How can a symbiotic relationship be established between human rights and Covid-19? How are human rights promoted amid the pandemic and do South Africans really have something to celebrate in this regard given the context in which they find themselves?
When discussing human rights in South Africa, it must be kept in mind that there is a government in power that has no regard for the rights of the country’s people. The decay on all levels of government leaves no room for doubt about this.
The Bill of Rights in the Constitution deals generously with human rights. There are many provisions about life, the environment, housing, healthcare, food, water, safety, children, education and much more.
Unfortunately, the opposite is happening in the country. Through its implementation of senseless regulations to deal with Covid-19, the ANC government created a fertile breeding ground for various human rights violations, which even contributed to the needless loss of lives.
A report by the International Commission of Jurists points out the many human rights violations committed against, among others, women and healthcare workers in South Africa. Violence against women increased due to the severe restrictions of the hard lockdown.
The government’s failure to provide healthcare workers with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) constitutes an equally serious offence.
The fraud and corruption related to the procurement of PPE contributed greatly to the number of deaths among healthcare workers who were not properly protected, while the guilty parties are unscathed, living lavishly on their profits.
Inadequate quarantine facilities and the corruption that occurred in that regard also resulted in serious human rights abuses. After the FF Plus had stepped in, approximately 1 600 people were moved from terrible quarantine camps to proper accommodation.
Other consequences of the lockdown include, among other things, the neglect of people who suffer from other serious health conditions and an increase in social problems due to the economic contraction and consequent poverty.
Some urgent operations were postponed with up to a whole year and ordinary diseases and conditions became life threatening due to the lack of proper medical care.
In South Africa, 11,1 million people are unemployed and 200 000 of them are homeless. Approximately 13,6% of the country’s population live in informal housing; there is an official housing backlog of 2,6 million; 5,3 million households and 21 million people do not have access to clean water.
In addition, the current chaos surrounding the Covid-19 vaccinations indicates that the programme is heading for disaster, which could possibly result in the loss of thousands of lives. And it is all because of the ANC’s incompetence and pervasive corruption.
To this list could still be added farm murders, race-based legislation like Affirmative Action and Black Economic Empowerment as well as expropriation without compensation. People are literally dying due to the decay of the country’s infrastructure, like roads and hospitals.
That is what must be used as the measure for human rights in South Africa. Human rights have never been and will never be promoted in South Africa as long as the ANC remains in power.
Read the original article in Afrikaans by Philip van Staden on FF Plus