Poet, C Louis Leipoldt wrote a beautiful poem in which he sings the praises of October being the most beautiful month. We wish all our friends a beautiful October. Let us try to focus on the beautiful despite the challenges we face.

Monday 2 October

SECTION27 Journalist Nomatter Ndebele is part of a group meeting Pascale Baeriswyl, Swiss State Secretary (Deputy Minister) of Foreign Affairs for an informal exchange on the issue of Human Rights in South Africa, its challenges and opportunities. This exchange with the State Secretary and Human Rights specialists of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, will take place at the South African Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg.

Mpumalanga field researcher Sifiso Nkala is meeting the Gert Sibande Executive Mayor. This meeting precedes a meeting with all sub-district civil society chairpersons. The meeting will see society chairpersons discussing proper financial budgeting and issues related to the AIDS Councils.

Communications Officer Butho Mpofu is attending the Big Debate’s civil society engagement. This is geared towards seeing where civil society’s work aligns with the Big Debate’s upcoming shows.

Executive Director Mark Heywood will be sharing his memories of Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma during her stint as democratic South Africa’s first health minister in a wide-ranging interview with enca. The Treatment Action Campaign and AIDS Law Project, both organisations set up in the wake of government’s inability to tackle the AIDS epidemic, saw first-hand the legacy of Dlamini-Zuma’s failure to make AZT available for prevention of mother to child transmission.

Tuesday 3 October

Eastern Cape field researcher Fikile Boyce, is visiting Butterworth Hospital to monitor the water crisis and to engage the hospital CEO on the matter. During the meeting Fikile will ask questions regarding the hospital’s current emergency plans.

Wednesday 4 October

Executive Director Mark Heywood will speak at this year’s Joburg Mining Indaba. Mark will speak in the session titled How do we get to the future? This session will be chaired by Dr Nkosana Moyo, Executive Chair, The Mandela Institute for Development Studies (MINDS). Other panellists include: Sipho Nkosi, Non-Executive Chairman, Colin Coleman, Managing Director, Goldman Sachs, Lumkile Mondi, Independent non-executive director, Pallinghurst Resources Limited and Senior Lecturer, SEBS, University of the Witwatersrand and Joseph Mathunjwa, President, AMCU. Mark will be posing some tough questions to his captive audience, watch this space for a synopsis of his talk!

The week that was:

Last week Mark sat with Daily Maverick journalist Marelise van der Merwe to talk about his time as Executive Director of SECTION27 and the ALP before that. Read the interview here.