We’re fortunate enough to live in a country where our post-apartheid Constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation. South Africa was also the fifth country in the world, and the first – and, to date, only – in Africa, to legalise same-sex marriage.
What does this mean? It means the more than 2 million South African citizens who identify as LGBTQIA+ have legal protection and equal rights – whether single, in a relationship or married – in both their personal and professional capacities. Same-sex couples can also adopt children jointly and arrange in vitro fertilisation (IVF) and surrogacy treatments.
In 1998, Parliament also passed the Employment Equity Act. This Act protects South Africans from labour discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, among other categories. In 2000, similar protections were extended to public accommodations and services, with the commencement of the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act.
Despite these changes made to the law, the community still experiences challenges, especially in the form of discrimination, homophobia, corrective rape and other hate crimes. This is why Vodacom has an LGBTQIA+ and Friends Network. The friends and family of those in the LGBTQIA+ community play a critical role in changing perspectives and supporting the journey towards truly equal treatment and rights. This Pride Month, we encourage everyone – both our Vodacom family and our customers – to join us in celebrating differences and in acknowledging the positive contribution every Vodacom employee makes to this company and this country as a whole! Read more about Vodafone’s involvement in the LGBTQIA+ community here.