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National Action Plan (NAP): NAPMessages of support/endorsements offered for the NAP process

Messages of support/endorsements offered for the NAP process by the following organisations:

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Message of Support by the Nelson Mandela Foundation

“Let us together turn into reality the glorious vision of a South Africa free of racism. Free of racial antagonisms among our people.” So said our Founder, Nelson Mandela in the heady months after his release from prison, when we were full of optimism that we could do it.

The Nelson Mandela Foundation supports The National Action Plan Process and realises how far we have slipped since those days. The Process is long overdue, but very welcome, in a country experiencing racial fractures and polarisation.

We hope it will help with nation building and racial harmony in our country which officially identified racism as one our most critical issues and a fatal flaw to our democracy.

From early in his political career, more than 60 years ago, Madiba articulated the importance of a human rights based, discrimination free democratic state. In 1962 he said:

“We were inspired by the idea of bringing into being a democratic republic where all South Africans will enjoy human rights without the slightest discrimination: where African and non-African would be able to live together in peace, sharing a common nationality and a common loyalty to this country, which is our homeland.”

Each one of us carries a responsibility to rid our society of all forms of discrimination, including racism, racial discrimination and xenophobia. One of the greatest challenges facing South Africa today remains the restoration of human dignity to people who were made to feel less human through racial discrimination. We hope this process will help to emphasise the principle of equality in all spheres of our lives. 

Let each of us, individually, continue to be ever keen of the impact we have on one another as we go about our daily lives. Let us bear in mind what Madiba said in 1999: “We slaughter one another in our words and attitudes. We slaughter one another in the stereotypes and mistrust that linger in our heads, and the words of hate we spew from our lips.”

We wish the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development well for this complex journey of trying to build a country of Nelson Mandela’s dreams.  

Sello Hatang
Chief Executive, Nelson Mandela Foundation
29 February 2016

Message of Support by the Anti-Racism Network South Africa

To the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

It is critical that as people living in South Africa we stand up and mobilise against racism and discrimination. Making our country an equal and just place for all is a vision worth fighting for. The development of the South African National Action Plan to combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance indicates the state’s commitment to working with us to achieve this. The Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA) strongly supports this National Action Plan (NAP).

The South African NAP can be used to consolidate existing initiatives that address racism, as well as provide intellectual and partnership capacity for new projects and programs. Not only will the NAP provide a “guiding framework for the State’s policies, programmes and strategies to combat racial discrimination”, it also importantly honours South Africa’s commitment to the United Nation’s Durban Declaration signed in 2001.

ARNSA would like to thank the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for driving the process of drafting the NAP and making it available for public consultation. ARNSA strongly encourages all South African’s to actively engage with this draft document and offer constructive feedback. It is through the chorus of many voices that the NAP will become a living framework against racism and intolerance for all people living in our country.

Yours sincerely

Sean Moodley - National Coordinator
Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA)
29 February 2016

Message of support from the OHCHR

OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa Statement of Support
Delivered by Katherine Liao, OIC and Deputy Representative of the OHCHR Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA).

I am very proud to be representing the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, this morning in support of the Department of Justice’s initiative to launch, for public consultation and crucial dialogue, the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP) the full statement.

Message of support from the UNHCR

Consultative Dialogue - National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP)

Today, the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is delighted to be a part of the national consultative dialogue, which marks the launch of public consultations on the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

Let UNHCR therefore, be amongst the first to commit itself to lending what support it can to realise these the full statement.

Message of support from the EU Delegation to South Africa

Message of support delivered by Ms Sofia Moreira de Sousa, Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa at the Consultative Dialogue on the National Action Plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance
29 February-1 March 2016, Cape Town

  • Thank you for the invitation to be here today. On behalf of Ambassador Cornaro who is currently travelling outside the country, I would like to share with you the two objectives that bring the European Union here today and tomorrow.
  • One is to deliver a message of support and praise to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DoJ&CD) for this initiative and for the draft National Acton Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP) open now for public consultation.
  • The Bill of Rights in the Constitution applies to all people living in South Africa. With the launch of the National Action Plan, South Africa demonstrates not only to care about its Constitution but also to value the fundamental principle of the UN Agenda 2030 and its sustainable development goals: "no one should be left behind".
  • Twenty years after the constitution was signed, those words are still a beacon for the entire world: “That South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.” United in diversity: this is the exact same motto of the European Union. Making these words come true is our common challenge, the task ahead, the deepest reason for our partnership.
  • We see that racial discrimination persists and it's felt also in Universities. The struggle to have equal access to socio-economic rights, including education, is certainly a triggering factor. The NAP will have to counter this worrying scenario and provide adequate resources to effectively combat discrimination and social inequality.
  • One approach to tackling the inequality and the heart of discrimination is to focus policy and programmatic engagements on the most vulnerable. Over the course of more than 20 years of EU-SA cooperation and partnership, we have always prioritized vulnerable and marginalised groups. We have partnered with the DoJ&CD in areas including the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (PEPUDA). The NAP is among the achievements of our historic partnership too.
  • We all know that dialogue like ours today is important. But even more important is to bring the dialogue to the communities and engage all the people who can make the success of the draft NAP. Our joint programmes have supported the establishment and functioning of Community-based Advice Offices (CAOs), a model that will certainly be instrumental in the implementation of the NAP. CAOs have ensured legal support services to thousands of South African and migrants, engaged in formal policy dialogues with the Government, and involved in workshops which included topics such as migration, hate crimes, combating racism and xenophobia, gender-based violence, disability, discrimination and exclusion.
  • This work in support of the more marginalized and vulnerable, including foreign nationals and their expectation to access to constitutional socio-economic rights must continue. To this end, it will be critical that the implementation of the NAP is ensured and monitored by the SA Government as it will provide the policy framework in which all stakeholders, including the EU, would be able to operate in a coordinated manner. The EU is ready to support the Department of Justice or Chapter IX Institutions who may come with requests of Technical Assistance aimed at implementing the NAP.
  • No goal or action can be achieved without an empowered Civil Society.  CSOs lie at the heart of any policy aimed at integration, equality and divides. The successful implementation of the NAP will depend on the capacity of the government in building partnerships with civil society. Yet, unless civil society is capacitated and well-resourced to play its role of contributor to social and economic change, there is little chance that South Africa will overcome the challenges it faces.
  • The second objective is to listen to the discussions of these two days and learn from the debate. Europe, in common with South Africa, is also witnessing a worrying rise of racism and xenophobia. In Europe we are experiencing challenges, among others, linked with great numbers of refugees seeking security in Europe. As inequalities and insecurity spread, this is hardly surprising. But racism and xenophobia manifestations are not exclusively linked to the refugee crisis, it is a wider challenge we share.
  • The famous 1995 Schengen Agreement that abolished the EU's internal borders, enabling passport-free movement is being challenged in face of the great numbers that come to EU external borders. Also on refugee policies, South Africa has closed down many refugee reception offices in key urban areas. Both EU and South Africa need to rethink refugee policies in the light of the human rights principles we subscribe to.
  • South Africa has much to share on peaceful coexistence and reconciliation. But we are all navigating troubled waters and the immediate challenge for our governments – both here and in Europe- is to review policies and design actions aimed at fighting racism and ensuring equal opportunities, protecting human rights, enhancing civic education and improving access to public services.  
  • In this respect, the draft NAP to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance that we are discussing today marks an important step forward by South Africa that deserves the EU's support.  

Enquiries can be directed to: Ms Danaline Franzman, Chief Director: Social Justice and Participatory Democracy, Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Tel: +27 (0) 12 315 1500/1487