the work we do
Freedom of expression exists as a basket of rights covering freedom of speech; access to information; media freedom; freedom of assembly; the right to protest; academic freedom and; artistic freedom. South African citizens have enjoyed a liberal regime of these rights for 16 years now since the new Constitution.
The country enjoys a free and vibrant media sector; progressive legislation to access information; an active citizenry sensitive to censorship; a vocal tradition of public protest; highly active open government processes; and government officials who are not shielded from critical scrutiny and embarrassment.
Freedom of expression as a comprehensive entitlement of citizenship has indeed coursed through and shaped the culture of this country as it hurtled away from apartheid oppression to democratic freedom. The openness of South African society is without question, and it provides a healthy environment to facilitate advocacy that will advance these rights, and also comfortable vigilance to mobilise public support to protect these rights where it may be under threat.
In both respects, i.e. advancing and protecting these rights, it is an on-going and critical public interest responsibility as in some instances aspects of freedom of expression have come under threat; while constant opportunities also arise to advance this right.
As a basket of rights, it encompasses a broad scope of the legislative and policy environment and numerous laws, government policies and court cases need to be considered.