The right to access to healthcare

Under section 27 of the Constitution, every South African citizen has a right to access to healthcare. As an organisation, we are working for better quality and more affordable public and private health systems. A great deal of our focus has been on the quality of delivery of provincial health systems, particularly in the Eastern Cape, Free State and Mpumalanga. There are our major healthcare focus areas:

  • Influencing health policy
  • Supporting healthcare workers
  • Fighting the patent laws that make medicines inaccessible to most
  • HIV and TB
  • Mental health

The right to basic education

Section 29 of the Constitution guarantees the right to basic education. We at SECTION27 view the right to education as a significant health-determinant as well as a gateway to the realisation of other rights, particularly the rights to dignity and equality. Our work in this area includes research, litigation and advocacy directed towards securing vital resources such as textbooks and public school funding, and achieving safe and positive education environments conducive to effective learning and teaching. We focus particularly on the prevention of sexual violence and corporal punishment, the provision of safe and hygienic sanitation facilities, the provision of learner teacher support materials, furniture and sufficient classrooms, and the timeous payment of sufficient public school funds. These are our major basic education focus areas:

  • Textbooks
  • Sanitation
  • Infrastructure
  • Sexual violence in schools
  • Rights of disabled learners

The right to sufficient food

We have introduced the right of access to food as a work area because of the importance of access to food for social justice and as a determinant of health. We work for appropriate regulation of and accountability in the food industry and for the availability of food to all, including in particular children, who are granted the constitutional right not just to access to food but to basic nutrition.

  • Food security
  • School nutrition programmes
  • Sugar tax

Good governance and accountability

We are working to ensure that the conduct of relevant organs of state and of those who exercise significant private power in relevant fields accords with the Constitution.

In particular, we work for more effective parliamentary oversight over the Executive, the maintenance of the foundational values of the Constitution, the maintenance of judicial independence, a better understanding of the constitutional obligations of the private sector in relation to the rights to health and education, increased equality of access to essential services provided by the private sector and a developed legal framework regulating private power, particularly in the health industry.

  • Corruption
  • Local government
  • Transformation of the judiciary

Tracking the National Strategic Plan

Our particular focus with regard to the NSP is on respect for and the promotion of human rights as outlined in the plan’s priority area 4, as well as the building and/or strengthening of SANAC structures to ensure good governance and accountability. We are also working on ensuring appropriate budgeting for and expenditure in relation to ARV treatment and other key interventions identified in the NSP, so that there is a sustainable uninterrupted provision of ARV treatment.

  • TB
  • TB in prisons
  • HIV and the law
  • HIV discrimination in the public and private sectors