25 March 2019

South Africa: National Plan to Fight Racism

Government will today launch the National Action Plan (NAP) to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance.

The launch is the culmination of an extensive process which started in 2015 for the development of the NAP.

The process included a widespread consultation phase with various stakeholders, which Cabinet approved last month.

Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister John Jeffery will lead the launch which will be in a discussion forum.

The discussions are expected to also delve into how the NAP will assist the nation to promote and achieve the right to equality while combating racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance.

Government says the NAP is informed by the values enshrined in the Constitution and Bill of Rights, as well as South Africa's multilateral obligations.

Its aim is to better promote and protect the rights of individuals and groups facing racial discrimination and to promote mutual understanding among different groups.

It does this by placing the right to equality and non-discrimination based on race, colour, descent, or national or ethnic origin in the context of public policy, that is, setting practical goals, devising programmes and activities.

Government maintains that the NAP is not intended to replace existing laws and policies but rather to be complementary to existing legislation, policies and programmes which address equality, equity and discrimination.

"The NAP envisions uniting South Africans in building a non-racial, tolerant society that recognises its plurality and diversity based on the values of equality and human dignity through the promotion of anti-racism education, the promotion of constitutional values and the advancement of human rights, through dialogue and action," the policy reads.

NAP will be valid for five years and renewed on an annual basis.

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