Annexure B: Constitutional Literacy Campaign
1. Government Communications and Information Services
Inline with its mandate to provide leadership in government communications, the Government Communication Information System assisted the Constitutional Review Committee with the development of a communication framework for a constitutional literacy campaign during May 2001. GCIS was involved in a series of discussions and also made a presentation of the Communication Strategy to the Constitutional Review Committee during May 2002.
GCIS has indicated that implementation of this campaign should be driven by the lead department viz, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development. GCIS can only play a supporting role in this campaign.
2. Public Education Unit of Parliament
The Public Education Unit responded by offering a Radio campaign, which highlighted the importance of the Constitution and its revision to the public. The literacy campaign was flighted on 14 SABC radio stations and covered 11 languages in all provinces. The flighting took place on Thursday 17 October and Friday 18 October 2002. It consisted of
Posters & pamphlets
The Public Education Unit undertook to produce posters and pamphlets that would be distributed to all constituency offices, Members of Parliament, Libraries, Trade unions, Academic institutions, Provincial Legislatures and Government Communications and Information Systems offices.
3. Public Protector.
The office of the Public Protector indicated that they were in a process of concluding a second national awareness campaign. In this campaign workshops were conducted in all provinces. During these workshops emphasis was placed on Constitutional rights of citizens and copies of the Constitution were made available to all delegates who attended the workshops. The campaign aims to create awareness of the role and services that this office offers through training members of the Public service, as well as NGO’s and paralegals active in rural areas. The evaluation and feedback from delegates was very positive.
The Eastern Cape Regional Office conducted an intensive campaign throughout the province, covering remote areas and following the same method used for the national campaign.
In Mpumalanga there was a National Constitution Week called "Respect", launched and hosted by officers in the Mpumalanga Regional Office. Copies of the Constitution were distributed to members of the public.
There was also an arrangement by this office for flyers, setting out the role and function of the Public Protector, to be inserted into 60 000 Metrorail publications in Gauteng and 75 000 in the Western Cape, the target audience being the commuters. The office is also participating in the Constitutional Week media campaign, by advertising as well as providing editorial for the Independent Newspapers nationally.
4.South African Human Rights Commission
SAHRC has been involved in various activities to promote a proper understanding of the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. Some of the activities include the following:
This competition was established in 1997 and it involves all the public schools. The purpose is to test the level of understanding of the Bill of Rights among school going age children and to create awareness of the provisions in the Bill of Rights through essay writing on selected human rights themes.
Every year around 21 March the SAHRC embarks on a week – long campaign involving commissioners and members of staff, visiting different areas around the country, to give talks and to hold discussions on various human rights, awareness issues raising and publicity of the SAHRC among the ordinary citizens of the country.
In April 2001 SAHRC launched a National Centre for Human Rights Education and Training located at its premises. The center conducts on average 18 workshops per month on various themes and for various beneficiaries. Since it was launched it has reached 19779 people through 282 workshops, seminars and presentations. The legal service department also engages in educational work through public hearings reaching a large number of people.
Timeously Commissioners are giving talks on various human rights issues in panels or to individuals. The center has implemented a roving "omnibus" training intervention focusing on the outer lying areas of the country.
Every year the Commission develops and disseminates various human rights materials at no cost to the members of the public.
5. Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
The department has established a new sub-directorate that specifically deals with constitutional education matters.
Launch of the education strategy 11 November 2002.
The Minister, Dr. Penuell Maduna has launched a Communication Framework on the Constitutional Literacy Campaign in Nelspruit, Mpumalanga, in November 2002. The document will be packaged and distributed among government departments and all relevant stakeholders countrywide.
Mpumalanga has been chosen as a pilot site for an education campaign under the "Respect Project" which will kick-start in January 2003.
"Respect" is a specific project that the Department has adopted to spearhead the constitutional literacy campaign in the country. The project concentrates on promoting the rights of women and children while giving an understanding of basic constitutional concepts and other rights.
Schools and tertiary institutions
On an ongoing basis, schools and tertiary institutions in the country are being visited to educate pupils on the constitution. Booklets such as "children’s rights are cool" have been developed. On Human Rights Day the Department launched a Children’ s rights book.
Consultations with all universities and technikons in the country took place between August and October 2002 where an exchange of information took place. A commitment was secured to infuse constitutional education into a formal programme of institutions.
Constitution week 21- 26 October 2002
The Department, together with the Government Communications and Information Services sensitized other government departments in respect of the start of the Constitution Week 21-26 October 2002. Printed material on maintenance and children’s rights was distributed to all the courts and other institutions.
Independent Newspapers supplement
The Department together with other stakeholders produced a supplement focusing on the constitution to be published in national newspapers.
The Department has secured slots on various community radio stations and SABC regional stations educating the public on the constitution.
Constitution and the worker
Consultations with various trade unions took place between August and October 2002. The Department has developed and distributed among workers a new poster in this regard.
Printing the Constitution
The first print run of the constitutional pocket size books (450 000) was done early in 2002 and distributed countrywide to members of the public, government departments and other stakeholders.
The department is on the verge of placing the constitution on the website in all official languages.
The next print run will take place during the new financial year.
The Department has developed and printed a simplified version of the constitution called Mulayotewa. 20 000 copies were produced and distributed to the public.