News & events

Press Releases

24 March 2021

HSRC and UJ to share findings on how South Africans feel about human rights and the limitation of freedom during lockdown

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Tuesday 23 March 2021 – In order to manage the spread of COVID-19 and to protect healthcare sector, South Africa has been in various levels of lockdown for a whole year. This has impacted on many aspects of life in the country including, inter alia, human rights, economy, education and lifestyle.

While the real impact of the lockdown will become evident in time, the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) and the University of Johannesburg (UJ) have conducted various surveys over the past year looking at public sentiment towards various issues.

As South Africa commemorates Human Rights Day 2021 this week, HSRC and UJ will share findings of how South Africans feel about human rights and the limitation of freedom during the pandemic.

The webinar which is titled, Who is willing to sacrifice human rights in the context of COVID, will be held on Wednesday, 24 March 2021 at 11h00.

Despite a drop in active cases, health experts have warned that the country might face a third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic due to the movement of the people during Easter holidays as well as the approaching winter season.

Therefore the findings have critical policy and social implications that need to be considered and built into an effective strategic and regulatory response, that minimises risk, promotes recovery, while considering public needs and preferences.


Professor Narnia Bohler-Muller, Divisional Executive: DCES, HSRC


Adv Tseliso Thipanyane, CEO of the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)

Mark Heywood, Human Rights and Social Justice Activist


Dr Rachel Adams, Chief Research Specialist, HSRC

This webinar can be accessed via the Zoom link:


Details of the Webinar

Date: 24 March 2021

Time: 11h00 to 12:30


For more information or to set up interviews, please contact Adziliwi Nematandani, 0827659191, email:

About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organizations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

Join the conversation at:

Related Press Releases