- The South African Human Rights Commission has released statistics showing that black citizens still face the brunt of racial indignity
- The majority of the complaints received by the commission were related to hate speech, which is a growing challenge in SA
- Statistics released by the SAHRC revealed that almost half of the citizens who live under the poverty line were black.
The SA Human Rights Commission has released statistics proving that black South Africans still bear the brunt of racial indignity and acute socio-economic rights violations.
According to The Citizen, data revealed that of the 40% of citizens who live under the poverty line (earning R600 a month or less), half of them were black.
With Human Rights Day taking place tomorrow, the SAHRC has portrayed a grim situation as far as human rights in South Africa are concerned, lamenting the increase in violation complaints.
Gail Smith, the spokesperson for the organisation, said that racial discrimination and violations bases#d on race have been on the rise.
Smith says that the majority of the complaints received relate to hate speech. While free speech is a cornerstone of democracy, Gail is adamant that hate speech is a growing challenge.
The spokesperson called for educating people in order to explain why certain behavior is dehumanising, for example, referring to a person as a 'baboon' or 'monkey' as has been done in the past to degrade Africans.
Yuri Ramkissoon, senior economic and social rights researcher for the entity, said that there were systemic challenges as far as race and racism were concerned.
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Ramkissoon said that race created division in the country and ensured that certain groups were impoverished and disenfranchised:
“We can interrogate the link between race, poverty and inequality and the impact thereof. We can recognise the systems that entrench poverty for particular groups of people and apply programmes to dismantle these discriminatory systems, both in the short term and long term.”
The researcher said that homes lacking basic services were often among the black community, and healthcare and education provided to these households was most likely inferior.
Ramikissoon said that the link between racism and poverty is complex and requires broad analysis. However, she felt that it was safe to say that the majority of black South Africans live in unequal conditions.
Statistics released by the commission revealed that 49% of black women lived below the current poverty line. They also revealed that white households earn around four times more on average than their black counterparts.
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