President Cyril Ramaphosa meets some of the Afrikanerbond members at Rhebokskloof in Paarl last year to mark its centenary celebrations. File photo: ANA/Henk Kruger.

JOHANNESBURG - The Afrikanerbond on Sunday proposed that a permanent ministry of South African minorities/communities be established.

In a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa, Afrikanerbond chief secretary Jan Bosman asked the president to give serious consideration to the establishment of a liaison mechanism for minorities and South African language, cultural, and religious communities to promote, evaluate, and monitor the concerns and specific needs of these groups in the different government departments, provinces, and constitutional institutions.

In this regard, the organisation proposed one or more of the following: 

- A permanent ministry of South African minorities/communities;

- An ombudsman for South African minorities/communities; or

- A special office for South African minorities/communities in the presidency. 

"There are many international examples of special mechanisms, within Europe as well as the Ministry of Minority Affairs in India, from which South Africa can take best practices," he said.

"We need the political will to endorse internationally recognised minority rights in South Africa."

This could be done in the form of a charter of minority rights as an addition to the Constitution. Such a charter should be based on international conventions and declarations on minority rights.

It should not only include the rights of minorities or communities, but should also set out the obligations of the state and government towards minorities. 

"In this regard, you [Ramaphosa] could initiate the process as part of the proposal for a liaison mechanism," Bosman said.

African News Agency (ANA)