The Equality Act – The Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 (Pepuda) – is still one of the most important and pressing acts in a country that is amongst the most unequal countries in the world if not the most unequal country. You think of black and white, but what you never thought of is being poor and disabled. And now remember that many people never received proper basic education to understand their rights and duties as a citizen and possibilities in life.
South Africa has one of the most advanced and best constitutions in the world. Before the law, everyone is equal. The reality is different. Hardly anyone knows what their rights are and how they can help themselves when they are in such a situation. It’s not enough to give people rights – they need education. They need more attention from their government – and on a regular basis. (The government even has to employ 2% disabled people according to the constitution. Are they doing it?)
Society has no mercy for the poor and disabled. They are so weak, their own family and friends steal from them. Their families are overwhelmed. They stand before a problem that they can’t solve. They have no one to turn to, no mediator who explains what they can do. South Africa has too few social workers, and usually social workers are underpaid and overworked. Everyone complains that there is no money. But South Africa is rich. Rich and corrupt. And very unequal.
This Pepuda Workshop is a first step by the Dept. of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Foundation for Human Rights to educate a few people who are able to educate more people. One workshop per province. 100% attendance of invited people in every province. It’s a drop in the ocean, but it’s a start!