SAHRC welcomes amendment to gym's rules to specifically prohibit racism
18 February 2014
Attention: Editors and Reporters
The South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission) welcomes an amendment to the rules of the Bedfordview Planet Fitness gym.
The gym’s rules now specifically prohibit racism, as well as discriminatory language based on amongst other grounds sex, gender and social origin. This amendment will now be made in all Planet Fitness gym rules. It signals an important step in the right direction by private business in respecting and promoting human rights.
The amendment follows an incident at the gym where the ‘k’ epithet was used against gym member Mr. Ntokozo Lwandle by an unknown fellow member while he was training. Although the member who used the unlawful racial epithet could not be traced, the gym has amended its rules following engagement with the Commission.
Our courts have repeatedly pronounced on the prohibition of the use of the ‘k’ word and have found that its use amounts to hate speech, and violates the dignity of persons under the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act. Despite such prohibition existing in law, the amendment of the gym’s rules and regulations to specifically prohibit such language goes a long way in demonstrating the gym’s commitment to creating a discrimination-free environment for all its members.
Issued by the SA Human Rights Commission
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