In a speech delivered at the University of Stellenbosch on Saturday, Madonsela said the country was one of the most unequal society despite the constitutional promises which include the substantive notion of equality.
"Compounding the situation is that poverty and unemployment have worsened and also the fact that, that too follows the contours of racial, gender and other forms of structural inequality or discrimination."
She said as long as there was injustice somewhere, the country and the world could not have peace.
"We may not be paragons of non-discrimination as that is impossible [given that we are] products of a society where the hierachisation of difference is entrenched through socialisation from birth," she said.
"All we need to do is play our part in our respective spaces as earnestly as possible."