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Civil Society Watch 21 February — 25 February

Maverick Citizen


Enoch Godongwana to give 2022 Budget speech and WHO report on aggressive marketing of formula milk released

The Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at WITS University commemorates the 50th anniversary of South African political activist and philosopher Rick Turner's book Through the eye of the needle. Rick Turner, was assassinated in 1978. No one has ever been charged for his murder. (Picture: Jann Turner)

This week marks the 50th-anniversary commemoration of murdered political activist Rick Turner’ book ‘Through the Eye of the Needle’; grappling with development in the face of climate change, and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group launch the online Student Support Group.

Monday 21 February is International Mother Language Day, which according to the United Nations “recognises that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. Today there is growing awareness that languages play a vital role in development, in ensuring cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, but also in strengthening cooperation and attaining quality education for all, in building inclusive knowledge societies and preserving cultural heritage, and in mobilising political will for applying the benefits of science and technology to sustainable development.

On Monday 21 February at 4pm the World Health Organization (WHO) will be hosting a special embargoed press conference to discuss the findings of a new report on the aggressive marketing of formula milk. The WHO says that it is the largest study of its kind, and draws on the experiences of over 8,500 women and 300 health professionals across eight countries. It exposes the invasive marketing practices used by the formula milk industry, violating international standards, and highlights impacts on families’ decisions about how to feed their babies and young children.  

You can register to attend here.

On Tuesday 22 February at 4pm the Southern Centre for Inequality Studies at Wits University will be hosting a 50th-anniversary commemoration of the publication of murdered South African political activist and philosopher Rick Turner’s book titled Through the Eye of the Needle. The title of the discussion is “Utopian thinking: revisiting the ideas of Rick Turner in the current political context. The keynote speakers are Prof Gerhard Mare and Foszia Fischer.

You can register here to attend.

Later that day at 6pm the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) will be launching an online Student Support Group which is open to all students over 18. For more information, you can contact 0800 36 26 26 or Whatsapp ‘Peer Support Group’ to 076 882 2775.

On Wednesday at 10am Cry for the Xcluded will be hosting a People’s Summit and Budget Day march in Cape Town. The meeting point is Keizersgracht Street, where they will be demanding;

  • An end to budget cuts;
  • The implementation of a basic income grant of R1,500 p/m;
  • Decent Service Delivery for all; and
  • Specia taxation of the rich.

Later on Wednesday morning at 11.30am The Centre for Epidemic Response and Innovation (Ceri) and KZN Research Innovation and Sequencing Platform (Krisp) will be hosting a discussion on “Embracing novel technologies in a pandemic: Experience of real-time genomics and big data analysis in Africa over the past two years.” 

You can register here.

At 2pm on Wednesday Minister of Finance Enoch Godongwana will present the Budget Speech at the Goodhope Chamber, where he will also introduce the Fiscal Framework, the Appropriation Bill and the Division of Revenue Bill to Parliament. The Budget Speech will detail spending and revenue collection plans to carry out the programme presented in the State of the Nation Address (Sona). It will also outline the funds to be allocated to different spheres of government, departments and entities.
You can watch the Budget Speech here.

At 7pm on Wednesday, the South African Medical Association will be hosting a webinar on Discussion Paper 154 on Project 141: Medico-legal Claims: “Provisional law reform proposals”. The aim of the paper is to elicit responses on the preliminary findings and proposals put forward and will serve as a basis for the South African Law Reform Commission’s (SALRC) further deliberations in the development of a report with proposed draft legislation. The guest speaker is Ronel van Zyl from South African Law Reform Centre.

You can register to attend here.

On Friday 25 February the African Climate Foundation and Heinrich Böll Stiftung will host a webinar focusing on South Africa’s 2022 Budget in the context of the climate crisis, titled “Rethinking Economics in the Age of Extinction: A Green New Deal for South Africa?” The intention of this discussion is to connect South Africa’s policymakers, activists and academics who are grappling with the question of what development means amid the climate emergency.

You can register here. DM/MC


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