South Africa network tackles racial discrimination

19 November 2015

About 60 civil society organisations have joined the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation to plan and hold an anti-racism awareness week to be held in March next year.

The initiative falls under the Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA), which was launched on 14 November. The ARNSA is spearheaded by the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and the Nelson Mandela Foundation, says organisers, and it aims to fight racism and related forms of discrimination on a national scale, using the collective weight of multiple organisations.

The anti-racism week will lead up to 21 March, recognised locally as Human Rights Day and globally as the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.

The main speaker

At the ARNSA launch, held at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg, Professor Achille Mbembe spoke about racism in South Africa at the moment.

Sean Moodley, the ARNSA’s convenor, emphasised the importance of organisations pooling resources to establish a national initiative. “The launch of the network will signify to us the work and thought processes that have gone into a collaborative effort to eliminate racism. We cannot combat racism alone. The fall of apartheid was brought about by collaboration between a range of organisations.

“We are confident that though this network, we will see a more co-ordinated approach to addressing racism, so that we will now have the kind of institutional capacity to tackle the problem nationally,” he said.

Also on the table are suggestions regarding an awareness campaign aimed at educating ordinary South Africans on how to use Equality Courts to take up complaints of racism.

Source: Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and reporter