The Department of Arts and Culture in collaboration with the Presidency and other key stakeholders is developing a Social Cohesion and Nation Building compact. This compact represents a collective agreement between all South Africans on how to address major issues in our country through a united effort.
Despite positive strides since 1994, South African society remains divided. The privilege attached to race, class, space and gender has not yet been fully reversed. The social, psychological and geographic elements of apartheid continue to shape the lives and outlook of many South Africans.
Through the social compact business, government, labour and civil society will agree to work together to bring about future change. It will reaffirm the importance of freedom, peace and security as well as the respect for all human rights.
The social compact is aimed at promoting national unity, cohesion and nation building. The strategic objectives of the compact are focused on inviting all sectors of the society to play a role in the following:
- Advancing constitutional democracy, human rights and equality;
- Promoting non-racialism, non-sexism, equality and human solidarity;
- Building unity amongst South Africans, as well as with the region, continent and the international community; and
- Encouraging healing of individuals and communities.
The social compact takes forward the National Development (NDP) which advocates the need for such a compact given the socio-historical divisions across society, especially along racial lines, still persist.
The NDP is clear that exclusion, and the associated poverty and lack of opportunity, undermines social cohesion in South Africa.
There is therefore a need for a social compact that will lead to a meaningful inclusion of those disproportionately disadvantaged by colonialism and apartheid to the mainstream affairs of the country.