Power to the youth

Tebogo Monama

Tebogo Monama

The Responsibility Bill, aimed at teaching the youth their rights and responsibilities, is ready to be distributed at schools where pupils will debate it.

The bill is a partnership between the Department of Education and National Religious Leaders Forum.

Chief Rabbi Warren Goldstein, right, said: "It is the first time in the world that a country has changed a bill of rights into a bill of responsibilities."

It aims to teach pupils how to exercise their rights and to understand the responsibility that comes with rights.

The preamble of the bill states: "I accept the call of responsibility that comes with the many rights and freedoms that I have been privileged to inherit from the sacrifice and suffering of those who came before me.

"I appreciate that the rights enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa are inseparable from my duties and responsibilities to others. Therefore, I accept that with every right comes a set of responsibilities."

Thulas Nxesi, of the SA Democratic Teachers Union, said: "Children should know their rights and responsibilities, but putting one bill on top of another is not the solution. Children are currently not benefiting from the Children's Bill and that cannot be solved by the Responsibility Bill."