Who is ARNSA?

The Anti-Racism Network South Africa (ARNSA) was established by the Ahmed Kathrada and Nelson Mandela Foundations in 2015. Its secretariat also includes the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation (IJR), and the Centre for the Advancement of Non-Racialism and Democracy (CANRAD). A number of other organisations in various provinces are part of the network. The network aims to ensure that local organisations are capacitated to deal with issues of racism within communities, but at the same time, form part of national and international efforts to tackle the scourge.

“What is the alternative vision to the global resurgence of racism today…? Take up the reigns and actively move towards building a truly non-racial world, free of discrimination and look towards creating a worldwide network or forum to begin a global campaign to combat racism in all its forms. In this way, maybe the dream of a ‘Greenpeace’ against racism could become a reality.”

- Anti-apartheid activist Ahmed Kathrada in a 2014 speech to the United Nations General Assembly

Anti-Racism Week


Anti-Racism Week is held annually in South Africa during Human Rights Month from March 14-21. It culminates on Human Rights Day and the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. 

It is an annual action week aimed at creating public awareness about racism, and how it affects individuals and broader society. It’s about ensuring that there is a countrywide focus on tackling racism and that it remains on the national agenda. While Anti-Racism Week is initiated by ARNSA, it aims to get all sectors of society involved and encourages self-initiated activities during the week.

Every year, the ARNSA steering committee selects a theme that characterises the type of programmes held during Anti-Racism Week. This year, we’re calling on you to #UniteAgainstRacism! 

Over the last few years, we have seen a series of race related incidents in South Africa. More recent examples have included the segregation of learners at a school in Schweizer Reneke, racial tension at Clifton Beach and racialised discourse surrounding the deaths of pupils at Hoërskool Driehoek.  

A noticeable trend in many of these instances is the inability of stakeholders to bring people together to find joint and long-term solutions. There’s often a polarity of views, that’s sometimes further exacerbated by political or community leadership, with little regard for the serious consequences that inflamed racial tensions can result in. At the same time globally, we’re seeing how people are shifting towards views and beliefs that are increasingly more exclusionary. We’re witnessing the re-emergence of the global right, who are more connected and organised. 

The same cannot be said for the anti-racists. Progressive movements remain fragmented, with very little coordination and organisation across communities, provinces, countries and continents. 

This needs to change. We need to ensure that our schools, religious institutes, community associations, our universities, workplaces, political parties, unions and sporting clubs remain truly non-racist, and actively challenge discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices. We need to ensure that we link up across communities, provinces and countries to build a world that values diversity, equality and basic human rights. In this way, we can start building what anti-apartheid activist, Ahmed Kathrada, called the ‘Greenpeace’ against racism.

Tell us what you’re doing for Anti-Racism Week: Email: info@kathradafoundation.org or Call 011 854 0082

View the ARNSA media toolkit

Guiding principles

Download the

Guiding Principles Document  

Organisations forming the network

Academy of Sport Alchemy / Golden Youth Club ActionAid
Activate Leadership African Centre for Migration and Society
Ahmed Kathrada Foundation AIESEC University of Pretoria
Apartheid Museum ASRI Future Leaders Fellowship Programme
Boycott Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) Black Sash
British Council Centre for the Advancement of Nonracialism and Democracy (CANRAD)
Central University of Technology (CUT) City Year
Co-operative for Research and Education (CORE) Constitution Hill
Corruption Watch Department of Justice
Department of Sport and Recreation Dr Viljoen Hoerskool
Equal Education Foundation Fietas Museum
Ghandi Memorial Committee Human Sciences Research Council
Inkulu Freeheid Institute for Justice and Reconciliation
Inyathelo: Sustainable Higher Education Jesuit institute of South Africa
Jewish Board of Deputies Jewish Voice for Peace
June 16 Foundation Sophie A Kanza Foundation
Lillies Leaf Trust Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection (MISTRA)
Mohobo Teacher & Parent Fundraising and Support Foundation Moral Regeneration Movement
Museum Africa My Hands and Heart
Nelson Mandela Foundation Nerd Africa
Pietermaritzburg Gandhi Memeorial Committee Palistine Solidarity Alliance
Reach For A Dream Foundation Saint Stithians High School
Siriti Institute South African Catholic Bishops Conference
Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference South African Council of Churches
South African Municipal Workers Union Steve Biko Foundation
Sydenham Community Tamil Federation
Teenagers Against Drug Abuse Thabo Mbeki Foundation
University of Free State University of Kwa-Zulu Natal
University of South Africa University of the Witwatersrand
Vaal University of Technology Wits Centre for Diversity Studies 
Young and Able Youth Desk, Office of the Presidency
Youth for Human Rights Zakheni Arts Therapy Foundation

How to join

Organisations or individuals can participate in the work of ARNSA by joining any of the planned activities. Contact ARNSA for details.

For more details on how to get involved, email Rethabile Ratsomo

membership form

ARNSA membership declaration

Organisation pro forma letter

Event Calendar

Date Event Venue Province Time
17 February 2020 Anti-Racism Week Media Launch Sharpeville Memorial & Exhibition Center Gauteng 10:00