Maverick Citizen


Civil society watch, 23-29 November

Protesters wearing masks to protect against the coronavirus, seen during a gender-based violence protest outside Parliament. (Photo by Gallo Images/Nardus Engelbrecht)

This week marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, while civil society turns its attention to corruption within the health sector, access to Covid-19 vaccines and transparency in municipal government.

Gender-based violence has long plagued our nation. Since the outbreak of Covid-19, emerging data and reports from those on the front lines have shown that all types of violence against women and girls, particularly domestic violence, has intensified. Wednesday, 25 November, marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. According to the United Nations, one in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence – mostly by an intimate partner. Violence against women and girls is a widespread, devastating and persistent human rights violation. 

The rest of the week…

On Monday, 23 November, the Hanns Seidel Foundation and the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office invite you to an online discussion on the 2021 local government elections. The event will see Professor Tania Ajam (Stellenbosch University) and Professor Susan Booysen (Mapungubwe Institute for Strategic Reflection) review the findings of the most recent Auditor-General’s report, which indicate that only 20 out of 278 municipalities received clean audits, and what it means for the local upcoming elections. Register here.

At 2pm the Climate Justice Charter Movement for South Africa is hosting a workshop on the Climate Justice Charter. The aim of the workshop is to provide a deep just transition activist guide. This guide will accompany the charter and serve as a tool for communities, workplaces, and local governments to develop deep just transition plans and policies. Register here.

The first post-apartheid review of the Social Justice Sector in South Africa has been released, looking at the Social Justice Sector from 1994 to 2020, as democratic South Africa celebrated its first 25 years of existence. The review posed questions about the contribution of the sector to realising a post-apartheid vision for a just and equitable South Africa. On Tuesday, 24 November, join the Social Justice Sector and the Raith Foundation for a webinar about Critical reflections on the social justice sector in the post-apartheid era where speakers will critically engage with the report. Register here.

At 2pm, Advancing Rights in Southern Africa invites you to a webinar to discuss the erosion of digital rights and freedom of expression in Southern Africa and the launch of the American Bar Association Report on computer crimes and cybercrimes legal framework in the SADC region. The webinar will be used as a platform to discuss the questions posed by the regional and national legal frameworks on computer crimes and cybercrimes, and lay the groundwork for the development of an advocacy campaign within the SADC region that seeks to protect the fundamental right to freedom of expression within the digital space. Join the webinar here.

On Wednesday, 25 November, the Nelson Mandela Foundation, the Land and Accountability Research Centre (LARC), and the Public Affairs Research Institute (PARI) in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation invite you to a dialogue on The future of the Ingonyama Trust: Substantive accountability in a post-Covid era.

The event, which will be facilitated by Dr Mbongiseni Buthelezi (PARI), will see panellists Mavuso Mbhekiseni (Makhasaneni community), Zenande Booi (LARC), and Janet Bellamy (LARC) discuss the finances and financial management of the Ingonyama Trust’s assets, and whether these benefit its beneficiaries namely, “the members of the tribes and communities” living on land vested in the Trust, as required by the legal framework governing the Trust. Register here

At 1pm the University of the Witwatersrand will host its final webinar in a series of critical engagements titled Pandemic Pangolins: Systems, Science, and Society. Wits is bringing together experts to debate and evaluate the ever-changing body of knowledge emerging from the Covid-19 pandemic. This week the series focuses on pandemic education in health sciences. Register here.

At 2pm the Department of Health together with the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation will host a discussion on access and equity as it relates to Covid-19 vaccines. Panellists include Prof Salim S. Abdool Karim (South African Ministerial Advisory Committee on Covid-19), Tian Johnson (the African Alliance), Jens Pedersen (Médecins Sans Frontières), and the Unesco National Bioethics Committee. Register here.

At 3pm the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign will host its final workshop in a four-week series of agroecology workshops. The free online workshop series will feature practical and theory sessions with permaculturalist John Nzira covering topics such as land, waste and waste management, food forests, seed saving, and indigenous knowledge.

In this week’s workshop John Nzira shares how to save seeds and food activist Zayaan Khan speaks about reclaiming indigenous food and seeds. Register here.

On Thursday, 26 November, the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies will host a discussion on Reimagining comprehensive social protection in the Global South. Drawing on four cases from the Global South, speakers Professor Ravi Srivastava (Jawaharlal Nehru University’s  Institute for Human Development), Thandiwe Matthews (Wits University), Professor Zerihun Berhane (Addis Ababa University), and Olivia Faite Izidine (National Institute for Social Action) will explore what it means to reimagine comprehensive social protection in states with limited capacity. Register here.

On Thursday and Friday, you are invited to head down to the Theatre Arts in Observatory to watch an anti-fascist hip-hop musical, uBumbano. The collective attempts to speak through the violence of the global “refugee crisis” and xenophobic attacks in South Africa and challenge the public to figure out productive community-building mechanisms from ubuntu. Book your tickets here.

On Friday, 27 November, the Dullah Omar Institute and the International Budget Partnership South Africa will launch a report on transparency in municipal procurement. The launch will see numerous speakers interrogate the reports and discuss whether municipal websites are transparent about the goods and services that municipalities procure. Register here.

Corruption is rife in the health sector. On Sunday, 29 November, join Dr Katlego Mothudi (Board of Healthcare Funders), Mapato Ramokgopa (Competition Commission), Dr Sipho Kabane (Council for Medical Schemes), and Mark Heywood (Maverick Citizen) for a discussion on corruption in the private health sector. Panellists will consider the reasons behind this corruption and what can be done about it. Register here. 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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