• Domestic, farm and EPWP workers must be included in the National Minimum Wage
    These workers pay the same price for bread - and they deserve the same minimum wage! Domestic and farmworkers are some of SA's most vulnerable workers. 95% of domestic workers and 90% of farmworkers are living under the poverty line. Numbering almost 2 million, they are the largest part of South Africa’s working poor. Yet many of them are primary breadwinners for their households. The recent National Minimum Wage Law only reinforces this poverty by giving domestic workers R15/hr, farmworkers R18/hr, and EPWP workers only R11/hr -- while all other workers receive R20/hr. Sign this petition and join the campaign calling on the National Minimum Wage Research Commission and the Minister of Labor and Economic Development, to increase minimum wage for farm, domestic and EPWP workers to the R20/hr. It is time for the National Minimum Wage Law to recognise domestic, farm and EPWP workers as equal to other workers. The domestic and farming industries still treat workers as disposable, casual labor because of the legacies of colonialism and apartheid. Many of these workers have seen little change in their working conditions since 1994. They work behind closed front doors and locked farm gates, hidden from labour inspectors. They often face terrible living conditions, illegal terms of employment, poverty wages and outright physical and sexual abuse. By granting them only a portion of the minimum wage, we further reinforce their status as second-class citizens and informal workers. This allows employers to continue to exploit them, and reinforces the cycle of generational poverty.
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  • Mweli, Make Gender and Sexuality Studies Compulsory in teacher training programs
    Karabo Mafolo of the Daily Maverick reports that “In a 2016 report, the LGBTI organisation OUT LGBT Well-being, reported that 51% of transgender people had experienced discrimination in their education life.” This year, there was an mass hysteria about the new curriculum introducing “masturbation” as part of the new Life Orientation curriculum for grade 4 according to a misleading article by Prega Govender in The Sunday Times, 12 May 2019. This sparked the conversation on social media platforms where the concern wasn’t necessarily the introduction of sex and gender education but the level of engagement. More concerning however, is that there is currently no steps being taken to ensure that the very educators of the current and new Life Orientation curriculum are being trained to formally and professionally Gender and Sexuality Studies. The Department has previously displayed a strong capacity to retrain teachers when the CAPS curriculum was introduced in 2011. Met with great reluctance from teachers, Bongani Nkosi of The Star reported that the CAPS curriculum was implemented, reviewed and monitored - meaning the Department of Education is able to introduce gender and sexuality as part of current and future training for firstly Life Orientation teachers, and gradually, a compulsory training program for any teaching qaulification. It is the responsibility of the Department of Education to prioritize Gender and Sexuality to create inclusive, intersectional and informative learning environments starting with the teachers and filtering it down to scholars and the wider community Sources 1. Department of Education (www.education.gov.za) - Director General of Basic Education 2. Bongani Nkosi, The Star, 7 September 2018 3. Prega Govender, The Sunday Times, 12 May 2019 4. Karabo Mafolo, The Daily Maverick, 4 June 2019
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  • Improper infrastructure is affecting the quality of ECD education in the Gauteng Province
    I have had the opportunity of working with an Early Childhood Development (EDC) centre situated in Freedom Park. The owner was a dedicated strong woman who exhausted all her resources to ensure a safe haven for the children regardless of how poor her facility was. Her distress was that she had been operating an unregistered crèche for three years and her one need was to find someone to meet her half way in order for her to fix the infrastructure to qualify for certification. As this was an urgent matter and the children were at risk; we worked tirelessly to secure sponsorship by approaching different corporates. At the end of six months, we had succeeded and the ECD facility was child friendly, complied with the requirements and they were successful in registering. This ECD centre , was like the many others which are currently operating without proper infrastructure. Fortunately for this one funding was awarded; other ECD centres take years to receive funds or to even raise enough finances for important resources. In fact; within the Gauteng province alone, the Department of Social Development has identified 1100 ECD centres that are unregistered [1]. It has almost become a way of life that individuals within the community will establish a business of an unviable ECD facility with good intentions of servicing the community. This however doesn’t move away the fact that the facility still endangers the lives of children and that there's high risks. It is unfortunate that; even with the President’s promise of quality early childhood education during the 2019 State of Nation Address [2]. These promises will never be realised if there’s infrastructural problems hindering the realisation of quality education services. At the forefront of the Department of Social development’s plan to register ECD centres lies the requirement that an ECD centre, in order to be eligible for educator training, funding and benefits; must meet infrastructural requirements on the time of its registration. Yes, the government does provide an operational subsidy of R15 a day per pupil but the subsidy is restricted to facilities that comply with the norms and standards on its infrastructure [3]. Which means that those children in the most disadvantaged communities do not even benefit from this. Barbara Stemment head of Early childhood development at Ikamva Labantu states that “it is not that people don’t want to register but they don’t because they cannot afford to meet the infrastructural requirements set by the department [4].” She further explains that if the ECD centre shuts down; then where will those children go? Therefore, it is unfair to expect informal ECD facilities to meet infrastructure requirements when there is no identifiable government programme/subsidies for financing the construction or upgrading of facilities. It is key to note that the government has abdicated itself from financing the infrastructure that serves as a basis for accessing the operational subsidy and this proposes a problem. With the new changes on early childhood development education having had migrated to the Department of Basis Education; the question is: how will quality education be realised if there are infrastructure challenges already crippling the basic education system? And how will unregistered ECD centres due to infrastructure challenges be incorporated into the government’s current infrastructure improvement plans? This year marks the 20th celebration of National Child Protection week in South Africa. An annual campaign of the South African government to promote a culture of respect for children’s rights and an awareness of child safety [5]. However, if early childhood development programmes are performed in poor facilities then the safety, stimulative and quality learning is not achieved. Can we then say that as citizens we’ve made it our duty to protect and create a safe and secure environment for children in informal crèches? While the commitments of the government to introduce a two years compulsory ECD programme were welcomed as great improvements at the 2019 State of Nation Address; seriousness will only be realised if at the heart of the Department of Basic Education ‘s budget allocation is a share dedicated to a body that will specifically be targeted at early childhood development and tackling the infrastructure dilemma costing the success of the quality of education. Therefore, the department’s interventions should include Infrastructure challenges of unregistered ECD centres and helping these facilities be compliant. The first six years of a child's life are of paramount importance and in order to realise quality education for any child requires quality facilities and we ought to always remember this. Words to remember : "There can be no keener revelation of a society's soul than the way in which it treats its children."- Nelson Mandela. • ECD Centres – Early Childhood Development Centres. • DSD- Department of Social Development • DBE- Department of Basic Education • MEC – Member of Executive Council • Joburg Metro- City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality References: [1] “Over 1,000 unregistered crèches in Gauteng,eNCA, 5 April 2019 https://www.enca.com/news/over-1000-unregistered-creches-gauteng [2] SONA gives hope for early childhood development, David Harrison, 11 February 2019, https://www.iol.co.za/pretoria-news/sona-gives-hope-for-early-childhood-development-19237438 [3] Obstacles for ECDs , Jess Drewett, 30 April 2018, http://livelihoods.org.za/2018/04/30/obstacles-for-ecds/ [5] Barbara Stemment , ikamva labantu, 18 December 2019, https://ikamva.org.za/ [4] Child Protection Week 2019, South African Government, https://www.gov.za/ChildProtectionWeek2019 Picture: https://www.groundup.org.za/article/raising-south-africa-informal-creches-are-desperate-aid/
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  • We demand trained staff members at UNISA - Durban main campus
    This is important because; • Durban is very diverse, students who come from deep rural areas need to be catered for in a manner that levels up with their current knowledge. • Students must be given valid and significant information that does not mislead them on their academic choices. • .To avoid students from travelling all the way to Gauteng, in order to get their queries attended to, and fixed. • To ward-off the confusion students have and put them at ease with their studies which will also improve their academic performances. • To avoid students from wasting time and money by taking modules which are not required for their qualifications. •Qualified and well-trained staff members can make UNISA one of the best universities in Africa.
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  • Tell universities to be inclusive of all Gender non-conforming individuals
    Many people suppress their identities in fear of how the society will respond if they choose to freely express their gender identities. Even in spaces like Universities that are deemed to be the most diverse, there certain shortcomings on the recognition of gender complexities. Rivonia Pillay in her article explained how much of her identity she had to put aside as a product of the fear that her external environment endangers [2]. Kristen Renn also mentioned some of the challenges faced by non- gender conforming individuals in higher institutions. Three of her major concerns included identity development, campus climate and; state and national social and policy context [3]. Most universities in South Africa still considers one's gender identity to be the same as the sex they were assigned to at birth. That notion fails to fully recognise gender complexities. To date, most universities still make use of the title Mr, Ms, or Mrs when referring to student or addressing them in any formal communication. The facilities at universities are also divided on the basis of one's sex, which is often equated to ones gender identity, i.e. residences, restrooms. Due to little acknowledgement and inclusion, gender non conforming people are in continuous battles. As a result, please join us put pressure on Prof Rob Midgle and the Council for Higher Education South Africa to make the university experience inclusive of everyone irrespective of their gender identity. 1.https://www.wits.ac.za/transformationoffice/programmes-and-projects/sexual-orientation-and-gender-identity-advocacy-programmes/gender-affirming-titles/ 2.https://ewn.co.za/2018/12/28/analysis-5-reasons-why-south-africa-still-hasn-t-won-lgbtq-equality/amp 3.Renn, K. A. (2010). LGBT and queer research in higher education: The state and status of the field. Educational Researcher, 39(2), 132-141.
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  • Rewrite the Victim Empowerment programme booklet to highlight violence against LGBTIQ people
    It is important that LGBTIQ people feel that the specific ways in which they are victims of violence in SA is named and acknowledged, because it is in framing things right, that we stand a chance at fixing them. Statistics by the Centre for risk analysis at the South African Institute of Race relations in 2017 said that 4 out of 10 LGBTIQ South Africans know someone who has been Murdered for being or suspected of being LGBTIQ. [1] This specific statistic alone, which has grown in 2019, shows that the support needed by LGBTIQ people in South Africa from the justice system is urgent and unique. And as such measures to address their plight as victims of gender based violence need to reflect them uniquely. The booklet rewritten will also educate on LGTBIQ issues, as well as champion the constitution. On this organisations like OUT provide a useful service. One report they produced asks the question: Is being gay unafrican? “Our Constitution says that we are not allowed to discriminate against anyone because of their sexual orientation. However cultural and traditional intolerance and negative attitudes from others still force people to hide their sexuality. As a result, some lesbian or gay people, including those living in African communities, do not disclose or openly show who they really are in public. This does not suggest, however, that homosexuality is un-African. On the contrary, it is clear that homophobia is un- African because it denies people the opportunity to express their full humanity.” [2] South Africa is already doing some of the work, as reflected in this report by the Sonke Gender Justice network... “ The analysis found that South Africa has developed a strong National Strategic Plan for HIV, STIs and TB 2012–2016 in terms of engaging men and boys, a strong 365 Day National Action Plan to End Gender Violence, and is a best practice example in terms of LGBTI policy and law in Africa” (https://genderjustice.org.za/publication/policy-report-south-africa/) We want the booklet to reflect this. [1] https://www.news24.com/Analysis/lgbt-community-still-faces-high-levels-of-violence-report-20171204 [2] https://www.out.org.za/index.php/library/literature?download=3:being-lesbian-or-gay-in-africa
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  • SABC, stop airing alcohol ads that associate alcohol consumption with success.
    We live in an era where the digital world influences the lives of many people, especially young black communities from poor backgrounds. We see something, we digest it, we want to duplicate it. Institutions such as the SABC should not have a negative impact, or allow negative airing. As the national broadcasting company, content that is of harmful nature or influence should not be aired, if not controlled. It is no secret that alcohol ads are flooding television. What is more saddening is that these ads glamourise alcohol consumption, and associate it with being successful. In the ads, you will see young people in an environment ‘where successful people belong’ consuming the alcohol, and promoting and encouraging those who are watching to go buy and drink it. According to a special issue on alcohol advertising by the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA), research has linked exposure to portrayals of alcohol use in the mass media with the development of positive drinking expectancies by children and adolescents. Young people with more positive affective responses to alcohol advertising hold more favourable drinking expectancies, perceive greater social approval for drinking, believe drinking is more common among peers and adults, and intend to drink more as adults. [3] Another research conducted by the Soul City Institute of Social Justice indicate that young people’s views on alcohol advertising, marketing and availability have a direct influence on their drinking patterns and sexual behaviour. Conducted in a rural village in Mpumalanga and an urban township, where young people were encouraged to capture their experiences through photographs and captions, including participating in focus-group discussions, young males believed that drinking a particular brand would lead to them being successful and young women said flavoured drinks were targeted at them. [4] While there are a number of regulations against alcohol adverting that have passed, such as airing alcohol ads between 2pm - 5 pm on weekday and before 12pm on weekends on TV; and 6am - 9am and 2pm - 5pm on weekdays and no advertising before 12pm on weekends on radio, the laws need revisiting. In 2010, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation endorsed a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol that countries needed to adopt. Ten policy options were identified, one of them being to reduce the impact of marketing, especially on young people and adolescents. While not explicitly calling for a complete ban of alcohol advertising the Global Strategy calls for strong regulation of the various forms of advertising and marketing and for a “precautionary approach to protecting young people against these marketing techniques”[5] If alcohol ads are never going to be banned, we strongly believe that not only the SABC, but other broadcasting channels as well, need to adopt the above strategy; • Do not use settings that associate alcohol products with status and success. • Avoid using young people in the advertisements, or implement a law that only adults from the age of 40 and so, can be in alcohol ads. • Refrain from using influential words such as “Boss, The Man, Good Life, etc. Why we should act now We are what we consume! South Africa has a peculiar drinking profile, and is currently dealing with a large community from the age 15, who are struggling with alcohol abuse. Even though there are hundreds of organisations and campaigns raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse, it does not make it right to have such ads, which are promoting the very same thing that our young black women, men and non gender conforming society are struggling with. We know that advertising causes younger people to drink sooner and in greater quantities. It also creates an environment that normalises drinking and it typically only portrays positive sides of drinking and not any negatives.[6] If we act now, we can have the power to control what we consume on TV, and by doing that, we will be saving ourselves, and the lives of young people. #WeDontNeedAlcoholToBeSuccessful [1] SABC Could Lose Half a Billion Rand If Alcohol Ads Are Banned. Zodidi Dano for IOL. 16 April 2018 [2] Banning Advertising Alcohol Can Save SA R1.9 Billion. Zeenat Vallie for IOL. 2 March 2018. [3] Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use. Peter Anderson, Avalon de Bruijn, Kathryn Angus, Ross Gordon & Gerard Hastings. SAAPA. 14 January 2009. [4] Alcohol Ads Luring SA Youth to Drink. Noni Mokati for IOL and Soul City Institute For Social Justice. 24 February 2017. [5] Alcohol Advertising In South Africa: A Trend And Comparative Analysis. Corne van Walbeek & Michael Daly for School of Economics, University of Cape Town. January 2014. [6]Proposed New Liquor Law Needs Revisiting. Marvin Charles for IOL. 16 August 2017. Image: Pexels
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  • Tell MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale to build a center for the Gogogetters in Musina
    Building a center for the Gogogetters is part of the Department of Social Development’s mandate to deepen social assistance and enhancing the capabilities of communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods and household food security[2]. It is important because old people are seen as a liability, while in actual fact they can have a big impact on social and economic prosperity locally and globally. Gogogetters are lacking recognition because of the pervasive negative perception of ageing hence, they are finding it hard to build a center for themselves. The Musina Local Municipality has since given the Gogogetters land to build a center but because of financial difficulties, they are unable to utilize the land. Gogogetters are ready to venture into entrepreneurship because it is an important role in the country’s development. The center will boost the economy of Musina and attract more tourists as it is one of South Africa’s special economic zones. Looking at the 2019 Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly announcement of unemployment rate in the country, it has increased to 27,6% hence such an initiative is for a good cause as it will help deal with unemployment challenges [3]. The budget from Social Development is not enough and this campaign is calling upon the newly elected MEC for Social Development in Limpopo,Nkakareng Rakgoale to make sure the budget allocated for Gogogetters is increased to enable the building of the center that the Gogogetters have been longing for the past 3 years. Let’s come together and signing to join this campaign to ensure MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale builds a center to better the lives of Gogogetters. Namadzavho Mukona is a 69 year old Gogogetter whose life has been positively changed by this organization. She says because of Gogogetters, “I no longer get sick by always sleeping at home doing nothing. The activities we do at the Gogogetters are keeping me active and healthy”. References [1] South African Year Book, Social Development 2016/2017 [2] Investigative Hearing into Systematic Complaints Relating to the Treatment of Older Persons, South African Human Rights 09 June 2015 [3] SA’s Unemployment rate spikes, Sarah Smith of Mail &Guardian 14 May 2019
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  • Ramaphosa, appoint Arts Minister from civil society
    Dear President Ramaphosa We are active participants in South African public life who nurture and cherish Arts and Culture. It is our belief that arts and culture is the lifeblood and soul of our country and should play a pivotal role in building unity and cohesion in our diverse society. We are painfully aware that over the past few years the arts and culture portfolio has not been managed by competent and passionate champions of the arts, but rather used to appease political factions and balance constituency interests in the ANC. This has, regrettably, rendered arts and culture to the ‘fringe’ of political life and public interest. It worries us, when looking at the strong delinquent elements in the ANC list of candidates, that, once again, the Minister of Arts and Culture will likely be a compromised ANC member, to the detriment of our people and our country. This is often complemented by an equally poor choice of Director General in the Department. The frustration in the arts community is palpable. Our once celebrated arts and culture have been plagued by inadequate support, inaction and lack of a clear vision on how to take this important community, at the heart and soul of our country, into the new dawn you speak about. South African artists, musicians, cultural activists, arts institutions, NGOs, Foundations and many ordinary citizens call on you, Mr President, to appoint a credible new arts and culture minister from civil society who is respected by the arts community. The Constitution allows the President to appoint at least two cabinet ministers from outside the political party framework. Thus, an opportunity presents itself to signal to the public that your new cabinet will go beyond narrow party interests, but focusses on national unity, nurturing the arts and celebrating our deep well of heritage. Arts and culture offers the opportunity to be the ‘ties that bind’ us in a society that has seen the fragile unity of our people severely eroded. Please hear our plea for the appointment of a non-party cabinet minister, drawn from civil society and from among the many sterling champions of arts and culture in South Africa. We are solely motivated by our commitment to strengthen our rich heritage and build the ‘unity in diversity’ that our Constitution and national ‘Coat of Arms’ demands of all our people. Supported by: Zolani Mahola, Zelda Holtzman, Zapiro, Wouter Gildenhuys, Vusi Mahlasela, Vinette Ebrahim, Vicky Sampson, Tina Schouw, Thami Mbongo, Sifiso Kweyama, Shihaam Domingo, Ronnie Govender, Riaad Moosa, Renee Roux, SabaZahara HoneyBush, Patric Taric Mellet, Neeran Naidoo, Ncebakazi Mnukwana, Nadia Mason, Mike van Graan, Michelle Robertson, Michael Weeder, Merle Grace O'Brien, Marilyn Martin, Melanie Steyn, Mansoor Jaffer, Mamphela Ramphele, Malika Ndlovu, Maishe Maponya, Kurt Egelhof, Kevin Patel, Koketso Sachane, Kay Jaffer, James Dryja, Ivan Lucas, Hilton van Niekerk, Heinrich Gerwel, Hanief Tiseker, Greg Schaik, Glenn Robertson, Gavin Younge, Frank Meintjies, Flamenco Maestro, Eunice Basson, Ernestine Deane, Enver Larney, Elinor Sisulu, Denise Newman, David Max Brown, Clive Newman, Clarence Ford, Bongiwe Dhlomo-Mautloa, Bienyameen Camroodien, Annemi Conradie, African Musicians Trust.
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  • Tell British American Tobacco to pay the tax they owe us
    The big cigarette company British American Tobacco (BAT) have been fighting hard against new anti-smoking laws and taxes by shifting focus onto the illicit cigarette trade and tax evasion. They are funding a misleading campaign to convince government not to increase taxes on cigarettes so they can protect their profits [1]. Even companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are repeating industry claims that increasing taxes drives the illicit trade [2], even though industry has been caught over estimating and funding research into illicit trade [3]. Now Sars say BAT themselves are guilty of tax fraud and evasion and owe R143 million [4]. Clearly, they have been dishonest and shady in their tactics. But big companies like BAT rely on their brand and public image so they are vulnerable to us exposing their hypocrisy. If enough of us come together and shine a spotlight on their shady business and demand they pay what they owe- they will have no choice but to pay the R143 million. Join the campaign to demand BAT stop tax evading and pay what they owe. Each year South Africa spends more than R59 billion to address tobacco related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis [5]. At the same time the country only collects between R11 billion and R13 billion from tobacco taxes [6]. This means the South African taxpayer is paying for the healthcare bill of tobacco-related harm while the tobacco industry collects the profits. Our queues at clinics and hospitals keep getting longer and government keeps cutting the healthcare budget while cigarette companies make billions. But, if enough of us come together and demand they pay what they owe, they will have no choice but to pay the R143 million. Government can use this money to help our struggling healthcare system. References [1] Did Big Tobacco buy Twitter? Joan van Dyk for Mail & Guardian 7 Sept 2018 [2] What to expect from the budget: Small tax increases, lower tax collection. Muhammad Hussain for City Press 13 Feb 2019 [3] 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 [4] Sars faces off with British American Tobacco over R143m tax bill, Graeme Hosken for Sunday Times April 2019 [5] The Tobacco Atlas - South Africa [6] BAT revenue rises but profit and market share fall, Robert Laing for Bizcommunity July 2017
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  • Report the DA and ANC's xenophobia to the IEC
    It’s election season and because political parties have tried to blame their failures on others they now have blood on their hands. This is being made worse by our political parties fighting a propaganda war against our fellow Afrikans to win votes for elections. They are making xenophobic comments at press conferences, rallies and on social media. The DA’s spokesperson on immigration Jacques Julius said, “We have to close our borders. The fact that our borders are porous, you know people can just enter the country. Estimates [of how many immigrants enter the country] have ranged from hundreds of thousands to millions.” [1] This comment creates the idea that South Africa is overrun with immigrants but immigrants only make up 4.2% of the population. [2] There is also no evidence that the amount of immigrants have doubled or tripled. [3] But this isn’t the first time politicians have tried to trick us. Last year Minister of Health and ANC member Aaron Motsoaledi said, “[When immigrants] get admitted [into hospitals] in large numbers, they cause overcrowding, infection control starts failing.” But he gave no evidence or proof to back up these claims. Francois Venter from the Reproductive Health and HIV Institute at Wits University said “I’ve worked in the public sector for over 10 years [as a doctor], and the problems we see [at the hospital] are largely due to poor human resource and supply line management, and the disease burden related to the local failure of poverty relief programmes and poor organisation of services — not a handful of foreigners who are here for jobs, not for healthcare.” [4] The mayor of Johannesburg and DA member, Herman Mashaba said on Twitter, “Please assist us to get @HomeAffairsSA to deal with undocumented foreigner national in Alexander. Uncontrolled number of people in Alex is a challenge way beyond the @CityofJoburgZA competency.” [5] Yet the protests in Alexandria are because of poor service delivery. These comments are meant to shift blame from our leaders onto our fellow Afrikans. These lies are inciting violence against immigrants and their children living in Mzansi. People have been extorted [6], attacked [7], driven from their homes [8] and their shops have been looted [9]. But we can bring this xenophobic propaganda war to an end. The IEC electoral code of conduct bans “using language which provokes violence.” If enough of us come together and report the DA and ANC for their problematic comments to the IEC, the IEC will have no choice but to order political parties apologise for their comments and take responsibility for inciting violence and xenophobia. This pressure could also force the IEC to ban using xenophobia to win votes. If we don’t keep holding government, political leaders and political parties accountable they will only double-down on their efforts to divide us and keep us from the truth by scapegoating immigrants for their failures. If we don’t do something now, we could see more attacks on our fellow Afrikans. We have a choice, either we stand by and watch as government wage propaganda war against our fellow Afrikans or we come together and stand with those who, just like us, are looking for better opportunities for themselves and their children. As amandla.mobi members and a greater Afrikan community we can tell this story and ensure our government protects and gives equal opportunities and access to ALL Afrikans. Force the IEC to ban using xenophobia to win votes and make protecting all Afrikans a priority by joining the campaign and sending the IEC a complaint. Dear CEO of the IEC Sy Mamabolo, We the undersigned call on you to ban the use of xenophobia during election season to win votes. Members of the DA and ANC have made xenophobic comments both on social media and in public. These comments have incited xenophobic violence across the country. People have been attacked, their shops have been looted and they’ve been driven from their homes. The IEC electoral code of conduct bans “using language which provokes violence.” We call on you to enforce the electoral code of conduct and order these political parties to apologise for their comments and take responsibility for inciting xenophobic violence. We also call on you to ban the use of xenophobia to win votes. We trust you will hear our voices. [1] https://www.businesslive.co.za/bd/national/2018-10-15-sa-needs-closed-borders-tighter-immigration-control-says-da/ [2] https://africacheck.org/reports/do-5-million-immigrants-live-in-s-africa-the-new-york-times-inflates-number/ [3] https://africasacountry.com/2018/10/how-many-immigrants-live-in-south-africa [4] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-11-20-00-immigrant-blame-game-motsoaledi-remarks-immigrants-strain-on-health-system [5] https://citizen.co.za/news/south-africa/social-media/2085631/herman-mashabas-tweet-about-alex-and-foreigners-divides-social-media/ [6] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/eastern-cape-immigrant-shop-owners-say-they-pay-protection-xenophobia/ [7] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/immigrants-fear-their-lives-durban/ [8] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/zimbabweans-limpopo-village-fear-their-future/ [9] https://www.groundup.org.za/article/residents-angered-criminals-running-riots-strand/
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  • Tell the 3 major political parties to support increasing sexual and reproductive health budget
    YOUR CALL TO REPRODUCTIVE JUSTICE: WE ARE WATCHING AND LISTENING Reproductive Justice [1] is defined by three principles: The right to have a child; the right not to have a child; the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. In 1997 South Africa enacted a globally renowned law on abortion. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA) aimed to address the imbalances of the past where 429 black women died each year from lack of access to these basic health services [2]. The political act of passing this legislation was historical in laying the framework for Reproductive Justice in South Africa. Having an act such as CTOPA in place meant that women and pregnant people would be free to make their own decisions about their bodies and their futures. 22 years later, many people still struggle to access these basic services. But with national elections coming up, we have a chance now to ensure the 5 major political parties commit to lobbying for an increase in the sexual and reproductive health services budget. There is limited information on how people can access abortion services, decreases in the amount of contraceptives available and currently only 7% of healthcare facilities provide abortion services [3]. Because of this, many pregnant people are either forced to turn to unsafe and illegal abortion practices or suffer the physical, emotional and mental harm that comes with bearing an unwanted pregnancy. Leading up to elections, political parties will be running election campaigns focused on winning votes. If they want our votes, they will need to prove to us that they care about the lives of all people seeking access to Sexual & Reproductive Health services. We have a chance now to pressure the 5 major political parties into using their power as members of Parliament to address these issues by ensuring the budget for sexual and reproductive health services is increased. This money will be used to create sexual reproductive justices and access to these services for ALL. This will ensure greater access to public information on safe abortion procedures, fully stocked healthcare facilities with affordable and free contraceptives and more healthcare facilities nationwide providing safe, legal abortions. Sign and join our campaign to ensure sexual reproductive justice for all. If enough of us come together and flood the email inboxes of the 3 major political party leaders, they will have no choice but to support increasing the sexual and reproductive health budget. We have written an email that you can send to one, or all, of the political parties. Here is the email and each political party's email address: ANC- [email protected] EFF- [email protected] DA- [email protected] "Dear Political Party Leader (Mmusi Maimane, President Cyril Ramaphosa and Julius Malema) I am joining other South Africans in calling on you provide leadership on reproductive justice. Reproductive Justice is defined by three principles: The right to have a child; the right not to have a child; the right to parent children in safe and healthy environments. We need you to support an increase in the sexual and reproductive health budget for 2020 and use your power as a member of parliament and political party leader to lobby for an increase before voting day on 8 May. Currently there are decreases in the amount of contraceptives available, there is limited information on how people can access abortion services and currently only 7% of healthcare facilities provide abortion services. Because of this, many pregnant people are either forced to turn to unsafe abortion practices or suffer the physical, emotional and mental harm that comes with bearing an unsupported pregnancy. A budget increase will ensure that there is sexual reproductive justice and access to these services for ALL. We need health managers to lead and to not obstruct access to reproductive justice services. The money should be spent on ensuring that public healthcare facilities are always fully stocked with contraceptives, health professionals are trained in the provision of sexual and reproductive health services and greater access to information on safe abortion procedures and increased delivery of public services of abortion provision. It is time you took sexual and reproductive health seriously. If you want my vote, you must prove to me that you truly care about the people most affected by the lack of sexual and reproductive health services. The Choice on Termination of Pregnancy Act (CTOPA) aimed to address the imbalances of the past where 429 black women died each year from lack of access to these basic health services. 25 years have passed and to get our vote we want to hear your political commitment to real implementation. I trust you will hear our voices." [1] https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520288201/reproductive-justice [2] https://www.ajol.info/index.php/samj/article/view/157185 [3] https://amnesty.org.za/research/barriers-to-safe-and-legal-abortion-in-south-africa
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    Created by Khaliel Moses