• Stop forced evictions of communities in Amadiba!
    SANRAL is pursuing the construction of a new toll road highway through the Wild Coast region of the Eastern Cape – a road that would have potentially disastrous effects on local communities and the environment. The proposed new toll will dissect the ancestral lands of the people of Amadiba Traditional Authority, the majority of whom are strongly opposed to its construction, and would rather prefer improvement to the existing network of roads upon which existing towns and villages rely. About 40 families, a number of schools and grave-sites under the Amadiba Traditional Authority alone will be relocated from their land if SANRAL goes ahead with the N2 Toll construction they are planning. It will be the second time some of these communities being moved. First it was to make way for Sun international to build a holiday resort in the 80’s under the then Homeland government. Now in the new dispensation, under democratic rule, they are again pressured to move and are not even consulted on it [1]. Vusi Mona, the spokesperson for SANRAL said work on the project would go ahead as planned unless government said otherwise [2]. This blatant disregard for community concerns is alarming.What of the much touted Batho-Pele principles? Why is our government unsympathetic to the cries of the people? Why do they continue putting profits before people? This imposed toll road and mining projects are leaving those whose lives will be directly affected unable to assert their democratic rights to participate effectively in the decision-making processes that impact on their lives, or to protect themselves against the powerful political and corporate greed that wish to exploit their resources. [1] Community members and organisations explain why they don't want titanium mining in Xolobeni. Amadiba Crisis Committee, Xolani Ntuli & Others. 12 August 2013. [2] Xolobeni villagers are "tired of being abused". By Lubabalo Ngcukana, 16 April 2017
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  • Ahmed Kathrada Foundation Operation Winter Warm 2017
    • To get young people to understand the plight of the underprivileged. • Young people to look at the causes that lead to others needs especially in winter. • Give young people the opportunity to give back to the underprivileged communities and homes. • Create networks to work with other organizations as part of our youth outreach programme. • Equip young people with mobilising skills. • Teach young people door to door campaigning. • Building engagement and collaboration between organisations. • Providing practical assistance and knowledge to plan and prepare for winter. • Facilitating a collaborative approach to communication across organisations; ensuring that vulnerable households receive correct, clear, consistent, useful and actionable advice and information. • This will provide the youth with effective planning skills. • This will teach the youth the art of giving without expecting anything in return.
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    Created by Busisiwe Nkosi
  • Send a message to the Fees Commission*
    Our leaders had a year to meet the demands of Fees Must Fall, and they have failed. But we have an opportunity to change this. This time last year we didn't have the ‘no-fee’ varsity report released, or had commitments from government to address illicit financial flows, but this year we do. That’s why we are calling for Minister Nzimande to stop stalling and implement his own no-fee varsity report, and for Minister Gigaba to commit at least 1% of Mzansi’s GDP to higher education. In October 2015, thousands of amandla.mobi members rallied together and forced Minister Nzimande to release the No-Fees Varsity Report. The report sets out 12 recommendations showing how free university education for students from low income households can be provided [1]. This affirms the demands of the student movement collectively known as ‘Fees Must Fall’ and proves that the Minister can take decisive action to put an end to financial exclusion in higher education. Since the release of the report we have been pushing to shift the public debate towards calls for Minister Nzimande to progressively implement the recommendations of the report. The time to stop overlooking us has come! Academics have spoken out on the chronic underfunding of Mzansi’s universities [2]. In fact, Mzansi’s government spends below the continent’s average on higher education, at 0.75% of its GDP. The proportion of GDP for Senegal and Ghana is 1.4% [3]. Mzansi’s higher education budget for the 2015/16 financial year is R30 billion. If the government were to spend 1% of GDP on higher education, this would amount to R41 billion. That’s almost four times the reported shortfall caused by 2016’s freeze on fee increases [3]. The recommendation by the Department of Higher Education and Training that university fees for 2017 should not be increased by more than 8% is in stark contrast to the events of last year where the government instructed universities on what to do. It is an open invitation for universities to determine what margin they increase fees by, provided that they remain within the Minister Nzimande’s recommendation. We need to shift the focus back to addressing the chronic underspending on the country’s universities. [1] It’s a national crisis, academics tell Nzimande, News24. Oct 22, 2015. [2] Free education is possible if South Africa moves beyond smoke and mirrors, Salim Vally for The Conversation. Sep 21, 2016. * The information you submit will be sent to the Fees Commission, the Presidency and the Department for Higher Education.
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    Created by Amandla.mobi Member
  • Prioritize social housing
    Today we announce that we have embarked on a symbolic occupation of the Helen Bowden Nurses Home and the Woodstock Hospital to demand Urban Land Justice in Cape Town. We are Cape Town residents from across the race and class divide. We are residents of Woodstock, Sea Point, Marikana informal settlement, Blikkiesdorp and Khayelitsha. We are from communities at the forefront of the housing and segregation crisis in our city. We stand in solidarity with the struggles of all poor and working class people who still live homeless under bridges; in shacks and informal settlements at the edge of our city; in backyards and wendy houses on the Cape Flats; and in store rooms and domestic quarters in former white suburbs. The colonial and apartheid governments divided our city, controlled where we could live and forcefully removed our families from their homes. Our parents and grandparents resisted and overcame racial oppression. They fought for the rights to dignity, justice, equality, and adequate housing that our Constitution now guarantees. But we still experience the violence of apartheid spatial planning and segregation. A dignified life with access to good services and decent work is reserved for a few. We still experience violent evictions from our homes by private property owners and our government. This, while private landlords, developers and banks are making obscene profits. Land must be for people, not for profit. We are angry that our City, our Province and our National governments have failed to acknowledge our struggles for land and for affordable housing. They have failed to bring Black and Coloured people back into our city. We believe that symbolic and peaceful civil disobedience is now justified in the defence of our Constitution and our Constitutional rights. As we have now made our home here for over 48 hours, the law is clear that we may not be evicted without an order of court. We call on the Province and the South African Police Service to act lawfully and refrain from using violence or other tactics of state oppression against us.
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  • Glenmore community demands answers!
    The people of Glenmore want to exercise their rights and have realised that for Glenmore to develop they need to rise up as a community and demand to be taken seriously. Services rendered should be done as per specifications, should be time bound and someone must account for work done that is below the specified standard. Black contractors appointed by the municipality should ensure that their work leaves a lasting legacy for generations to come and not to produce a "final product" that will need to be demolished/redone in a short period. Black business should strive for excellence, positioning them for leadership. Proper social facilitation should be the cornerstone for any and all community development projects. We can improve service delivery and fight corruption in our Municipality by ensuring all Service Delivery Agreements (SDAs) are public and easily accessible to all. Communities need not resort to violent protest. Transparency now!
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  • Assist Students Depending on NSFAS
    The University of the Western Cape Financial aid office is deliberately declining NSFAS funding for senior students who have passed 50% or more of their 2016 modules. According to NSFAS website and press releases, all students who were funded in 2016 and have passed 50% or more of their 2016 modules qualify for funding. The University of the Western Cape is saying otherwise. On 6 February 2017 Universities South Africa (USAf) issued a statement saying "students at all universities may be assured that notwithstanding the challenges experienced by NSFAS, the vast majority of students who qualify for grants will be able to register this week if they have not already done so." Fast forward to 21 March 2017 and there are confirmed cases of students at the University of Western Cape (UWC) and Durban University of technology (DUT) who are yet to register despite meeting the criteria to qualify for NSFAS. According to a commitment made by NSFAS in 2017, all first-entry students who have applied for financial aid and who come from Quintile 1, 2 and 3 schools (least privileged schools) and / or where family income is dependent upon a South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) grant, qualify for financial aid. These students may, with minimal risk to universities, be admitted to the study programme for which they qualify (subject to availability of space), and also to a place of residence (subject to capacity considerations). With regard to returning students, NSFAS has undertaken to support in 2017, all students who: * Received financial aid in 2016; * Satisfied the 50% module pass requirement; * Satisfy the N+2 completion requirement; and * Have signed their 2016 NSFAS loan agreement forms.
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  • SA Says NO to Monsanto's bogus drought tolerant GMO maize and toxic glyphosate
    We are deeply troubled by the continuous introduction of risky GMOs into our food and farming systems. Since its introduction into our food system in 1998, it has done nothing to address our nation’s hunger problems. Instead, we are left with polluted soil and water and loss of our superior, local farmer-bred varieties of maize. We are also extremely concerned about the political economy of seed control that Monsanto has imposed on our seed system, which utterly undermines our food sovereignty and breeds a dependency on Monsanto's industrial systems and technologies. Local land belonging to smallholder farmers in SA have already been contaminated. More GMOs will only exacerbate this situation and further erode farmers’ seed systems. We call on our government to reject Monsanto’s application and begin a real dialogue with South Africans to transition out of industrial and GM-based agriculture systems and work towards real climate resilient solutions that are ecologically sustainable, socially just and takes care of the nutritional needs of all South Africans
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    Created by African Centre for Biodiversity Picture
  • Allan Gray, Net1 Hands Off Our Grants
    Allan Gray who, through various accounts, holds 15.6% of the issued shared capital of Net1. Allan Gray, similarly to other asset managers, has a publically available policy on how it incorporates sustainability considerations, such as environmental, social and governance issues, into its investment decision-making. Among the factors it lists, as being taken into account when making investment decisions, are the corporate culture and ethics of the companies it invests in. This is interesting given the unethical nature in which Net1 has been stealing from the poor through deductions made from social grant recipients. Most asset managers forget that they are the custodians of the savings of many South Africans who would be appalled to know that they own shares in Net1 which, it appears, exploits the poorest strata of society to make a profit. The Sassa saga was an opportunity for Allan Gray and other owners of Net1 to stand up and intervene in the manner in which the situation was handled by Net1 and in the pricing strategies it deployed. They might not be able to change the business model of Net1 through shareholder activism alone. They can, however, choose not to hold its shares, based on ethical considerations. If more shareholders followed this approach Net1 would be forced to change its business model. 17 The Sassa saga is more than a failure of government to look after the interests of the poor. It is a failure by corporate South Africa to do the same. Reference: Sassa Saga: How CPS cross-sells microloans, insurance and services to poor grant recipients, Magda Wierzycka for The Daily Maverick. March 7, 2017.
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  • Tobeka Daki Campaign for Access to Trastuzumb
    Swiss multinational company Roche is facing global condemnation from women living with cancer, families of people with cancer, activists, scientists, researchers and health professionals from across the world who demand that no woman go without it lifesaving breast cancer treatment because it is too expensive. On 7th February, the Fix the Patents Laws Campaign launched the Tobeka Daki Campaign for Access to Trastuzumab in loving memory of a fearless activist who lead the struggle to ensure access to breast cancer treatment for women in South Africa. Despite being prescribed trastuzumab, a WHO essential medicine for the treatment of HER2+ breast cancer, Tobeka was never able to access the treatment due to its high cost. In South Africa the annual price in the private sector is around ZAR 516,700. The few public facilities which can access trastuzumab do so at a lower price of around ZAR 211,920 per year. Both out of reach of most. But, health economists have shown that a year’s worth of trastuzumab can be produced and sold for around ZAR 3 400. Drastically less. This estimated price even includes a 50% increase above the cost of production for profit. Meanwhile Roche are posting fat profits. In 2015 Roche made US$ 8.9-billion profit (around 119 billion Rand). In the same year CEO Severin Schwan earned US$ 12-million (around 160 million Rand). It seems highly plausible that Roche could cut the price of trastuzumab dramatically and still be very profitable. Instead Roche maintains it’s high prices in any way possible. Roche holds multiple evergreened patents on trastuzumab in certain countries across the world. In South Africa, for example, multiple patents extend their monopoly until 2033. In countries where the patents have ended or do not exist, Roche is using other means to block potentially more affordable biosimilar versions coming to market. In India Roche have initiated a court challenge against the Indian regulatory body for its decision to approve Mylan’s version as a biosimilar product. In Brazil and Argentina, Roche is one of the pharmaceutical companies litigating against those governments for their attempts to use legal international safeguards to protect public health. For too long Roche has been allowed to charge exorbitant prices for these lifesaving treatments. Tobeka had one life. Her two children had one mother. We had the means to give her a chance at survival and we failed her – as we will continue to fail other women. Shame on Severin Schwan (Roche CEO) for insisting on fat profits while you could save lives by trimming your profits. Roche could have given Tobeka a chance, but instead they turned their back on her. Demand that Roche do not turn their back on all the other women across the world. #RocheGreedKills #ForTobeka www.fixthepatentlaws.org
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  • Amend legislation that negatively impacts communities
    The granting of fishing allocations makes small-scale farming entities and communities susceptible to bullying by established entities. This further perpetuates the poverty cycle with small-scale entities giving in to capital. We need to put in place sustainable models and policies that help small-scale entities thrive. We have seen how entities granted fishing allocations struggle with no guarantee of any form of tenure. This is made evident by the recent case of Buffeljags, on the Western Cape's Overberg coast and many others. Given the high poverty levels in South Africa, and with the current policies in place, small-scale farming communities will always be on the back foot and capital will always reign supreme. We must go back to the drawing board and rectify policies. The Buffeljags is a small community who rely on harvesting seaweed to make ends meet. The Department has not renewed their 10-year fishing allocation and this will plunge the community into poverty. We can't allow a government department to make decisions that negatively impact the poor.
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  • Secure and rehabilitate disused mines
    Mining communities' lives are in danger. Recently a young boy, Richard, aged 5 fell inside an neglected, uncovered mine shaft and has not been found since[1]. His mother has been crying since the accident, all she wants is her child's body. South Africa’s Department of Mineral Resources, holds a list of 6,000 "derelict and ownerless" mines, which became the government’s problem over the years when the former owners disappeared. The Department of Mineral Resources must work very closely with the Department of Environmental Affairs before awarding closure certificates to these mining companies. Rehabilitation plans ought to be submitted and approved by the authorities before any mining activity can start, and that finances must be set aside for this purpose. However, it looks like this is not happening and some mining houses close down and leave the state to foot the bill for the clean-up costs. We know that communities who live in these areas are predominantly Black and of low income households. The former apartheid government placed many settlements near or even on top of the mining waste dumps but this does not mean that their lives are not valuable. It is upon all of us as Mzansi citizens to put pressure on these Departments to hold these mining companies accountable by vigorously enforcing the NEMA (National Environmental Management Act) from the initial prospecting phase to the closure of mine operations. [1] http://www.news24.com/Video/SouthAfrica/News/all-i-want-is-my-child-desperate-plea-from-mother-of-boy-5-who-fell-down-mine-shaft-20170228
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  • Hire a graduate, even if they don't have experience
    We can't get jobs because we lack experience, we are suffering.
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    Created by Phumelele Hlongwane Picture