Arts and Culture leads the 2019 Human Rights Month in Sharpeville, Vereeniging

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12 Mar 2019

As March marks Human Rights Month, all citizens of South Africa are urged to use the month to reach out to one another as the country continues to build a united and prosperous nation.

This year, the country commemorates Human Rights Month under the theme: “The Year of Indigenous Languages: Promoting and Deepening a Human Rights Culture”.

Human Rights Day commemorations will be held on Thursday, 21 March, at George Thabe Cricket Pitch, Sharpeville in Vereeniging. Since 1994 Human Rights Day seeks to honour those who fought for our liberation and to celebrate our rights and freedoms.

The 2019 celebrations will draw attention to the critical importance of indigenous languages and the urgent need to preserve, revitalise and promote indigenous languages. “We must promote and support teaching, preservation and revival of indigenous languages,” stated Minister Mthethwa.

Government, through the Department of Arts and Culture, and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development acknowledges Human Rights Month as a vehicle to foster social cohesion, nation building, national identity, socio-economic development and to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and all related intolerances.  We also highlight progress made in advancing human rights and restoring human dignity in line with the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution mandates change to the language situation throughout the country, giving social and political recognition to disadvantaged language groups on the basis of the expressed needs of communities and interest groups.

In response to this reality, the Department of Arts and Culture and other government departments and entities will host various activities around the country.

As a build-up, Arts and Culture Minister, Mr Nathi Mthethwa will lead the Human Rights Month Dialogue on Tuesday, 19 March 2019 at Vaal University of Technology (VUT) at 11h00.

“The South African democratic government seized with promoting a culture of human rights. These efforts are proof that government has made significant progress in addressing the inequalities of the past and the advancement of human rights as enshrined by the Constitution,” added Minister Mthethwa.

Government urges all residents and citizens of this country to participate in these activities in order to promote the culture of working together and to build the South Africa we want to live in.

Media enquiries: Please contact, Asanda Magaqa at 072 372 6807 / or Petunia Lessing,, / 066 301 4645