The week ahead: 20 – 24 July 2020
“The essence of this matter aptly can be captured as: “For now I ask no more than the justice of eating.”
Judge Potterill (quoting Chilean poet and Nobel Prize winner, Pablo Neruda), in her judgment on the Equal Education and others v. The Department of Basic Education and Others matter regarding the National School Nutrition Programme, handed down 17 July 2020.
Many businesses have returned to work with the easing of the lockdown from level 4 to level 3 on the 1 June 2020. 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.
THE WEEK AHEAD
Eastern Cape health crisis advocacy
20 July 2020
Members of the SECTION27 health team together with the Igazi Foundation will meet with the Eastern Cape health department to discuss the ongoing health crisis in the province.
National Strategic Plan against Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (NSP-GBVF)
SECTION27 members continue to support the work of the Call To Action civil society collective working to combat gender-based violence and femicide. Details of upcoming engagements are included below:
Joint Submission to the Select and Standing Committees on Appropriations on the 2020 Adjustments Appropriations Bill
With Equal Education and the Equal Education Law Centre, we crafted a submission to the Select And Standing Committees on Appropriations pertaining to the Supplementary Budget’s reductions to basic education spending. The Committees meet on Tuesday 21 July 2020, and we are advocating for them to support our recommendations to list basic education as a ‘frontline service’ worthy of additional funding during the COVID-19 pandemic, instead of the status quo where budget cuts persist. You can read our joint submission here: https://section27.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Appropriations-Committee-Submission-on-the-2020-Adjustments-Appropriation-Bill-4-1.pdf
Daily Maverick Webinar on the SA Human Rights Commission’s 25th Anniversary
22 July, 12pm
Head of Education Rights Programme at SECTION27 Faranaaz Veriava will be in conversation with Mark Heywood and chair of the SA Human Rights Commission Professor Bongani Christopher Majola on the history of the Commission and its work furthering human rights. To register, follow this link: https://bit.ly/3hiFcQl
SECTION27 welcomes former Constitutional Court Justice Froneman to the SECTION27 family as a Board Member
Last week, former Justice Froneman became a board member of SECTION27! We are thrilled to have such a prestigious jurist on our board, and we look forward to working together to further the constitutional rights to basic education and health together!
National School Nutrition Programme court order victory for over 9 million learners!
On 17 July 2020, Judge S Potterill of the North Gauteng High Court delivered judgment in our favour in the Equal Education and others v. the Department of Basic Education and others case regarding the National Schools Nutrition Programme (NSNP). The court handed down both a declaratory and supervisory order, requiring the Department of Basic Education (DBE) to roll out the NSNP to all eligible children without delay – regardless of whether learners have returned to school.
You can read our statement on the victory for the 9 million beneficiaries of the NSNP here: https://section27.org.za/2020/07/17-july-2020-joint-media-advisory-victory-for-equal-education-limpopo-school-governing-bodies-and-over-nine-million-learners-as-court-rules-that-governments-national-school-nutrition-progr/?fbclid=IwAR1QTcOZpeR5ABVRA4SxHOHv3dgsEhJbaknB_yqenXNtu9cCGjj44h9wiF8
You can read the judgement from Judge Potterill here: https://section27.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/Judgment-Equal-Education-and-others-v-Minister-of-Basic-Education-and-others-22588-2020-2.pdf
We thank our partners and supporters for this case and look forward to monitoring the rollout of the NSNP to all eligible learners in the coming weeks. #SchoolMealsNow!
School feeding court case: the justice of eating and the obscenity of hunger – Faranaaz Veriava and Sasha Stevenson
Judgment in the case between Equal Education and the governing bodies of two schools in Limpopo vs the Minister of Basic Education was handed down on Friday 17 July, in favour of the immediate reinstatement of the National School Nutrition Programme (NSNP) and affirming school nutrition as a component of the right to basic education. Below, SECTION27s Head of Health Rights, Sasha Stevenson and Head of Education Rights, Faranaaz Veriava distil the legal principles from this judgment, highlighting that “Hunger is not an issue of charity, but one of justice.”
UN’s Alston Report ‘Lays Bare South Africa’s Cruel Economic Policy Choices’ – Mila Harding
Philip Alston, Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, published the Alston Report on 2 July 2020. Contrary to Minister of Finance Tito Mboweni’s Supplementary Budget “which espouses a commitment to fiscal austerity in order to, according to him, contain the budget deficit and rapidly rising debt,” the Alston report confirms the devastating effects of austerity on human rights. SECTION27’s Legal intern, Mila Harding, gives her analysis for the Daily Maverick, below:
National Income Dynamics Survey – Covid Rapid Mobile Survey (NIDS-CRAM) data released
Nationally representative data from the NIDS-CRAM survey was released on 15 July 2020, illustrating widespread conditions of hunger as well as the gendered effects of the COVID-19 lockdown. SECTION27 Board Member Dr Nic Spaull coordinated the research, and SECTION27 intends to use this invaluable data in our advocacy going forward. You can read reports from the survey here: https://cramsurvey.org/reports/
COVID-19: The pandemic’s far-reaching impact on pregnancy
New data from the nationally representative NIDS-CRAM survey shows that the Corona Virus has impacted on prenatal and antenatal health for women. Spotlight NSP investigated the impact of COVID-19 by speaking to pregnant women in the article below:
COVID-19: Western Cape and Gauteng prepare for the peak
How are Gauteng and the Western Cape – the two provinces with the highest numbers of people with COVID-19 infections – preparing for the way forward? Kathryn Cleary investigates bed capacity, oxygen availability and the numbers of ventilators in each province. Take a look:
COVID-19: Many adults going hungry for the sake of their children, new data shows
In the absence of school feeding schemes, entire families are under strain and experiencing hunger. New nationally representative data from the NIDS-CRAM survey shows that many adults are skipping meals to ensure there’s enough to go round for their children.
COVID-19: Solutions proposed as shocking new child hunger numbers revealed
Findings from the National Income Dynamics Study revealed shocking statistics about the effects of South Africa’s #COVID19 #lockdown on child and household hunger. Experts say that children may be the pandemic’s greatest victims and the country’s progress towards ending hunger may have been reversed. Kathryn Cleary reports for Spotlight, below.
Being young and living with HIV in the time of COVID-19
Fighting the spread of COVID-19 in KwaZulu-Natal has created ‘setbacks’ for young people living with HIV in the province, says SECTION27 field researcher Sifiso Nkala: increased stigma, lack of support and challenges to adherence to HIV medicines are concerning for marginalised groups of people living with HIV. Read more:
COVID-19: What the pandemic is like for older persons living in poor communities
As of 1 July updates from Department of Health showed 1541 of 2749 #Covid19SA deaths were recorded among people 60 years and older. In addition to an increased risk of serious #COVID19 illness, older persons in poor communities face difficulties in staying safe and healthy during the pandemic. Siyabonga Kamnqa spoke to older people and others on what can be done to protect older people. Here is what has been recommended.
COVID-19: Alcohol ban will increase ICU capacity, but is not a long term solution – experts say
The reinstatement of the ban on the sale of alcohol may have come as a surprise to many, but evidence suggests that it will have a significant impact on trauma and hospital capacity in the coming weeks. However, is the prohibition a long-term solution in the fight against COVID19? Find out more below.