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Transforming Society

Securing Rights

Restoring Dignity

Human rights complaints linked to service delivery issues

11 January  2018

THERE has been a steady increase in the number of human rights complaints related to service delivery.
This is according to the Annual Trends Analysis report released by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) yesterday.
The report outlines statistics and data on human rights violations received during the 2015-2016 financial year.
Of the total 4663 complaints received by the commission, 428 were about lack of access to healthcare, water, food and social security.
“Violations of the right to Section 27 Rights – healthcare, food, water, and social security – account for the third highest human rights violations. The commission has seen a significant increase in the number of complaints relating to these rights since 2012,” said HRC spokesperson Gail Smith.

In the 2012-2013 financial year, 236 complaints were received. The number increased to 361 in the following financial year. In 2014-2015, 338 complaints were received.
“This increase is tied to the insufficient or lack of service delivery experienced by innumerable communities in South Africa,” Smith said.
The report states that “the right to access healthcare services generated complaints about the poor state of affairs in hospitals and clinics”.
“Issues included poor working conditions, staff shortages, shortage of medication and essential drugs, training of personnel, building infrastructure, equipment, emergency transportation, and waiting times in these public health establishments.

“The water-related complaints are lodged by individuals and communities who have no, or limited, access to sufficient water. Others are lodged by complainants whose water supply had been discontinued by the water service authority,” the report read. Of the 749 complaints regarding equality, 505 were human rights violations related to race.

“Given the scourge of racism, the commission will liaise with the relevant organs of state to implement measures aimed at the achievement of equality in the areas of responsibility by eliminating any form of unfair discrimination or the perpetuating of inequality in any law, policy or practice,” the report read.

Violations of the right to just administrative action had 379 complaints and 409 were about the violations of rights in relations to arrest and detention. The HRC received 290 complaints regarding housing.


The South African Human Rights Commission.

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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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