Maverick Citizen

CIVIL SOCIETY WATCH 22 APRIL — 27 APRIL

This week — Freedom Day, food justice and Marshalltown Fire Justice Campaign march

This week — Freedom Day, food justice and Marshalltown Fire Justice Campaign march
27 April this year marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections. (Photo: Clive Mason / Getty Images)

New report explores how corruption and discrimination intersect to undermine land rights in South Africa; the Healthy Living Alliance will host a webinar highlighting the grim reality of the food environment in South Africa; and Freedom Day will mark the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

Monday, 22 April, is International Mother Earth Day.

International Mother Earth Day is a reminder that we need a shift to a more sustainable economy that works for both the people and the planet.

“Mother Earth is clearly urging a call to action. Nature is suffering. Oceans filling with plastic and turning more acidic. Extreme heat, wildfires and floods, have affected millions of people,” according to the United Nations information page on the event.

Climate change, man-made changes to nature as well as crimes that disrupt biodiversity, such as deforestation, land-use change, intensified agriculture and livestock production or the growing illegal wildlife trade, can accelerate the speed of destruction of the planet.”

On Tuesday, 23 April, at 3 pm, Corruption Watch will participate in the webinar launch of the new Transparency International report titled “This Beautiful Land: Corruption, Discrimination and Land Rights in Sub Saharan Africa”.

“Around the world, corruption denies people access to the land and resources they need to survive. Disadvantaged people and marginalised communities are particularly vulnerable to such practices. At the same time, there is ample evidence that discrimination — direct and indirect — works to deny land rights to the most marginalised communities, on grounds ranging from disability to ethnicity and from gender to religion,” read the press statement by Corruption Watch.

The report details how corruption and discrimination intersect to undermine land rights in seven African countries, with stories from across the continent, including South Africa.

Register here

Read the report here.

Wednesday, 24 April, is the International Day of Multilateralism and Diplomacy for Peace.

“[Multilateralism] is not simply a practice or a question of the number of actors involved. It involves adherence to a common political project based on the respect of a shared system of norms and values. In particular, multilateralism is based on founding principles such as consultation, inclusion, and solidarity,” according to the United Nations information page on the event.

“Multilateralism has achieved tangible results that have led to major advances, such as, for example, the eradication of smallpox in the health sector. Important international agreements have also been concluded to limit arms control and to promote and strengthen human rights. The international cooperation within the multilateral framework of the United Nations is saving lives every day”.

Also on Wednesday at 9.30 am, journalist Nickolaus Bauer and Youth Capital will ask political parties about their youth unemployment plans and accountability measures. This discussion will tackle spatial inequality, its impact on South Africans, and immediate interventions.

Representatives of the ANC, DA, EFF, IFP, PAC, and independent candidate Zackie Achmat will participate in the discussion.

Join here

Also, on Wednesday at 3.30 pm, Heala will host a webinar titled “My Health, My Right: The importance of regulating the food environment to eliminate over- and undernutrition”.

The webinar is aimed at highlighting the grim reality of the food environment in South Africa.

“Experts warn that Ultra-Processed Food consumption may be associated with a higher risk of obesity, overweight, and stunting in low and middle-income countries. New research shows that low-income South African adults consume, on average, 40% of their calories from ultra-processed products,” read the poster for the event.

Register here

On Thursday, 25 April, at 12 pm, the TB Accountability Consortium will host a webinar where scientists will explain how to gain ground in the tuberculosis fight.

“South Africa’s TB burden is alarmingly high and needs attention. Join us as we get leading TB scientists from South Africa and the US to share how the country can gain ground in the fight against TB and reduce this burden,” read the event description.

Speakers include Sizulu Moyo from the Human Sciences Research Council, Joseph Daniels from Arizona State University, Neil Martinson from the Perinatal HIV research unit, and Ronelle Burger from Stellenbosch University.

Sam Maughan from the TB Accountability Consortium will provide the keynote on the 2024 State of TB in South Africa report.

Register here

Also, on Thursday at 6 pm, GroundUp and Black Sash will host a debate on the feasibility of the Basic Income Grant.

Read more in Daily Maverick: Universal basic income is the answer to providing a solid unemployment social assistance system

“The Basic Income Grant has long been a contentious topic. What are the challenges to implementing this grant? What are the potential benefits? Would it be worth it?” read the poster for the event.

Thokozile Madonko, Wits public economy researcher, and Cas Coovadia, CEO of Business Unity SA, will be speakers.

The debate will be at DoubleTree by Hilton, 31 Brickfield Road, Woodstock, Cape Town, and will be live-streamed here.

On Friday, 26 April at 8:30 am, there will be a protest march by the Marshalltown Fire Justice Campaign.

The march will start at the Usindiso Building and continue to the Premier’s and Mayor’s offices.

Contact General at 071 828 7554 or Zungu at 067 398 4672 for more information.

27 April is Freedom Day

This day marks the 30th anniversary of South Africa’s first democratic elections.

“This day, now known as Freedom Day, is commemorated every year to honour those unsung heroes and heroines who fought for our freedom and paved the way for an equal, representative, non-racial nation. During the month, we also reflect on the progress made over our democratic journey thus far and consider how we can further strengthen our democracy,” according to the Presidency.

Also on Saturday at 12pm Healthcare Workers 4 Palestine South Africa and the University of Cape Town School of Public Health are hosting a Freedom for Children symposium at UCT Medical School.

Register to attend in person here

Register to attend online here

This is the last week to register for Defend Our Democracy’s election watch campaign to observe the 2024 elections. Any citizen has the right to take up the call and become an election observer and according to the United Nations, election observation is one of the vital tools for improving the quality of elections.

You can register as an observer here: e-observer.azurewebsites.net

More information on the Election Watch Campaign can be found here: defendourdemocracy.co.za. DM

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