22 March 2022

The United Nations Declaration on the Right to Development explicitly frames human rights as equal and indivisible and that people, communities and societies need to enjoy access to these rights for their development. It declares: “The right to development is an inalienable human right by virtue of which every human person and all peoples are entitled to participate in, contribute to, and enjoy economic, social, cultural and political development, in which all human rights and fundamental freedoms can be fully realized.”

Development, according to the United Nations (UN), “aims at the constant improvement of the well-being of the entire population and of all individuals on the basis of their active, free and meaningful participation in development and in the fair distribution of benefits resulting therefrom”.

The right to development is at the core of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which was adopted by all UN member states in 2015. Its goals relate to the most fundamental of human rights, like sustenance, health and well-being. South Africa’s National Development Plan, Vision 2030, is also predicated on fundamental freedoms and human rights, and the country is said to have breathed fresh life into the Declaration on the Right to Development since its democratisation in 1994.

South Africa’s Bill of Rights interalia provides, subject to “reasonable and justifiable” limitations and “available resources”, for the “progressive” realisation of adequate housing, health care services, sufficient food and water, social security, basic and further education, and specific children’s rights like nutrition and protection from neglect or abuse.

Human rights like dignity and non-discrimination are also essential to processes of and the achievement of sustainable development which the Bill of Rights provides for too. It also provides for other rights that may be considered relevant to processes of development, like the right to dignity, freedom of expression, freedom to receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of association, and the right to peacefully demonstrate.

The UN declares that violations of human rights contribute to circumstances that are “propitious to the development of a great part of mankind”.

Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation is an independent public benefit organisation. It partners with the corporate sector to improve education, develop skills and grow small businesses. It pursues its mission through its partner entities, Adopt-a-School, KST, Cyril Ramaphosa Education Trust (CRET), and Black Umbrellas.

Adopt-a-School implements a Whole School Development Model that aims at improving the governance, academic, infrastructural and social environment in schools. Adopt-a-School also pilots the Foundation’s Thari programme, which addresses women and child abuse and its impact on learning outcomes. KST is a collaboration between Kagiso Trust and Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation that leverages the strategic, technical and best practices of each organisation’s Whole School Development programmes at a district level. CRET is a holistic bursary support and youth development programme, and Black Umbrellas implements an incubation programme to develop small Black businesses.

For the Foundation, progress in education and enterprise development is among the most direct of means to improve the quality of life for South Africa’s people and to promote the Foundation’s purpose to develop an inclusive society. This purpose is contributed to by the Foundation’s positioning to support the goals of South Africa’s National Development Plan, which indicates skills and work opportunities as key capabilities most needed for individuals to live decent lives, and the UN’s SDGs.

The Foundation contributes more broadly to the NDP’s goals on the economy and empowerment, education, training and innovation, social protection, transforming society, and uniting the country.

The SDGs were developed in recognition of poverty as the greatest global challenge and its eradication as an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The United Nations resolved by 2030 to end poverty and hunger; combat inequalities within and among countries; build peaceful, just and inclusive societies; protect human rights and promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls; and ensure the lasting protection of the planet and its natural resources. It also resolved to create conditions for sustainable, inclusive and sustained economic growth, shared prosperity and decent work for all, taking into account different levels of national development and capacities.

Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation’s work and the programmes of its partner entities aligns with the following of the Sustainable Development Goals:

Goal 1: Ending poverty in all its forms.

Goal 4: Ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning.

Goal 5: Striving for gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls.

Goal 8: Promoting sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all.

Goal 16: Promoting peace and justice.

Goal 17: Building partnerships to support the goals.

Through CRET, Adopt-a-School and KST, the Foundation promotes inclusive and equitable quality education in line with SDG 04.

The Foundation’s partner entity, Black Umbrellas, promotes access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial opportunities and inclusive economic growth in line with SDGs 01 and 08.

Through its Thari Programme, the Foundation promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls against violence and abuse in line with SDGs 05 and 16.

In alignment with SDG 17, Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation realises its impact through partnership, in particular with the private sector. Its programmes are underpinned by partnership and collaboration to deliver cost-effective and quality programmes that respond to the needs of beneficiaries and stakeholders and that impact South Africa’s development challenges.

For Cyril Ramaphosa Foundation, overcoming unemployment, poverty and inequality through education and SME growth and development, both promotes and is dependent on an inclusive and empowered society in which all people fully and equally enjoy all human rights and freedoms.

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