To commemorate the Human Rights month, we engaged our MzansiVoice panelists about the significance and modern-day challenges in relation to Human Rights
THE FUNDAMENTALS OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY
In accordance with the Bill of Human Rights, which includes gender equality, dignity, opportunities, access to essential needs, education, freedom of expression, and choice as some highlighted nuances, the majority of participants associated human rights with these elements.
“Gender equality, freedom of speech and movement, education, healthcare etc. I’m in control of myself and the quality of life I can give myself, and I’m not in control of how efficient our government is. I can only vote, have my say and hope for the best” (Female, 35 – 49 years)
ARE PEOPLE IN CONTROL OR BYSTANDERS TO WHAT IS HAPPENING AROUND THEM?
The degree varies depending on the situation, but on a micro level, people express that they feel in control over the decisions they make and the things they choose to do; but feel less in control of their surroundings on a more general level, blaming primarily the government.
HEALTH WORKERS NEEDS
The ongoing strike-action at the time of going into field surfaced pressing and urgent issues of the stomach, viz. such as the cost of living and how most things have become unaffordable. Some panelists stated the need for improved public healthcare facilities to be improved, both from an infrastructure and administrative thereof. There was empathy with healthcare workers’ dissatisfaction with their working conditions and remuneration.
CURRENT DAY HUMAN RIGHTS CHALLENGES
Access to basic amenities such as clean water, electricity – load shedding being a key pain points of modern-day South Africa.
“Being unemployed it’s one of the biggest challenges we face as South Africans or the youth rather because there are no jobs available, and we end up doing things we are not supposed to do just to get by such as crime (Male, 35 – 49 years)
KEY HUMAN RIGHTS CONSIDERATION FOR FUTURE
A common sentiment shared across is that people want to live better and in better conditions (where issues of load shedding, limited access to basic needs, safety issues, corruption) are dealt with decisively to ensure a growing and thriving economy with an economically active youth. Other intermediations include social cohesion in terms of living in harmony, unity, living the principle of Ubuntu, finding healing to stop racism and tribalism in society.