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South Africa responds to recommendations by UN working group

South Africa was reviewed by the UN’s Universal Periodic Review Working Group on 31 May 2012. The Working Group subsequently compiled a report which included a number of recommendations to the South African government by the UN Member States. The South African government has responded to these recommendations under two headings – “Recommendations acceptable to South African” and “Recommendations not acceptable to South Africa”.

The recommendations and responses include the following:

  • Recommendation: Collaborate closely with UNICEF and other international agencies to reduce child and maternal mortality rates and mother-to-child transmission. State response: On 9 August 2011 the government entered into the MDGs Accelerated Framework partnership targeting interventions to accelerate attainment of MDG targets 4, 5 and 6. In addition, in September 2012, South Africa renewed its Country Programme Documents with UNICEF, UNAIDS and UNFPA.
  • Recommendation: Pursue efforts to develop rural development policies and strengthen the right to food for vulnerable groups. State response: Food security has been identified as one of the critical priorities for the current government. The Department of Rural Development and others are the custodians of national programmes such as Zero Hunger for which women, especially in rural areas, are the primary targets.
  • Recommendation: Complete the accession to core human rights instruments, including the ICESCR and others. State’s response: There is heightened awareness and commitment by he government to step up its national program of ratification of these instruments.
  • Recommendation: Ensure that the proposed Traditional Courts Bill does not violate women’s rights and gender equality. State’s response: Recommendation not acceptable to South Africa because the matter is still under consultation and it is therefore inappropriate to prejudge the final outcome at this stage.
  • Recommendation: Review institutions, especially the judiciary, to ensure their compatibility with accepted world practice where politicians are given adequate space to govern and fulfil their political mandate. State’s response: Recommendation is not acceptable as the South African Constitution impels the country to respect the principle of the separation of powers between the legislature, the executive and the judiciary.


Click here to view South Africa’s Country Response.


Click here to view South Africa’s Annex listing responses to recommendations.