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.
It is a terrible irony that the need for an effective and ongoing response to the AIDS epidemic will be one of the defining legacies left to the ANC by a President who tried to deny the existence of HIV. It is also ironic that the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), an organization that Mbeki once branded as ‘flag carrier for pharmaceutical companies’, is heralded one of the few organizations that was able to force a complete overturn policy in an area defined and defended by himself, during his Presidency.
This chapter examines the experience of one of South Africa‟s foremost pro-poor civil society movements, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), and uses it to reflect on the role that was played by social justice organisations during Mbeki‟s presidency (1999-2008).
The National Health Amendment Bill (the Bill) was simultaneously published with the Medicines Amendment Bill on 18 April 2008. Both Bills are some of the most important pieces of health legislation to be proposed in recent years. The Medicines Amendment Bill is the subject of a separate submission that accompanies this one.
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the AIDS Law Project (ALP) recognise the need for, and strongly support, legislative reform to ensure that the Medicines Control Council (MCC) is able effectively and efficiently to regulate medicines and other health products. This, we are told, is the ostensible purpose of the draft Medicines and Related Substances Amendment Bill, 2008 (“the draft Bill”).