You & your rights
What are your rights? Have they been violated? What can you do if they have? Our directory covers:
- Human rights
- Gender rights
- Language rights
- Workplace rights
- Landlord/tenant rights
- The police & your rights
- Government & your rights
SA Human Rights Commission
The Commission can give you information or training on human rights, and can help you if you think that any of your rights, as defined in the Bill of Rights, has been violated.
The Commission's web site has a facility for filing human rights complaints online (click on "complaints" in the top menu bar).
Note, however, that the Human Rights Commission does not deal with all types of rights violation: see the various rights categories and organisations below.
Human Rights Advice Line
- Head office / Gauteng: Tel (011) 484 8300
- Eastern Cape: Tel (041) 582 4094 / 2611
- Free State: Tel (051) 447 1130
- KwaZulu-Natal: Tel (031) 304 7323 / 4 / 5
- Limpopo Province: Tel (015) 291 3500 / 04
- Western Cape: Tel (021) 426 2277
- More about the Commission
0860 120 120
(office hours, Mon-Fri)
Simplifies HIV/Aids and the law to inform and empower you about your rights. Gender rights
Commission on Gender Equality
If you have been unfairly treated because of your gender, you can complain to the Commission. Their web site has a facility for filing complaints online.
Pan South African Language
Every South African has the right to use the language of his or her choice, provided this is consistent with the rights of others. To find out more about your language rights, or to complain if they are violated, contact the Board.
Council for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration
An independent, statutory dispute resolution body. Labour disputes, such as unfair dismissals, can be referred to the CCMA. But not all labour disputes - check under "general CCMA information" on the web site. The site also carries excellent information on labour rights and codes of good practice in terms of the Labour Relations Act.
- Tel: (011) 377 6650/00 for numbers countrywide - ask for Hotline (help line).
- Contact the CCMA office in your province (click on "contact details")
- Online application forms, including dispute referrals and requests for arbitration (click on "referral forms").
- You & your domestic/ 'madam'
- Employment Equity FAQ
Guidelines for employers & employees, labour law, dispute resolution, advice, assistance & more. Landlord/tenant rights
Rental Housing Tribunals
The government is setting up Rental Housing Tribunals in each province to deal with all types of illegal or unfair practice relating to the landlord/tenant relationship. The Tribunals are courts, with powers similar to those of magistrate's courts.
- Gauteng Rental Housing Tribunal
- Tel: (011) 630 5035
- Western Cape Rental Housing Tribunal
- Tel: 086 010 6166
Independent Complaints Directorate
If your rights have been violated by a member of the SA Police Service, contact the Directorate.
- Tel: (012) 320 0431
- The directorate has offices in every province - click on "contact us" on the web site.
The Public Protector
The Public Protector investigates serious complaints against government departments and organisations, including provincial or local authorities, government-owned companies (whether fully or partly owned), and any person that performs a public function. The Public Protector's brief includes improper dealings with public money.
- Postal address: Private Bag X677, Pretoria 0001
- Street address: Sinodale Centre, 228 Visagie Street, Pretoria
- Tel: (012) 322 2916
- Toll-free: 0800 112 040
- More about the Public Protector
The PSAM tracks cases of public sector corruption and maladministration in the Eastern Cape, following up these cases in an objective, politically non-partisan fashion. The PSAM website contains regular updates on these cases and includes audio interviews with officials.
Frustrated with poor public service? Unhappy because a government official has behaved badly towards you, or committed an act of misconduct? Want to do something about it?
myRights is a website set up by the Public Service Accountability Monitor to help you find out about: your basic rights; your right to good public service; the duties of public officials; what to do about poor public service; and how to report your complaints.
If you live in the Eastern Cape, you can use the myRights complaints form to submit your complaint to government departments, public entities like Telkom, civil society organisations or public protection agencies. (Also check out the Eastern Cape corruption hotline.)