Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 24 -28 JULY

This week — Health MEC faces inquiry after xenophobic sentiments and a Party Funding Court Challenge webinar

This week — Health MEC faces inquiry after xenophobic sentiments and a Party Funding Court Challenge webinar
Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu) | General views of a South African hospital. (Photos: Leila Dougan)

The Rural Health Advocacy Project webinar questions whether the public procurement bill provisions are enough to mitigate corruption risk.

From Tuesday 25 to 27 July the Health Professions Council of SA (HPCSA) will proceed with its misconduct inquiry against Limpopo MEC for Health Dr Phophi Ramathuba for xenophobic remarks to a Zimbabwean patient last year. Ramathuba turned to the Pretoria high court to urgently stop the hearing scheduled for 25-27 July but failed. She wanted this order pending a later application to overturn the decision by the HPCSA to hold an inquiry.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Unrepentant Phophi Ramathuba to face second inquiry over xenophobic rant at Zimbabwean patient

Limpopo health MEC xenophobic, Civil Society Watch

Limpopo health MEC Phophi Ramathuba. (Photo: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Sandile Ndlovu)

On Tuesday, 25 July the Health Justice Initiative (HJI) will ask the Gauteng high court for an order instructing the Minister of Health and Department of Health to disclose records concerning the procurement of Covid-19 vaccines by the National Department of Health. Specifically, HJI seeks access to the vaccine procurement contracts concluded with vaccine manufacturers and suppliers, and the records of negotiation with those parties.

The case will be heard on Tuesday 25 July 2023, by the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria. Starting at 09h00 in courtroom 4G.  Case no: 10009/22

  • See the Notice of Motion and Heads of Argument here
  • This case is about vaccine procurement secrecy by the South African government and pharmaceutical manufacturers in the main.

Tuesday, 25 July is World Drowning Prevention Day. Drowning is a leading cause of accidental death globally.

Every year, an estimated 236,000 people drown, making drowning a major public health problem worldwide. Drowning is one of the leading causes of death for children and young people aged 1-24 years. Drowning is the third leading cause of unintentional injury death, accounting for 7% of all injury-related deaths. The global burden of death from drowning is felt in all economies and regions, however. 

On Wednesday, 26 July, at 1 pm, My Vote Counts (MVC) is hosting a Party Funding Court Challenge webinar. On 16 May 2023, My Vote Counts submitted an application at the Western Cape high court challenging certain aspects of the Political Party Funding Act. (PPFA) 

This webinar conversation will delve into the quarterly disclosures and what MVC makes of the data, the need to strengthen the PPFA, and how the PPFA has performed since its implementation in 2021. The discussion will look at disclosures, the relationship between donors and parties, how undue influence can occur, as well as the need to strengthen the #PartyFundingAct. 

Register here.

On Thursday, 27 July at 2 pm there will be a webinar on Realising the Socio-Economic Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Africa.

The Socio-Economic Rights Project at the Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape invites you to a webinar on realising the Socio-economic Rights of Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Africa. 

While important strides have been made in international law, towards the realisation of the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, the recognition of the socio-economic rights of refugees and asylum seekers remains a great challenge at the national level in Africa. Refugees and asylum seekers continue to face discriminatory practices and are deprived of their socio-economic rights by host states. Several factors account for this, including non-domestication of international norms and standards on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers, lack of appropriate legislation to address the needs of refugees and asylum seekers, hostility and xenophobic tendencies and lack of political will by host states to implement existing standards on the rights of refugees and asylum seekers. The situation is compounded by the outbreak of Covid-19, which has pushed refugees and asylum seekers to the margins of society and rendered them more vulnerable to the negative consequences of the pandemic. In the post-Covid-19 era, refugees and asylum seekers have continued to face challenges regarding their socio-economic rights.

Against this backdrop, this webinar seeks to discuss the various barriers to the realisation of socio-economic rights of refugees and asylum seekers, and opportunities that exist to overcome these barriers.

Moderator: Gladys Mirugi-Mukundi (Dullah Omar Institute, University of the Western Cape)

Panellists:

  • Bright Nkrumah (Florida Gulf Coast University)
  • Emma Charlene Lubaale (Faculty of Law, Rhodes University)
  • Caliste Kavuro (Postdoctoral research fellow, Stellenbosch University)
  • Julie Lugulu (Kabarak University, Kenya)

Register here.

On Wednesday, 26 July from 10:30 to 11:30 am, join the Rural Health Advocacy Project webinar questioning whether the public procurement bill provisions are enough to mitigate corruption risk. 

The Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) advocates for access to quality and comprehensive rural health care in South Africa and will launch a report titled Procurement and Audit Outcomes in the South African Health Sector. The discussion will be on NHI, answering the question ‘Are the public procurement bill provisions enough to mitigate corruption risk?’ The webinar will host esteemed academics and activists from the health, social, and economic fields. Participants will have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue and contribute to the discourse on improving healthcare access and outcomes for rural communities.

Register here.

On Thursday, 27 July from 10:00-11:00 am, there will be a webinar hosted by the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) and the National Institute for Occupational Health (NIOH), supported by the Compensation Fund, as part of the Department of Employment and Labour. The webinar titled Communicable diseases in the workplace” will address Nedlac stakeholder constituencies, the NIOH stakeholder communities and, in particular, workplace-based audiences. Register here.

On Friday, 28 July at 10:00 am, The Vineyard Hotel, Newlands, Cape Town will host the World Hepatitis Day “You Don’t Know Until You Know” press briefing by the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Association of Sub-Saharan Africa (Ghassa), as part of its programme of action launch.

The World Health Assembly, of which most countries in the WHO Africa region participate, agreed to the global elimination of viral hepatitis by 2030. All WHO African state members were signatories. Several countries globally are on track to achieve this. Except for champion countries such as Rwanda and Egypt, most African countries, including South Africa, lag behind. In May 2024, Ghassa will host the African Viral Hepatitis Convention at the CTICC, in Cape Town. It will partner with the prestigious International Hepato-Pancreatico-Biliary Association (IHPBA) meeting occurring simultaneously.

Register for the press briefing here.

To confirm attendance or set- up an interview with one of the experts, please email Bini Seale at [email protected]

28 July is World Hepatitis Day. The United Nations says the day is an “opportunity to step up national and international efforts on hepatitis, (Viral hepatitis is the inflammation and damage of liver cells due to infection), encourage actions and engagement by individuals, partners and the public and highlight the need for a greater global response as outlined in the WHO’s Global hepatitis report of 2017.

The date of 28 July was chosen because it is the birthday of Nobel-prize-winning scientist Dr Baruch Blumberg, who discovered hepatitis B virus (HBV) and developed a diagnostic test and vaccine for the virus. DM

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