Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 14 FEBRUARY — 18 FEBRUARY

Civil society’s response to the Zondo Commission reports and critical studies on whiteness

the Hans Seidel Foundation, Institute for Security Studies and News24 will be hosting a seminar titled 2024 — Will the ANC still rule? Possible Scenarios for South Africa. (Graphic: Daily Maverick)

Generating ideas for a South African water policy and what exactly are Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation all about?

On Tuesday 15 February at 12 noon the Hans Seidel Foundation, Institute for Security Studies and News24 will be hosting a seminar titled 2024 — Will the ANC still rule? Possible Scenarios for South Africa. Dr Jakkie Cilliers, Head of the African Futures and Innovation Programme at the ISS will present on the impact of the 2022 choices for the 2024 and 2029 elections, and discuss them with South African experts. Other speakers include Lindiwe Mazibuko, co-founder and CEO of Futurelect, an Apolitical Academy and Mpumelelo Mkhabela, journalist at News24. Questions the seminar will seek to answer include: Will Ramaphosa retain leadership of the party? Will internal divisions persist and bleed through policymaking and government effectiveness, jeopardising the country’s development prospects? And what impact would the choices in 2022 have on ANC support in the 2024 national and 2026 local government elections? You can join the seminar here. 

On Tuesday 15 February — Thursday 17 February Nelson Mandela University will be hosting the launch of The Routledge Handbook of Critical Studies in Whiteness, edited by Shona Hunter and Christi van der Westhuizen. The handbook situates the critical study of whiteness as a core intellectual pillar in a broadly based project for racial and social justice. Whiteness is understood as elaborated in global coloniality through epistemology, ideology and governmentality, at the intersections with heteropatriarchy and capitalism. You can register for the launches here.

On Wednesday 16 February at 10am Constitution Hill will be hosting a ‘teach-in’ about what Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (Slapp suits) are at the Women’s Jail. Speaking at the event with representatives from the Bench Marks Foundation, Centre for Environmental Rights, Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Whistleblowers for Change and Southern Africa Resource Watch. You can watch the explainer video here.

Later on Wednesday at 11am the Open Contracting Partnership is hosting a community call to discuss the Zondo Commission’s recommendations on procurement and the possible civil society response to those recommendations. The discussion will explore the roles of civil society, journalists, and other oversight actors in ensuring that public money is spent effectively, as well as opportunities for collaboration with the government, key areas for change and next steps in creating a strong open contracting ecosystem. The panellists will include Tharin Pillay from Corruption Watch, Theo Chiviru from Open Government Partnership (OGP), Edwin Muhumuza from Open Contracting Partnership (OCP), Cherese Thakur from amaBhungane and Zuki Kota from the Public Service Accountability Monitor (Psam) who will be facilitating the conversation.

You can join the discussion here.

On Wednesday afternoon at 3pm  the Institute for Poverty, Land, and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) will be co-hosting a webinar discussing Populism, Authoritarianism and Agrarian struggles. In conversion on the topic will be speakers Achin Vanaik from the Transnational Institute (TNI), India; Garrett Lovelace-Graddy from American University, US; Attila Szocs from Eco Ruralis and European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC), Romania; and Ayala Ferreira from Movimento dos Trabalhadores Rurais Sem Terra (MST), Brazil.

You can register to attend the discussion here.

On Friday 18 February the Presidential Climate Commission will host its first in-person meeting of the Commission and an opportunity for commissioners to interact more closely. The Commission meeting will review the outcomes of COP26 in Glasgow and discuss its work programme for the year ahead. The commission has, amongst other things, been discussing the importance of a just transition, the emissions trajectory and initiatives by major emitters to get to net-zero, the opportunities that exist in the hydrogen economy, and the climate finance required to support a just transition. The meeting on 18th February will be to take stock of these discussions and develop an overall strategy to guide the PCC’s future work programme.

The Climate Justice Charter is working on developing a water policy for South Africa and will be releasing a tool and hosting weekly events to stimulate conversation focusing on this. You can send your input on what should be in the policy to [email protected] and can watch their recently released documentary titled A Harvest of Drought here. DM/MC

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