Bill Of Rights
Chapter 2 sets out the Bill of Rights, arguably the part of the Constitution that has had the greatest impact on peoples’ daily lives. The first words of the chapter say it clearly: “This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa.”
This chapter sets out the fundamental rights of not just South African citizens but in some respects of everyone. It protects individuals against the government’s violations of their rights and establishes the government’s duties towards the people. The Bill of Rights also states when rights may be limited.
Although this is not the longest chapter in the Constitution, it is a crucial part of the Constitution as it protects individuals from abuse of power by the state. Chapter 2 affirms a number of important rights such as human dignity, which it states is inherent in all human beings, and that everyone is entitled to be treated with respect and concern. An extensive equality clause states that all individuals are equal before the law and that no one should be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of their race or gender, ethnicity, social origin and sexual orientation, etc. The freedom clause acknowledges the power of individuals to make choices towards their personal development and fulfilment.