Legislation

Home> Legislation> Constitution> Bill of Rights

THE SOUTH AFRICAN CONSTITUTION, 1996

Chapter 2: Bill of Rights

This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom. View the full Chapter 02 pdf
View the 2013 poster in English or Afrikaans pdf

Afrikaans - English - isiNdebele - isiXhosa - isiZulu - siSwati - Sepedi - Sesotho - Setswana - Tshivenda - Xitsonga


EQUALITY
You cannot be discriminated against. But affirmative action and fair discrimination are allowed
Everyone is equal before the law and may not be discriminated against.

HUMAN DIGNITY
Your dignity must be respected and protected.
Everyone has a basic human dignity which must be respected.

LIFE
You have the right to life
Everyone has the right to life.

FREEDOM AND SECURITY OF THE PERSON
You cannot be detained without trial, tortured or punished poorly. Domestic violence is not allowed.
You may not be physically detained without trial or abused in any way.

SLAVERY, SERVITUDE AND FORCED LABOUR
Slavery and forced labour are not allowed.
You may never be subjected to slavery or forced labour.

PRIVACY
You cannot be searched or have your home or possession searched.
Your right to privacy includes your body, home and possessions.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION, BELIEF AND OPINION
You can believe and think whatever you want and can follow the religion of your choice.
You have the right to think, believe and worship however you may choose.

FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
All people (including the press) can say whatever they want.
You have the right to say, read and study whatever you choose but hate speech is not allowed.

ASSEMBLY, DEMONSTRATION, PICKETT AND PETITION
You can hold a demonstration, picket and present a petition. But you must do this peacefully.
You have the right to peacefully assemble, demonstrate and protest.

FREEDOM OF ASSOCIATION
You can associate with whomever you want to.
You have the right to associate with anyone.

POLITICAL RIGHTS
You can support the political party of your choice. If you are citizen, and at least 18years old you can vote.
You may form a political party, run for office and vote for any party in free and fair elections.

CITIZENSHIP
Your citizenship cannot be taken away from you.
No citizen may be deprived of citizenship.

FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT AND RESIDENCE
You can go and live anywhere in the Republic of South Africa
You have the right to enter and leave the Republic at will.

FREEDOM OF TRADE, OCCUPATION AND PROFESSION
You can do whatever work you choose.
You have the right to choose any legal trade or occupation freely.

LABOUR RELATIONS
You may join trade unions and go on strike
Every worker and employer has the right to organise and negotiate to further their aims.

ENVIRONMENT
You have the right to a healthy environment
You have the right to live in a protected, healthy environment.

PROPERTY
Your property can only be taken away from you if the proper rules are followed.
No-one may be deprived of property, except in terms of law of general application.

HOUSING
The Government must make sure that people get proper access to housing.
You have the right to access adequate housing.

HEALTH CARE, FOOD, WATER AND SOCIAL SECURITY
The Government must make sure you have access to food and water, Health care and social security.
You have the right to health care, adequate food and water and social security.

CHILDREN
Children under the age of 18 have special rights, like the right not to be abused.
Every child has the right to a name, nationality and protection from abuse and exploitation.

EDUCATION
You have the right to basic education, including adult basic education, in your own language (if this is possible)
You have the right to a basic education in the official language of your choice.

LANGUAGE AND CULTURE
You can use the language you want to, and follow the culture that you choose.
You have the right to use the language of your choice and practise your own culture.

CULTURAL, RELIGIOUS AND LINGUISTIC COMMUNITIES
Communities can enjoy their own culture; practice their own religion; and use their own language.
You have the right to form, join and maintain cultural, linguistic and religious grouping of your own choice.

ACCESS TO INFORMATION
You have the right to any information which the government has
You may access any information held by the state for the protection of your rights.

JUST ADMINISTRATIVE ACTION
Actions by the government must be fair
You have the right to administrative action that is lawful, reasonable and fair.

ACCESS TO COURTS
You can have a legal problem decided by a court, or a similar structure.
You have the right to resolve legal disputes in a court or another impartial tribunal.

ARRESTED, DETAINED AND ACCUSED PERSONS
This right protects people who are arrested, imprisoned or accused.
When arrested, you have the right to remain silent, to be brought before a court within 48 hours and the right to legal representation.

Top