Amendments to the Promotion of Quality and the Prevention of Discrimination Act 4 of 2000 (the PEPUDA) will have far-reaching consequences for all South Africans. It will also directly infringe on the rights of cultural and religious communities.
The Bill will have inter alia six important consequences:
- New definitions of equality and discrimination.
- Accountability will be implemented for unintentional actions or failure that affects a person’s dignity. Therefore, alleged perpetrators’ intentions will carry no weight – only the complainant’s allegations that they were discriminated against.
- People may be held accountable for violations of this Act that by their employees, workers or agents. This includes discrimination, hate speech and harassment.
- Non-governmental organisations, traditional leaders and institutions, as well as community organisations will be subject to a range of requirements. The executive authority will implement processes to regulate these requirements.
- The state will also review all acts, policies, practices and structures that do not comply with the newly-proposed definitions of equality and discrimination.
- The amendments will also require government to review all Acts, codes, structures and policy frameworks to align these with the new definitions of equality and discrimination.