- Raising awareness of human rights issues;
- Monitoring and assessing the observance of human rights;
- Education and training on human rights;
- Addressing human rights violations and seeking effective redress.
- Legal Services Programme
- The Research and Documentation Programme
- Advocacy and Communications
- Parliamentary and International Affairs
- Financial Management Programme
- Administration and Supply Chain Management Programme
- Human Resources Programme
- Internal Audit Activity
Legal Services Unit (LSU)
A Trends Analysis Report is also produced on an annual basis so as to substantively analyse complaints received by the Commission for the relevant financial year under review. It aims to not only provide statistical information regarding the number of complaints received, referred and finalised by the Commission, but to further provide a narrative analysis with a view to informing both Parliament and the general public about the initiatives undertaken by the Commission in addressing such complaints.
Areas of Focus
- Complaints handling
- Public hearings
- Annual Trends Analysis Report
- Finalisation rate for cases over 85%
- Hosted Public Hearings on various topics including:
- Land Restitution
- Access to Housing. Local Governance and Service Delivery
- Access to Emergency Medical Services in the Eastern Cape
- Issues and Challenges relating to unregulated artisanal underground and above ground mining activities in South Africa
- Safety and Security Challenges in Farming Communities
- Strategic Impact Litigation in such matters as:
- SAHRC & Another v Minister of Home Affairs and 5 Others
- BEFA & 23 Others v Minister of Basic Education & 4 others
- Stellenbosch University Legal Aid Clinic & Others v Minister of Justice & Others
- Annual Trends Analysis Reports produced for the 2012/13, 2013/14 and 2014/15 financial years
Mr Pandelis Gregoriou
Tel: 011 877 3653
- Monitoring and reporting on compliance with PAIA
- Awareness raising and education for users and implementers of PAIA
- Providing assistance to members of the public
- Making recommendations on the reform of PAIA
- Establishment and hosting of the National Information Officers Forum
- Establishment of Provincial Information Officers Forum in various provinces
Mr Siyasanga Giyose
011 877 3643
Areas of Focus
The RU is divided into four sub-units. These Units are:
- Civil and Political Rights sub-unit: Documents and reports on the status of civil and political rights in South Africa. The activities of this sub-unit is premised on the belief that promotion and protection of civil and political rights allows individuals to participate freely in activities of society including the right to vote, gather, the right to free speech and freedom of association. It also protects individuals through the right to security and self-defence.
- Economic and Social Rights sub-unit: Monitors, documents and reports on the status of socio-economic rights in South Africa. These rights include an adequate standard of living, the right to water, sanitation, food, health, adequate housing, social security, basic education and a healthy environment. This sub-unit gives expression and content to the Commission’s mandate enshrined in section 184(3) of the constitution, which compels the SAHRC to monitor steps that the state is taking to realise the above rights.
- Equality Unit: the right to equality prohibits discrimination against one or more persons by the state, private sector or other individuals based on such factors like race, gender, sexual orientation, age and disability. This sub-unit annually published an Equality Report, which provides an update of the status of these rights in the Republic.
- Parliamentary and International Affairs Unit: deals with the monitoring of bills and legislative amendments that pass through Parliament and ensures that the SAHRC makes input in to those bills and amendments that relate to human rights. The sub-unit also monitors international developments in relation to human rights such as submissions to the general assembly, articles in relation to covenants and the submission of country reports and shadow reports.
- Publication of numerous S184 (3) reports and subsequent tabling in Parliament.
- The publication of annual Equality Reports.
- Various submissions on bills and legislation at Parliament and presentations thereof.
- Publication of thematic focus area reports such as the SAHRC's report on the Right to Access Sufficient Water and Decent Sanitation Representations at UN meetings Publications and presentations at conferences, nationally and internationally.
Business Unit Manager:
Ms Yuri Ramkissoon
Tel: 011 877 3608
Advocacy and Communications
The Advocacy sub unit mainly works towards the promotion of human rights to create awareness, deepen understanding of human rights and ensuring attainment of a culture of human rights. This is achieved through various advocacy methodologies, which include training workshops, seminars, roundtable discussions, conferences, public campaigns, presentations, media interventions, community outreach, publications and information dissemination. These activities have been classified under the broad term of advocacy, outreach and human rights education.
The bulk of implementation of advocacy work is mainly carried out through the Commission’s provincial offices, with the unit at Head Office being mainly responsible for events of a national character and also supporting, coordinating and overseeing those activities that relate to advocacy within the provinces. Recent notable achievements for the sub-unit include key outputs such as human rights clinics as a model for outreach to rural and marginalized communities; broad based stakeholder engagements on key topical issues on relating to equality and socio-economic rights; the commemoration of human rights calendar days through public events throughout the year which culminate in a wide range of events to mark Human Rights Month in March of each year and the development and production of promotional and supportive material to accompany the unit’s advocacy activities.
The Communications sub unit’s work reinforces its supportive role to advocacy, by carrying out external and internal communications processes and protocols; communicating the SAHRC’s national priorities and objectives of protecting, promoting and monitoring human rights in South Africa and assisting in developing a positive image of the SAHRC to its stakeholders, as the institution seeks to transform society, secure rights, and restore dignity. Communications work is mostly carried out at Head Office and Provincial Offices also undertake provincial media interventions, as coordinated by Communications unit at the head office.
The Head of Advocacy and Communications:
Ms Gail Smith
Tel: 011 877 3803
Parliamentary and International Affairs Unit
The unit also ensures that the SAHRC is visible as a national human rights institution (NHRI) at the international and regional level and monitors, reports and raises awareness about South Africa’s compliance with its international and regional human rights obligations.
Areas of Focus
· Legislative analysis and drafting of submissions.
· Analysis of South Africa’s compliance with its international and regional human obligations.
· Drafting of NHRI reports to international and regional human rights bodies.
· Providing advice and opinions on cases, findings, court judgements etc. from a legislative and international perspective.
· Comparative research
· Commenting on draft legislation to strengthen human rights in South Africa.
· Participating in public participation processes and advocacy initiatives related to law reform.
· Liaising with parliamentary committees and ensuring the submission of SAHRC reports and key findings which could be used as a basis to enhance parliamentary oversight.
· Promoting the ratification of international and regional human rights instruments and advocating for these instruments to be implemented at the domestic level.
· Publication of the SAHRC’s Annual International and Regional Human Rights Report.
· Preparation of SAHRC report to the UN Human Rights Council under the Universal Periodic Review Mechanism.
· Drafting of the SAHRC’s NHRI Report to the UN treaty bodies and African regional structures.
· Monitoring the government’s implementation of recommendations issued by these bodies.
Business Unit Manager:
· Ms Yuri Ramkissoon, 011 877 3608
· Ms Fadlah Adams, Senior Researcher: Parliamentary and International Affairs, 021 426 2277