“It has become trite to describe the injustices and devastation experienced across the world and yet it is vitally important that we engage with the condition the world is in if we are to heal better.”

United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres’s Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture 2020 speech.

Many businesses have returned to work with the easing of the lockdown from level 3 to level 2 on the 18 August 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.

#Run4SocialJustice

The SECTION27 #Run4SocialJustice fun run takes place on the 12 September. Signup for a 5km or 10km run, plan your running route and connect with us on social media using the hashtag #Active4socialjustice #SupportSECTION27. Proceeds from the race will go towards our fight to address inequality and our advocacy for the right to basic education and healthcare. Signup here.

SECTION27 and Spotlight invite you to participate in a discussion about child hunger and food security in South Africa.

Details:

Date: 3 September 2020

Time: 15.00-16.15pm

Registration: https://event.webinarjam.com/channel/ChildHungerWebinar

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Recent findings from the nationally representative NIDS-CRAM Survey show alarmingly high rates of hunger across South African society. Hunger has been felt acutely by children, in part because of the closure of the National School Nutrition Programme – a state school feeding scheme that feeds over 9 million learners nutritious meals daily. 

Thanks to recent litigation by SECTION27 and the Equal Education Law Centre (representing Equal Education and the school governing bodies of two Limpopo Schools), the NSNP is now – theoretically – being delivered to all eligible learners.

But serious obstacles remain to ensuring food security and combating hunger across the country. And while the NSNP case was a significant victory for the rights of learners to basic nutrition, child hunger is a complex phenomenon with many causes and lasting effects.

Beyond the National School Nutrition Programme, what other interventions can we advocate for to realise the right to basic nutrition and combat child hunger? 
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Journalist Kathryn Cleary, will moderate a discussion between Sasha Stevenson ​​​​​​​(Head of the Health Rights programme at SECTION27), Kath Hall (Children’s Institute, UCT) and Prof Haroon Saloojee (Division of Community Paediatrics, Wits).

Week Ahead

It is week 8 of the National Strategic Plan webinar series. This week’s discussion, presented by SECTION27’s Head of Communications, Nontsikelelo Mpulo, will explore “Lessons from other Councils.”

Details:

Date: Thursday, 27 August 2020

Time: 2:00 PM

Registration: https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/5667550742027387659

The Week That Was

19 August 2020 Joint Statement on the developments in the National Feeding Scheme case

In our latest joint statement with Equal Education and the Equal Education Law Centre about developments with our National School Nutrition Programme case we report that food distribution has improved, but the Department of Basic Education must still do better. Read the full statement here.

Nelson Mandela Foundation Webinar: ‘Governance & Social Contract within a changing international context – Making Universal Healthcare Universal.’

On 18 August 2020, SECTION27 Executive Director Umunyana Rugege moderated a Nelson Mandela Foundation panel discussion on universal healthcare. The panel included Dr Matshidiso Moeti (WHO Regional Director for Africa), Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (WHO Director General) and Prof Helen Rees (University of Witwatersrand Reproductive Health and HIV Institute Executive Director.) The full discussion is available here.

In Spotlight

COVID-19: Understanding the increased risk in people with diabetes

Roughly 42% of people with diabetes who tested positive for COVID-19 and had to be admitted to hospital in the Western Cape had died as of 16 July. Elri Voigt asked experts why people with diabetes who are hospitalised with COVID-19 have such poor prognoses. Read more.

COVID-19: Staying safe on (and off) the streets

Siyabonga Kamnqa visited shelters in Cape Town to chat to homeless people about their lives in the time of COVID-19 and under lockdown. He also asked government what they’ve done to assist and protect these vulnerable members of our society. Read more.

COVID-19: “Some days tears were just flowing over my cheeks,” says Cape Town ICU nurse

COVID-19 patients often die without family or loved ones by their side. However, they are not entirely alone. People like nurse Anthea Willemse console them in their final hour. Read more.

Libyan embassy allegedly pressuring SA workers to test for HIV

The Department of International Relations and Cooperation is investigating allegations that South Africans working at the Libyan embassy in Pretoria were pressured to test and reveal their HIV status after asking to be tested for COVID-19. Read more.