Government has created inclusive society, says Ramaphosa

This year marks 100 years of the first Bill of Rights, making the 2023 Human Rights Day, which was celebrated across the country on Tuesday, very significant for South Africa.

This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa, who took his Human Rights Day message to De Aar in Northern Cape.

The Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy. It enshrines the rights of all the people in the country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.


Ramaphosa shared that the Human Rights Day is a tribute to the men and women who had a foresight to proclaim that all South Africans have inalienable human right.

He emphasised on the day’s theme, Consolidating and Sustaining Human Rights Culture into the Future”, saying it simply means leaving no one behind.

The president looked back and compared the past to the present day.

“Back then, only white people had access to certain things. The democratic government has created an inclusive country where everyone has access to basic needs. [However], more work still needs to be done,” Ramaphosa said.

He further assured the crowd that attended the commemoration event that government will never run away from its responsibilities to each citizen, saying God entrusted government with a task to serve the people.

He also took a jab at municipality and government workers.


“Municipality workers are lazy and [they are] stealing the money that is set aside for projects. We are aware of it,” said the president.

“We will make sure that thieves get arrested. Those who are not willing to serve the people must leave. When we fail to do our work, we are violating our people’s human rights.”

He called on government employees to serve with love, dignity, respect and love.

The history of Human Rights Day is rooted in the Sharpville massacre which took place on March 21 1960, where 69 anti-apartheid protestors were killed by police.

More than 200 other protesters suffered serious injuries and humiliation at the hands of apartheid police.

Sharpeville, a black township outside Vereeniging, bled, as did other black townships such as Langa in the Western Cape and Orlando East in Gauteng, among others, when the brutality of white oppression was unleashed.

The 1960 march in Sharpville was led by Pan-Africanist Congress of Azania leader Robert Mangaliso Sobukwe, who urged his followers to burn their identity books, as he did himself, to challenge the might of the apartheid system.

At the time, pass laws were reserved for black people, a clear discriminatory minority government policy that wrongly pushed the agenda that white people were superior.

Many black people paid with their lives in defence of their human dignity, committing to fight the apartheid government that deprived them of their humanity, imposing on them what the regime knew was at variance with human decency.

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