Maverick Citizen


This week — Sona, Macau summit, and discussion on migration white paper

This week — Sona, Macau summit, and discussion on migration white paper
President Cyril Ramaphosa still needs to sign the Bill into law. (Photo: Leon Neal / Getty Images)

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the State of the Nation Address before a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament; Mining Affected Communities United in Action will host its first inaugural summit and New Economy Hub will launch South Africa’s Money Talks 2023 polling research findings.

On Monday, 5 February, at 6pm, the South African Institute of International Affairs’s Western Cape branch (Saiia), will host a discussion on South Africa’s migration policies and a review of the country’s new white paper on migration.

“Professor Alan Hirsch will review and analyse the recent history of migration trends and policies in South Africa (including the new draft white paper) and consider constructive options for the future,” according to the website.

The discussion will take place at The School of Economics, University of Cape Town, Theatre 1, Middle Campus.

For more information, email [email protected] or call +27 (0) 11 339-2021.

Tuesday 6 February is the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation. The 2024 theme is Her Voice. Her Future.

Female genital mutilation is understood as any practice that involves altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is seen internationally as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, as well as a risk to their health.

“Over the last three decades, the prevalence of FGM has declined globally. Today, a girl is one-third less likely to undergo FGM than 30 years ago. However, sustaining these achievements in the face of humanitarian crises such as disease outbreaks, climate change, armed conflict and more could cause a rollback of progress toward achieving gender equality and the elimination of FGM by 2030,” according to the United Nations information page on the event.

“With seven years remaining in this decade of action, our collective actions must be centred on creating environments where girls and women can exercise their power and choice, enjoying full rights to health, education, and safety. This is possible through investments in initiatives led by survivors of female genital mutilation who are challenging harmful gender and social norms. Their voices and actions can transform deeply rooted social and gender norms, allowing girls and women to realise their rights and potential in terms of health, education, income, and equality”.

Also on Tuesday at 12pm, New Economy Hub will launch South Africa’s Money Talks 2023 polling research findings.

Money Talks unpicks the global conversation on investment in climate and development, both in terms of the public and decision-makers.

“This launch presents the South Africa polling data and provides insights into the opinions and attitudes of South Africans on the following questions, among others:

  • Do South Africans support the government’s commitment to taking climate action?
  • Do South Africans support the government’s plans to direct public investment into “green industries and infrastructure?”
  • Where do South Africans stand on “polluter pay” policies to tax industries profiting from fossil fuels?
  • Where does climate action stand in South Africa’s elections agenda?
  • What should climate campaigners and policy-makers do to launch and land compelling and convincing messages that advance climate action in South Africa?”

Register here.


Also on Tuesday at 6pm, Defend our Democracy will host an online discussion on ‘The real state of the nation — a critical reflection of 30 years of democracy’.

“This discussion precedes the State of the Nation Address (Sona) by President Cyril Ramaphosa and gives perspective on the core issues facing the country beyond politics.

“Yearly, Defend our Democracy has been hosting a pre-Sona analysis session, but this year is particularly important as we head into the 2024 election period”.

Panellists include economist Iraj Abedian, former statistician general Pali Lehohla, and Janet Jobson, Tutu Legacy Foundation CEO.

Register here.

On Wednesday, 7 February, from 9am to 4pm, Mining Affected Communities United in Action (Macua) will host its first inaugural summit at RH Hotel in Pretoria. A first of its kind, the summit will have communities affected by mining activities gather to discuss and shed light on their challenges with mining companies across the country.

“The Summit will strongly call for a significant overhaul to the Mineral Resources Petroleum and Development Act (MPRDA) 28 of 2002. The law currently concentrates excessive power in the grips of the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) and benefits mining corporations at the expense of communities and the environment. Macua seeks a radical change in the sector which aims to reshape power dynamics, prioritising the agency and well-being of communities and the environment over the profit-driven interests of both government and corporations,” read the statement from Macua.

The summit will be attended by several social justice organisations including  Corruption Watch, Centre for Child Law, Federation for a Sustainable Environment, ActionAid South Africa, Alternative Information and Development Centre, Treatment Action Campaign, Centre for Environmental Rights, Centre for Applied Legal Studies, Protect the West Coast, Social Policy Initiative, and Open Society Foundations. Several political parties have also been invited by Macua.

On Thursday, 8 February, at 10am Mining Affected Communities United in Action (Macua) and Women Affected By Mining United in Action (Wamua) with at least over 1,000 members and affected communities will march to hand over a memorandum outside the Department of Mineral Resources and Energy (DMRE) office in Pretoria, Sunnyside.

“We call on DMRE to place a moratorium on the issuing of mining and prospecting licenses, until the DMRE can adequately account for its failure to hold to account or enforce compliance of existing legislation and regulations,” read the poster.

Also on Thursday at 7pm, President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the State of the Nation Address before a joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.

Ramaphosa will set out the government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the coming year, as well as flag challenges and “outline interventions to unblock our nation’s potential”, according to the South African government news release on the event.

“During his address, the President also highlights what has been achieved since his last address in 2023. He also reflects on the progress made in implementing the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan (ERRP)” DM.


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