Covid-19

Maverick Citizen

Civil society watch, 24-30 August 2020

CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA - JUNE 30: Protesters wearing face masks to protect against the coronavirus, seen during a gender based violence protest outside parliament on June 30, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. South Africa's president says the country now faces two pandemics, COVID-19 and the violence against women and children that has risen sharply since alcohol sales were allowed again on June 1. President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a national address that 21 women and children have been killed since the start of the month. (Photo by Gallo Images/Nardus Engelbrecht)

This is the last week of Women’s month so, in our ‘watch’ of what’s happening in civil society, webinars and activities focusing on womxn empowerment, equality, and gender-based violence take the stage once again.

Last week saw nationwide celebrations as the country moved to level two and the ban on alcohol and cigarettes was lifted. However, this is no reason to celebrate. With gender-based violence on the rise and no end in sight, civil society activism is more important than ever. Ending gender-based violence and femicide is a challenge that cannot be left to womxn alone.

Women’s month: empowerment, gender equality, and gender-based violence

On Monday, 24 August, join the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) for a virtual roundtable discussion on gender equality. The theme: Realising womxn’s rights for an equal future.

Join Shereen naNgwenya (civil engineer), Maletsema Phofu (cyber security professional), and Mamela Nyamza (international multi-award-winning artist) as they discuss womxn leaders in the workplace and how they grapple with gender equality. To receive the Zoom link, email Regina Motlhomi at [email protected]

On Tuesday, 25 August, join Leigh-Anne Williams as she hosts the Good Hope FM Warrior Womxn webinar series. This week, Williams and other panellists will discuss gender-based violence and empowerment. Register here.

Also on Tuesday, join the Social Justice Coalition (SJC), in collaboration with other organisations, as they launch the first in a series of webinars that aim to tackle the gender, justice and power struggles that continue to perpetuate the violence against women in South Africa.

In celebration of Women of Africa, on Wednesday, 26 August Milpark Business School invites you to a round table discussion on gender equality and empowerment – an important conversation to educate young womxn and children on the importance and necessity of equality and the power of being a womxn.

The webinar will be presented by Dr Divya Singh (Stadio Chief Academic Officer), Nkiruka Chiemelu: (senior manager for United Nations Global Compact), Dr Yvonne Katambo (BEN-Africa), and Serai Herbst (expert generalist and resource developer). To reserve your spot, click here.

Over the last few months #BlackLivesMatter movement has brought America to a turning point. The calls of protesters have reverberated across the globe resulting in fresh debates around defining racism, dismantling institutions of oppression such as de-funding the police, transforming cultural spaces and building solidarity.

At 4pm on Wednesday, the Centre for Civil Society is hosting its third webcast in a series of special webinars for the #BlackLivesMatter movement. This week, facilitators Danford Chibvongodze and Andries Motau are joined by Maria Martin (assistant professor of history, University of California Merced) for a discussion about the role of womxn in the Black Lives Matter Campaign. The Zoom link will be available later this week and can be found here.

On Thursday, 27 August the Call to Action Collective will be hosting their eighth virtual workshop in a 12-week series on the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP-GBVF). The workshops are held every Thursday until 23 September.

This week, SECTION27’s head of communications, Nontsikelelo Mpulo, will be speaking on the lessons we can learn from other councils.

You can register here. Alternatively, the event will be streamed live on Facebook and Twitter

Missed the previous webinars? Catch them here. You can also subscribe to receive weekly updates on the webinars, including presentations and speaker bios.

Also on Thursday, the Embassy of Ireland, South Africa, is hosting a webinar titled: Womxn on the frontline of Covid-19: interrogating womxn’s contribution from a frontline perspective.

The webinar will focus on womxn’s experiences on the frontline of the pandemic in South Africa and will elevate womxn’s issues, experiences, concerns, and best practices for work on the frontline of the Covid-19 response.

Speakers include Masana Ndinga-Kanga (CIVICUS), Patience Mungwari Mpani (Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria), Myrtle Witbooi (South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union), and Dr Nasiphi Mdzinwa (Steve Biko Academic Hospital). Register here.

At 1pm, join the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) for a webinar, themed: Legal pluralism and poor implementation hold back women’s land rights in Africa: What can we do?”.

Emmanuel Sulle (research associate, PLAAS), Bernard Moseti (Oxfam, Pan Africa Programme), and Joséphine Atangana (Plateforme Régionale des Organisations Paysannes d’Afrique Centrale) will present the outcomes of the three-year project—Women’s Land Rights for Inclusive Development and Growth in Africa. The project was implemented in seven African countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, and Togo.

The webcast will be streamed live on YouTube.

At 7pm on Friday, 28 August, join the Cape Cultural Collective as they celebrate Womxn’s Month and amplify the calls for justice around gender-based violence and femicide. The event is called Women Arise and aims to amplify the call for justice through music, poetry, and dance.

The lineup includes poet Khadijah Heeger, musician Sky Dladla, songbird Thami Baba, poet Vusumuzi Mpofu, dancer Darion Adams, and vocalist Sisanda.

The event is free and will be streamed live on Cape Cultural Collective’s Facebook page.

 The rest of the week … 

On Monday 24 August, the University of Cape Town (UCT) is hosting the third part of their Unleashing the new global university series. If you missed the previous three webinars, watch them here, or read about part one here, part two here and part three here. This week, the focus is on rethinking the international experience for postgraduate researchers.

Professor Sue Harrison (deputy vice-chancellor for research and internationalisation, UCT) will be moderating a dialogue between Daya Reddy (president of the International Science Council), Professor Ernest Aryeetey (secretary-general of the African Research University Alliance), Hangwelani Hope Magidimisha-Chipungu (DST/NRF/SCAN SARChI chair in inclusive cities), and Terry McMaster (director of the Graduate School, University of Bristol). Register here.

On Tuesday 25 August, join political analyst Eusebius McKaiser, Yusuf Abramjee (Tax Justice South Africa), Patricia Pillay (Beer Association of South Africa) as they discuss the impact of illicit trade due to the alcohol and tobacco bans, and how to curb the spread of fraud and corruption in the Covid-19 era. You can register for the webinar, which is being hosted by the Mail & Guardian, by following this link.

Also on Tuesday, the Organic Recycling Association of South Africa (ORASA) invites you to their educational webinar on food waste recycling.

Reg Barichievy from Smart Waste will be presenting on his experience of handling food waste from a retailer and industry perspective. You can RSVP by sending an email to the organisers [email protected]

On Friday, 28 August after 6 years of campaigning, dialogue and resistance, the South African Food Sovereignty and the Cooperative and Policy Alternative Centre (COPAC) are launching their People’s Climate Justice Charter on Friday at 2pm. This charter affirms people’s alternatives to the climate crisis to advance the deep just transition.

Speakers include eco-feminists Jacklyn Cock, Makoma Lekalakala, Ferrial Adam, Dorah Marema, and Ela Ganghi. Reserve your spot here.

On the same day, at 3pm, the People’s Health Movement South Africa is hosting a webinar where community health care workers from different provinces will be sharing their experiences and the challenges they faced during the current fight of the Covid-19. Register here.

Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City need your help

After the City of Cape Town’s controversial plans earlier this year to lease prime public land to the Rondebosch Golf Club rather than using it for social or affordable housing, the City now proposes leasing the land next door to another golf club – the King David Mowbray Golf Course.

Michael Clark, from the Ndifuna Ukwazi, says that “the city invited the public to comment on its plan to renew the lease of 49.5 hectares of public land (equivalent to a small suburb or 49 rugby fields) to the King David Mowbray Golf Club for a period of 10 years at a rental of R11,500 per year – that’s just R950 per month or R19 per hectare per month

“The land is perfect for the development of affordable housing – it’s close to hospitals, good schools and public transport routes (including two train stations). Cape Town in the midst of a housing crisis, made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic (homelessness and land occupations are on the rise), yet the City would rather lease land out to exclusive private clubs than use it to reverse the city’s apartheid legacy.”

Ndifuna Ukwazi and Reclaim the City encourage everyone to submit their comments or objections to the lease online or by email to [email protected] before 26 August. DM/MC

South Africa is full of activists whose voices and campaigns need to be heard, and we want to report on all of them! So, wherever you live, if you have virtual events or meetings which you think other activists ought to know about, write to us at [email protected]

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