Thursday, February 23, 2012

We, the people

South Africa has one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, and our constitution is now 15 years old.  We the people is an initiative to encourage South African citizens to read, understand, embrace and support our constitution.  I confess ... I have attempted many times in the past to read our 118 page constitution, but have never finished this very lengthy document.  Well, there is now a summary on the attached link.  Go get it.  Go read it.  And then spread the word to your family and friends.

Partners : With support from the U.S. Diplomatic Mission to South Africa

I am Proudly South African

Why Love Our Constitution?

Top 10 Reasons to Love Our Constitution

  1. It protects you. If it were not for the constitution, you could be arrested for almost anything. You might not realise it, but each and every day you are free in ways that were unimaginable 25 years ago.
  2. Our children’s rights are the best in the world.The section on children in our constitution has higher standards than the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
  3. It’s practical. Imagine if one group decided on which rights everyone else got to have? There’s no other way to cope in a diverse society where everyone has a different idea about the way we should live.
  4. It’s fair. Everyone has the right to practice their own culture, religion and traditions as long as these don’t violate the rights of others.
  5. It’s advanced. It includes rights that aren’t mentioned in other constitutions, like children and the environment. Our constitution is studied around the world because it’s considered so advanced.
  6. It gives us freedom. We can tell jokes about anything we like – in many countries, you can be jailed for insulting the president or the king.
  7. It’s accessible. Nobody enjoys more rights just because they’re rich and powerful. We’re all equal before the law.
  8. It carries legal weight. If you think your rights are being violated, you have several options listed here. That’s the point of We The People: to educate you – because if you don’t know what your rights are, you can’t stand up for them.
  9. Votes are more powerful than tanks.The army does not have the power to change the government because our constitution regards the votes of ordinary people as the most important deciding factor.
  10. It represents the people of South Africa at our best. We all know we don’t always achieve the standards spelled out in the constitution, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try to reach them


  1. Hey my friend, This is an incredibly educational post ... I am going to "get it and read it" as you suggest as I would NEVER attempt to read the 118 page document. Thanks for enlightening me.

  2. Thanks, Alison for this. I will get to read it as well, rather than reading the 118 pages. It is very interesting, what you have written, to know what our country is all about.