Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 27 – 31 March

This week – Launch of Lancet series on health over profits, International Day of Zero Waste and talk on black activism

This week – Launch of Lancet series on health over profits, International Day of Zero Waste and talk on black activism
The International Day of Zero Waste, celebrated on 30 March, promotes sustainable consumption and production patterns.. (Photo: Gallo Images / Alon Skuy)

The SAMRC/Wits Centre for Health Economics and Decision Science, together with partners, is hosting an event, “Profit or the Right to Health”, launching the Lancet series on commercial determinants of health; and the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society is hosting a webinar on “Black Activism: What has changed and what must we do?”

On Tuesday, 28 March, at 10am, the Nelson Mandela Foundation is hosting a dialogue on the question, “What does this moment call for?”

The event, which forms part of the organisation’s “Critical Dialogue Series”, will take place at the Nelson Mandela Foundation, 107 Central St, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg.

“In the 10th year that marks the commemoration of Madiba’s passing, South Africa is riddled with what feels like profound and intractable challenges. Against this backdrop, there are pressing questions that demand our attention as civil society which include: How do we direct our activities and energies at this time? What will make a difference and shift the needle towards building the nation of Madiba’s dreams? To what extent does our current work address the challenges of the day?” according to the event description.

“The aim of this dialogue is to provide a space to answer some of these questions as well as provide a space for reflection, introspection, inspiration and ideation.”

Opening remarks at the event will be delivered by former president Kgalema Motlanthe. There will be a panel discussion, with speakers including Nontando Zintle Ngamlana, executive director at Afesis-corplan; Aubrey Matshiqi, political analyst; Sithembile Mbete, political scientist at the University of Pretoria; and Tshepo Madlingozi, associate professor at the Centre for Applied Legal Studies, University of the Witwatersrand.

Register here.

Also at 10am on Tuesday, the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation will be hosting a morning of reflection marking the sixth anniversary of Kathrada’s passing.

The event is taking place at Westpark Cemetery in Johannesburg and will involve tributes and conversations about the state of democracy in South Africa today.

For more information, contact Gugulethu on 011 854 7037. RSVP to [email protected]

On Tuesday at 12pm, Daily Maverick is hosting a webinar titled, “Blow the Whistle: How the corrupt use legal tactics to retaliate against whistle-blowers”.

Maverick Citizen editor, Mark Heywood, will be in discussion with Avani Singh, attorney of the high court of South Africa, and Mthabisi Moyo, anti-corruption and HR governance principal consultant.  

“Together, they will seek to expose the ways in which the law has been used to react against whistleblowers and look into how it can be used to work in punitive manners against those who seek to uphold ethics, accountability, and public integrity,” according to the event description.

Register here.

On Wednesday, 29 March, at 1pm, the SAMRC/Wits Centre for Health Economics and Decision Science – Priceless SA, The Conversation, the Academy of Science of South Africa and the Daily Maverick are hosting an event, “Profit or the Right to Health”, launching the Lancet series on commercial determinants of health.

“This series is a ground-breaking exposé of the products and practices that are collectively called the commercial determinants of health. It provides extensive evidence of how human and planetary health are damaged by some commercial entities and calls for a power shift that prioritises health over profits,” according to the event description. 

The series will be introduced by the co-authors of the papers: Professor Karen Hofman of Wits School of Public Health and Professor Jeff Collin of Edinburgh University. The launch will involve a multi-sectoral panel on how these industry-driven health outcomes are viewed by some key players in this space, moderated by Mark Heywood, founding co-editor of Maverick Citizen.

The launch will be hosted online, as well as at the resource centre on the ground floor of the Wits School of Public Health, Wits Education Campus, Parktown, Johannesburg. 

For more information, contact [email protected]

Register here.

Also at 1pm, the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) will be hosting a seminar on “Understanding South African deagrarianisation: Analysing smallholders’ voices about the abandonment of field cultivation through a political-historical lens”.

The seminar will be delivered by Professor Klara Fischer, associate professor in rural development at the department of urban and rural development, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. 

“[Fischer] will present findings from ethnographic fieldwork in a group of villages outside Flagstaff in the Eastern Cape where she has worked since 2008,” according to the event description.

“In her findings, she argues that the loss of social cohesion in farming has led to the abandonment of field cultivation, while also touching on the lasting effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Register here.

On Wednesday at 4pm, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, the Co-operative and Policy Alternative Centre (Copac) and Emancipatory Futures Studies are hosting an event, “Extractivism and Crises: Rooting Development Alternatives in Emancipatory African Socialist Eco-feminism”.

The event is intended to celebrate 10 years of the “Democratic Marxism Book Series”.

“Join us for a series of monthly online talks by contributors to the forthcoming DM Volume 7: Emancipatory Feminism in the Time of Covid-19: Transformative resistance and social reproduction,” stated the event description.

Register here.

On Wednesday at 6pm, Jacana Media is hosting an event centred on the book, Apartheid’s Stalingrad: How the townships of the Eastern Cape defied the apartheid war machine, written by Rory Riordan.

Riordan will be in conversation with Janet Cherry, human rights activist and academic. The two will discuss “how the people’s resistance through the church, the civic structures and the underground in the townships of Port Elizabeth and Uitenhage in the mid-1980s was instrumental in the demise of apartheid”.

Register here.

Thursday 30 March is the International Day of Zero Waste, which promotes sustainable consumption and production patterns. It is also intended to support the societal shift towards circularity.

“The waste sector contributes significantly to the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity and nature loss, and pollution. Humanity generates an estimated 2.24-billion tons of municipal solid waste annually, of which only 55% is managed in controlled facilities,” according to the United Nations (UN) information page on the event.

“Zero-waste initiatives can foster sound waste management and minimise and prevent waste, helping to address the triple planetary crisis, protect the environment, enhance food security and improve human health and well-being.”

On Thursday, 30 March, at 1pm, the Agenda journal will be launching its latest issue, Feminist Advocacy in Africa: Voices and Actions.

“Join us for a conversation on feminist advocacy, featuring writers from across the African continent. For this issue, the pan-African capacity-strengthening organisation Advocacy Accelerator partnered with Agenda to produce a journal issue exploring feminist futures — how far we have come, and what it will take to push forward,” according to the event description.

For more information, contact Shireen Ragunanat at 083 427 5737 or [email protected].

Join the Zoom meeting here, with meeting ID 827 0584 1003 and passcode t3y79tvf2y.

On Thursday at 4pm, the University of KwaZulu-Natal Centre for Civil Society is hosting a webinar on “Black Activism: What has changed and what must we do?”

The speaker at the event will be Nekima Levy Armstrong, a Minneapolis-based civil rights lawyer, legal scholar, activist, community leader, and the executive director of the Wayfinder Foundation.

“Marginalised individuals should be at the forefront of their liberation struggles and the narration of their liberation. Often black and brown people are subjected to exclusion in conversations regarding their liberation,” according to the event description. 

“In this webinar, Nekima uses the experiences of black activism in America to delve into the processes of attaining social inclusion, racial justice and gender equity. She will introspect on how Black American social movements have played an important role in transforming the processes of liberation and progress.”

Join the Zoom meeting here.

Fellowship opportunity

Tekano, a nonprofit organisation that develops leaders for health equity, is seeking changemakers to be part of the Tekano Fellowship for Health Equity Leadership Development Programme. The organisation is looking for leaders who have demonstrated involvement in social change initiatives.

The deadline for applications for the fellowship is 30 April. For more information, email [email protected] or WhatsApp 061 010 9931.

Access the application form here. DM/MC

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