Civil Society Watch 26 July-31 July

Democratic governance and ethical leadership, the NHI and artists assert their rights

By Zukiswa Pikoli 26 July 2021

Dancers rehearse for 'Ballet and Beyond' by Joburg Ballet at the Joburg Theatre on 8 April 2021. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating effect on the creative sector and also reflected just how marginalised the arts are in our society. (Photo: EPA-EFE/Kim Ludbrook)

This week civil society is offering African-centred feminist perspectives on food culture, giving lessons to the NHI, launching an online platform to report abuses by law enforcement, asserting the rights of South African artists and looking at how to build a better democracy.

Zukiswa Pikoli

On Tuesday, 27 July from 1.30pm to 3.30pm, Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood will take part in a pre-SDG Africa Summit workshop at the University of Cape Town’s Nelson Mandela School of Governance. The title of the workshop is Building Democratic Governance and Ethical Leadership Institutions in Africa, and you can take part here.

Later on Tuesday, between 2pm and 4pm, the Centre for Critical Food Studies will host a panel discussion titled Centering African Feminism in Food Cultures and Politics. The panellists are Patricia McFadden, an organic farmer and feminist scholar based in Swaziland, Yvette Abrahams, an organic farmer, activist and feminist scholar based in the Western Cape, Ruth Nyamura, an African eco-feminist from Kenya, and Mercia Andrews, an activist and convenor of the Rural Women’s Movement. They will discuss key social, cultural, environmental and nutritional concerns from the perspective of radical African-centred feminist perspectives. You can join the discussion here.

On Wednesday, 28 July from 2pm to 3.30pm, the Bhekisisa Centre for Health Journalism will host a discussion titled Procurement, Policy and Partnerships: Pandemic Lessons for the NHI. The speakers are SECTION27 executive director Umunyana Rugege, deputy director-general of National Health Insurance, Dr Nicholas Crisp, head of Afrobarometer Communications Sibusiso Nkomo, Aspen Pharmacare Group senior executive Stavros Nicolau and Discovery Health chief executive Tebogo Phaleng. To attend, register here.

Also on Wednesday, from 3pm to 4.30pm, the C19 People’s Coalition will launch Report.org.za, a data-free online platform where people can report abuse by law enforcement. It includes important articles, rights literacy documents and national helplines for all sorts of issues. Speakers will address their own work, experience and context in relation to security forces violence, and the importance of civil society-led accountability mechanisms. Register here.

At 6.30pm on Wednesday, the Theatre and Dance Alliance and Im4theArts will launch the Charter of Rights for South African Artists, a campaign to affirm and assert the rights of artists in the South African context. The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the creative sector. It has also reflected just how marginalised the arts are in our society. A number of well-known multidisciplinary artists have signed on in support of the charter, including Basil Appollis, Bianca Amato, Chantal Herman, Charl-Johan Lingenfelder, Concord Nkabinde, Fiona Ramsay, Gregory Maqoma, Jack Devnarain, Katlego Chale, Lizz Meiring, Louis Viljoen, Mbongeni N Mtshali, Mpho J Molepo, Neil Coppen, Saartjie Botha, Sibongile Mngoma, Siphokazi Jonas, Sylvaine Strike, Thami Mbongo, Thoko Ntshinga and Vincent Mantsoe. 

You can attend the launch here.

On Thursday, 29 July at 5.30pm, the Nelson Mandela Foundation and Constitutional Hill will host a discussion on Electoral Reform: Can we build a better democracy? The panellists are University of Pretoria lecturer Dr Sithembile Mbete, former minister of constitutional development Valli Moosa, former Constitutional Court justice Albie Sachs, executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution Lawson Naidoo activist and Khoi-San princess Chantal Revell. To participate in the discussion you can register here. DM/MC

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