3 – 7 July 2020

“We believe in, and are creating, a future informed by an intersectional sexual and reproductive justice perspective. Equality, dignity and bodily integrity to inform services, information and resources and options that are provided to all including marginalised sexual and gender identities.”

Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng (known as Dr T) in an interview with She Leads Africa.
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, however, 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

Dr Tlaleng’s appointment as United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health

With partners who work on HIV and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, SECTION27 congratulates Dr Tlaleng Mofokeng on her appointment as United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health for the next three years. Dr Tlaleng’s incredible history of SRHR advocacy, social justice activism and commitment to human rights is admirable, and we wish her well in this next chapter. Read our joint letter of congratulations here.

National school nutrition programme monitoring

We received the first court ordered plan for the resumption of the NSNP to all eligible learners on Friday 31 July 2020. With partners at Equal Education and EE Law Centre, we are interrogating the plans from the Department of Basic Education and provincial education departments, as well as monitoring the situation on the ground with our partner schools.

If you are a learner, caregiver, teacher or school governing body member, and your school has not made plans to resume the NSNP you can report the noncompliance by emailing news@section27.org.za or calling/sending a Whatsapp to 060 754 0751.  

‘The parlous state of poverty eradication’: a discussion on the report from UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.

Together with Maverick Citizen, we are hosting a discussion between Professor Philip Alston and Professor Sandy Liebenberg, reflecting on the implications of the latest report from the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights entitled ‘The Parlous State of Poverty Eradication’  for South Africa.

​​​​​​​SECTION27’s Dr Faranaaz Veriava will introduce the discussion and launch SECTION27’s Austerity Report, discussing the effects of austerity on socio-economic rights in the new context of COVID-19.

Maverick Citizen’s Mark Heywood will moderate the discussion.

Details
Date: 13 August 2020
Time: 4pm CAT
Registration: https://event.webinarjam.com/register/35/r4kwouv3

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:

THE WEEK THAT WAS

Eastern Cape Health System protests

With members of the TAC, and the Eastern Cape Health Crisis Action Committee, SECTION27’s Thokozile Mtsolongo participated in protest action about the crumbling of the Eastern Cape health system in Port Elizabeth. Protesters delivered a memorandum of demands to improve health services in the province.

Thoko Mtsholongo hands Eastern Cape Health Deputy Director General, Dr Litha Matiwane the memorandum of demands. 

The unsung heroes and heroines of the National School Nutrition Programme victory

Principals, educators and SGB members who dared to speak up on behalf of their learners, despite fears of intimidation by their superiors, are the heroes and heroines of the #NSNP victory writes Kholo Mphahlele and Boitumelo Masipa from SECTION27.
https://www.dailymaverick.co.za/article/2020-07-29-the-unsung-heroes-and-heroines-of-the-national-school-nutrition-programme-victory/#gsc.tab=0 

Nine million hungry children: We ask Section27 five questions about school feeding scheme

While we were waiting the first court ordered report on plans to resume the National School Nutrition Programme for all eligible learners, SECTION27 legal researcher Tendai Mafuma answered five pressing questions about the NSNP in this article. #SchoolMealsNow
https://www.news24.com/news24/analysis/nine-million-hungry-children-we-ask-section27-five-questions-about-school-feeding-scheme-20200731 

Letter to Dr Fauci and NIAID regarding HIV treatment

With a number of HIV advocacy groups from around the Global South, we have signed on to a letter addressed to Dr Fauci requesting that the US National Institute for Allergies and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) do not grant exclusive rights in a HIV patent license for South Africa, India and other low income countries. Read our letter here.

Education spending is falling. The Covid-19 budget has slashed it further

Basic education has been defined as a “donor department” – meaning that it has had to cut its budget, receiving no additional funding to deal with the challenges of #COVID19. SECTION27’s Julia Chaskalson and Daniel McLaren, & Equal Education’s Hopolang Selebalo unpack what the Supplementary budget means for basic education here.

Corruption allegations in Gauteng health department

SECTION27 joined the Kathrada Foundation, Corruption Watch, Freedom Under Law, Johannesburg Against Injustice, Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse, Patriotic Movement, South African Communist Party in voicing concerns over reports of corruption in the Gauteng Department of Health. SECTION27 along with TAC and Corruption Watch revealed a report detailing corruption the GDoH in 2018, we continue to participate in the Health Corruption Forum to ensure that those responsible for corrupt acts are held accountable. Read the statement here.   

The dreadful effects of lockdown on access to sexual and reproductive health services

SECTION27 health researcher Thuthukile Mbatha has undertaken exhaustive research on the effects of COVID-19 and country lockdowns on access to  sexual and reproductive health services in the Eastern and Southern African region. Here, in an article published in Spotlight, she focused on the effects of South Africa’s lockdown on access to SRH services:
https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/31/the-dreadful-effects-of-lockdown-on-access-to-sexual-and-reproductive-health-services/ 

8 big minds on Covid-19 – are there opportunities in crisis? Daily Maverick

SECTION27 Executive Director Umunyana Rugege told Daily Maverick what the Covid-19 crisis could offer for Non-Profit Organisations, stressing that in times of crisis, the work of social justice activists becomes even more important. Watch the interview here: https://www.instagram.com/tv/CDJwkA6jewP/?igshid=yiolz7ao0bt4

In-depth: The long shadow of child malnutrition in South Africa

COVID-19 has accelerated concerning trends of child hunger, stunting and malnutrition. Here, reporting for Spotlight NSP, Kathryn Cleary examines the impact of the lockdown on child nutrition in KwaZulu Natal:
https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/24/in-depth-the-long-shadow-of-child-malnutrition-in-south-africa/ 

COVID-19: How rugby legend Broadhurst Cona beat COVID-19

In his illustrious career, Broadhurst (Broadness) Cona, learnt to fight hard on the rugby field and never gave up until the final whistle. It is this same spirit that Cona brought to another fight – surviving #COVID19 as a 73-year-old. Siyabonga Kamnqa paid Cona a visit. Read more here: https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/27/covid-19-how-rugby-legend-broadhurst-cona-beat-covid-19/ 

COVID-19: The trial and error of digital contact tracing in SA

The government has launched a mobile app called COVIDConnect to augment the testing and tracing process for COVID-19. Read more about how the cellular application works and why it may assist with the tricky task of contact tracing:
https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/28/covid-19-the-trial-and-error-of-digital-contact-tracing-in-sa/ 

IN-DEPTH: Are clinic committees a missing link in SA’s COVID-19 response?

Clinic Committees can be a powerful link between the community and primary healthcare facilities. Several clinic committee members, however, say they have been side-lined in South Africa’s #COVID19 response. Tiyese Jeranji reports.
https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/29/in-depth-are-clinic-committees-a-missing-link-in-sas-covid-19-response/ 

COVID-19: “Extremely high levels of stress” among employees in SA

COVID-19 and the lockdown has definitely exacted a toll on people’s mental health. Here,  Amy Green speaks to mental health experts and speaks to the roll of employers and workplaces are in ameliorating mental health concerns. Read more:
https://www.spotlightnsp.co.za/2020/07/24/covid-19-extremely-high-levels-of-stress-among-employees-in-sa/