OUT LGBT Well-being commends South Africa’s Parliament for passing the amended Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. We also congratulate the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for its commitment to bringing the bill to fruition.
The bill was initially adopted by the National Assembly (NA) in March and later sent to the National Council of Provinces, which proposed several amendments. On Tuesday, the NA supported the amended legislation and passed the bill. It is now awaiting President Cyril Ramaphosa’s assent.
The long-awaited Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill, first drafted in 2016, is a crucial tool for the LGBTIQ+ community to address ongoing violence and dangerous vitriol against its members.
“While the bill will not solve all the challenges we face in ending this scourge of hate, it is an important step towards holding perpetrators accountable and better documenting these incidents,” says Dawie Nel, Executive Director of OUT.
In signing this bill into law, the president has an opportunity to underscore South Africa’s commitment to inclusivity, tolerance, and the protection of all its citizens.
“We urge President Ramaphosa to promptly sign the bill, and for the government to ensure that there is sufficient will, capacity, and resources to implement its provisions. There is no time to waste in ensuring that the fight against hateful incitement and violent bigotry in South Africa is finally ramped up,” says Nel.
OUT remains vigilant and ready to collaborate with all stakeholders to ensure the effective enforcement and impact of this legislation, fostering a safer and more accepting environment for the LGBTIQ+ community in the country.