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Media Advisory: SAHRC KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Office will host a roundtable discussion on social media and freedom of expression

29 September 2022

Attention: Editors and Reporters

The South African Human Rights Commission, KwaZulu Natal Provincial Office (the Commission/ SAHRC) will host a roundtable discussion on social media and freedom of expression on the 30th of September 2022. The dialogue will be held in a hybrid form, to allow for both physical attendance at the KZN provincial office and for virtual connectivity on Microsoft Teams (Link below).

We live in a digital world with the ability to reach thousands to millions of people with the press of a button, making it very easy to express our views on social media platforms. Social media platforms provide a powerful mechanism which the right to freedom of expression, access to information, the search for the truth, and robust public debate can be fostered. Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are thus dynamic and important socio-ecosystems.

Yet despite many of the benefits of social media platforms, these platforms also create opportunity for abuse and often bring out the worst in people, often without thought as to the consequences of their action/s.

Beyond the rights we enjoy from the Constitution there are implications that are derived from legislation and policy that affect our right to freedom of expression. Such policies are sometimes created as a threshold for companies, organizations or institutions to specifically dictate, where there is a grey area, the use of social media for persons associated to them and the implications thereof.

Grievances arising from freedom of speech during the use of social media that are not explicitly excluded and prohibited by the Constitution, legislation or policy are very nuanced and sometimes require the intervention of organizations such as but not limited to, the SAHRC. It is therefore important to understand the regulatory aspects, limitations and implications of the right to freedom of expression as it relates to social media.

The Commission has invited the following panelist to share their insight and knowledge on the regulations, limitation/s and implications that relate to freedom of expression:

  1. Reflections of social/political trends and analysis relating to freedom of expression on social media: Mary Papayya -  South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) 
  2. Contemporary legal development: Protection and Limitation to Freedom of Expression on Social Media: Thulisile Buthelezi- Shepstone & Wylie; Noluthando Nkosi- Department of Justice and Constitutional Development; Kiren Rutsch- Legal Resources Centre.
  3. Freedom of Expression and Activism: Sithembiso Khuluse – Right2Know
  4. Mukelani Dimba - Information Regulator (South Africa)

 The dialogue will be held as follows:

Date    :           30 September 2022

Time    :           09H00 – 14H00

Venues:           SAHRC KZN Boardroom, First Floor, 136 Margaret Mncadi, Durban

                        Microsoft Teams:





For further information contact SAHRC KZN Acting Provincial Manager, Ms Pavershree Padayachee on Tel: 031 304 7323, Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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.

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