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.
On 16 and 17 September 2010, over 60 members of civil society organisations and trade unions met to discuss their work and their efforts – independently and through the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) – to strengthen the national response to HIV and to achieve the goals of the National Strategic Plan (NSP). The aim of the meeting was to define a new agenda going forward for civil society activism both within and independent of SANAC and to focus on our human right to health.
We are organisations that campaign for social justice. The success of our work is dependent on respect for the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. The right to free expression and freedom of the press and other media are essential components of democracy. That is why they are contained in the Bill of Rights. They are one of the essential means by which all people in South Africa, especially the vulnerable, exploited and poor, can hold government and the powerful private business sector to account.
At 4pm on 7 May 2010, leaders from various civil society,public and private sector organisations in South Africa and internationally, gathered for the launch of a new human rights organisation – SECTION27. Head of Legal and Litigation at SECTION27 Adilla Hassim, delivered a speech and COSATU Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi delivered the keynote address.
On 20 April 2010, the ALP presented its submission on the Social Assistance Amendment Bill, to the National Assembly Portfolio Committee on Social Development. We focused on two issues, namely, the vagueness of the proposed definition of disability and problems in the current and proposed Appeal Processes. ALP was requested to recommend a definition of disability that addresses the concerns raised in our oral and written submissions and a supplementary submission was made.