The Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG) welcomes the opportunity to make submissions on the draft Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill (the Bill). We are very pleased to have the opportunity to engage with this long-awaited and crucial piece of legislation and look forward to engaging further with the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services (the Portfolio Committee).
The HCWG is a multi-sectoral network of civil society organisations set up to spearhead advocacy and reform initiatives pertaining to hate crimes in South Africa and the region.
Members of the network range from grass-roots to academic institutions, and work in diverse sectors including religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression, migrants/displaced groups, disability, health status, nationality and ethnicity. All share a common concern on the impact of hate crimes in South Africa from the perspective of the victims or from a legal, service provision, research-based or advocacy perspective.
This submission will deal with specific provisions of the Bill that we believe are important for its functioning and operation.