Zero Discrimination Day falls on 1 March and is commemorated annually to promote equality before the law and in practice throughout all the member countries of the United Nations.
“Through the implementation of its anti-discrimination policy, the University of Pretoria (UP) rejects and condemns any form of discrimination and commits to eradicating such practices,” says Nontsikelelo Loteni, Director of Transformation at UP.
As such, the Transformation Office will soon be launching an online case reporting system via the UP Mobile App to further strengthen mechanisms and processes that are in place to address discrimination and harassment.
The use of this system will eliminate all barriers of accessibility for all campuses when it comes to reporting cases. “This will eliminate the travel challenges faced by those who currently need to report cases face to face,” Loteni explains. “Once the case has been lodged in the system, it will be routed to the investigator, who will then contact the complainant and go to their location to investigate the matter.”
An additional goal is to create an integrated management system that will connect complainants to all the relevant stakeholders involved in gender-based violence or discrimination case management. There will also be a link to the Student Counselling Unit and the Employee Wellness Unit to ensure seamless psychological support referrals.
“The system will be able to provide a complainant with a case reference number, acknowledgement of receipt of the complaint, and progress updates as the case is referred to the various stakeholders for processing.”
It should be noted that this system does not replace face-to-face case reporting or email case logging, or the Human Resources grievance reporting system; employees should continue to utilise these, as they will be integrated into the new process.
“The University is devoted to creating an environment that will ensure justice, safety and protection for all staff and students,” Loteni says.