“I had to get a job doing gardening to earn some money to buy food. My sister and I do not have enough food at home. Without the meals from school, I could not concentrate on schoolwork because I was hungry.” – Matric learner, Limpopo

SECTION27 is representing Equal Education and SGBs of two schools in Limpopo in litigation on the National School Nutrition Programme. Read our statement here

As many businesses continue to reopen under advanced level 3, SECTION27 staff will continue to work remotely.

Our advice desk will only conduct telephonic consultations. The numbers to call or WhatsApp are 060 754 0751 or 067 419 6841.

The public interest organisations legal support hotline continues to be available to the public to contact regarding rights violations: 066 076 8845.

For more information about coronavirus visit https://sacoronavirus.co.za/.

Emergency Hotline: 0800 029 999. WhatsApp Support Line: 0600-123456.

22 – 23 June

Ahead of Minister of Finance, Tito Mboweni’s supplementary budget speech on Wednesday 24 June 2020, the Budget Justice Coalition, of which SECTION27 is a member, invites members of civil society to participate in “Public Spending for The People: Pre and Post Covid-19 Gathering “on 22 – 23 June 2020. Through this event, we hope to create a dialogue space for civil society and diverse social movements.

The gathering will bring together 50 participants from various backgrounds. Priority will be given to grassroots organisations, groups that promote intersectionality.

Date: 22 – 23 June 2020

Time: 10:00- 13:30 (on both dates)

Venue: Virtual meeting

RSVP: Please RSVP to Motlatsi Komote at mkomote@uwc.ac.za. Please also indicate in your response whether you would like us to assist you with access to data for this discussion.

THE WEEK THAT WAS

The role of civil society in ensuring the right to basic education

Monday, June 15, 2020

SECTION27 hosted a webinar to commemorate Youth Day. In case you missed the live webinar, or in case you would like to watch it again, here is the link to the replay video:

Judgment in the AB and Another v Pridwin Preparatory School and others case

The judgment in the AB and Another v Pridwin Preparatory School and others Constitutional Court case held that where a learner is at an independent school,  that learner’s education at the school cannot be terminated without an appropriate and substantively fair procedure.

This is significant in that it ensures that independent schools may not assert cancellation clauses in contracts with parents without following due process.  We congratulate the amici, the Centre for Child Law, Equal Education and the Equal Education Law Centre for their contributions in this case and which was acknowledged by the Constitutional Court.

http://section27.org.za/2020/06/judgment-in-the-ab-and-another-v-pridwin-preparatory-school-and-others-case/

Equitable re-opening of schools in Sub-Saharan Africa: Is it all or nothing?

By Ann Skelton

When it comes to school infrastructure, many schools are severely lacking the basics. This was very clear during lockdown when the lack of technology left the majority of sub-Saharan African children behind, but it is far more fundamental than that. The shame of state neglect in the form of schools that lack running water and proper toilets for teachers and learners is painfully revealed as the spotlight moves to getting schools to be ‘COVID-19 prevention ready’ to enable the safe return of learners. So too, large class sizes are an impediment to classrooms that enable social distancing.

https://www.gi-escr.org/blog/equitable-re-opening-of-schools-in-sub-saharan-africa-is-it-all-or-nothing

Social justice definition
SECTION27 is live on the Global Giving platform! Global Giving is the largest global crowdfunding community, connecting non-profit organisations, donors, and companies all over the world. With your support, we can continue the fight for social justice through our advocacy and activism for the right to health and education, for all living in South Africa. Donate here: https://goto.gg/47215

In Spotlight

COVID-19: R500bn and the case for procurement reform

On 24 June Finance Minister, Tito Mboweni will table the special adjustment budget. This budget will change the allocations made in the existing budget tabled in February this year to help fund government’s ongoing COVID-19 response plan.

Through re-allocations in this special adjustment budget, Mboweni will have to find R130 billion of the R500 billion COVID-19-relief package announced earlier by President Cyril Ramaphosa. These adjustments in the new budget will among others see R20 billion allocated to provinces to help fund healthcare and other front line services for the COVID-19 response.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/06/19/covid-19-r500bn-and-the-case-for-procurement-reform/

COVID-19 Report 7: Life-saving drug is good news, but no time to pop champagne

Steroid reduces risk of death

A randomised controlled clinical trial, Recovery, has found that the steroid dexamethasone reduces the risk of death.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/06/18/covid-19-report-7-life-saving-drug-is-good-news-but-no-time-to-pop-champagne/

COVID-19: Marketing of tunnels continues, despite criticism from WHO and scientists

The spraying of sanitisers on humans in special tunnels or booths in order to combat COVID-19 has been condemned by scientists and government as unnecessary and potentially harmful. Some manufacturers nevertheless continue to market these products, insisting they are an important part of the larger strategy to reduce the spread of the disease.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/06/15/covid-19-marketing-of-tunnels-continues-despite-criticism-from-who-and-scientists/

In Focus: Unpacking the Northern Cape’s COVID-19 response

By 14 June, there were 156 confirmed COVID-19 cases and one COVID-19-related death in the Northern Cape. At 0.2%, the province makes up only a very small fraction of the country’s total of over 70 000 confirmed cases.

But as the number of confirmed cases is rising in the province, so too are concerns among residents that not enough is being done to curb the pandemic in the province, that testing numbers are too low and the provincial health department is stingy with information on its COVID-19 response.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/06/15/in-focus-unpacking-the-northern-capes-covid-19-response/

Controversy as North West Health Department suspends leading doctor

Just as COVID-19 cases begin to surge in the North West province, comes the “bizarre” move to suspend one of the province’s leading clinicians.

When a suspension letter arrived on Monday for Professor Ebrahim Variava, the head of internal medicine at Tshepong Hospital in Klerksdorp, the specialist doctor was in the midst of treating a COVID-19 patient and training doctors in the province on intubation procedures.

His suspension has been called “bewildering and bizarre” not just, because the charges against him have been flimsy, his supporters say, but also because the move is completely out of step with an “all hands on deck” strategy to combat the pandemic.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/06/17/controversy-as-north-west-health-dept-suspends-leading-doctor/

Lockdown impacts HIV prevention programme for adolescent girls and young women

Under level 5 and 4 of South Africa’s COVID-19 lockdown regulations adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) aged 14 to 24 years could not meet face-to-face in specially created safe spaces with counsellors, as part of a combination HIV intervention programme.

This has meant opportunities to encourage them to begin taking and adhering to pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) to prevent HIV were lost, putting them at higher risk of HIV infection. PrEP involves taking a combination of two antiretroviral medicines to prevent HIV infection. Adolescent girls and young women in South Africa are disproportionately at risk for HIV infection with a quarter of new infections occurring in this population.

https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/06/17/lockdown-impacts-hiv-prevention-programme-for-adolescent-girls-and-young-women/