SECTION27 is a public interest law centre that seeks to influence, develop and use the law to protect, promote and advance human rights. Our name is drawn from the section in the South African Constitution which enshrines everyone's right to health care, food, water and social security.
The AIDS Law Project (“the ALP”) welcomes, in principle, the move by the Department of Health (“the DOH”) to repeal the Nursing Act 50 of 1978. The memorandum on the objects of the Nursing Bill (“the Bill”) states that its primary purpose is to “transform the Nursing Council so as to increase the protection of the interests of the public” as well as to increase the accountability of the Nursing Council (“the SANC”).
The AIDS Law Project (ALP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcome this opportunity to make written submissions on the Patents Amendment Bill [B 17 – 2005] (“the Bill”). As two organisations that have consistently advocated for the development of our patent system into one that considers South Africa’s competitive advantage and takes into account the specific needs of its people, we support what the Bill aims to achieve and, in general terms, how it goes about accomplishing its stated objective.
The global AIDS epidemic is one of the greatest threats to security and development in the world. Millions of people in developing countries are dying of AIDS, TB and malaria – while the first world sits idly by. High prices of medicines, protected from competition by patent law, make it impossible for poor people to protect themselves against illness and death.
The arguments and recommendations in this submission are based on a number of human rights and public health considerations. In particular we have focused on the following four areas: the rights of the survivor of sexual assault; the rights of the accused; theimpact of the draft bill on public health measures to limit spread of HIV; and the impact of the bill on state services for survivors of sexual assault. These are not isolated concerns, being interrelated and having an impact on each other.