Political parties renew call for human rights on Human Rights Day

Thousands of ANC supporters marched to the Civic Centre yesterday demanding improved service delivery. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /Independent Newspapers

Thousands of ANC supporters marched to the Civic Centre yesterday demanding improved service delivery. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane /Independent Newspapers

Published Mar 22, 2024


Cape Town - Political parties across the City held various events to mark Human Rights Day on Thursday.

The ANC held a service delivery march through the CBD, in which thousands of supporters headed to the Civic Centre to hand over a memorandum of demands.

The ANC's spokesperson in the Western Cape, Khalid Sayed, saluted the generation of 1960 and the heroes who lost their lives at the hands of the apartheid regime in the Sharpeville Massacre.

He said it was only 36 years into their Struggle in South Africa that the 1948 United Nations Declaration on Human Rights positioned human rights as a universal and indivisible right.

“Our Struggle against the apartheid regime must be remembered in this context.

“It was never a Struggle against white people who are part of our nation.

“It was a Struggle against an apartheid ideology that divided people and denied them their human rights and dignity.

“The same applies today regarding our support for the freedom of the Palestinian people and calling for an end to Israel's genocide,” said Sayed.

“During the five-year period when the ANC governed this province, we started to deliver on human rights such as housing, education, health care, safety, and access to the economy.

“We enhance public participation at the level of the provincial legislature.

“This is because respect for human rights is in the DNA of the ANC, unlike the party currently leading this province, which refuses to call out the genocide,” he said.

Among their demands, the ANC wanted an end to skewed budget allocation; the completion of all housing projects; and the eradication of all squatter camps, including Temporary Relocation Areas.

The party said they wanted informal settlements to be upgraded, the maintenance and upgrading of streetlights in all working-class communities, and the upgrading of all collapsed township road networks.

Yesterday, hundreds of residents and Pan Africanist Congress of Azania (PAC) members gathered at Washington Square at the Langa Memorial.

The party told supporters that 30 years into democracy, there has been no change in the lives of black people in townships.

“We are gathered here to remind people that the Struggle for the liberation of this country still continues, as nothing has changed since this strategic accident and even this so-called democracy.

“We see ourselves as black people being subjected to many injustices and our human rights being overlooked. Our people in the townships are still poor, there is no service delivery at all, and unemployment is still skyrocketing,” said Owen Khathazile, PAC deputy secretary.

The People’s Movement for Change (PMC) protested against the Basic Education Law Amendment Bill (BELA Bill) in front of the gates of Parliament.

The PMC called for the immediate withdrawal of the BELA Bill, saying it violated religious, constitutional, and parental rights.

“Our children are not for sale. The ANC government has messed up the education system and has run out of practical ideas on how to provide quality education to the nation without infringement or violation of human rights.

“We reject the BELA Bill and call on the ANC government to withdraw the bill. The People’s Movement for Change will continue to mobilise parents, teachers, and school governing bodies to stand up against this immoral, proposed new education,” said Sammy Claassen from the PMC.

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Cape Argus