Week Ahead 5 – 9 March

“Do not judge my story by the chapter you walked in on.”- Anonymous


Monday, 5 March

Today, almost all 40 of us gathered in our Braamfontein boardroom to hear Chief Executive Officer of the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF) Sello Hatang address SECTION27’s first official staff meeting of the year, sharing the vision of the NMF and their centenary programme, as well as his views on the role of social justice organisations like ours. It is no secret that SECTION27 is guided by the values of Madiba every day in everything we do.

Our budget analyst, Daniel McLaren and Head of Health Sasha Stevenson will be attending the National Health Insurance financing workshop at the Treatment Action Campaign offices in the Johannesburg city centre. Other partners attending include the People’s Health Movement, the Rural Health Advocacy Project and the Stop Stock-Outs Project.

Daniel will also be following the Gauteng and Eastern Cape budget speeches (in particular) closely to assess any changes in funding plans for mental health care and emergency medical services specifically, both key work areas for us in the two provinces. The deadline for submissions to Parliament on the 2018 Division of Revenue and Appropriations Bills is on Friday, 9 March Daniel will be working with our Education and Health teams, as well as other Civil Society Organisations, to ensure we contribute meaningfully to that process.

Tuesday 6 March

Acting Head of Communications, Ntsiki Mpulo will attend a stakeholder meeting at Constitution Hill to finalise plans for the upcoming Human Rights Festival due to take place from 23 – 25 March 2018. The festival which promotes dignity, equality, freedom and justice will bring together civil society organisations and the general public in a celebration of human rights and will culminate in the “We the People” March on Sunday, 25 March.

Wednesday 7 March

Field Researcher, Solanga Milambo will be attending the Limpopo Provincial AIDS Council meeting in Polokwane at The Range Hotel.

7- 8 March

Spotlight co-editor Anso Thom will attend the 17th World Conference on Tobacco or Health (WCTOH) in Cape Town from Wednesday to Friday. WCTOH is held once every three years and will be addressed by among others World Health Organisation Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi.

The conference will meet under the theme of uniting the World for a Tobacco-Free Generation and for the first time have a track dedicated to for social justice issues related to tobacco and the consequences of addiction – from child labour on tobacco farms, to tobacco industry marketing campaigns designed to target vulnerable groups such as children. This has been realised through the WHO’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, which stands as the backdrop for the conference and for the global response as the only internationally, legally-binding health treaty of the 21st century. Articles will be published on www.spotlightnsp.co.za

Researcher Patrick Mdletshe will be attending a KZN Provincial AIDS meeting on monitoring of the Provincial Implementation Plan (PIP) on HIV/TB and STI in the province. In his capacity as KZN civil society chairperson on the local AIDS Council Patrick will thereafter convene a provincial  civil society meeting to identify challenges on the implementation plan responses to HIV,TB and STIs in the districts.

Thursday 8 March

Following the settlement between the Gauteng government and the Life Esidimeni families our team has  has arranged a financial literacy seminar for our clients in the Life Esidimeni Arbitration.

A group of students from the North Carolina Central School of Law in the United States, led by Prof Joyner, will visit SECTION27 to speak to staff about our work. . Prof Joyner has made us a regular stop on his annual student tour and we always look forward to our meeting with this group of young people.

The week that was:

On 1 March the SECTION27 Board of Directors met and passed a resolution that Legal Counsel and Senior Researcher Faranaaz Veriava  will be promoted to Head of Education, and Attorney Sasha Stevenson to Head of Health. We would like to congratulate Faranaaz and Sasha for their well-deserved promotions.

On Friday 2 March, SECTION27’s Ntsiki Mpulo joined Caring4Girls, a charity that provides sanitary towels for girls in schools, for the first handover of Sanitary towels to a Diepsloot West High School.  Ntsiki and Mark are part of a group of climbers who aim to summit Mount Kilimanjaro on 18 July 2018 to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s 100th Birthday and raise awareness around the sexual and reproductive health rights of young women.

The SECTION27 and AIDS Law Project archive is now available and open to the public at WITS University. The archive will be immensely valuable to scholars, academics, and activists who are interested in health rights, the law, the constitution, the history of the HIV and AIDS civil society movement, education and gender issues. Click on the link below to see inventory list and visit to the archive at Wits University. http://www.historicalpapers.wits.ac.za/index.php?inventory/U/collections&c=AG3416/I/9187