Maverick Citizen

Civil Society watch 31 January — 4 February

Life Esidimeni inquest resumes, vaccine production in Africa and commemorating World Cancer Day

World Cancer Day will be commemorated on 4 February 2022. (Photo:

Here is a round-up of events and webinars to mark on your civil society calendar this week.

On Monday 31 January the Life Esidimeni Inquest into the death of 144 mental health care users resumes and will be running throughout the week. You can follow the proceedings here

At 11am Trade & Industrial Policy Strategies (Tips), the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Global Subsidies Initiative will be hosting a webinar to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the IISD report titled South Africa’s Energy Fiscal Policies: An inventory of subsidies, taxes and policies impacting the energy transition. The report explores the extent to which South Africa’s current energy fiscal policies are aligned with its goal to develop a robust domestic energy system that can provide low-carbon energy at a fair cost to all. Speaking at the webinar will be Sharlin Hemraj, Director: Environment and Fuel Taxes at National Treasury; Chido Muzondo, Policy Advisor at IISD; Gaylor Montmasson-Clair, Senior Economist: Sustainable Growth, Trade and Industrial Policy Strategies and Jesse Burton, Senior Associate, E3G (Third Generation Environmentalism). 

On Tuesday 1 February at 1pm the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance will be hosting a roundtable discussion titled The opportunities for vaccine production in Africa: Creating RVCs through Localisation. The speakers will be Simon Agwale, CEO of Innovative Biotech Nigeria and Innovative Biotech USA Inc; Independent Consultant Paul Hartley; Rajinder Suri, CEO of the Developing Countries Vaccine Manufacturers Network (DCVMN) and Dr Chidi Nweneka who is a paediatrician and epidemiologist. You can join the discussion here.

Also at 1pm on Tuesday The Lancet will be hosting its global launch of The Lancet Commission on the Value of Death: Bringing death back into life report, with a discussion on how to rebalance the relationship of medicine and society with death and dying. You can register to attend the event here.

On Wednesday 2 February at 9am the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, with the support of the European Union, will be hosting a virtual policy dialogue on Gender-Responsive Budgeting (GRB). The dialogue aims to enhance understanding of how to more equitably manage the public budget so as to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. You can register to attend here.

The Department of Basic Education will also be hosting a roundtable discussion on addressing pregnancy, sexual abuse and rape amongst primary school learners at 9am on Wednesday. The roundtable will bring together stakeholders such as department of education and health officials as well as civil society organisations. 

Hospices are often understood to be a building where terminally ill patients are cared for. However, they are, in fact, organisations that provide at-home or in-patient care (according to the hospice) to anyone affected by a life-threatening diagnosis. (Photo:

Friday 4 February is World Cancer Day and this year the theme is “Close the care gap”, which recognises the power of knowledge and challenging assumptions. 2022 is the first year of a new three-year campaign on equity which aims to raise awareness about the lack of equity in cancer care and the barriers that exist for many people in accessing services and receiving the care they need. You can find out more here. DM/MC


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