by Harold McGluwa, MPL – DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
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Date: 20 March 2018
Note to editors: The following speech was delivered in the Northern Cape Provincial Legislature today by the DA Provincial Chairperson in the Northern Cape, Harold McGluwa MPL, during the debate on Human Rights Day.
South Africa held its first democratic election in 1994 and elected our first democratic president in April 1994. One of the first laws passed by the democratic dispensation, the Public Holidays Act, officially proclaimed Human Rights Day a public holiday to be celebrated on 21 March in remembrance of the Sharpeville massacre. This day is celebrated in honour of those who stood up for someone’s rights. Human rights mean the rights which every human being owns. Human rights are rights that everyone should have, simply because they are human, based on humanity, freedom, justice, and peace.
The Bill of Rights preserved in our Constitution is the cornerstone of our constitutional and young democracy. It also broadly addresses South Africa’s history of oppression, colonialism, slavery, racism, sexism and other forms of human violations. Indeed, it affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom of all people in our country.
We need to restore the relationships between government and individuals who exercises power over people. However, this power is limited. The state must look after the basic needs of the people and protect some of their freedoms.
Agbare Speaker, die basiese menswaardigheid van ons mense moet herstel word. Ons moet meer doen om die basiese menseregte van ons mense te beskerm en te bevorder. Dit kan nie wees dat soveel probleme steeds opduik in ons provinsie wat ons mense van hul basiese menswees ontneem nie.
So, it cannot be that leaners still have pit toilets at schools. Look what happened to the young child in the Eastern Cape.
We cannot allow service providers to compromise the safety of our learners.
We cannot allow that the construction of schools in Kuruman and Karos take so long, which deprive our learners the right to quality education.
We cannot allow that the number of sexual offences increase countrywide and that more and more violent deaths of women and children are reported in the Northern Cape.
We cannot channel public resources to support illegal gambling activities, while legitimate entrepreneurs are denied funding for projects which can stimulate robust economic growth and create jobs in the province.
Agbare Speaker, dit kan nie wees dat ons nie verpleegsters in ons klinieke of dokters in ons hospitale het om mediese dienste te lewer nie. Dit kan nie wees dat medisyne en mediese voorraad opraak weens wanadministrasie deur die gesondheidsdepartement nie. Dit kan nie wees dat ons mense nie die reg tot basiese mediese sorg geniet nie.
Agbare Speaker, dit kan nie wees nie dat die demokratiese regering steeds mediese sorg vir geestessiektes ontsê nie. Ons moet hoop gee aan diegene wat geestesongesteld is, en aan hul families, dat hulle die grondwetlike reg op mediese sorg sal geniet. Ons kan nie hierdie mense van hul menseregte ontneem nie.
We cannot allow that municipalities’ failure to fulfil their payment obligations to Eskom cause residents to face load shedding. Load shedding is now threatening the livelihoods and quality of life of people in the province.
We cannot allow acts of financial misconduct, corruption and state capture that robs opportunities and steals service delivery from the people of the province
Dit kan nie wees dat politiek bo dienslewering geprioritiseer word wanneer skuiwe in die kabinet gemaak word nie. Agbare Speaker, wanneer ons besluite neem, moet ons die mense eerste stel en die politiek laaste.
By giving our people their basic rights according to our constitution will we restore their dignity, especially in the Northern Cape. It is enshrined in the Bill of Rights that everyone has a right to life, equality and human dignity. All persons have a right to citizenship and security. They have the right to demonstrate, picket and petition; everyone has the right to be free from forced labour, bondage and slavery. All persons have a right exercise their political rights and privacy. They have rights when arrested, detained and accused, and must have access to the courts. We all have a right to freedom of movement and residence and of trade, occupation and profession. Anyone has the right to purchase property anywhere.
We need protected rights, which include the right to a healthy environment; housing, health care, food, water and social security.
So, social relief to people in distress is not meant to be politicized. Soup kitchens are established with the intention of providing food security to the poorest of the poor, regardless of their colour, religion or political affiliation. The DA has asked the MEC to initiate an investigation into the Calvinia soup kitchen which refuses assistance to anyone who is not linked to the ANC. If no investigation is forthcoming, we will have no choice but to refer the matter to the South African Human Rights Commission.
How often do we all say that women are treated differently from men, how unsafe women are in the society? In addition, we need to safeguard women and protect our children. Everyone, no matter race, gender, religion, political belief, sexuality or age, has the right to be treated fairly. When our human rights are expressed and guaranteed by law, it helps to ensure that we are all treated fairly, with dignity, equality and respect.
There should exist no differences between white people and black people. We have the right to live our lives free of discrimination, the right to liberty and to freedom of association. We all have a right to language and culture within our communities; and not least, freedom of religion, opinion, belief, and expression.
Dit beteken, Agbare Speaker, dat mans en vrouens gelyk hanteer moet word. Ons wil sosiale sekuriteit vir vrouens en almal anders hê. Ons wil sien dat almal goeie onderrig geniet.
Agbare Speaker, ons moet opstaan vir ons regte en vir die regte van ander. Ons moet in ons daaglikse lewens daaraan werk om die regte van almal te beskerm en die menswaardigheid van alle mense te bevorder.
Let’s stand up for equality, justice, human dignity and sustain peace within the Northern Cape and the country.
Harold McGluwa, MPL
DA Northern Cape Provincial Chairperson & Chief Whip of the Provincial Caucus
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