• Tell Joanmariae Fubbs #HandsOffTheSugaryDrinksTax
    We all know Mzansi’s health system is under a lot of pressure, and globally experts have warned that sugary drinks are increasing rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes [1]. Researchers from Wits University [2] and the World Health Organisation back policies like the Sugary Drinks Tax as measures to improve people’s health. The introduction of the Sugary Drinks Tax is an important first step towards lifting the pressure on our health system and keeping South Africans healthy. So far the tax has raised R2.3 billion which will be used for health promotion and go back into our healthcare system. But the Department of Trade and Industry committee has called on the Minister of Trade and Industry to intervene in what they call ‘a crisis in the sugar industry’. Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Trade and Industry, Joanmariae Fubbs, has called for a moratorium on the Sugary Drinks Tax [3]. Big business are trying to maximize profits by getting the Sugary Drinks Tax repealed. We know their greed has put our nation's health at risk. But we have a chance now to stop this. Let’s send a message to Joanmariae Fubbs and the rest of Parliament, we the people stand behind the Sugary Drinks Tax. If enough of us come together, our voices will be so loud that Joanmariae Fubbs will have to listen. Tackling obesity-related diseases needs to be a national priority, and the tax on sugary drinks is a first step in addressing this national epidemic. One in four people in South Africa are obese [4]. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and its related diseases, as excessive sugar intake causes increased risk of diabetes, liver and kidney damage, heart disease, and some cancers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend that people should consume no more than 10% of total calories from sugar. The South African government has been under pressure from beverage companies and retail groups who have been flooding Parliament and Treasury with comments to stop this life-saving policy or weaken it with exemptions and loopholes—and they are having an impact. The South African government MUST put the health of South Africans before special interests who target the most vulnerable populations with their unhealthy products. Please make your voice heard today! [1] Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis, Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet, Harvard School of Public Health. [2] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions by James Thabo Molelekwa for Health- E News. April 21, 2016. [3] MPs call for intervention in embattled sugar industry by Linda Ensor for Business Day, February 2019 [4] Is SA the ‘fattest nation’ in sub-Saharan Africa, with a third of people obese Kate Wilkinson for Africa Check July 2015
    55 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Khaliel Moses
  • Tell John Steenhuisen #HandsOffTheSugaryDrinksTax
    We all know Mzansi’s health system is under a lot of pressure, and globally experts have warned that sugary drinks are increasing rates of obesity and Type 2 Diabetes [1]. Researchers from Wits University [2] and the World Health Organisation back policies like the Sugary Drinks Tax as measures to improve people’s health. The introduction of the Sugary Drinks Tax is an important first step towards lifting the pressure on our health system and keeping South Africans healthy. So far the tax has raised R2.3 billion which will be used for health promotion and go back into our healthcare system. But the Department of Trade and Industry committee has called on the Minister of Trade and Industry to intervene in what they call ‘a crisis in the sugar industry’. Chief Whip of the DA, John Steenhuisen, has called for a moratorium on the Sugary Drinks Tax [3]. Big business are trying to maximize profits by getting the Sugary Drinks Tax repealed. We know their greed has put our nation's health at risk. But we have a chance now to stop this. Let’s send a message to John Steenhuisen and the rest of Parliament, we the people stand behind the Sugary Drinks Tax. If enough of us come together, our voices will be so loud that John Steenhuisen will have to listen. Tackling obesity-related diseases needs to be a national priority, and the tax on sugary drinks is a first step in addressing this national epidemic. One in four people in South Africa are obese [4]. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of obesity and its related diseases, as excessive sugar intake causes increased risk of diabetes, liver and kidney damage, heart disease, and some cancers. The World Health Organisation (WHO) and the World Cancer Research Fund recommend that people should consume no more than 10% of total calories from sugar. The South African government has been under pressure from beverage companies and retail groups who have been flooding Parliament and Treasury with comments to stop this life-saving policy or weaken it with exemptions and loopholes—and they are having an impact. The South African government MUST put the health of South Africans before special interests who target the most vulnerable populations with their unhealthy products. Please make your voice heard today! [1] Sugar-sweetened beverages and risk of metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes: a meta-analysis, Malik VS, Popkin BM, Bray GA, Després JP, Willett WC, Hu FB. Sugary Drinks and Obesity Fact Sheet, Harvard School of Public Health. [2] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions by James Thabo Molelekwa for Health- E News. April 21, 2016. [3] MPs call for intervention in embattled sugar industry by Linda Ensor for Business Day, February 2019 [4] Is SA the ‘fattest nation’ in sub-Saharan Africa, with a third of people obese Kate Wilkinson for Africa Check July 2015
    90 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Khaliel Moses
  • Help fight type 2 diabetes, demand the Sugary Drinks Tax is increased to 20%
    Companies like Coca-Cola have been allowed to sell a product that drives type 2 diabetes [1] and they have specifically targeted poor communities who have the least access to quality health services [2]. We all know that many of our schools and spaza shops are covered with Coca-Cola adverts, and for decades many of us didn’t know the truth about sugar in cold drinks, and now many people have family members who are too sick to work. While Coca-Cola makes millions, the queues at our clinics grow longer. In 2017 there were over 100,000 new diabetes cases in the public sector alone [3]. There’s hope though. Thanks to public pressure a Sugary Drinks Tax was introduced in 2018, but our work isn’t done yet. Because of companies like Coca-Cola, the tax was watered down to almost half of what Wits academics have said it needs to be: 20% [4]. 89% of private companies were found not to be paying taxes properly in 2017 [5], yet every day we have to bear the high costs of the VAT hike, and yet there isn’t enough for government funding for health and education. Because of private companies not paying taxes properly, Treasury has cut R350 million from our health budget since the February 2019 budget and now [6] [7]. We need much more money for our health budget, not less. Between now and February 2020, Treasury may make big decisions about our budget and taxes. We know that wealthy companies and individuals will be fighting against taxes on themselves and their products, but if enough of us come together, we could send a clear message to Treasury that we want a strong sugary drinks tax of 20% announced in February 2020 budget speech. We stopped Coca-Cola’s attempts to scrap the Sugary Drinks Tax last year, and now more than ever, we need a strong taxes on products that can be deadly to our health, products like sugary drinks, cigarettes and alcohol. A 20% sugary drinks tax could fill the R350 million hole in our health budget, and prevent more people from consuming sugary drinks which drive diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and kidney damage, and some cancers. [1] Decreasing the Burden of Type 2 Diabetes in South Africa: The Impact of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Mercy Manyema, J. Lennert Veerman, Lumbwe Chola, Aviva Tugendhaft, Demetre Labadarios, Karen Hofman Published: November 17, 2015 [2] Big business - and people - grow fat on sweetened drinks. Lynley Donnelly for Mail & Guardian 1 June 2016 [3] Junk food, junk status cause skyrocketing medical costs. Amy Green for Health-e News 24 April 2017 [4] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions in diabetes costs. Thabo Molelekwa 29 April 2016 Health24 [5] Corporates ‘not tax compliant’. Baldwin Ndaba for The Mercury, 22 Aug 2018. [6] http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2018/review/FullBR.pdf [7] http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/mtbps/2018/mtbps/FullMTBPS.pdf
    11,439 of 15,000 Signatures
    Created by Heala Picture
  • Life Esidimeni families still waiting for payment
    While other Life Esidimeni families have been paid [1], there are still remaining families yet to receive payment. Why split the families? [2]. The Life Esidimeni families share a collective pain, why prioritise payment for others and not all? The remaining families also need closure and the payment is necessary for this. The Premier made a public commitment to honour the payments [3], now his office is giving the remaining families the run around and it's not right, haven't they suffered enough! All the families ask for is a firm commitment of the 10th December 2018 as a previously agreed deadline for everyone to receive payment and for the Premier's office to stop postponing and commit. References [1] https://www.enca.com/south-africa/life-esidimeni-families-have-received-their-payment [2] https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/news/south-africa/2018-10-16-esidimeni-families-have-to--wait-for-payment/ [3]https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/makhura-vows-life-esidimeni-families-will-get-compensation-before-deadline-20180611
    52 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Gabo Kgomongwe
  • Gold miners are dying of silicosis and TB while waiting for compensation, demand action!
    Government institutions tasked with compensating sick miners have become dysfunctional with backlogs of 200 000+ unpaid certified claims and an even larger number of unprocessed claims. Stringent requirements and processing centralised in Johannesburg makes it very difficult for sick and repatriated miners to access compensation. Many are unaware of their rights to compensation and thousands have already died without being compensated. Without serious reform of the compensation system, and a concrete plan of action from the TSHIAMISO TRUST, most of the 500 000 miners will die without receiving anything, unless we make this our business and do something. THE COMPENSATION SYSTEM IS BROKEN and if the R5 billion is not paid out within 12 years, it will remain with the mining companies.
    1,263 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Breathe Films Picture
  • Parliament wants feedback on the mini-budget, tell them to increase the sugary drinks tax to 20%
    Our country is facing a health crises with 10,000 new cases of diabetes reported each month [1], type 2 diabetes has been linked to sugary drinks, and so has heart disease, liver and kidney damage, But thankfully we stopped Coca-cola’s greed and Parliament passed a Sugary Drinks Tax late last year. Now, the new Finance Minister Tito Mboweni is walking a tightrope, and right now there is a good chance industry could be fighting anything that threatens their profits. In his first budget speech, Minister Mboweni missed an opportunity to mention anything on the sugary drinks tax. But right now Parliament has opened public comment on the Mboweni’s ‘mini- budget’ (also known as the Mid-Term Budget Policy Statement). If enough of us come together and make submissions calling for the Sugary Drinks Tax to be increased from 11% to 20%, we could counter industries greed and have a stronger Sugary Drinks Tax. We already know that the WHO and Wits researchers recommend a minimum tax of 20% on sugary drinks to start reducing diseases like type 2 diabetes. We know the private sector doesn’t want a Corporate Income Tax increase, We know the Finance Minister is under pressure to increase tax especially, and may even consider increasing VAT again [2]. But if we make enough noise, we can show Treasury and Parliament, that increasing taxes on sugary drinks, tobacco and alcohol, are better for our nation's health and budget than another VAT hike. References [1] Diabetes risk because of status. Amy Greene. News24. 04 May 2017 [2] What to know before #MTBPS is presented. Staff reporter. 24 October 2018
    127 of 200 Signatures
    Created by HEALA
  • Thank Treasury for putting health over profits
    The beverage industry is furious that our people powered campaign beat their attempts to stop the sugary drinks tax. But with a recession and a new Finance Minister, greedy companies will be fighting to pay less tax.This week, as we observe World Obesity Week, we have an opportunity to send Treasury a message they may not be expecting. A thank you.If we come together and send enough thank you messages, we could counter any attempts by the beverage industry to pressure Treasury to not increase the sugary drinks tax, and instead remind them that they are accountable to us, the people, not corporations. Together we ensured a 11% sugary drinks tax as a start. However we need to keep working towards a 20% tax if we are to have a real impact [1]. We are reaching crisis point with obesity and type 2 diabetes on the rise especially amongst young people. Studies show that obesity among young people has doubled in the last six years and obese children have a 70% chance of being obese adults [3].The risks of obesity include diabetes, hypertension, heart and kidney diseases [3]. [1] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions by James Thabo Molelekwa for Health-E News. April 21, 2016 [2] Mexico’s sugar tax leads to fall in consumption for second year running, The Guardian. February 22, 2017 [3] Obesity in young South Africans doubles in six years by Nico Gous, Sunday Times. 03 January 2018
    98 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Heala Picture
  • Increasing access to safe abortions in South Africa
    The right to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) is an essential component of the right to life, the right to health, the right to education, and the right to equality and non-discrimination. Many women, young women, adolescent girls, and gender non-conforming people in South Africa are vulnerable to ill-health due to several economic and social barriers that prevent them from accessing timely and life-saving SRH services, including safe abortion and contraception. Better access to these services can prevent unsupported pregnancies and reduce unsafe abortions. When a woman is denied unencumbered access to these services, her agency and the right to make decisions about her body are limited. More than two decades have passed since the progressive Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA), 1996, liberalised abortion in South Africa. However, women in South Africa continue to face barriers in accessing safe abortion services. This is due to severe stigma, refusal by healthcare providers to provide services due to their religious or moral beliefs, lack of information on the legally safeguarded rights under the CTOPA, and poor infrastructure and limited availability of safe abortion services. Due to these barriers, women and adolescent girls often resort to illegal and unsafe abortion services, which put their health and lives at risk. Unchecked advertising of ‘quick and pain free abortions’ by illegal providers perpetuates the stigma and misinformation about abortion among the population. According to a 2009 study, two illegal abortion procedures took place in South Africa for every safe legal procedure. Globally, unsafe abortion is one of the top five causes of maternal mortality, along with post-partum haemorrhage, sepsis, complications from delivery, and hypertensive disorder. In our country, many women die every year, or sustain injuries and disabilities due to unsafe abortions. For example, the 2014 Saving Mothers report, covering the period from 2011 to 2013, reveals that pregnancy-related sepsis accounted for 9.5% of maternal deaths during the said period.
    331 of 400 Signatures
    Created by My Body My Choice Campaign
  • Cigarette companies make billions while our lines get longer. Increase the tobacco tax
    Each year South Africa spends more than R59 billion [1] to address tobacco related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis. At the same time the country only collects between R11 billion and R13 billion from tobacco taxes. Last year South Africa’s largest tobacco company British American Tobacco alone took a profit of R2.3billion, after tax [2]. This means the South African taxpayer is paying for the healthcare bill of tobacco-related harm while the tobacco industry collects the profits. The only way to change this scenario is to substantially increase excise taxes on tobacco. In 2018, the finance minister increased the tobacco excise tax by just R1.22 for a pack of 20 cigarettes [3]– this translated to an increase of a mere R2.50 for someone who smokes two packets a week. Although this increase was in line with the CPI, it did little to reduce the affordability of cigarettes. And this small increase will not encourage a drop in consumption. The tobacco industry has constantly exaggerated the size of the illicit trade to put false pressure on tobacco tax policy. But 2014 research by UCT’s Professor Corne van Walbeek shows that the tobacco industry has been adjusting its estimates of the illicit trade to create the illusion that it has been rapidly growing [4]. Although he agrees that illicit trade exists, he says that if previous estimates by the tobacco industry were incorrect, the credibility of current estimates should be questioned. Illicit trade in South Africa can only be tackled through enforcement. This primarily comes from the criminal justice sector. But the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority have been in disarray and the South African Revenue Service has deliberately been undermined. As a result, enforcement has not taken place, particularly in the last six years. The long-term solution for South Africa is to implement the World Health Organisation’s Illicit Trade Protocol [5]. This calls for the use of an independent and effective system that regulates cigarette production, import, export and sale. South Africa signed the Protocol in 2013 [6] but has still not ratified or taken steps to implement it. What can be done? Prevention costs less than treatment. Prevention means reducing the number of smoker- and one of the most effective ways to do this is to increase the price of tobacco. This is how we can take back the tax that is spent on tobacco-related health harm. We call on the National Treasury to increase the excise tobacco tax to 70% of the current price of cigarettes and other tobacco products. This has been recommended by both the World Health Organisation and the World Bank [7]. It would make cigarettes more expensive and reduce consumption. And it will send a clear message to the tobacco industry that their attempts to undermine evidence-based healthy public policy are not successful. Tobacco taxes are a win-win for public health and public finances. References [1] The Tobacco Atlas - South Africa [2] BAT revenue rises but profit and market share fall. Robert Laing for Bizcommunity 28 JUL 2017 | [3] 2018 Budget Speech by Malusi GigabaMinister of Finance 21 February 2018 [4] Are the tobacco industry's claims about the size of the illicit cigarette market credible? The case of South Africa. 2014 Corné van Walbeek, Lerato Shai [5] WHO Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products [6] SA signs tobacco smuggling treaty. IOL, 11 JANUARY 2013 [7] TAXING TO PROMOTE PUBLIC GOODS: TOBACCO TAXES. World Bank
    1,561 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by National Council Against Smoking
  • Tell the government to provide adequate information on free safe, legal abortion.
    In 2017 Akhona Matyeni* a matric learner from rural Umthatha, lost her life to an illegal abortion. Akhona bled to death after taking what she knew to be abortion pills, purchased for R200 from an unknown man who's phone number she had found on a poster on the streets of Umthatha. Akhona did not know that she could access a safe, legal abortion for free at a government hospital or clinic she was just desperate to ensure that nothing came between her and obtaining an education. According to the World Health Organization up to 13% of deaths among pregnant women can be attributed to unsafe abortions. Despite the fact that abortion is legal in South Africa, it is estimated that between 52% and 58% of the estimated 260 000 abortions that take place in the country every year are illegal [1]. By South African law a legal abortion can only be performed by a midwife, a registered nurse trained for the procedure, a general practitioner or a gynecologist. Many South African women and girls remain unaware of the law and the services they are entitled to. A 2005 study published in the International Journal of Gynecology & Obstetrics reveals that, in a sample of 50 South African women who had terminated pregnancies illegally/outside of designated facilities. Over 50% admitted they had done so because they "did not know the law". A further 15% said they knew their rights but they did not know where to access safe, legal abortions [2]. Access to safe abortions saves women's lives everyday. A lack of information shouldn't stand in the way of that. In South Africa poor provision of adequate information remains one of the main barriers for women who seek safe, legal abortions. As things stand it is much easier for women to access information on unsafe, illegal abortions than it is to access information on the free safe, legal abortions that our government is constitutionally obligated to provide. In 2017 Amnesty International reported that less than 7% of South Africa's 3 880 public health facilities perform termination of pregnancy. This is a figure that is far less than the 505 medical facilities that the Department of Health claims to have designated to perform termination of pregnancy across South Africa [3]. This indicates that beyond the issue of the lack of available information on safe, legal abortion facilities, there is the issue of the Department of Health itself not having accurate information on the functionality of its own facilities. An investigation into the functionality of existing facilities is imperative for us to ascertain exactly how many facilities are available and what their capacity is. A national online abortion database will ensure that every woman has direct access to information on where and how they can access a free safe, legal abortion. These interventions will save lives by drastically decreasing the number of illegal abortions taking place in our country and putting an end to the desperation that forces women to undergo unsafe, illegal abortions. We call on the public to take a stand and put pressure on our government to make these important interventions in order to save the lives of women who are turning to unsafe, illegal abortions everyday because of a lack of information. We call on you to stand with us as we demand reproductive justice for all! *Not her real name SOURCES [1] SAnews. (2018). SA's illegal abortion rate alarmingly high. [online] Available at: https://www.sanews.gov.za/south-africa/sas-illegal-abortion-rate-alarmingly-high [Accessed 6 Sep. 2018]. [2] Tshangela, L. (2018). Only 40% of public clinics provide abortions: Study - [online] SABC News - Breaking news, special reports, world, business, sport coverage of all South African current events. Africa's news leader. Available at: http://www.sabcnews.com/sabcnews/only-40-of-public-clinics-provide-abortions-study/ [Accessed 5 Sep. 2018]. [3] Dyk, J. (2018). When there was no list of free abortion clinics, we made our own. Here's how.. [online] Bhekisisa. Available at: https://bhekisisa.org/article/2017-11-10-00-mind-the-gap-only-5-of-health-facilities-offer-abortions-heres-how-to-find-them [Accessed 6 Sep. 2018].
    520 of 600 Signatures
    Created by Noxolo Mfocwa
  • Minister of Labour wants to change the law so domestic workers can get compensation - support this
    Domestic workers are denied compensation for injuries because they are excluded from the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA). But an amendment to the law has been proposed. But we only have 7 days before public submissions close, and we need to come together in numbers to ensure the law is changed. Maria Mahlangu, a domestic worker drowned in 2012. Her family was offered only R2500 compensation. Johanna Motha was bitten by her employer's dog and set home without medical treatment. She ended up dying as a result of her injuries. These are just two of the countless incidences of injury and illness domestic workers have faced on the job. SADSAWU( South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union) brought an application against the Minister of Labour and the Compensation Commissioner for domestic workers to claim compensation in terms of the Compensation for Injuries and Diseases Act 130 of 1993(COIDA), in response to the poor compensation Mahlangu's family was offered. The case has been pending since 2015. The case has recently been postponed, after being set for the 15th of October. This case is an example of the consequences of domestic worker's exclusion in this Act. We call on you to recognize this case, as well as the rights of domestic workers. The reality is that domestic work opens itself up to abuse. This abuse is targeted at Black working class womxn, who work behind closed doors and make up the largest percentage of domestic workers. Issues like health are always linked to racism and classism. Domestic workers are not seen as equals to their employer and are treated with contempt and disrespect. In the past domestic work, was not regulated by government, because they were not part of key labour legislation. Their work, was therefore seen as casual and informal, and little respect was paid to the work they do. This attitude of disregard towards domestic workers, is still seen in the way employers treat domestic workers. We are not paying enough attention to the health of domestic workers. Even though domestic work is included in the Occupational Health and Safety Act, they are still not a part of the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act [1]. This means domestic workers cannot seek medical compensation for costs linked to work related injuries and diseases. Domestic workers have to cover their own medical expenses when injured on the job. This is often times impossible- due to the small sum of money they are paid. Domestic workers should be paid R1787.80 a month [2], this is hardly enough to cover basic living expenses and transport to work. A study by Dr. Lindiwe Innocentia Zungu on the health conditions domestic workers experience. The findings were that there are a range of workplace health hazards. These included “chemical hazards due to detergents and other chemicals used for cleaning purposes, and physical hazards from activities involving manual handling and/or repetitive movements, e.g. scrubbing floors, moving furniture, washing and ironing clothes.... Furthermore, psycho-social hazards due to urbanization were also prevalent among participants who resided in their employers’ premises.'' [3] It is clear that domestic work can be dangerous, physically and mentally. This is why it is important that we demand for the Minister of Labour to commit to including domestic workers in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. By including domestic workers in this Act, they will have access to health care, when faced with injury or illness acquired on the job. Their inclusion in this Act is also a message of recognition for the important work they do. By getting enough signatures on this petition, together we can demand the Minister of Labour to commit to making domestic work a priority and include them in the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act. [1] “The 2018 minimum wages for nannies and domestic workers.” Nic Anderson. 13 December 2017 for Parent24 [2]“Bill on labour brokers gets green light”Nov 12 2013 Sapa. Fin24 [3]"Employment conditions and challenges associated with being a domestic worker in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. "Dr Lindiwe Innocentia Zungu, Associate Professor, University of Johannesburg, Faculty of Health Sciences.
    1,682 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Clio Koopman
  • Title deeds for the deserving residents of Pennyville flats
    The majority of people living in Pennyville are currently either unemployed or the families are child run or elderly run with most receiving grants. Most of them cannot afford the rentals and therefore in arrears amounting to thousands of rands. Attempts to address this matter with the relevant authorities have been unsuccessful.
    39 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Thabiso Seipobi