STATEMENT BY HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR OF NEWCASTLE MUNICIPALITY ON THE COMMEMORATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS DAY 2019
20 March 2019
Human Rights Day in South Africa is a Commemoration of the Sharpeville massacre were 69 people were mercilessly killed and 180 were injured when police opened fire against unarmed protestors who were protesting against pass laws.
On this day we look back where we come from as a Country and what we overcame, we acknowledge all South Africans who suffered gross human rights violations during the period of apartheid and colonialism. We remember the painful past of the oppression of Africans in particular, we remember the period where a person was judged on the basis of the color of their skin.
This day marked an affirmation by ordinary people, who stood up and fought for their rights, hence we must use this day as the reminder that our freedom was not for free, and that our human rights came at the cost of life, that we must always remember that to date some of our people do not even know where their loved ones are buried indeed our freedom came through the high cost.
The 2019 Human Rights Day Commemoration is celebrated under the theme “The Year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and deepening the Human Rights Culture.” The marginalized Indigenous linguistic communities continue feeling the pressure to assimilate and adapt to linguistic cultures and Identities that contrast with who they are.
The South African Constitution Founding Provisions Chapter 1, Section 6 (1) t0 (3) state that;
“6. (1) The official Languages of the Republic are Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, siSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, isiNdebele, isiXhosa and
(2) Recognising the historical dimished use and status of indigenous languages of our people, the state must take practical and positive measures to elevate the status and advance the use of these languages.
(3) (a) The National government and provincial government may use any particular official languages for the purpose of government, taking into account usage, practicality, expense, regional circumstances and the balance of the needs and preferences of the population as a whole or in the province concerned, but the national government and each provincial government must use at least two official languages.
(b) Municipalities must take into account the language usage and preferences of their residents.”
The ANC vision is to build a more equal, just and humane society where all human beings are treated with respect and dignity, where all enjoy the rights and protections enshrined in our Bill of Rights, and no one exploits or discriminates against another.
It is on this basis that we have to promote and deepen the human rights culture, as the Municipality. In the upcoming weeks, our Municipality will be having different programs which will be promoting the Indigenous Languages this will also include Indigenous games. We will have dialog on the promotion of our Indigenous language and culture. Let’s all work together in promoting and deepening the Human Rights Culture.
I would like to wish all of you a peaceful Human Rights day.
LET’S GROW NEWCASTLE TOGETHER