CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 31 OCTOBER-4 NOVEMBER
This week – African Investigative Journalism Conference, public sector workers demonstration and talk on ethical conduct in SA public schools
The 18th African Investigative Journalism Conference is kicking off in Johannesburg; Jacana Media is holding a series of launches for Kumi Naidoo’s new book, ‘Letters to my mother’; and Grow Great is hosting a ‘Zero Stunting Now!’ Summit.
On Monday, 31 October, at 8.30am, the 18th African Investigative Journalism Conference kicked off in Johannesburg and will run until Wednesday, 2 November.
The programme involves more than 80 sessions and 140 speakers, covering a range of topics of interest to journalists, including the latest digital tools, investigating health and the environment, online safety and media sustainability.
“Journalists from all over Africa and the rest of the world pour into Johannesburg this week for what promises to be our biggest and best African Investigative Journalism Conference yet,” according to the event description. “We are expecting about 350 people from at least 42 African countries and about 10 others – making this our most representative gathering in the 18 years we have been growing this conference.”
Buy tickets here.
On Monday at 9am, the South Africa Litigation Centre hosted a webinar on “Mental health is not a crime”.
“Anybody who attempts to commit suicide needs support and not imprisonment. Join us as we engage approaches to handle attempted suicide cases,” says the event description.
On Monday at 10am, there was a “Public Sector Workers Demonstration” at the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council offices in Centurion, Pretoria. It was about fighting for a “decent wage offer”.
For more information, contact Lebohang Phanyeko, organiser at the South African Federation of Trade Unions, on [email protected] or 076 387 8607.
On Monday at 3pm, the Umlambo Foundation and the Public Protector South Africa are hosting a webinar on “Ethical conduct, integrity and good governance in South African public schools”.
Speakers include Dr Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Umlambo Foundation founder; Matebeta Sathekge, principal of Buhlebemfundo; Advocate Kholeka Gcaleka, acting Public Protector; Dr Livalani Sinyosi, circuit manager at Luvuvhu; and Tumi Sole, attorney and social activist.
Join the webinar here.
On Tuesday, 1 November, applications will open for Spring Impact’s “Scale Accelerator: Women Empowerment”. Applications close on 12 December.
The accelerator is a fully funded programme for “ambitious, locally-led NGOs in southern Africa – including Malawi, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe – who want to scale up their impact and take their vital work to more people, in more places”, according to the event description.
For more information on the programme, click here.
On Tuesday, 1 November, at 6pm, Jacana Media will hold the first in a series of launches for Kumi Naidoo’s book, Letters to my mother.
The launch will take place at the Exclusive Books in Rosebank Mall, Johannesburg. Another will be held at Love Books in Melville on Wednesday, 2 November, while the final launch will be held at Exclusive Books in Brooklyn on Thursday, 3 November.
RSVP to [email protected]. Include the launch venue in the subject line of the email.
Wednesday, 2 November is the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists.
Ending impunity for crimes against journalists is key to guaranteeing freedom of expression and access to information for all citizens.
According to Unesco, more than 1,200 journalists have been killed for reporting the news and bringing information to the public between 2006 and 2020. In most cases, the killers go unpunished.
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“Impunity leads to more killings and is often a symptom of worsening conflict and the breakdown of law and judicial systems,” according to the United Nations.
“Justice systems that vigorously investigate all threats of violence against journalists send a powerful message that society will not tolerate attacks against journalists and against the right to freedom of expression for all.”
On Wednesday, 2 November, at 7.30am, the Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (Outa) will introduce a breakfast series, “The Road to 2024”, which will examine new ways in which business and civil society can drive change.
The panel discussion on Wednesday will include Busisiwe Mavuso, CEO of Business Leadership South Africa; Lukhona Mnguni, head of policy and research at Rivonia Circle; and Wayne Duvenage, CEO of Outa. They will be discussing “Business Unusual in Defending SA’s Democracy”. The discussion will be facilitated by radio host and academic Khaya Sithole.
Book tickets here.
On Wednesday at 11am, Defend Our Democracy will host a webinar on “Discovering hope in our social tapestry”, involving a discussion about the potential of active citizenry.
The host is Yossabel Chetty of the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change. The guest speaker is Zaakirah Vadi of Defend Our Democracy.
On Wednesday at 1.45pm, a panel discussion titled “What’s eating us? Investigating the food industry” will be presented at the 18th African Investigative Journalism Conference.
Speakers include Laura Lopez Gonzalez; Adele Sulcas, a food, science and health writer for Maverick Citizen; and Zukiswa Pikoli, a journalist with Maverick Citizen.
“How we live and die is shaped more than ever by food. Although many of us believe that what we eat is simply our choice – or dictated by household budgets – the food industry spends millions of rands each year to shape our access to food,” according to the event description.
“In this workshop, journalists will learn how commercial forces shape our diet and uncover ways industry shapes this using tactics historically associated with Big Tobacco. Journalists will come away with an understanding of how food is regulated, how food companies conspire to undermine health policy, and how to investigate this using publicly available information.”
On Wednesday at 5pm, the Wits Institute for Social and Economic Research will host an online panel discussion about a new translation by Gerrit Olivier of the stories of Koos Prinsloo. These stories were published in the late 1980s, before Prinsloo’s death in 1994.
“The panel will consider the important place of Prinsloo’s work in Afrikaans literature, and in South African literature more generally. The discussion will focus on issues of censorship, sex and politics, queer histories, race and sex,” according to the event description.
The moderator is Bronwyn Law-Viljoen of Wits University and the speakers include Siseko Kumalo, Edwin Cameron, Ivan Vladislavić and Gerrit Olivier.
On Thursday, 3 November, at 8am, the first day of the National Conversation on Homelessness – hosted by the National Homelessness Network – will kick off.
The event will run until Friday, 4 November, at the Brixton Multipurpose Community Centre, Mayfair West, Johannesburg. The discussion will include:
- Homelessness and social justice;
- Exploring safe spaces, shelters and a “housing first” approach to homelessness;
- The role of business and the public sector in addressing homelessness; and
- What is happening across the country.
For more information, email [email protected].
Book a spot here.
On Thursday, at 10am, Grow Great will be holding a “Zero Stunting Now!” Summit. Grow Great is a campaign galvanising South Africa towards a national commitment to zero stunting by 2030.
The summit will take place in Johannesburg, bringing together academics, activists, high-level policymakers and business and civil society leaders across a range of sectors. The aim is to ensure a national commitment to a minimum programme of action for “turning the tide” on South Africa’s malnutrition crisis, according to the event description.
On Thursday at 12pm, Daily Maverick will be hosting a webinar on “The Basic Income Grant: The long-term impact of a universal basic income”.
Maverick Citizen editor Mark Heywood will be in conversation with Dr Kelle Howson, Institute for Economic Justice senior research associate, and Hein Marais, author of In The Balance.
“Recent debates on universal basic income (UBI) in South Africa have focused on its short-term macroeconomic implications. While this is a crucially important question to ask, to make informed policy choices we also need to understand the potential long-term social and economic impacts of a UBI,” according to the event description.
“In this webinar discussion, we focus on the ample evidence from South Africa and other countries, on the structural impacts of cash transfers across a range of social and economic dimensions.”
On Friday, 4 November, at 11.30am, the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) and the African Union Development Agency-Nepad will launch The Localisation of Medical Manufacturing in Africa report.
“A first of its kind, the report maps the medical manufacturing footprint of the African continent in order to assess the potential of this industry to meet multiple development and health security goals through localisation,” according to the event description.
“The report, commissioned by the IEJ, provides insights into the political economy of the medical manufacturing industry and makes relevant policy recommendations that locate the state, regulators, researchers, development finance institutions, and medical and pharmaceutical stakeholders in the developmental role that they can play.”
The authors of the report are Dr Geoffrey Banda, principal investigator from the University of Edinburgh; Dr Julius Mugwagwa, co-investigator from University College London; Professor Maureen Mackintosh, co-investigator from Open University; and Dr Andrew Mkwashi, research fellow from University College London.
On Friday at 1pm, Land Portal will host a roundtable discussion on “The State of Open Data”.
Data for Development is launching a new process to update information on the State of Open Data. The Land Portal is responsible for updating the chapter on “Open Data and Land”.
“To kick off the process, we are chairing a roundtable to gather perspectives on the recent use and impact of open data in the land governance sector,” according to the event description.
Panellists include Pamela Robinson, co-editor of “The Future of Open Data” and a professor at Toronto Metropolitan University; Tim Davies, research director at Connected by Data; Laura Meggiolaro, team lead at Land Portal; and Charl-Thom Bayer, open data lead at the Land Portal.
On Friday at 5pm, the Integrity Icon South Africa 2022 Awards Ceremony will take place at ANEW Hotel Parktonian, Braamfontein, Johannesburg.
It is “an evening to celebrate and honour some of the most stellar public servants the country has to offer”, according to the event description.