Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on 21 March,
and Human Rights Month is commemorated in March to remind
South Africans about the sacrifices made during the struggle for liberation and freedom in our country.
The history of Human Rights Day is grounded in the Sharpeville Massacre that took place on 21 March 1960,
where the apartheid police shot and killed 69 people in a peaceful protest march.
The new democratic government sought to use this painful chapter of our past to unify South Africans.
It is an affirmation that the dark deeds of our past will never be repeated again in a democratic society.
During Human Rights Month it is important for all South Africans to celebrate living
in a country that guarantees that never again will humanity be taken from any South African,
irrespective of their race, gender, creed or sexual orientation.
Universal rights Human rights are universal
and are applicable to everyone. Since 1994 government has sought to build on these rights and has continued to ensure that all South Africans,
without exception, enjoy all rights such as the right to life, equality and human dignity as enshrined in our Constitution.
Furthermore, the Bill of Rights ensures that everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law.
It also ensures that the inherent human dignity of all South Africans is respected and protected.
At face value this may seem like a simple thing, but South Africa is a country with vast inequalities.
Therefore ensuring that all have human dignity, self-worth and a sense of belonging has been undertaken by various administrations since 1994.
A significant part of this process is ensuring protection for all, while simultaneously striving to provide opportunities.
One area of immense contestation in this regard has been that of land reform. Equitable access to land is a vital step in ensuring dignity for all.
Government has assured South Africans that this process will be undertaken in a fair and balanced manner, while also ensuring that existing property rights are protected and strengthened.
Anyone who has ever begun a business knows that land or property is a valuable asset. It can be used to open up doors to capital or as a base to begin an enterprise or business.
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