Human Rights

SACSIS embraces a rights based approach to development, which views poverty as a denial of human rights.

14 Bad Things I Did as a White Kid that Would Have Turned Out Differently If I Were Black

Picture credit: Light Brigading/flickr Tim Wise - "He was no angel." That’s the refrain, repeated for over two months on social media by defenders of Officer Darren Wilson, convinced that Michael Brown was little more than a violent and dangerous thug who deserved to die that August day in Ferguson. From the beginning, Wilson’s supporters used Brown’s strong-arm theft of cigars from a local market as justification for what happened to him. “Thieves deserve their fate,” came the refrain from many a...

We Must Deal with the Causes, Not Only the Symptoms of Cancer

Picture credit: Jane Whiteoaks Glenn Ashton - We are regularly reminded of the growing global blight of cancer by repetitive education drives during cancer awareness months. But surely we should pay more attention to the causes, rather than simply raise awareness? Perhaps we fail to do so because the commercial imperative makes it easier to fundraise around the impacts of cancer rather than analysing the root causes? October was breast (and liver) cancer month, September prostate cancer and November is pancreatic, stomach, lung and...

'They Don't Teach It In Law School': White Privilege and Oscar Pistorius

Picture credit: Oscar Pistorius at the 2012 London Olympic Games courtesy Jim Thurston/Wikimedia Commons Mandisi Majavu - Notwithstanding the violent and aggressive behaviour he exhibited in his personal life, the product of a historically heavily subsidised racial group in South Africa, Oscar Pistorius’ life demonstrates how white privilege protected his masculinity from being constructed as uncivil, criminal, threatening and dangerous. In a New York Times article, Michael Sokolove described Pistorius as a “great deal of fun”, but “more than a little crazy”. It is white...

The End of Hope: SA Civil Society's Race to the Bottom

Picture credit: Narrator Online Alexander O'Riordan - A cursory scan of the NGO job boards confirms the widely held assumption that South Africa’s civil society organizations are struggling to get funding. Organisations appear to be in crisis, jobs are hard to get, salaries are markedly below market norms and rumours abound that established NGOs are on the verge of bankruptcy. Last month, for example, the press reported that the Treatment Action Campaign publically protested rumours it was on the verge of bankruptcy; many others are...

As World Food Day Approaches, One In Four South Africans Are Hungry

Picture credit: Jam South Africa Daniel McLaren - October 16 is World Food Day. As the 20th World Food Day since the establishment of our democracy dawns on South Africa, a grim shadow of hunger and malnutrition hangs over the gains of the democratic era. Section 27 of the South African Constitution guarantees the right to have access to sufficient food to all people in our country. This and other socio-economic rights were enshrined in the Bill of Rights because their fulfilment was recognised as integral to the Constitution’s...

Legal Practice Act Makes Community Service Compulsory for Law Graduates

Picture credit: Legal Solutions Blog Sandile Tshabalala - Twenty years since the dawn of our democracy, many South Africans remain marginalized and unable to reach their full potential due to a series of obstacles. Our constitutional democracy gives equal rights to all citizens. However, inequality remains a challenge. Poverty, crime and xenophobia haunt our society on a daily basis. In the midst of a legal order that affords equal rights to all, the lived experience of ordinary South Africans is of critical concern. Their access to justice is...