21 March is observed as a national day in South Africa in commemoration of the 1960 Sharpeville massacre during which 69 peaceful protestors perished at the hands of the state police. The day marks the rise in humanity saying enough is enough of human inflicted adversity and suffering. Equally, 21 March marks a day in South African history in which a future that espouses unity; human dignity; equality; and freedom for all was finally sealed with the adoption of the Constitution in 1996 which boldly declared that South Africa belongs to all who live in it. Henceforth, this day became known as Human Rights Day.
The South African government continues to accept the responsibility for all who live in it and remains aware of the long road towards attaining a South African society devoid of poverty, crime and illiteracy. Therefore, and through the chosen theme for 2013 titled “united in advancing socio-economic freedom for all”, the government will strive to rally all members of society to do their bit in helping create a society where all can realise their dreams and coexist peacefully.
Therefore, the month of March will continue to be dedicated to rolling-out programmes that continue educating South Africans about their human rights and the accompanying responsibilities. It is the conviction of government that only an informed society can contribute positively.