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.
Business Day, 9 February 2009
LAST November, a roadmap for health reform was finalised by a range of stakeholders in the field of health care, including the government. The purpose of the roadmap, which was developed under the auspices of the Development Bank of Southern Africa, is to provide guidance to the next government on priorities for health reform. It reflects a rare consensus regarding the achievements and failures of the health system, as well as new priorities.
In February 2007 and May 2008 the AIDS Law Project made submissions on harm reduction legislation acting for and with the AIDS and Rights Alliance for Southern Africa. In June 2008 a letter was also sent to the Minister of Social Development, Zola Skweyiya, on the subject.
On 15 and 16 May 2008, a ground breaking case on the constitutionality of HIV testing policies that are used to exclude ALL people with HIV from recruitment to, promotion or foreign deployment in the SA National Defence Force was heard in the Pretoria High Court.
The court was asked to declare the blanket exclusion unconstitutional, order the appointment or promotion of individual’s adversely affected by the policy and to order the SANDF to devise a new policy within six months.
The ALP made a submission to the KZN Health Department regarding draft of the Kwazulu-Natal Health Care Bill, 2007. In our view, the KZN Bill has the potential to complement the broad legislative framework provided by the National Health Act, 2003. In particular, it has the potential to provide much of the needed detail in respect of which the Act expressly authorises the provinces to legislate, thereby enabling provincial and local government authorities to render health care services in accordance with the needs of the people of KZN.
South Africa has a strong legislative framework aimed at preventing HIV-related discrimination in the workplace.
Guidelines developed by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and the Code of Good Practice on HIV/AIDS which is linked to the Employment Equity Act (EEA) provide useful information on the content of HIV workplace policies.