achieve SDG goal 5.
– Some of the problems/challenges cited as facing women and girls were:-
- Many women and girl children are still abused in their own homes, at school and it is even more precarious for women/girls with disability.
- Lack of proper facilities to cater for women/girls at many institutions eg at the police stations, where police are not adequately trained to deal with women matters.
- Girls in rural areas still have to walk long distances and on unsafe roads/paths to schools
- Many girls still miss school every month due to lack of sanitary towels.
- lack of support from other women
Some of the things that need to be done in order to achieve gender equality and empower women
– Encourage women to support each other and also try to get rid of the Pull Down Syndrome (Phd syndrome)
– Create regular space for families to come together and learn things as a family eg encourage women to bring along their daughters to workshops dealing with women issues.
– Involve women in peace processes/matters.
– Need to develop our own framework using the UN language of Women, Peace, Security and Access to justice. The UN language was designed for women in the countries in conflict but we also have local conflicts which can lead to injustices in the society eg lack of a street light can lead to a woman being attacked in the street. If women are involved in the local committee structures, they would be able to tackle these kind of issues which lead to injustices to their own.
– Create user friendly environment for those institutions that deal with women/girl issues for example:-
- Provide proper training to Police staff dealing with women issues.
- Make the school a positive learning environment for girls (the issue of girls from poor homesteads skipping schools every month has been a real concern). The government and institutions have to look for ways to ensure that all girls attend school without missing any day.
- Make tough laws for those who are found to molest girls and women.
- Capacitate women care givers/midwives in rural areas to ensure that women in rural areas get adequate health care.
- Women in leadership positions should try to link up with those in grassroots levels so as to impart their knowledge and skills to their counterparts in the grassroots levels thus afford continuity of skills.
– More of these roundtable discussions need to take place and if possible bring our girls along
– It is important for everyone attending these discussions go out and make small changes in society as far as Goal 5 is concerned rather than wait until there are big workshops and come and discuss issues.
On Thursday 28 July 2016, SALO hosted a multi-stakeholder dialogue on Burundi, reflecting on the current security situation, the role of women in peacebuilding and the prospects for peace in the country.
The panel comprised of: Amb. Isaie Ntirizoshira, Burundian Ambassador to South Africa; Dr Martin Rupiya, Associate Professor from the Institute for African Renaissance Studies; Ms Mediatrice Barengayabo, a Burundian civil society activist; and Mr Andre van Straten, Deputy Director of Indian Ocean Islands in the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Opening remarks were made by Richard Smith, SALO and Amb. Marcus Cornaro, European Union Ambassador to South Africa. Closing remarks were made by Amb Welile Nhlapo, SALO associate and state security advisor to the former President of South Africa.
Download two of the presentations given at the dialogue below:
On the 30th of June 2016, SALO in partnership with the Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO), hosted a workshop entitled, The Role of Women in Peace-building: Lessons from South Sudan. This event highlighted the challenges that women face in the South Sudan peace process and opportunities for greater inclusion.
The first panel discussion included speakers Mr John Simon Kor, Deputy Head of Mission, South Sudanese Embassy in South Africa; Ms Selaelo S Ramokgopa, Chief Director of East Africa Desk at DIRCO and H.E. Ms Trine Skymoen, Ambassador to the Royal Norwegian Embassy in South Africa.
The second session was addressed by Justice Ajonye Perpetua Paya, Deputy Chairperson of the Law Society of South Sudan; Ms Zeinab Yassin Hagelsafi, the Chairwoman of the South Sudan Women’s General Association (SSWGA) and Ms Venetia Govender, a SALO Associate and Director of Crisis Action Southern Africa who gave the closing remarks.
This topic was borne out of and sought to be a continuation of the discussion generated in our successful 2015 workshop on SA-Zim relations in partnership with FES. China was mentioned by panelists and participants alike several times, in the context of analysing SA-Zim relations. It is clear that one cannot gain a comprehensive analysis of the SA-Zimbabwe relationship without including an analysis of both Zimbabwe’s and South Africa’s strong bilateral relationships with China, plus the three-way dynamics and regional/international aspects.
Chair: Mr Tawanda Sachikonye, Researcher at SALO
Opening Remarks: Mr Andreas Quasten, Assistant Director, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES)
- Prof Mills Soko, Associate Professor of International Political Economy at the Graduate School of Business (GSB), University of Cape Town
- Ms Sanusha Naidu, Senior Research Associate at Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD)
- Dr Philani Mthembu, ?Senior Researcher, Institute for Global Dialogue (IGD)
Closing Remarks and Summary: Dr Showers Mawowa, Research, Development and Coordination Manager, SALO
“Refugees are people like anyone else, like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again. On this World Refugee Day, let us recall our common humanity, celebrate tolerance and diversity and open our hearts to refugees everywhere.” – Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General
SALO’s refugee and migrants work:
As part of its principle of regional solidarity, SALO advocates at all levels to improve the position of migrants and refugees living in South Africa, as well as conditions for the poor and marginalised host communities within which many migrants live.
Of particular concern to SALO is the relationship between migrants from the region and South African citizens. As much as the South African government is taking a leading role in constructively engaging in conflicts on the continent, South Africa’s citizens are often not well informed about the history and present of other countries in Africa. Migrants are an important point of contact between ordinary citizens and the rest of the continent. Often, however, relations between migrants and citizens in South Africa has been characterised by conflict and discrimination rather than mutual exchange and learning.
A particularly egregious form of discrimination is xenophobic violence targeting foreign nationals. Since May 2008, when hundreds of thousands of foreign nationals were forcibly evicted from townships and informal settlements around the country and at least 62 people were killed, xenophobic violence has been in the public eye nationally, regionally and internationally, and high levels of violence against foreign migrants have continued since.
SALO works with South African communities through education campaigns on the nature and histories of conflicts in neighbouring countries such as Zimbabwe, Swaziland, the DRC and Somalia. This is done through workshops and the presentation and discussion of videos about the conflicts. SALO has also produced a video about xenophobic violence.
The aims are to increase South African understanding of the reasons for migration from these countries as a means of increasing dialogue with migrants, as well as building a constituency for the South African government’s efforts to build peaceful resolutions to the crises in these countries.
SALO’s work to counter xenophobia and xenophobic violence, and to work particularly towards increasing the rights and voice of migrants and refugees from Zimbabwe and Swaziland, is supported by the Olof Palme International Centre among others. SALO works in partnership with a range of organisations including the Zimbabwe Solidarity Forum; People Against Suffering, Oppression and Poverty (PASSOP); Open Society Initiative of Southern Africa.
On Friday the 10th of June 2016, SALO screened a DVD of an interview in which several South African teenage boys living in townships discussed issues around societal pressures and conditioning related to internalized perceptions of masculinity, including candid discussions as to why some of the youth interviewed regularly beat their girlfriends.
The screening elicited a robust discussion amongst the pupils, around the prevalence of gender based violence in their school and community. The students explored various unhealthy expectations and perceptions of ‘masculinity’ prevalent within their community, and postulated on how they could assist in changing these unhealthy expectations.
The discussion was chaired by a young member of the Congress of South African Students (COSAS), living within the community.