Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 9 - 14 OCTOBER

This week — World Mental Health Day and pickets in solidarity with Palestinian resistance 

This week — World Mental Health Day and pickets in solidarity with Palestinian resistance 
Mental illnesses and the labels that go with them are often associated with stigma, which in turn influences health-seeking behaviour and adherence to treatment. (Photo: iStock)

The South African Society of Ostomates is hosting an empowerment dialogue,  Defend our Democracy unpacks State Capture’s impact on education and Jacana Media celebrates world-renowned performer Gregory Maqoma’s 50th birthday through two book launches.

10 October is World Mental Health Day

The overall objective of World Mental Health Day is to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilise efforts in support of mental health.

The day provides an opportunity for all stakeholders working on mental health issues to talk about their work, and what more needs to be done to make mental health care a reality for people worldwide. The South African Depression and Anxiety Group has a set of events this whole month to help bring awareness to the crucial issue of mental health. The month of October is Mental Health Awareness Month in South Africa with the objective of educating the public about mental health and reducing the stigma and discrimination that people with mental illness are often subjected to. World Mental Health Day is honoured on 10 October every year and the theme for 2023, set by the World Foundation of Mental Health, is “Mental Health is a universal human right”.

On Tuesday October 10 from 3:30pm – 5pm, the Southern Africa Litigation Centre is hosting a webinar on the theme: Towards Decriminalising Attempted Suicide Offences.

“Many countries still have the colonial offence of attempted suicide. Isn’t it time we support persons who attempt suicide instead of imprisoning them?”, read the event description.

Join the webinar here.  

On Tuesday, 10 October from 9:30am until 11:15am, Discovery will host a panel discussion featuring Cassey Chambers of the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag) and clinical leaders from Discovery Health, Discovery Vitality and Discovery Life who will discuss important mental wellbeing trends.

The interactive discussion will focus on:

  • The worsening state of mental wellbeing locally and globally, and the increase we are seeing amongst adolescents and young people.
  • Workable interventions or solutions available for individuals to help them cope with mental health issues.
  • Internet Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (ICBT) as an effective treatment for common mental disorders.
  • How mental illness can negatively affect cardiometabolic conditions.
  • The importance of physical activity in helping to prevent depression.

 Moderator and panellists include:

  • Moderator: Bongani Bingwa, host of the Breakfast Show on Radio 702;
  • Cassey Chambers, Operations Director at the South African Depression and Anxiety Group (Sadag);
  • Dr Noluthando Nematswerani, Chief Clinical Officer at Discovery Health;
  • Dr Mosima Mabunda, Head of Vitality Wellness; and
  • Dr Maritha van Der Walt, Chief Medical Officer at Discovery Life.

To reserve your seat at this media event, kindly RSVP to Sesona Ngqakamba, at [email protected].

On Tuesday, 10 October 2023, President Cyril Ramaphosa will receive South Africa’s Census 2022 national results from Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. 

On Tuesday, 10 October at 3 pm, Defend our Democracy will be hosting a webinar with the Centre for Development and Enterprise: The Forgotten Story Of State Capture in the Basic Education Sector. 

To view the webinar, register here 

On Wednesday, 11 October, SA BDS Coalition will be holding pickets outside the US consulate in Johannesburg and the Israel Centre in Cape Town under the banner: “South African Day of Action in Solidarity with Palestinian Resistance to Apartheid and Colonialism”.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Israel pounds Gaza, battles Hamas raiders after bloody incursion

The SA BDS Coalition along with South African activists, trade unions and civil society will demonstrate its support for the Palestine people in their struggle for justice, equality, the right to resist and achieve liberation from Israeli settler colonialism and apartheid and the right of all Palestinians to return to their land, according to the events’ description.

Johannesburg: Picket outside US Consulate, 1 Sandton Drive, Sandringham, Sandton at 4.30pm.

Cape Town: Picket outside Israel Centre, 87 Hatfield Street, Cape Town at 3pm.

“The Palestinian people have called on the world to isolate apartheid Israel through boycotts, divestment and sanctions (BDS). This is the very same call we made to the international community to support our liberation movements, workers and communities in South Africa fighting apartheid.  We therefore demand that our government:

  • End sports, cultural, academic and other links with apartheid Israel and corporations complicit in Israeli apartheid.
  • Declare the Israeli Ambassador in Pretoria persona non grata and sever diplomatic relations.
  • Prosecute South Africans joining the Israeli occupation forces in total contravention of our Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act.
  • Act within the UN to reinstate the Special Committee Against Apartheid towards international sanctions and institute an international protection force against apartheid Israel’s barbarism towards the Palestinians.

“We will be updating on many more actions being planned across South Africa to demonstrate our solidarity with the Palestinian peoples’ resistance”, the events’ description continued.

For more information please contact: Roshan Dadoo on 082 816 2799, or Usuf Chikte on 082 877 9522.

On Wednesday, 11 October from 9am to 2pm, the South African Society of Ostomates (Sass)is hosting a dialogue for clinicians, hospital management and ostomates alike.⁣⁣

The theme this year is “Ostomates Rights are Human Rights”. If you are in Johannesburg on 11 October, join at the Helen Joseph Hospital Dining Hall between 9am and 2pm where we will be educating and empowering clinicians, hospital management and ostomates alike.⁣⁣ On the 18 October, the NPO will be at Tygerberg Hospital, 4th Floor in the R4 Venue between 9am and 1pm.⁣⁣

“⁣⁣⁣⁣Join us in celebrating resilience, education, and empowerment for individuals with stomas. Let’s spread knowledge, break barriers, and promote a world of understanding and support,” read the event description. 

For more information, contact Sass on 066 231 0654.

Visit their website here.

⁣⁣⁣

On Wednesday, 11 October at 6pm, Exclusive Books Rosebank will launch Dan Mafora’s book Capture in the Court: In Defence of Judges and the Constitution. Academic, activist and writer Khaya Sithole will be in conversation with the author Dan Mafora who is a lawyer based in Johannesburg. He is interested in constitutional law and theory and rule of law issues.

On Wednesday 11 – Thursday 12 October, Mozambique is holding municipal elections in its 65 municipalities. Parties and civil society organisations are running for local mayoral and legislative positions. The ruling Liberation Front of Mozambique (Frelimo) currently controls 44 municipalities; the lead opposition, the Mozambican National Resistance (Renamo), has eight, including Nampula and Quelimane; and the Democratic Movement of Mozambique (MDM) has one in Beira. The government created 12 new municipalities for the 2023 ballot. Despite authorities calling for a peaceful campaign, high levels of censorship and political intolerance have been reported nationwide.

On Thursday, 12 October from 11am – 1pm, (Hybrid event) The Hanns Seidel Foundation in partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation invites you to a dialogue (hybrid event): “2024 Elections: The role of civil society”.

Facilitator and panelists include: 

  • Lukhona Mnguni (facilitator);
  • Lindiwe Mazibuko, Futurelect Qaanitah Hunter, News24; and
  • Jaap de Visser, Dullah Omar Institute Noncedo Madubedube, Equal Education.

Venue: Nelson Mandela Foundation 107 Central Street, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg.

Join the discussion remotely here

On Thursday, 12 October from 9am – 2pm, the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa is hosting “Dialogue on South Africa’s Public Health”.

“This event will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders to discuss the state of the South African public health system, including access to healthcare for all South Africans, asylum seekers, refugees, and migrants; the quality of healthcare services; the challenges facing the system; and potential solutions to these challenges,” the event description reads.

“We are particularly interested in hearing your insights on public health policy, and how we can develop and implement effective public health policies to improve the health of all South African residents”.

Venue: Holiday Inn Johannesburg Sunnyside Park. Princess of Wales Terrace, Johannesburg, 2041.

To RSVP, email: [email protected]

On Thursday, 12 October at 6pm, there is an online book launch for  Recasting Workers’ Power: Work and Inequality in the Shadow of the Digital Age, by Edward Webster and Lynford Dor. 

There is a widespread view that labour as a counter-hegemonic force has come to an end. This theoretically innovative book based on ground-breaking field work challenges this pessimistic “End of Labour Thesis”. Drawing on labour process theory and the power resources approach the book shows how the power of workers’ is recast as work is restructured. As capital overcomes,” reads the event description. 

To join the launch, register here.

On Thursday, 12 October at 9am, a group of civil society organisations under the Peoples Tribunal will meet outside the World Bank to protest against loans from the IMF and the World Bank.

“Should the World Bank and International Monetary Fund be subject to a people’s tribunal at the Lynnwood, Pretoria office? Hundreds of protesters are anticipated on Thursday morning, drawn from the Fight Inequality Alliance, SA Federation of Trade Unions, #YouthArise, Black Consciousness Movement, Abahlali baseMjondolo/Freedom Park and other progressive community groups, social movements, trade unions and political parties.

“Having carefully studied the Bank and IMF for more than 40 years, I’ve come to the conclusion that such tribunals are necessary, if only because these institutions are impervious to introspection and reform. Such is the disgust for their record that across the world, poor and working people are pining for an alternative, and at Bank offices across the world, more thousands are protesting against the Bank/IMF Annual Meetings that are underway in Marrakesh, Morocco this week,” Patrick Bond wrote.

Please see the poster for details. 

Africa Oil Week (09 – 13 October) and Green Energy Africa Summit (10 – 11 October)

You are cordially invited to attend Africa Oil Week (AOW) and the Green Energy Summit (GEA), taking place between 9 – 13 October 2023. The theme of the event is “Maximizing Africa’s Natural Resources”. Concurrently, the Green Energy Africa Summit (Geas) will also be taking place between 10 -11 October 2023.

This year’s AOW will connect more than 50 ministers and government leaders, 125+ leading speakers, and more than 2,000 senior delegates across five days of industry-leading insight and elite networking opportunities to deliver deals and investments. Minister of Energy for South Africa, Gwede Mantashe has also confirmed his attendance.

Kindly see the links to the event programme:

On Sunday, 14 October from 10:30am to 11:15am, there will be a Joy Dancer book launch and storytelling session at the Joburg Theatre.

“Parents, this event is one your little ones won’t want to miss! Join acclaimed dancer and choreographer Gregory Maqoma and master storyteller Mam’ Gcina Mhlophe as they bring Gregory’s story, The Joy Dancer alive.

Tickets can be purchased here.

Celebrate Gregory Maqoma’s 50th Birthday

Jacana Media is thrilled to announce the publication of two extraordinary books. Their release coincides with the launch of Gregory Vuyani Maqoma’s Birthday Legacy Project, as he celebrates his 50th birthday on 16 October 2023 with a weekend of exceptional dance. These books are an inspiration to all children, young adults and adults, and will be cherished classics for generations to come. Maqoma has established himself as an internationally renowned dancer. 

Data journalism training opportunity

From 29 January to 4 February, Earth Journalism Network will be holding a Data Journalism Workshop, especially for journalists from South Africa. Its focus will be the just energy transition but is also ideal for anyone covering a science-related beat.

Read more about the workshop and apply here. DM

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