You & your rights

What are your rights? Have they been violated? What can you do if they have? Our directory covers human rights, gender, language, the workplace, rights of landlords and tenants, as well as your rights as they relate to the police and the government.

Your rights. The Flame of Democracy burning outside of the Constitutional Court at Constitution Hill. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)
The Flame of Democracy burning outside of the Constitutional Court at Constitution Hill. (Image: Mathiba Molefe)

HUMAN RIGHTS

SA Human Rights Commission

The Commission can give you information or training on human rights and can help you if you think that any of your rights, as defined in the Bill of Rights, has been violated.

It also has a specific responsibility to promote and monitor the implementation of Public Access to Information Act (PAIA).

The Commission’s website has a facility for filing human rights complaints online.

Aids Legal Network SA

A non-governmental organisation based in Cape Town, the Aids Legal Network aims to address discriminatory practices and attitudes to HIV/Aids. It works to promote “legal literacy” and will respond to violations of human rights.

GENDER RIGHTS

Commission on Gender Equality

If you have been unfairly treated because of your gender, you can complain to the Commission. Their website has a facility for filing complaints online.

LANGUAGE RIGHTS

Pan South African Language Board

Every South African has the right to use the language of his or her choice, provided this is consistent with the rights of others. To find out more about your language rights, or to complain if they are violated, contact the Board.

WORKPLACE RIGHTS

Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration

An independent, statutory dispute resolution body. Labour disputes, such as unfair dismissals, can be referred to the CCMA. But not all labour disputes – check under “general CCMA information” on the website. The site also carries excellent information on labour rights and codes of good practice in terms of the Labour Relations Act.

The SA Labour Guide

Guidelines for employers and employees, labour law, dispute resolution, advice, assistance and more.

LANDLORD AND TENANT RIGHTS

Rental Housing Tribunals

The government has established Rental Housing Tribunals in each province to deal with all types of illegal or unfair practice relating to the landlord/tenant relationship. The Tribunals are courts, with powers similar to those of magistrate’s courts.

THE POLICE AND YOUR RIGHTS

Independent Police Investigative Directorate

If you believe your rights have been violated by a member of the SA Police Service, contact the IPID. You may lodge a complaint online via their website.

GOVERNMENT AND YOUR RIGHTS

The Public Protector

The Public Protector investigates serious complaints against government departments and organisations, including provincial or local authorities, state-owned companies, and any person that performs a public function. The Public Protector’s brief includes investigating improper dealings with public money.

Public Service Accountability Monitor

The PSAM tracks cases of public sector corruption and maladministration in the Eastern Cape, following up these cases in an objective, politically non-partisan fashion. The PSAM website contains regular updates on these cases and includes audio interviews with officials.

SAinfo reporter

Reviewed: February 2014

Would you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See Using Brand South Africa material