“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” Martin Luther King Jr.
American Civil Rights Leader, Martin Luther King Jr.
Many businesses have returned to work with the easing of the lockdown from level 4 to level 3 on 1 June 2020, however, SECTION27 staff will continue to work remotely.
Our advice desk will only conduct telephonic consultations. The numbers to call or WhatsApp are 060 754 0751 or 067 419 6841.
The public interest organisations legal support hotline continues to be available to the public to contact regarding rights violations: 066 076 8845.
SECTION27 will host a webinar titled: “The role of civil society in ensuring the right to basic education during the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Education activist, Mary Metcalfe will moderate a discussion with Faranaaz Veriava (SECTION27), Nurina Ally (Equal Education Law Centre), Tracey Malawana (Equal Education) and Yolanda Magugu (Learner at Charlotte Maxeke Secondary School)
Date: 15 June 2020
Register here: https://event.webinarjam.com/channel/S27EducationWebinar
This week SECTION27 will be going live on the Global Giving platform! Global Giving is the largest global crowdfunding community, connecting nonprofits, donors, and companies all over the world. With your support, we can continue the fight for social justice through our advocacy and activism for the right to health and education, for all living in South Africa.
THE WEEK THAT WAS
On 1 June 2020, SECTION27 submitted comments on the Kwa-Zulu Natal Draft Learner Transport Policy: 2020. We remain concerned that the draft Policy is inadequate for learners with disabilities; it leaves out crucial aspects of universal design and fails to make provision for learners at mainstream schools. The details of our submission can be found on our website.
We have continued to monitor the readiness of schools in Limpopo. SECTION27 is representing Kharivha Primary School (“Kharivha”) in Ndovhada village in Limpopo, a school that was not ready to be re-opened safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. We wrote the National and Limpopo Departments of Education. We are pleased to note that mobile toilets and water tankers were delivered to the school on Sunday 7 June 2020. We will continue to monitor the delivery of other essentials to ensure that learners are able to resume learning in a safe environment. Read our statement here.
SECTION27, the Equal Education Law Centre and Equal Education issued a statement expressing concern about the Department of Basic Education’s readiness to reopen schools. Read the statement here.
During a briefing on Sunday 7 June 2020, the DBE announced that 97,6% of public schools (23 100) are ready to open on 8 June 2020. SECTION27 will continue to monitor schools in Limpopo with a particular focus on the delivery of food in the National School Nutrition Programme. Read our statement here.
There are a number of preconditions required for schools to be re-opened safely in the COVID-19 disaster period. We have put together a simple guide for learners, caregivers, educators, and school staff to make sense of what is needed for school safety and hygiene during this period, which you can access on our website.
SECTION27 has compiled a list of organisations distributing food parcels to all people in need, including documented and undocumented migrants, during the national lockdown. Download and share the poster if you know someone in need at this time or if you would like to assist the organisations listed on the poster with donations of food.
The Department of Basic Education has released a full list of zero-rated websites (on both mobile providers and internet service providers) for continuing learning during the national lockdown. You can access the list here.
In-depth: What ever happened to Ketlaphela?
Government is resuscitating its plans for a state-owned pharmaceutical company and is preparing to announce a new partner in the project. Catherine Tomlinson investigates.
COVID-19: Voices from PE townships on lockdown and level 3
South Africa moved to level three of its COVID-19 lockdown this week meaning, significantly relaxed lockdown regulations. In many townships in Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, residents have mixed views on life under lockdown. Luvuyo Mehlwana visited some townships and spoke to residents.
A convenient untruth: The TB Proof healthcare worker
We were told the planned release date for an occupational health policy to protect healthcare workers was World Tuberculosis Day, 24 March 2017. Three World TB Days later and with a new epidemic claiming the lives of healthcare workers we are still waiting for the Policy, writes Dr Arne von Delft.
COVID-19: Pandemic puts pressure on medicine supply
Reports of drug shortages and stock-outs across South Africa have the Department of Health in a race against the clock to ensure a supply of essential medicines. With manufacturing operations around the world still facing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the country is battling to meet the demand for contraceptives, tuberculosis medicines and psychiatric medicines.
COVID-19: The danger of criminalisation
To single out a disease through specific laws or existing prosecution mechanisms places an unreasonable burden on the criminal justice system to address people’s behaviour. Our experience with HIV points to a better approach, argues Mbalenhle Baduza.
COVID-19 “She said goodbye to me in her way”
By last week 1 010 public sector healthcare workers in the Western Cape had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. Of these six had passed away of COVID-19. Anncha Kepkey, a nurse at Tygerberg Hospital, is among those who died. Biénne Huisman spoke to her husband about who Anncha was and what happened in the last days of her life.