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 Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) welcome this opportunity to make a submission to the Panel for the Independent Assessment of Parliament. The TAC and ALP are civil society organizations dedicated to upholding the rights of people to have access to health care services, to ensuring that the state discharges its positive constitutional obligations in respect of that right, and to ensuring a comprehensive response to HIV/AIDS both domestically and internationally.
The AIDS Law Project (ALP) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) focus much of their work on ensuring that full and meaningful effect is given to the Bill of Rights recognition that “[e]veryone has the right to have access to … health care services” and that the “state must take reasonable legislative and other measures, within its available resources, to achieve the progressive realization” of this right.
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.
The ALP made a follow-up submission to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Constitutional Development regarding the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Bill. The submission was made on 15 August 2006 based on a new draft version of the bill.
In our submission to the Department of Science and Technology (DST) on the draft Intellectual Property Rights from Publicly Financed Research Framework, we noted that “[w]hile we continue to advocate for the development of an intellectual property framework in South Africa that generally facilitates access to essential products, our primary concern is that the legislation and regulations . . . that will result from this process make particular provision for ensuring access to the products of research that were developed using public resources.”