Civil Society Watch, 10-17 February 2020

A weekly characteristic to tell readers of a cross-section of occasions organised by civil society organisations. Let’s begin the week with some excellent news!

Final 12 months Maverick Citizen carried stories on the Jap Cape drought that had left the Nqweba Dam in Graaff-Reinet empty, necessitating the intervention of Present of the Givers. On the weekend, rains over the Jap Cape introduced water again into the dam. Nature did its factor within the nick of time and the group celebrated. However, as Estelle Ellis reported final week, the welcome rains won’t be sufficient to raise the drought and entry to adequate water in poor communities remains bleak. The dam could also be rising once more however the want for water and local weather activism has not subsided. For these causes we are going to proceed our in-depth community-based reporting from cities and villages that almost all politicians would quite we forgot.

On this picture dated 9 October 2019, the Nqweba dam exterior Graaff-Reinet had dried up utterly. (Picture: Estelle Ellis)



A photograph of the Nqweba Dam taken this previous weekend. (Picture equipped)


The video above was equipped and exhibits how the dam fills up, What an exquisite sight!!

Thirty years in the past there was hope and belief: it grew enormously when on Tuesday 11 February 1990 Nelson Mandela was launched from jail. Maybe that’s the explanation why Tuesday 11 February 2020 goes to be a busy day for activists. Under are among the occasions:

Within the morning (at 9am at The Capital, Melrose, Johannesburg) UN Women, whose govt director is former SA deputy president Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, is launching the South African chapter of the Unstereotype Alliance which describes itself as “a thought and motion platform that seeks to eradicate dangerous gender-based stereotypes in all media and promoting content material”.

Additionally kicking off within the morning, the African Centre of Excellence for Inequality Research will take the necessary insights from the just lately launched, Inequality Tendencies in South Africa report, additional at a stakeholder engagement to be taught extra in regards to the findings. The occasion is billed as “a possibility for presidency, academia, civil society, labour unions and worldwide organisations to carry constructive conversations on methods to deal with the nation’s monumental inequality challenges”. It’s bringing collectively audio system from the Presidency; Nationwide Treasury; Oxfam South Africa; the Growth Financial institution of Southern Africa; City of Cape Town, South African Cities Network, the Nationwide Labour and Financial Growth Institute; Equal Education; Gender Links and members of the Presidential Financial Advisory Council from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Governance and Wits Business School. There are nonetheless a number of seats out there – see RSVP particulars at:

At lunchtime the Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (Plaas) on the College of the Western Cape will probably be holding a seminar titled “The Landless Folks’s Motion: the Motion that Was, however By no means Was”. The seminar is predicated on 10 years of fieldwork and analysis by Professor Marcelo Rosa from the College of Brasilia. It’s an necessary alternative for activists to consider the difficulties of constructing social actions in rural areas. For extra data: Babongile Malama, tel: zero21 959 3733 or E mail: [email protected]

Later that day, Amnesty Worldwide South Africa will launch a brand new report, Damaged and Unequal: The State of Schooling in South Africa in partnership with the Mail & Guardian. Final 12 months Amnesty induced controversy, even inside civil society, with its poster marketing campaign of a smiling HF Verwoerd and the slogan #signthesmileoffhisface 



And to close Tuesday down, at 6pm that night GIBS holds its personal state of the nation, with a dialogue on Politics, the Economic system and Management with Nick Binedell, Peter Hain, Oscar van Heerden and Stephen Grootes. Sadly – and unacceptably – the panel doesn’t embody the attitude of a girl or a teenager.

 On 11 and 12 February Outa will probably be concerned in group visits to Milnerton and Joe Slovo Park within the Western Cape to evaluate water air pollution, a problem that will even be mentioned on Wednesday, 12 February, on the OUTA Hour, hosted dwell on Fb and Radio Right this moment, each Wednesday between 19:10 – 20:00

On Thursday 13 February the Denis Goldberg Belief is internet hosting the Ukufikelela Live performance to rejoice and lift funds for the Denis Goldberg Home of Arts and Tradition Schooling Centre on the Hout Bay Museum in Cape City. Native and worldwide artists will carry out to lift funds for the centre: “a spot the place younger individuals from totally different communities can enrich their lives by artwork, tradition and schooling actions”. To e book tickets:

Then, on the night of Thursday 13 February comes one of many greatest political occasions of the 12 months, President Cyril Ramaphosa’s third State of the Nation Tackle (SONA). As austerity bites, unemployment rises and municipal companies collapse – all of which profit the State Seize brigade – one wonders when the president will rally the nation behind a tangible and radical programme that rebuilds hope within the promise of social justice. We’re prepared if you find yourself Mr President!

To that finish, the day earlier than SONA, an necessary public rally will probably be held on Wednesday 12 February at St George’s Cathedral in Cape City. The rally is being organised by the Ahmed Kathrada Basis below the theme: State Seize Culprits should be Jailed. Audio system will embody former ANC MP and whistle-blower, Andrew Feinstein and Nadine Cloete, author and director of the wonderful movie on the lifetime of Ashley Kriel.

The general public rally is drumming up help for Archbishop Thabo Makgoba’s name that 2020 be the “Yr of the Orange Overalls”. Nonetheless, after the research report revealed by Open Secrets and techniques final week, it’s clear that orange overalls are usually not simply wanted by the likes of Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane, but in addition by a number of captains of business who stroll what Open Secrets and techniques calls the the “State Seize Mile”’ in Sandton.

On the rally, civil society organisations will even make public an Open Letter to Rampahosa addressing what they assume must be coated in SONA.

On the finish of the week, public hearings on the Conventional Courts Invoice transfer to Gauteng. The primary will probably be at Vereeniging Neighborhood Corridor on Friday, 14 February at 10am; the second on Saturday will probably be in Tshwane on the Ditsong Nationwide Museum, additionally at 10am. For extra details about these necessary hearings contact Jacky Moteke ([email protected]) and Jabulile Nyembe ([email protected]).

On Saturday 15 February, social justice photojournalist and human rights activist Gideon Mendel launches his newest exhibition and e book, Freedom or Dying.

The duvet of photographer Gideon Mendel’s newest e book

Thirty years in the past, Mendel left a field of his negatives and transparencies in storage in a buddy’s storage in Johannesburg. Over time the field was rained upon and its contents broken. The affected pictures had been from the ultimate years of apartheid when Mendel had witnessed the nationwide township rebellion and scenes of mobilisation, battle and tragedy. The e book launch and exhibition will even coincide with the opening of the brand new artco gallery. It runs till 28 March. The gallery is on the third flooring, Fairweather Home, 176 Sir Lowry Street, Woodstock. Extra data through [email protected]

Lastly, additionally on Saturday 15 February, veteran feminist social justice activist Pregs Govender turns 60. She has been a freedom fighter since her teenagers and is without doubt one of the few leaders of her era who’ve protected their integrity and rules: through the years she has been a commerce union chief; a womens’ rights activist; the one member of the ANC to vote towards the arms deal; one of many handful of ANC MPs to defy Thabo Mbeki’s AIDS denialism; and the deputy chairperson of the Human Rights Fee. Right this moment Govender continues to be an activist and a author, a lot of whose concepts and actions will be discovered on her web site Love, Courage and Insubordination.  Glad birthday, Pregs!

Pregs Govender

And… whereas with reference to the sturdy and resilient ladies whose struggles and management have held society collectively earlier than and after apartheid, be sure you see the film, Poppie Nongena described by Eusebius McKaiser as “painful, poignant, essential … we dare not neglect the myriad methods during which apartheid was evil.”

You’ll discover that many of the occasions coated above are taking place in Cape City and Johannesburg. However activists dwell in each metropolis, city and village in South Africa and we wish to report on all of them! So, wherever you reside, you probably have occasions or conferences which you assume different activists should learn about, write to us at [email protected]

Additionally please join our weekly publication here. MC


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