Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 11-17 DECEMBER 

This week — Springboks are celebrated with public holiday and Universal Health Coverage Day observed

This week — Springboks are celebrated with public holiday and Universal Health Coverage Day observed
15 December will be a celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement and the achievements of all other sports men and women. President Cyril Ramaphosa declared this to be a day of hope and unity. (Photo: EPA-EFE / YOAN VALAT)

Lawyers for Human Rights launches a report on immigration detention in South Africa and the nation commemorates the Day of Reconciliation.

Tuesday, 12 December is International Universal Health Coverage Day

On 12 December 2012, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed a resolution urging countries to accelerate progress toward universal health coverage (UHC) — the idea that everyone, everywhere should have access to quality, affordable health care. On 12 December 2017, the United Nations proclaimed 12 December as International Universal Health Coverage Day (UHC Day) by resolution 72/138.

“International Universal Health Coverage Day aims to raise awareness of the need for strong and resilient health systems and universal health coverage with multi-stakeholder partners. Each year on 12 December, UHC advocates raise their voices to share the stories of the millions of people still waiting for health, champion what we have achieved so far, call on leaders to make bigger and smarter investments in health, and encourage diverse groups to make commitments to help move the world closer to UHC by 2030.

The Covid-19 pandemic has again shown us that UHC and health security are intertwined goals to protect everyone, everywhere, that we achieve through the same health system — in crisis and calm. For health systems to work, they must work for everyone — no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they have. Equitable health coverage puts women, children, adolescents, and the most vulnerable first because they face the most significant barriers to essential care.

On 12 December, demand action on universal health coverage and call on leaders to invest in health systems and primary healthcare for all that leave no one behind. Our lives, livelihoods and futures depend on it,” 

Events this week

On Monday, 11 December Lawyers for Human Rights will launch their Report on the Status of Immigration Detention in South Africa. See poster for details. 

On Tuesday 12 December from 10:30 am to 11:30 am, the Institute for Economic Justice (IEJ) and the Applied Development Research Solutions (ADRS) invite you to attend the launch of their latest working paper, Macroeconomic and Developmental Impacts of Selected Basic Income Grant Pathways for South Africa. This paper will show that a BIG can reduce poverty and inequality while boosting economic growth in South Africa. 

“In a highly unequal society like South Africa, with half of the population living in poverty, a Basic Income Grant (BIG) is a means of enabling a redistribution of wealth.

“Mainstream economic models predict that implementing a BIG would negatively affect the economy. However, the expansion of the social grants system in South Africa has been successful and a new economic modelling report shows that there is no trade-off between a BIG programme and economic growth and fiscal sustainability. A BIG programme can produce win-win outcomes,” reads the event description.

Register here

On Tuesday, 12 December at 5:30pm, join the launch of the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation’s 2024 calendar.  Our annual calendars capture historical events that have shaped South Africa’s democracy and honour those who sacrificed their lives for our freedom.

On Tuesday, 12 December from 5 pm to 6:30 pm, the University of Cape Town and Global Surgery will host a panel discussion titled “Can we achieve equity in global health research and education?” 

Venue: Wolfson Pavilion, Institute of Infectious Disease and Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town.

See poster below for speaker details.

On Wednesday, 13 December, applications are now open for the Reimagining Heritage, Archives and Museums: Today/Tomorrow mentorship programme, for recent arts and culture graduates or individuals starting their careers in the cultural sector from South Africa, Lesotho and Malawi.⁣

With the aim of inspiring and nurturing a new generation of cultural professionals, the mentorship programme will run alongside the international convening happening between 13 and 15 February 2024 in Cape Town and professional meetings taking place between 19 and 21 February 2024 in Johannesburg.⁣

For more information or to apply, click here. ⁣ 

This project is an initiative of the French Institute of South Africa (IFAS) and the Embassy of France in South Africa.⁣

On Friday, 15 December, South Africa celebrates a public holiday dedicated to the Springbok’s 2023 Rugby World Cup victory. The day was declared by President Ramaphosa on 30 October in celebration of the Springboks’ momentous achievement and the achievements of all our other sportsmen and sportswomen. We declare this to be a day of hope, a day of celebration and unity.

Read more in Daily Maverick: We won! Springboks’ joy as they beat All-Blacks in Rugby World Cup final

On Saturday, 16 December, South Africa will mark National Reconciliation Day to promote social cohesion, healing, unity and nation-building. 

“This year’s focus is on the critical role played by South African citizens in advancing democracy and ensuring that their voices are heard and incorporated into daily decisions aimed at improving people’s lives.

This year’s Reconciliation Day will be held under the theme “Strengthening unity and social cohesion in a healing nation” and the main event will be held in Vhembe District, Thulamela Municipality in Limpopo,” the brief reads. 

National Reconciliation Day was adopted at the advent of South African democracy when it was envisioned that reconciliation, peace and stability would be the defining characteristics of the new democratic dispensation. Each year we have an opportunity to reach out to one another to deal with our past, reconcile and build a new nation.

This vision of a nation reconciled is embedded in our democratic Constitution. In South Africa, we not only commemorate Reconciliation Day but also dedicate the entire month of December to reconciliation.

Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) are hiring

“We seek a Digital Health Promoter Officer to join us in Butterworth, in the Eastern Cape province of South Africa. We encourage you to apply if you meet the requirements,” the posting reads. Click here for more information

Call for Applicants: 5th Writeshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar-Activism

⁣The Journal of Peasant Studies (JPS), College of Humanities and Development Studies (COHD) of China Agricultural University (Beijing), the Collective of Agrarian Scholar-Activists from the South (Casas), Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) at the University of the Western Cape and the Initiative in Critical Agrarian Studies (Icas) at the International Institute for Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam in The Netherlands are jointly organising the 5th Annual Writeshop in Critical Agrarian Studies and Scholar-Activism for PhD students and young researchers who are based in, or are originally from, the Global South. Applicants must have finished their PhD fieldwork, and be less than five years past PhD completion.

The Writeshop aims to improve young researchers’ strategic knowledge about and practical skills on matters related to international journal publication and impact. This includes choosing journals; building ideas about and framing/writing journal manuscripts; overall preparation and submission of journal manuscripts; dealing with peer review reports, and so on. It will include sessions by leading academics on key debates and literature in critical agrarian studies, and concepts in and practices of scholar-activism. Apply here. DM

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