FOR SA monitors and inputs into Bills and policies since some of the provisions they contain can potentially lead to unintended and negative consequences that will undermine freedom of religion rights. We will be watching these closely to see whether appropriate amendments are made in the redrafting process. Here is a brief summary of our concerns:
Basic Education Laws Amendment (BELA) Bill (Department of Basic Education)
This Bill in its current format unconstitutionally removes rights from parents and gives the State more power by:
- limiting rights of School Governing Bodies (SGBs);
- imposing undue burdens and/or limitations on home-schooling parents; and
- imposing unfair burdens on private schools.
Western Cape Commissioner for Children Bill (Department of the Premier)
The Bill in its current format gives the State (overly) broad investigatory and monitoring power into private family homes, which may override the rights and responsibilities of parents to bring their children up in conformity with their religious, moral or philosophical convictions and beliefs, and take away from the authority of the family as the cornerstone of society.
Cybercrimes & Security Bill (Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice), and Film and Publication Bill (Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Communications)
Both Bills in their current format contain provisions which unconstitutionally limit freedom of expression (and therefore freedom of religion to teach and preach one’s belief) because they contain wide definitions of harm and “hate speech”.
Feasibility of a Single Human Rights Body (Office of Institutions Supporting Democracy (OISD))
We submitted that a single human rights body poses a non-viable alternative to the established of Chapter 9 institutions, because it would dilute the checks and balances of competing or conflicting Constitutional rights e.g. balancing of the right to freedom of religion and the right to equality / not to be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation, gender etc. The current trend of e.g. the SAHRC and the CGE is to subjugate religious freedom rights, which is to an extent balanced by the CRL Rights Commission.
Support FOR SA
Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA) is dedicated to protecting and preserving the freedoms and rights that the South African Constitution has granted to the faith community. You can help FOR SA protect our freedom by:
- Making a financial contribution to FOR SA at http://forsa.org.za/donate/ As a non-profit organisation, we are entirely dependent upon God’s grace for finances. Your generosity will help make a significant difference as we work to fulfil our mission to keep the Gospel free by advocating for religious freedom. We appreciate every gift, big or small!
- Signing up (at no cost) to FOR SA at http://forsa.org.za/contact-us/join-us/ and subscribing to our Newsletter.
- Praying for us as we defend this precious freedom before government and courts of law.
- Following us, and sharing our posts, on Facebook at “Freedom of Religion SA”.
- Informing us, should you become aware of any case in which religious freedom is threatened.