We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible. – Beyoncé Giselle Knowles-Carter, American singer, songwriter, actress and record producer.

Monday 3 December:

Deputy Director, Umunyana Rugege is attending a roundtable with the President of the World Bank Group, Dr Jim Kim.  The group is small with only nine guests, for a focused discussion with social partners. The objective of the meeting is to engage on critical issues facing South Africa, the role played by civil society and the World Bank Group. Dr Kim is keen to hear assessments of key factors inhibiting human capital development in South Africa and seek our ideas on how social services can be reformed to address this challenge as well as formulate strategies for building a coalition around the human capital agenda. President Kim is in South Africa at the invitation of President Cyril Ramaphosa for the global commemoration of the Nelson Mandela Centenary at the Global Citizen Festival.

Attorney Ektaa Deochand is attending a meeting of the Disability Alliance at which partners will be developing an advocacy strategy to take forward the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability (UNCRPD) concluding observations.

3-4 December

Solanga Milambo will participate in a President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) civil society group consultation meeting taking place in in Pretoria. The discussion will focus on the outcomes of the People Living with HIV (PLHIV) Sector Summit which took place in July 2018. These include the National Department of Health funding for the Splash for Hope campaign, the National Health Insurance Bill and the Terms of Reference for PLHIV Sector.

Wednesday 5 December

Head of Health Sasha Stevenson will be presenting to the Albertina Sisulu Executive Leadership Programme in Health (ASELPH) fellows on “The role of negotiations in health systems’ leadership and management”. ASELPH fellows are emerging leaders within the public health system and come from eight provinces in South Africa. They are employed at various levels of the health system from health facilities, district health offices to provincial health level.

Head of Education, Faranaaz Veriava will be presenting a paper titled: “The contribution of civil society as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in education rights litigation” at the Centre for Child Law 20 Year Conference in a session themed Imagining children constitutionally: 20 years of strategic litigation and advocacy. The event takes place at the University of Pretoria from 5 to 7 December 2018.

Budget Analyst Daniel McLaren will be making a presentation to a delegation from the Nigerian Treasury who are visiting SA for a two-day engagement on Public Finance Management and in particular, how South African civil society and government has embarked upon the establishment of an Open Budget Portal: vulekamali.gov.za aimed at making the budget more accessible to all people living in South Africa.

Friday 7 December:

Executive Director Mark Heywood will be a discussant at an event commemorating 70 years of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights at Constitution Hill. The panel discussion titled: “Current priorities in supporting a progressive human rights agenda in South Africa” will focus on the role of youth in promoting civic activism as well as efforts to revive and recommit to the Constitution of South Africa and the UDHR. The other discussants are Commissioner Bokankatla Malatji (SAHRC) and Lesley Ncube (#TheTotalShutdown).

SECTION27 will have its annual end of year celebration on Friday 7 December 2018.

9 – 10 December

The Treatment Action Campaign will celebrate its 20 year anniversary. On 10 December 1998 the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) was launched on the steps of St George’s Cathedral in Cape Town. Since then TAC has won victories in the courts, in politics in clinics and in communities across South Africa. On 9-10 December 2018 over 200 TAC activists, past and present, will gather at the Women’s Jail on Constitution Hill in Johannesburg to celebrate TAC’s first twenty years of struggle and to recognise and remember our many comrades, including those who passed away.

6-9 pm: Open session. Celebrating TAC. Keynote speeches by past and present leaders.

Memorials. TAC Choir.

9- 6am: Workshops on how we built TAC. Films. Discussions. Story-telling.

8 – 10am: TAC and allies march to the Constitutional Court to mark international

Human Rights day and to launch civil society mobilisation toward elections 2019. For more information contact Nqgabutho Mpofu on 061 807 6443 or mpofu@section27.org.za.

The week that was:

On 2 December 2018, Johannesburg played host to the Global Citizen Festival, a gathering of heads of state, entertainers and influencers, and thousands of global citizens to celebrate the centenary of Nelson Mandela. A number of significant pledges were made in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Ambassador Deborah Birx, on behalf of the United States, made an historic commitment of U$1.2-billion channelled through PEPFAR. Alongside this pledge, the Global Fund committed U$369 million South Africa over the next three years. Of this sum, U$90-million is set to go towards preventing new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women most at risk.

In Spotlight

www.spotlightnsp.co.za

On World AIDS Day 2018 we assess how South Africa is faring against 10 key targets set in the National Strategic Plan (NSP) on HIV, TB and STIs 2017 – 2022. The current picture is mixed, with areas of impressive progress, such as HIV testing, offset by some serious red flags, such as retention in care. Of the 10 targets, we have assessed two as “Appears target will be reached”, two as “Target is within reach”, four as “Reaching the target will be difficult”, and two as “no sufficiently reliable figures”.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2018/11/30/is-south-africa-on-track-to-meet-nsp-targets/

Anele Yawa general secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign and Mark Heywood executive director of SECTION27 penned a letter to President Cyril Ramaphosa urging world leaders to commit more funding HIV/AIDS prevention.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2018/11/29/letter-to-president-cyril-ramaphosa-send-a-message-to-world-leaders-to-commit-financially-to-fighting-aids/

Dolutegravir is a critically important antiretroviral medicine that is set to become the backbone of South Africa and many other countries’ HIV programmes. While the drug has recently made headlines because of a potential safety risk, most of what we know about the medicine indicates that it represents an important improvement over existing medicines.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2018/11/29/six-advantages-of-dolutegravir/

An important new antiretroviral medicine called dolutegravir will soon become available to people living with HIV in various Sub-Saharan African countries, including South Africa. Unfortunately, many women might be denied access to this new drug due to an inability of regulators and health departments to see potential risks associated with the drug in the proper context. https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2018/11/29/let-women-decide-whether-they-want-to-take-dolutegravir/