SAHRC, DBE working to develop social cohesion curriculum in wake of July unrest

This is in a bid to address racial and other social conflicts.

FILE: The SAHRC inquiry into the July unrest in Gauteng continues in Sandton on 22 February 2022. Picture: @SAHRCommission/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - With the public hearings into the July unrest now concluded, South African Human Rights Commissioner Andre Guam has announced that the Chapter 9 institution is working with the Department of Education to develop a social cohesion curriculum.

This is in a bid to address racial and other social conflicts.

The SAHRC has been holding investigative hearings into the July unrest since November last year.

A number of witnesses have detailed that violence and killings during the unrest were rooted in racial and social divisions.

KwaZulu-Natal was the epicentre of the July 2021 civil unrest, which claimed about 350 lives and caused damage to public and private property amounting to billions of rands.

Violent looting and deaths were also recorded in Gauteng.

Since November last year, the SAHRC has held public investigative hearings in both provinces and has heard testimony from various quarters including civilians, businesspeople and politicians.

The common theme has been that poverty unemployment and racism were the main forces behind the disruptions.
Guam said that social cohesion and diversity training must become part of the schooling system.

"The commissioner has already been in touch with the National Department of Basic Education and together with them, we are strongly looking at the development of such a programme," he said.

It's not yet clear when the commission will release its report on the hearings.