Human Rights Day is both a celebration of the rights of all citizens and a solemn remembrance of the suffering and sacrifice necessary to secure them. Today, the South African Bill of Rights ensures the right to human dignity, equality and freedom for all its citizens. As South Africans will be commemorating Human Rights Day on 21 March, Tabloid Newspapers took to the streets to hear people’s views on what Human Rights Day means to them and this is what they had to say.

Aruna Motilal
Human Rights Day is a day that allows us to celebrate our right to live, not only as a democratic nation, but also as individuals. It is a day that allows us to celebrate our rights to live our lives the way we want to and also to learn from the experiences we go through in life. As a history student, I also believe that the events which led to the commemoration of Human Rights Day are a symbol of hope and courage.

Noxolo Memela
I just feel that before we could celebrate Human Rights Day, we need to revisit those human rights and re-evaluate them. Once we have done that, people need to be educated about their rights as well as the responsibilities accompanied by each right. Once these are achieved, people will have a better understanding of the right of every other individual as opposed to using their rights as an d when it’s convenient to them. For now, people are just celebrating a day away from work and enjoying the part of it being a public holiday.

Siyavuya Ndimeni
A celebration of many sacrifices that were made for each and every South African’s individuality, culture and beliefs that makes them the person they are. It defines the rich history we have as the country, it serves as a great reminder of the trying times our country has been in and it is a great reminder of how lucky our generation is.

Leah Prinsloo
Human Rights Day reminds us of a time in South African history when people were not given equal rights. It is a reminder to appreciate the legacy of those who paved the way and fought before us so that we have the opportunities that we do today. It is a celebration of the new democracy and a reminder for us to stand together and fight for those whose rights are still not being recognised.

Thami Mthembu
An annual victory celebration for black South Africans who were under the oppression. It’s a clear indication that our country has went through a huge transformation to get where it is now and all we can do is commemorate those who made it all possible and strive for better opportunities for the next generations.