SOUTH AFRICA CALLS FOR UN CONVENTION TO PROTECT RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLES

UNITED NATIONS, South Africa has called for a convention with legally-binding norms and standards to provide the maximum promotion, protection and fulfillment of the rights of indigenous peoples everywhere.

Deputy Minister for Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Obed Bapela delivered the message as the United Nations (UN) marked the tenth anniversary of the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

Addressing the UN General Assembly here Tuesday, Bapela said work was under way in the South African Parliament to officially recognize the country’s Khoisan as indigenous people of the country.

The majority of our people, particularly the African indigenous communities, face poverty and high levels of inequality, are confined to 13 per cent of the land and with only a mere 8.0 per cent of the land restituted since 1994. The land therefore remains a priority for us to continuously settle all African communities, including the Khoisan. Therefore land remains a fundamental matter for the majority of the people and it’s firmly on the agenda of transformation.”

Bapela also referred to the programme of radical economic transformation and the much-debated figure that the white minority controls 97 per cent of the economy.

Another matter is the economic exclusion which has left many of the African indigenous majority facing poverty, unemployment and inequality. In South Africa the economy is still 97 per cent in the control of the small white minority. Therefore these are the new struggles started to transform the economy, under the programme of radical economic transformation.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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