“Economics is a highly sophisticated field of thought that is superb at explaining to policymakers precisely why the choices they made in the past were wrong. About the future, not so much.” Former chairman of the United States Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke

23 – 26 October
Senior Communications Officer Ngqabutho Mpofu, Budget Analyst Daniel McLaren and Multimedia Specialist Rapelang Ntamu are in Cape Town for week long events geared towards helping civil society better understand the budget process in the lead up to and directly after Finance Minister Tito Mboweni reads the Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS).

This week’s events include a Teach-in on Macro-Economic Perspectives and the Fiscal Framework and Gender Sensitive Budgeting among others at the Centre for the Book. Representatives from civil society organisations in the Budget Justice Coalition will participate in the lock-in prior to the MTBPS and will be available for media interviews. For more information please contact mpofu@section27.org.za or call on 061 807 6443.

Tuesday 23 October 2018
Mpumalanga based community mobiliser, Sifiso Nkala will have a Civil Society Forum meeting at Msukaligwa Municipality. The intention is to give feedback on activities undertaken to strengthen civil society in their response to HIV/AIDS, TB as well as health system monitoring.
SECTION27’s Finance, Audit, and Risk Committee comprising the board treasurer, the executive director, deputy director and head of finance will meet to discuss the organisation’s budget for the current and upcoming financial year.

Wednesday 24 October
SECTION27 will be attending a workshop at the SA HIV Clinicians Society Conference at Gallagher Estate on the latest in HIV science. The session titled “Treatment optimisation for treatment activists – Modern ART: What’s new in HIV Treatment?” will be chaired by HIV clinician, Sindisiwe van Zyl and addressed by Luckyboy Mkhondwane, head of training at the Treatment Action Campaign, Polly Clayden, UK HIV activist, and Zambian HIV activist Kenly Sikwese.
Sifiso will be in Nelspruit facilitating a Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights workshop. He will focus on Constitutional Literacy including the National Health Act in order to empower youth in Hlanzeni District Municipality with the knowledge to advocate for their rights.

Thursday 25 October
Deputy Director Umunyana Rugege and Head of Health Sasha Stevenson will be presenting at a session of the SA HIV clinicians society conference at Gallagher Estate on the National Health Insurance Bill and the provisional report of the Health Market Inquiry.

The SECTION27 board will hold its third board meeting of the year. On the agenda will be the organisations’ achievements to date and a discussion about the strategic plan for 2019.

Friday 26 October
Sasha Stevenson will be presenting at a workshop held by the WITS School of Clinical Medicine about what the school can do to fix the health crisis in Gauteng.

The Week That Was
Members of the SECTION27 attended the Presidential Health Summit which took place on 19 – 20 October 2018. The meeting gathered academics, activists and government officials to thrash out the most vexing issues facing the healthcare sector. Those gathered agreed that the country’s public health care system is in deep crisis and that it would require concerted effort from both the private and public sectors to solve the challenges it faces. The gathering agreed to work together to develop a social compact that would bring about a unified health system.

Read Researcher Thabang Pooe opinion piece on NHI titled: A tale of two hospitals
The health minister claims that NHI will ensure equity and address the inequalities presented by the current private and public health system. While this is a noble goal, it is widely accepted that for NHI to work, the public health system must be drastically improved and the private health system properly regulated.

SECTION27 made a submission on the State Liability Amendment Bill. Read the full submission here. SECTION27 submissions on State Liability Amendment Bill 19 October 2018

In Spotlight
Spotlight published the next in its series of Health4Sale articles.

Read here how the Free State advertised its new ambulance tender in contravention of what the health minister ordered and also how a government employee attended on behalf of Buthelezi ambulances.

Read here how the Free State Health Department paid for more dodgy equipment.

Learn more about the North West ambulance tender that cost R123 million

Spotlight will be traveling to the Northern Cape next week to get a sense of the state of the health system in this vast province. If you would like to flag anything please contact us thom@section27.org.za