CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH – 6-11 NOVEMBER
This week – Home Affairs open on two Saturdays, a Joburg water crisis meeting, and Zapiro’s Annual 2023 launch: RamApocalypse Now
This Week, Home Affairs will open its offices on two Saturdays, ahead of the 18-19 Voter Registration Weekend. Join a hybrid seminar on the topic: what are coalition government options for law reform at municipal level? WaterCAN facilitates a meeting to help solve the Joburg water crisis. And it’s the launch of the Zapiro Annual 2023: RamApocalypse Now.
Monday, 6 November is the United Nations (UN) International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict.
Though humanity has always counted its war casualties in terms of dead and wounded soldiers and civilians, destroyed cities and livelihoods, the environment has often remained the unpublicised victim of war. Water wells have been polluted, crops torched, forests cut down, soils poisoned, and animals killed to gain military advantage.
Furthermore, the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep) has found that over the past 60 years, at least 40% of all internal conflicts have been linked to the exploitation of natural resources, whether high-value resources such as timber, diamonds, gold and oil, or scarce resources such as fertile land and water. Conflicts involving natural resources have also been found to be twice as likely to relapse.
The UN attaches great importance to ensuring that action on the environment is part of conflict prevention, peacekeeping and peacebuilding strategies, because there can be no durable peace if the natural resources that sustain livelihoods and ecosystems are destroyed.
On 5 November 2001, the UN General Assembly declared 6 November the International Day for Preventing the Exploitation of the Environment in War and Armed Conflict (A/RES/56/4).
On 27 May 2016, the United Nations Environment Assembly adopted resolution UNEP/EA.2/Res.15, which recognized the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainably managed resources in reducing the risk of armed conflict, and reaffirmed its strong commitment to the full implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals listed in General Assembly resolution 70/1, entitled Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Friday, 10 November, is World Science Day for Peace and Development.
Events this week…
On Wednesday 8 November, from 10am to 12pm, the Dullah Omar Institute, in collaboration with the Hanns Seidel Foundation, is hosting a hybrid seminar.
In August 2023, the Deputy-President, in partnership with the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Dullah Omar Institute, hosted a National Dialogue on Coalition Governments at the University of the Western Cape. The dialogue sought to lay a foundation for the development of a National Framework on Coalition Governments in South Africa, and, during its deliberations, many questions and issues emerged.
There was broad agreement that radical legal reform is not the key to stable coalitions, but that a careful consideration of the legal framework is called for.
At this hybrid seminar, that part of the discussion will be taken forward with a focus on two issues, namely: 1. What are the options for thresholds at municipal level? And 2. How to ensure that municipal service delivery continues when there is instability? Furthermore, notes will be compared with Spain, learning from its experience with coalition governments at municipal level.
Prof Jaap de Visser: National Research Chair in Multilevel Government, Law & Development, Dullah Omar Institute.
Prof Tinashe Chigwata: Multilevel Government Project, Dullah Omar Institute.
Prof Carmen Navarro: Department of Political Science, University of Madrid, Spain.
Dr Kevin Naidoo and Wayne McComans: Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
Mr Anton Groenewald: Municipal Manager, Midvaal Local Municipality.
Ms Chelsea Ndlovu-Nachamba: Information and Resource Coordinator, Planact.
On Wednesday, 8 November, at 3pm, the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) and the Alternative Information & Development Centre (AIDC), our trade union, and local and international civil society partners, will host a webinar on: Building a coherent response to International Financial Institution lending in South Africa.
Join the IEJ and AIDC, our trade union, and local and international civil society partners, to reflect on what building a coherent response to International Financial Institutions’ (IFI) lending in South Africa has entailed, what progress has been made, and what further advocacy is still required.
A joint submission on IFIs, submitted to Parliament and co-signed by 41 organisations, trade unions and coalitions, will be the departure point for the webinar, and the discussion between the speakers (all profiled below). Register here.
On Thursday, 9 November, from 10am to 12pm, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) will launch the EC Malnutrition Report.
Venue: University of Fort Hare (confirmation pending) or Microsoft Teams, and streamed live on SAHRC Youtube Channel.
The Commission’s Eastern Cape Provincial Office, responding to compelling concerns about malnutrition within the province, undertook an investigative inquiry. This inquiry transpired from 8 to 12 August 2022, in response to grievances received by the commission, coupled with media reports highlighting tragic cases of children succumbing to Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) due to hunger. Furthermore, studies and statistics illuminate a distressing reality: many children in the province suffer from malnutrition as a consequence of living in abject poverty. Disturbingly, despite this dire situation, the Department of Social Development relinquished a significant sum of R67-million in unspent funds to the National Treasury during the 2021/2022 financial year.
Join in disseminating the commission’s stance on poverty alleviation and malnutrition mitigation.
On Thursday, 9 November, NGO SWEAT will advocate for the health and human rights of sex workers, and the decriminalisation of sex work in South Africa. RSVP for an evening of film and conversation at the screening of Aliens from the Sky – a local-international collaboration that brought to life digital stories of sex workers – “our stories in our own words” on corruption in the policing of sex work.
On 8 November, join this youthful webinar, “Young People’s Engagement in the Global Fund: Bridging Gaps and Addressing Challenges” where panellists will discuss gaps and challenges in younger people’s engagement in the @GlobalFund 7th replenishment and GC7. Register here or scan the QR code.
On Wednesday 8 and Thursday 9 November, an Anti-corruption National Dialogue is planned by the National Anti-Corruption Advisory Council (NACAC), in collaboration with the Presidency.
The event is aimed at introducing the NACAC to its stakeholders, providing feedback on the implementation of the National Anti-Corruption Strategy (NACS); soliciting partnership in implementing the strategy, and creating awareness on the crafted communications strategy to the NACS.
Zapiro Annual 2023: RamApocalypse Now
On Thursday, 9 November, Daily Maverick Assistant Editor Marianne Thamm will be in discussion with award-winning cartoonist Jonathan Shapiro (Zapiro) of RamApocalypse Now. It’s the 28th annual collection from South Africa’s legendary cartoonist Zapiro. And is set to be yet another best seller as his award-winning cartoons continue to uncannily reflect the wild ride of life in this country.
“For a cartoonist South Africa is the gift that keeps on giving,” Zapiro says. “It’s been another crazy year with more ANC shenanigans, never-ending load shedding, Zuma Stalingradding, Cyril’s Putin butt-kissing, Juju grandstanding and Steenhuisen moonshotting. We also had the deputy president thinking his VIP officers were taking a leak when they were brutally beating up citizens on the side of the highway, plus Joburg having even more mayors than potholes and Bree Street exploding!”
RamApocalypse Now uniquely captures history. It’s a brilliant gift for anyone wanting to laugh and cry about the past 12 months. You’ll be able to purchase a signed copy of the legendary cartoonist’s 28th annual collection in the live webinar.
On Sunday, 12 November, the inaugural SICK Pride will take place. SICK (the Society for the Inclusion of Chronic Knowledge) supported by MELCUSA (ME and Long Covid Unite South Africa, formerly the ME CFS Foundation South Africa) and endorsed by the World ME Alliance, invites everyone suffering from energy-limited chronic illness. Many energy-impaired people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) or Long Covid struggle to stand up and breathe at the same time, so “we can’t parade but we can lounge in style”.
This year’s theme is “Pyjama Picnic” and members will be lying around on a lovely lawn from 2-4pm in the beautiful Arderne Gardens at 222 Main Road, Claremont, Cape Town. Come in your favourite bed-wear, bring blankets and snacks and let’s get comfy! All Spoonies are welcome, whether suffering from ME, Long Covid, POTS, Fibromyalgia, EDS or any condition where you have to pace yourself to survive – as are carers and allies. Let’s make this “invisible illness” visible in South Africa.
“For some of us, this will be the only time we leave our homes this year, and the effort may cost us weeks to recover. So this will be an opportunity to revel in Sick Joy as we come together to celebrate our persistence despite all the challenges.” Beloved Cape Town songstress and ancestral healer Ernestine Deane will be opening Sick Pride with a ritual for rest – so vital to Long Covid management, while Dr Uvi Naidoo will speak, and gospel singer Nosie Dyantyi-Mwanda will offer soulful prayers for healing. Expect green calm, soothing birdsong and uplifting company!” says the event brief.
The info has a warning: “Please don’t risk relapse to attend – if you are too ill to manage two hours out of the house, recruit someone to come and represent you, carrying your picture to make your presence felt. We will be sharing images online. SICK T-shirts will be available for a donation.”
On Saturday, 11 November, the waterCAN non-profit organisation is facilitating a meeting bringing together civil society groups and Rand Water, Joburg Water and DWS. The purpose is to get everyone on the same page relating to Johannesburg’s water challenges.
On 13 to 17 November, register for the second annual Whistleblower Protection Week, hosted by PPLAAF, GIBS Business School and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation.
This year, the week focuses on the laws pertaining to whistleblowing, particularly in light of the recent proposed amendments to the Protected Disclosures Act (PDA) and PPLAAF’s development of a Legal Guidebook for Whistleblowing.
Venue: GIBS Business School, Illovo, Johannesburg.
Immigration Detention Hotline is live! Lawyers for Human Rights and the Scalabrini Centre of Cape Town have worked together to create a legal assistance hotline for anyone in South Africa being detained because of their immigration status. They are grateful to Porticus for helping to make this happen.
Based in Cape Town, Ndifuna Ukwazi, a Non-Profit housing and land rights advocacy organisation, seeks to appoint a law intern to join the team for a 12-month period, from 1 January 2024 to 31 December 2024. More information here.
Doctors Without Borders Southern Africa is hiring. They are looking for a communication specialist to join their team. Please apply on this Link.
PLAAS is offering the Living Landscapes Short Course: New thinking on integrating biodiversity and social justice, led by Profs Moenieba Isaacs and Bram Büscher, and calling for applications. Dive deep into conservation and social justice. Deadline for applications: 8 November, 2023. Register here.
Speaking of voting…
The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) will open its offices for five hours on Saturday, 4 November 2023, and Saturday, 11 November 2023, for citizens to collect their IDs and passports ahead of the 18-19 Voter Registration Weekend. Operating hours are from 8am to 1pm each Saturday.
The service to be rendered on 4 and 11 November 2023 is exclusively for collection of Smart ID Cards and passports.
To ease pressure on its clients, Home Affairs has introduced dedicated counters for collections in large offices that process Smart ID Cards and passports, where space allows.
This will help in reducing queues. In addition, clients can now book collection appointments before visiting offices, using the Branch Appointment Booking System, available on the DHA website via this link. DHA also allows clients to visit as walk-ins, to be assisted to collect their IDs and passports.
ID services will also be available at all DHA offices during the Voter Registration Weekend of 18 to 19 November. In this regard, operating hours at Home Affairs offices will be aligned with those of the Independent Electoral Commission, to assist voters who need to collect IDs they have applied for, or to apply for Temporary Identification Certificates. With these documents, eligible voters will be able to register for the 2024 national and provincial elections. Temporary Identification Certificates are issued on the spot.
On 17 to 19 November, Nkoli: the Vogue Opera will premiere at the Market Theatre. It’s an opera with a difference, combining rap, opera and protest songs in the style of a vogue ball. In a time of great despair about the future of our country, it’s perfect timing to come to The Market Theatre to celebrate figures such as Simon Nkoli, who challenged seemingly impossible circumstances with courage, fortitude and fabulousness.
Book your tickets at webtickets. DM