Last week, a private sector led organisation, LeadSA, launched an extraordinary document – the Bill of Responsibilities, aimed at helping young learners to understand the practicalities of citizenship at their own level. While the idea was the brainchild of religious leaders, wide consultation with broad representation from civil society means this is a document which is representative of a broad range of society. Not only will it provide a tool for young people to learn about citizenship, it should also provide a basis for all South Africans to reflect on their responsibilities as citizens.
This initiative is a tangible example of the role of civil society and citizens in nation-building, by their contribution to the sustainability of development through the creation of citizen-led and owned bulwarks for the institutions of democracy.
We are now one of the very few countries in the world which has such a proposed Bill to align with the Bill of Rights, which many fought long and hard to break ground for – not to mention those who lost their lives for the freedoms which we now enjoy under one of the greatest Constitutions in the world, developed with support from Canada.
The proposed Bill is available on http://leadsa.co.za/bor.