Date: Mar 15, 2023 Country:

Hate Crimes Working Group welcomes the adoption of the Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill by the National Assembly

The Hate Crimes Working Group (HCWG) welcomes the adoption of the Prevention and Combating of Hate Crimes and Hate Speech Bill. On Tuesday, the Bill was adopted by the National Assembly, with 237 members voting in favour of the Bill and 79 against it. This is a major step in the long-awaited legislative process.

The HCWG, a coalition of civil society organisations from a variety of sectors and disciplines, has been advocating for a comprehensive South African law against hate crime since 2009. We made a written submission after the Portfolio Committee published the Bill and called for public comment on 26 August 2021, and the HCWG also participated in the public hearings which took place on 29 March 2022.

Once it becomes an Act, the HCWG hopes that the law will:

  • Send a strong message that hate and prejudice are unacceptable in our society.
  • Assist the police and prosecutors in investigating, charging, and prosecuting hate crimes and hate speech.
  • Give courts meaningful sentencing guidelines.
  • Allow for the effective recording of statistics, so we can better understand the nature of the problem and create successful interventions.

“This is a major milestone and we congratulate the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development on the adoption of the Bill. With the recent spike in hate crimes particularly against the migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers, and LGBTIQ+ communities, it is more urgent than ever,” said Sibusiso Khasa from Amnesty International South Africa, who chairs the HCWG.

The HCWG looks forward to the concurrence of the National Council of Provinces, where another round of public comments is anticipated.


Organisations that are part of the HCWG are:

  • Amnesty International South Africa (Chair)
  • Chinese Association of SA
  • Congolese Civil Society of SA
  • CoRMSA
  • Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation
  • Durban Gay & Lesbian Community & Health Centre
  • GALA
  • Gender Dynamix
  • Heinrich Böll Stiftung (Cape Town office)
  • Inclusive and Affirming Ministries
  • Lawyers for Human Rights
  • OUT Wellbeing,
  • Psychological Society of SA
  • Restorative Justice Centre
  • SA Institute of International Affairs (SAIIA) Youth
  • Jewish Board of Deputies
  • Same Love Toti
  • Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town
  • Sonke Gender Justice
  • SA Muslim Network
  • Triangle Project
  • Uthingo Network 


For more information or to request an interview, please contact:


Alana Pugh-Jones Baranov, from the South African Jewish Board of Deputies and a member of the HCWG Steering Committee on 083275 2184 or  


Mienke Mari Steytler, Media and Communications Officer (Maternity Cover), Amnesty International South Africa: +27 (0) 64 890