As the country celebrates 25 years of democracy, hate crimes such as racism, racial discrimination and other forms of intolerance continue to plague our communities. However, all is not lost as South Africa moves forward with the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (NAP) which was approved by Cabinet in February this year.
The process relating to the development of a NAP for South Africa emanated from the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (DDPA) adopted at the 3rd World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR) which was hosted by South Africa in Durban, in 2001.
The NAP is an important tool to prevent and combat racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and other discriminatory conduct and forms of prejudice that we have been experiencing in the country. The development of this plan 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 Department of Justice and Constitutional Development spearheaded the development of the NAP, in collaboration with various role-players which include civil society. Approval of the plan followed extensive consultations with government departments, Chapter 9 institutions, broader civil society organisations and other relevant role-players in all nine provinces. Public inputs also formed part of the plan with public consultations phase launched in 2016. Further engagements and feedback sessions were conducted in 2018.
Deputy Minister John Jeffery emphasised that all sectors of society should take ownership of NAP. “The NAP does not belong to government only - it is a national undertaking and thus belongs to the country. It reaffirms the importance of a socially cohesive nation in addressing racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance,” explained Deputy Minister Jeffery.
The approved NAP, which will be revised every five years, includes a targeted set of actions, interventions, measures and timeframes, with a proposed governance structure for the implementation of the NAP, as well as clear monitoring and evaluation arrangements and a reporting framework.
For more information follow the link: http://www.justice.gov.za/docs/other-docs/nap.html
By Suzan Mphuthi