“Section 5 (2) of the Act states that the commissioners may, on the recommendation of the National Assembly, be appointed as full-time or part-time commissioners and hold office for such fixed term as the National Assembly may determine at the time of such appointment, but not exceeding seven (7) years. The absence of a definitive fixed term of appointment was noted as an issue of concern during the SCA’s 2012 review of the SAHRC.

The SCA reiterates that an appropriate minimum term of appointment is crucial in promoting the independence of the membership of an NHRI, and to ensure the continuity of its programs and services. An appointment period of three (3) years is considered to be the minimum that would be sufficient to achieve these aims. As a proven practice, the SCA encourages that a term of office between three (3) and seven (7) years with the option to renew once be provided for in the NHRI’s enabling law.

The SCA encourages the SAHRC to advocate for amendments to its enabling legislation to provide for a fixed-term appointment of between three (3) and seven (7) years, renewable once.”