lodge complaint button
commissioners button
programmes button
provinces button
publications button
calendar button
fraud hotline button

Media Statement: SAHRC to Release the Report on the National Investigative Hearing into the Status of Mental Healthcare in South Africa

Attention: Editors and Reporters

27th March 2019

The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC or Commission) will be launching the Report; containing the findings, recommendations and directives of the Commission; on Thursday, 28th March 2019. The Commission held a National Investigative Hearing (the Hearing) into the status of Mental Healthcare in South Africa from the 14th to the 15th November 2017.

The Hearing was chaired by the Chairperson of the SAHRC, Adv. Bongani Majola. In addition, the panel consisted of Ms. Angie Makwetla, Adv. Bokankatla Joseph Malatji; Commissioners of the SAHRC and Professor Katherine Sorsdahl, Co-Director of the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health at the University of Cape Town.

The Life Esidimeni tragedy, which led to 144 deaths and numerous other people being reported missing, was a key precipitant for the SAHRC’s hearing. Recognising the significant human rights issues raised by this incident, the hearing considered mental health more broadly and thus focused on the systemic, social, cultural, political and economic concerns that affect the lives and the rights of Mental Health Care Users.

The Commission has made numerous findings emerging out of the Hearing.  Amongst these it has found that there is considerable under-investment in mental health by the South African government.  It highlighted barriers preventing access to mental health services.  The neglect and lack of services were particularly problematic in rural areas and in respect of services for children and adolescents.

The Commission will be launching the Report at the South African Human Rights Commission, Braampark Office Park, 33 Hoofd Street, Braamfontein, Johannesburg at 10:00 until 11:30 AM.


Issued by the South African Human Rights Commission

Gail Smith – Spokesperson Tel: 060 988 3792 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Gushwell Brooks – Communications Co-ordinator Tel: 082 645 8573 This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


About us

Understanding PAIA

The Human Rights Commission is the national institution established to support constitutional democracy. It is committed to promote respect for, observance of and protection of human rights for everyone without fear or favour.

Sentinel House, Sunnyside Office Park, 32 Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg, South Africa

011 877 3600 (Switchboard)