The South African Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has held a consultation in Eastern Cape Province on the draft national action plan to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerances.

The plan is aimed at establishing a comprehensive policy framework to address hate crimes in the country, and comes at a time when the country is grappling with serious incidents of racial intolerance, the majority of which has played out on social media platforms.

The department’s chief director, Danaline Franzman, said here Tuesday: “We know that criminalising hate crimes is but one solution to the problem. A lot of it still lies in education, discussions and tolerance and just building bridges.”

Community member Cheryl Brookes said: “I think it (racism) is rife, but personally I have not experienced it. I don’t have a car, so I travel by taxi everywhere I go. Most of the time I’m the only white person in the taxi, [and] everybody speaks to me with total respect.”

The Department of Justice will submit all input to Parliament for approval and later the United Nations, prior to implementation.

Source: Nam New Network