This week, we remember those who died in the Marikana Massacre.
On 16 August 2012, the South African Police Service (SAPS) opened fire on a crowd of striking mineworkers at Marikana, in the North West Province. The police killed 34 mineworkers, and left 78 seriously injured.*

13 August
Executive Director Umunyana Rugege will participate in a panel titled ‘Leading Women in Business Power Breakfast’ facilitated by Dean of the Gordon Business School of Science, Professor Nicola Kleyn, in commemoration of Women’s Month. The breakfast session is an opportunity to find inspiration in the stories of successful women in business and civil society and will focus on business, industry and the economy at large, as well as touch on issues such as gender bias and the empowerment of women.

National Strategic Plan Co-ordinator, Vuyokazi Gonyela will attend a one-day meeting organised by SANAC Civil Society to develop a work-plan for the National TB Caucus, civil society advocacy and the TB Ambassador programme.

14 – 16 August
Researcher, Thuthukile Mbatha will be joining representatives from AIDS Foundation South Africa and Treatment Action Campaign on a site visit to Maseru, Lesotho. The organisations will be sharing lessons learned through their regional work in advancing sexual and reproductive health and rights for all.

15 August
SECTION27 Executive Director Umunyana Rugege will attend a discussion titled: Reflecting on Feminist Movements, Knowledge and Futures in South Africa organised by Heinrich Böll Stiftung in Cape Town.

The week that was:
Minister of Health Dr Zweli Mkhize tabled the National Health Insurance Bill in Parliament. Parliament will now call for submissions. SECTION27 has commented on various iterations of the bill since it was first proposed. Read our joint submission with the Treatment Action Campaign on the 2018 bill. We are analysing the current version and will publish our analysis thereafter.

In Spotlight
Opinion: Right of access to affordable meds watered down in Presidential Compact
On July 25, President Cyril Ramaphosa signed the Presidential Health Compact in a blaze of publicity. The Compact, which came into being after stakeholder consultations, promises a new commitment to fixing the public health care system. It includes a pillar on Access to Essential Medicines. Unfortunately though, pharma’s fingerprints have crept in, watering down the language on medicine access compared to the IP policy and raising concerns about expected new legislation.

Graphs that tell the story of HIV in South Africa’s provinces
The most recent outputs of the Thembisa mathematical model (version 4.2) of HIV in South Africa not only allow us to see the burden of HIV at the country level, but also allow for provincial comparisons. Through several tables, graphs, and maps, we illustrate how the HIV epidemic differs in each of the country’s nine provinces.

Another Eastern Cape psychiatric facility damned
Housing the mentally ill in a condemned building with little security sounds like something out of a horror movie. But for the patients and staff of the Cecilia Makiwane Hospital (CMH) Mental Health Unit this is not a movie; it’s reality.

Is scaling up active case finding the missing piece in our TB response?
South Africa has one of the highest burdens of tuberculosis (TB) in the world. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 322 000 people in South Africa had active TB disease in 2017, meaning they were presenting symptoms and could spread the TB bacteria. Approximately 60% of these people were also living with HIV. TB is the leading reported cause of death among people living with HIV and in South Africa overall (although models indicate that HIV still causes slightly more deaths).

*Source: SA History Online. Picture credit: Greg Marinovich