Pretoria – The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development (DOJ&CD) has called on society to respond to the challenge of intolerance by making inputs to the Draft National Action Plan (NAP).
The department’s call comes as South Africa marks World Refugee Day.
The public can submit their comments for the Draft NAP to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances before the 30 June 2016 deadline for the final document that will be submitted to Cabinet for approval.
Comments and inputs can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is envisaged that the NAP will form the basis for the development of a comprehensive policy framework to fight racism. The plan provides the basis for a public policy against racial discrimination that will assist in giving effect to South Africa’s international human rights obligations.
It is also envisaged that the NAP will provide for specific outcomes and a technical guiding framework for government’s policies, programmes and strategies to combat racial discrimination, and is a step towards complying with the obligation to give effect to the constitutional value of equality and non-discrimination.
Once finalised, the NAP will be valid for five years and renewed on an annual basis.
“The NAP is not intended to replace existing laws and policies but rather to be complimentary to the existing legislation, policies and framework, which address equality, equity and transformation,” the department said on Sunday.
The draft NAP was approved by Cabinet on 9 December 2015 and has been made available on the departmental website for public comment since 18 December 2015.
South Africa joins to the world today in observing the World Refugee Day, which is observed on 20 June annually to raise awareness of the challenges faced by refugees, which include discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.
South Africa is home to thousands of refugees and asylum seekers.
The Department of Justice is currently embarking on provincial consultations as the last phase of the public consultation process up until the end of June 2016, where the department and members of the public interface.
The consultations will be held in Gauteng by the Deputy Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery.
Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba will observe the day by visiting the Bienvenu Shelter in Johannesburg and engaging with representatives from the refugee community at the Catholic Archdiocese of Johannesburg.
Minister Gigaba will be supported by Deputy Minister Fatima Chohan as well as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) at the event.
The Bienvenu Shelter caters for the basic needs of migrant women and children as well as refugees.