SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
The Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum (BEMF) held its third meeting on 21 May 2010. It brought together over 30 people from 10 organisations. The aim was to understand what civil society can do to ensure that the budgeting process –at the national and provincial levels– results in the appropriate allocation and use of financial resources to address health needs.
Leading activist organisations have condemned the cruel sentence by a Malawian magistrate imposed on Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, two men (one of whom is transgender and identifies as a woman) because they held a public engangement. They have been sentenced to 14 years in hard labour.
We condemn in the strongest terms the 14 years of hard labour sentence handed down by a court in Blantyre to Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga for committing so-called “unnatural acts”. Steven and Tiwonge were arrested in December 2009 after celebrating their engagement and have been in jail ever since.
SECTION27 has developed a fact sheet on health budgeting and HIV for the members of the Budget and Expenditure Monitoring Forum. This fact sheet explains how the national and provincial governments develop budgets, equitable share and conditional grants.
It is important for civil society to demand that government spend money appropriately, efficiently and in ways that prioritise providing services that will save people’s lives. To do so, we must understand how the budgeting process works and how we can participate in it. It is with this in mind that this fact sheet was developed. We hope it will help people understand the budgeting process.
Following the initiation of legal proceedings, on 7 May 2010, the Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office (CIPRO) has agreed to permit the AIDS Law Project (ALP) to reserve the name SECTION27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project.
CIPRO initially refused to reserve the name, SECTION27, incorporating the AIDS Law Project, explaining as follows, “your proposed name connote government patronage. The wording employed to serve as a name, cannot be allowed and are calculated to cause damage, moreover misleading and damaging”. CIPRO also refused our request on the basis of a comparison with existing names on its database, however, they bore no resemblance to the requested name.