Human Rights Day | Western Cape Government

Human Rights Day

Friends enjoying human rights dayHuman Rights Day is more than just a public holiday. It commemorates one of the most important pillars of our democracy and our Constitution, the Bill of Rights.
 
We remember the struggle and sacrifice made by thousands of people who marched for equality and basic human rights.
 

Why is 21 March Human Rights Day?

On 21 March 1960, hundreds of South Africans took to the streets to protest against pass laws, which required black South Africans to always carry a document of identification. Failure to present your pass on demand would lead to arrest and detention.

What started as a peaceful protest turned deadly when police opened fire and killed more than 60 people, injuring 180 others. They were protesting unfair laws and were demanding human rights for all, which are now enshrined in our Constitution.

What happens when your rights are violated?

The following organisations in our country will be able to help you if you feel your rights have been violated in any way:

South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) To lodge a complaint with the South African Human Rights Commission you need to complete the form available on their website. You can also contact the Western Cape Office for more information. Western Cape Office
Street address: 7th floor, ABSA Building, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8000
Tel: 021 426 2277
Fax: 021 426 2875
Email:
ssalie@sahrc.org.za (complaints)
pcarelse@sahrc.org.za (general matters)
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) IPID will be able to help you if your rights are transgressed by the police. You can download a complaint form. You can also contact the Western Cape office directly.

IPID Western Cape
Street address: 1st floor, Fintrust Building, Corner Petrusa and Mazzur Street, Bellville, 7530
Tel: 021 941 4800
Fax: 021 949 3196
Email: Complaints.WesternCape@ipid.gov.za

George office

Street address: 101 York Street, Ground Floor, Nedbank Building, George
Tel: 044 873 3378
Fax: 044 873 4861
Email: Complaints.WesternCape@ipid.gov.za

Public Protector If you want to complain about a public servant at any level of government, you can contact the Public Protector. You can contact the Western Cape regional office for more information.

Western Cape Provincial Office
Postal address: Western Cape Regional Office, PO Box 712, Cape Town, 8000
Street address: 4th floor, 51 Wale Street/Bree Street, Cape Town
Tel: 021 423 8644
Fax: 021 423 8708
Email: suneg@pprotect.org

George Regional Office
Street Address: 1st Floor, South Wing, Bataleur Park, Cnr of Cathedral and Cradock Street, George
Tel: 044 874 2887/904
Fax: 044 874 5922
Email: gideonl@pprotect.org 

Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) If your employer has violated your rights, you should contact the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration after you’ve unsuccessfully tried to sort the matter out at work. 

CCMA Cape Town Office
Postal address: Private Bag X9167, Cape Town, 8000
Street address: 78 Darling Street, Cape Town, 8001
Tel: 021 469 0111
Fax: 021 465 7193/97/87 or 021 462 5006
Email: ctn@ccma.org.za 

CCMA George Office
Postal address: Private Bag x6650, George, 6530
Street address:  2 Cathedral Square, 62 Cathedral Street, George, 6529
Tel: 044 805 7700/01
Fax: 044 873 2906

Call centre: 0861 16 16 16 

Commission for Gender Equality If you were discriminated against because of your gender, you should contact the Commission for Gender Equality. You can also lodge your complaint online or contact their Western Cape office.

Commission for Gender Equality Western Cape

Street address: ABSA Building, 5th floor, 132 Adderley Street, Cape Town, 8001
Tel: 021 426 4080/3
Fax: 021 424 0549
 

Report Gender Discrimination and Abuse on 0800 007 709

 

Let's celebrate together

If you’re not sure how to celebrate Human Rights Day this year, here are some Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport events:

        


South African Human Rights Commission video

The content on this page was last updated on 19 March 2019