Week Ahead

19 November 2018 – 23 November 2018

We appreciate that our country faces serious fiscal constraints, yet underfunding, corruption and mismanagement in our basic education sector will have prolonged adverse effects on our constitutional democracy. This failure to build school toilets is a symptom of a bigger problem — the loss of empathy, urgency and accountability. It is state failure. It is a failure to take the Constitution seriously.” – Mark Heywood in today’s Daily Maverick

Monday, 19 November 2018

Today is World Toilet Day. SECTION27 will be launching a report on the state of school sanitation in Limpopo province today at Constitution Hill (Women’s Jail) at 5pm. The report comes on the back of stories of learners sustaining injuries and some dying as a result of inadequate and dangerous sanitation infrastructure in schools. Our report provides an honest and insightful overview into the state of school sanitation in Limpopo. The purpose of this is to hopefully provide a productive place for us to focus that rage, and a mechanism to trigger an honest conversation about how we have failed, and perhaps how we can begin to fix the problem, to ensure safe and decent sanitation. Mark Heywood has written an article about it. You can read it here.

Comrades from the Race and Social Justice Initiative in the USA will visit SECTION27 in order to exchange ideas about strategies employed to pursue social justice. The team is here as part of their quest to develop a program for the  Racial and Social Justice Initiative of the Avery Research Institute at the College of Charleston. You can read more about their work here.

Executive Director Mark Heywood and education attorney Samantha Brener will be at the National Education Collaboration Trust (NECT) for the launch of the NECT’s five-year aide memoire. The meeting is expected to secure recommitments from the founding members and other stakeholders on the collaboration over the next five years.

Faranaaz Veriava, our head of education will be attending a South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) Section 11 committee meeting on the right to basic education at the SAHRC.

Today marks the last day of the People’s Health Assembly being held in Bangladesh. Our Head of Health Sasha Stevenson and Legal Researcher Tendai Mafuma have been in attendance. Last week Tendai was on a panel on Community Health Workers with other medico network partners and Sasha was on a panel on public accountability of the private sector and patients’ rights. Sasha also chaired a session on privatisation and commercialization of health.

18 – 20 November 2018

Head of communications Ntsiki Mpulo is attending the fourth annual Africa Business Media Innovators conference in Livingstone Zambia.  The conference brings together traditional media practitioners, investors and entrepreneurs to discuss the unprecedented change in the way news is financed, covered and distributed on the continent and around the world. Speakers from South Africa include William Gumede, Executive Chairsperson of Democracy Works, Mapi Mahlangu, Channel Head at eNCA and Phathiswa Magopeni Group Executive at the SABC.

20 November 2018

Attorneys Ektaa Deochand and Nkululeko Conco and Executive Director Mark Heywood will be attending the second Health Sector Anti-Corruption Sector meeting at the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) offices in Pretoria. SECTION27 will make a short presentation on corruption in the health and basic education sectors.

20 – 21 November 2018

Field Researcher Patrick Mdletshe will be conducting sexual and reproductive health rights training with the uMvoti Local AIDS Council civil society group. This meeting will be attended by activists, local NGOs, government officials and members of the local AIDS council. The training will be held at uMvoti AIDS centre.

The week that was

Spotlight editors Marcus Low and Anso Thom wrotea powerful article highlighting Treasury’s apprehension about the National Health Insurance in its current guise. Treasury is quoted arguing that “As it stands the bill introduces massive uncertainty into the intergovernmental financing system and the location of health functions”.