Maverick Citizen


This week — COP27, Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture and talk on volunteering trends in South Africa

This week — COP27, Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture and talk on volunteering trends in South Africa
An Egyptian police officer guards the front of the International Congress Center before the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), in Sharm El-Sheikh, in Egypt, 4 November 2022. The 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), running from 6 till 18 November in Sharm El-Sheikh, is expected to host one of the largest number of participants in the annual global climate conference of over 40,000 estimated attendees including heads of states and governments, civil society, media and other relevant stakeholders. (Photo: EPA-EFE / Sedat Suna)

Jacana Media is hosting a launch for Open Secrets’ new book, ‘The Unaccountables: The powerful politicians and corporations who profit from impunity’; the Climate Justice Charter Movement, along with other civil society groups, is hosting the Festival of Alternatives in Durban; and the South African Depression and Anxiety Group is hosting a discussion about supporting loved ones who use substances.

On Monday, 7 November, the second day of COP27 — being the 27th session of the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change — kicked off at the Sharm el-Sheikh International Convention Centre in Egypt. The conference will run until 18 November.

COP27 is a “defining moment in the fight against climate change”, according to the conference website. Science indicates that the window for action against climate change is closing rapidly.

The goals of the conference include mitigation, adaptation, finance and collaboration.

“We seek to accelerate global climate action through emissions reduction, scaled-up adaptation efforts and enhanced flows of appropriate finance. We recognise that ‘just transition’ remains a priority for developing countries worldwide,” according to the event description.

On Tuesday, 8 November, the midterm elections take place in the United States (US). 

Although these elections feel far away, if the Republican Party regains control of the Senate and/or Congress, the result will have implications for the whole world, in particular for how the US responds to the climate crisis and women’s sexual and reproductive health rights. 

It is not an exaggeration to say that in the US, democracy and the rule of law itself are at stake, particularly the ability of black and marginalised people to vote. For these reasons, despite many reservations about the Democratic Party and the Presidency of Joe Biden, civil society activists in organisations across the US are working flat out to try and persuade people to vote.

On Tuesday at 1pm, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies is hosting a webinar titled, “Governing Land Investments: Global norms, customary land tenure and chieftaincy in Sierra Leone”.

“Following the outcry and fierce debates around ‘land grabbing’ in relation to the rise of foreign transnational large-scale land investments in the Global South since 2007, many international regulatory initiatives have emerged with the aim to make such investments more responsible and social and environmentally sustainable,” according to the event description.

“In Sierra Leone, chieftaincy institutions on customary land play a particularly pertinent role in land politics and the governance of large-scale investments in mining, agriculture and forestry.”

The chair of the talk is Professor Ruth Hall, while the speaker is Dr Carolin Dieterie. 

Register here.

Wednesday, 9 November, is the first day of the International Week of Science and Peace.

The annual observance aims to promote peace and encourage greater academic exchanges, while also generating awareness of the relationship between science and peace among members of the general public.

“Based on observances of Science and Peace Week to date, it may be expected that participation each year will increase, contributing to greater international understanding and opportunities for co-operation in the applications of science for the promotion of peace throughout the year,” according to the United Nations information page on the event.

On Wednesday, 9 November, at 10am, the inaugural launch of the Momentum Metropolitan Lesedi Report will take place virtually. The report is “first-of-its-kind research” exploring volunteering trends in South Africa.

At the event, a panel of experts will discuss the current and future state of volunteerism and the impact that kindness and service deliver to many communities.

“The research aims to be a springboard to share knowledge and drive understanding on the importance of volunteerism and the vital role it plays in alleviating societal problems,” according to the event description.

Panellists include Brent Lindeque, renowned blogger, journalist and change-maker; and Monique Schehle, research insights consultant.

RSVP to Donald Makhafola at [email protected] or 073 300 2033.

Join the virtual event here.

On Wednesday at 6pm, Jacana Media will be hosting a book launch for Open Secrets’ new book, The Unaccountables: The powerful politicians and corporations who profit from impunity, at the Exclusive Books in Hyde Park, Johannesburg.

The book contains 35 profiles of unaccountable corporations, politicians, state institutions and private individuals.

“All of them have played a role in crimes that have had grave social consequences. None of them have been properly held to account,” according to the book description.

“We have a mission to disrupt these networks and pursue accountability. We do so because we want a society in which the powerful do not monopolise resources and influence.”

Visit Daily Maverick’s home page for more news, analysis and investigations

At 6pm on Thursday, 10 November, another launch for the book will be held at the Exclusive Books in Brooklyn Mall, Pretoria.

Also on Thursday at 6pm, Daily Maverick is hosting a webinar on “Child and adolescent mental health: Finding solutions”. The event is a collaboration between Daily Maverick, RX Radio and the Children’s Institute, University of Cape Town.

The webinar is aimed at answering young people’s questions and exploring what can be done to support their mental health.

“Mental health is a critical foundation for healthy relationships, a solid education and a more just and caring society. Yet more than 1 in 10 children in South Africa have mental health problems. Most suffer in silence and do not reach out for help,” according to the event description.

The webinar will draw on findings from the most recent South African Child Gauge, and aims to put young people at the centre of conversations about mental health.

Speakers at the event include Mark Heywood, Maverick Citizen editor; Lilah Davies, a 14-year-old reporter from RX Radio; and Professor Mark Tomlinson, lead editor of the 2022 South African Child Gauge.

Register here.

On Friday, 11 November, at 12pm, the Hanns Seidel Foundation, together with the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, are hosting a webinar titled, “Enhancing Accountability? The Arguments around Electoral Reform”.

“Parliament has amended the Electoral Act to allow independent candidates to contest seats in national and provincial elections. The ANC says this satisfies a Constitutional Court ruling on the matter, but some opposition parties and civil society groups argue that wider reform of the electoral system is needed if MPs are to become more accountable to voters,” according to the event description. 

“Some of them urge the adoption of a hybrid system, with 50% of MPs elected directly in constituencies, and the other 50% by proportional representation. After three decades of democracy, is it time to change the way we vote?”

Speakers at the event include Advocate Steve Swart, MP from the African Christian Democratic Party; Brandon Pillay, MP from the ANC; and Lawson Naidoo, executive secretary of the Council for the Advancement of the SA Constitution.

Register here.

On Friday at 1pm, the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) will be hosting a Facebook live discussion titled, “How to support a loved one using substances”.

Speakers include Chantel Henn, chairperson at ToughLove SA, and Tebogo Ramadiro, a senior substance abuse counsellor at Sadag.

On Saturday, 12 November, the Climate Justice Charter Movement, along with other civil society groups, will be hosting the Festival of Alternatives at the Blue Waters Hotel in Durban.

The festival will run until 13 November, before continuing the following weekend between 19 and 20 November.

“The Festival aims to highlight the impacts of oil and gas exploration along our coastline on marine life as well as the livelihoods of the fisherfolk and coastal communities that depend on the ocean,” according to the event description.

“It will also focus on the devastating and deadly KZN Floods in April. Damage to water and sanitation infrastructure as a result of the floods has led to dangerous levels of pollution pouring into our rivers and ocean having a detrimental impact, not only on the environment, but on already hard-hit businesses that cater to beachgoers and tourists.”

The festival will draw attention to the 14 articles of the Climate Justice Charter, which was first presented to Parliament on World Food Day, 16 October 2020.

Talks and workshops at the event will include:

  • Storytelling and artivism;
  • Feeding ourselves through food sovereignty;
  • Anti-waste and alternative energy; and
  • The environment and early childhood education.

There will also be discussion forums, a makers hub, a barter market, a green film festival and a “Blue-Green Parade”.

On Saturday at 2pm, the 20th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture is taking place at the Durban International Convention Centre.

The lecture will be delivered by Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley of Barbados.

Book tickets here. DM/MC


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