• 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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  • Demand for MEC Simelane-Zulu to supply Hormone Replacement Therapy at King Edwards VIII Hospital
    KwaZulu-Natal is South Africa’s second most densely populated province [5]. King Edward VIII Hospital is a tertiary level hospital providing services to the whole of KwaZulu-Natal and parts of the Eastern Cape [6]. The hospital currently does not offer any transgender programs with free distribution and access of hormones. Our objective is for them to do so by making it accessible to people as it currently only available in two provinces (Gauteng and Western Cape) in South Africa. Transgender people are defined as those whose personal identity and gender does not correspond with their birth sex [4]. Implementation of gender-affirming services proves to be scarce and difficult in our country [2]. Section 9 of the Constitution prohibits discrimination, among others on the grounds of gender [1]. The Alteration of Sex Description and Sex Status Acts (2003) corresponds with our constitutions laws which permits one to change the sex description on their birth record under certain circumstances [4]. Hormone replacement therapy (HRT) acts as a very vital part for transgender people to feel more like themselves. Since transgender men and woman will never be able to produce these hormones naturally, HRT is a lifelong treatment that needs to be used recurrently, similarly to chronic medication. People take either the hormone Oestrogen or testosterone with other drugs to help them attain the physical characteristics that society ascribes to the gender they identify with. Examples of this treatment include the development of breasts for transgender woman by taking the hormone Oestrogen whilst Testosterone aids masculinity advances for transgender men [3]. Trans South African you-tube Vlogger Glow Mamiii shares her personal journey on the struggles of gaining access to HRT. She began seeking treatment at Chris Hani Baragwanath (Soweto) but was told she would have to wait 3 months for them to administer the HRT. She then opted to seek treatment from a private doctor which not many people can afford as medical aids don’t cover gender-affirming treatments such as HRT and surgeries. She reveals her struggle of finding a trans-friendly private practitioner as well as her personal details regarding the bodily changes, psychological and emotional distresses she experienced on HRT [7]. During her psychiatric consultations and psychotherapy meetings she speaks out against being diagnosed with gender dysphoria as transgenderism is classified as a gender dysphoria disorder [8]. Johannesburg based media-advocacy organization Iranti published a press release from the World Health Organization which removes mental illness from Trans Diagnoses [9]. Medical aid schemes don’t cover gender-affirming treatments such as HRT and surgeries as they are considered “lifestyle choices” which leaves trans people with the burden of covering these costs [1]. HRT can cost up to R800 a month adding up to almost a quarter of a million rand on medication [3]. 15% of transgender people are living in poverty compared to 4% of the general population. 19% of transgender people report lacking any form of health insurance including medical aid [6]. Studies show that access to gender-affirming treatment helps reduce thoughts of self-harm and suicide among transgender people. The only public hospitals that offer trans-specific healthcare services in South Africa are [4]: • Chris Hani Baragwanath (Soweto) • Steve Biko (Pretoria) • Groote Schuur (Cape Town) • Helen Joseph (Johannesburg) Treatments are often limited and dependent on how close you live to the facility and the lengths of their waiting lists. The treatment entails regular check-ups and to ensure correct dosage. Withdrawals from HRT lead to severe psychological and emotional distress like gender dysphoria, depression, anxiety and fatigue. [1] https://www.2oceansvibe.com/2018/10/26/healthcare-medical-aid-and-the-transgender-struggle-in-south-africa/ [2] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-10-26-00-tips-for-finding-a-trans-friendly-healthcare-provider [3] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-10-26-00-the-high-cost-of-being-yourself-transgender-healthcare-and-private-medical-aids [4] https://www.sowetanlive.co.za/s-mag/2019-04-05-conversations-transgender-healthcare-in-crisis/ [5] https://www.southafricanmi.com/population-density-map.html [6] http://www.kznhealth.gov.za/kingedwardhospital.htm [7] https://youtu.be/WXYiZK0l6mc [8] https://youtu.be/CpCwS177WhU [9] http://www.iranti.org.za/
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  • We demand the department of mineral resource to rehabilitate the tailing dump of snake park soweto
    The tailing dump contains highly radioactive chemicals like uranium, which can break down into radon gas. This can cause lung cancer , miscarriage and organ failure. our community is exposed to this radioactivity everyday giving us a short life span. Mbali Zulu a 35 year old woman she is a mother who gave birth to a child with cerebral palsy, her child was born with deformities and mental disorder. Her child cannot talk or take her self to the toilet ,she has to buy nappies for the rest of her life. She took her child for adoption because she only survives with grant money and it was not enough for her and the baby.[2] They are many children with cerebral palsy in our community .This is because if a pregnant woman swallows or breathes in radioactive materials , these may be absorbed into her blood stream. from the blood they may pass to the umbilical cord or near the womb and expose the fetus to radiation.[3] Many children are inclined to show symptoms of asthma like having a wheezing chest along with a running nose. The is a higher prevalence of asthma symptoms ( 21,9% and 32,9%) compared to the studies of Vusimuzi (south african national medical research council) [4] Durban roodepoort deep mine began operations more than a century ago in 1895. DRD gold mine sold the tailing dump to mintails limited mine in 2007. Mintails limited assumed full responsibility for its environmental management and rehabilitation. At that time the dump infrastructure was sound and fully contained it did not cause any pollution. In 2010 mintails limited did not maintain the dump, its infrastructure began to fail. Dust and water effluent began to occur. Because mintails limited is now liquidated. It is now within the powers of the department of mineral resource to allow and direct for the rehabilitation of the tailing dump in snake park soweto. [1] water research commission report no 100/02/03 (guidance for rehabilitation of contamination of gold tailing dam foot print) [2]https://youtu.be/0xIVCeIFmLw [3] bench-marks.org [4]www.theconversation.com [5]james duncan/adviser james duncan@rasc.co.za
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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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  • Justice for Esethu Mcinjani. We demand police to be held accountable
    Esethu Mcinjana was arrested on Sunday 19 May 2019,spent the night at Sea Point Police Station.This happened shortly after arriving early for a job interview at a hotel. She arrived early for the interview and went to sit on a bench on the promenade to wait while taking selfies.The two police officers came and searched her going through her handbag. Finally, they decided to arrest her without any valid reason or evidence. This is wrong on many ends and in a democracy of 25 years, it violated so many rights of this Black Womxn. During apartheid in South Africa, the freedom to movement of black citizens to and from urban areas were restricted through pass laws. The right to movement and residence is a key aspect of respecting people's freedom. However, in the case of Esethu it can be concluded that this right was clearly violated because of the color of her skin and the area she was found arrested in. The two police officers failed to uphold the law as they violated Esethu's right to equality. Meaning she was not treated equally and fairly, she was discriminated unfairly on the basis of race, gender, ethnic or social origin. This is evident as she told them and showed them (email/message) why she was in that area, at that point in time. To even question why she is there, is already wrongful in many basis. The arrest could happen to any of us on any given day, especially in a city like Cape Town, were black people's movement is constantly questioned because of racism that continues to thrive even after 25 years of democracy. Surely, this systematic issue needs to be addressed urgently in this country. 1.Ella Ndongeni. A woman was taking selfies on a Sea Point bench. She was arrested and locked in a cell overnight. GroundUp. 23 May 2019 2. Bill of Rights. The Constitution of South 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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  • Tell Panyaza Lesufi to remove any hair policies in Gauteng schools that are discriminatory
    Schools are institutions of learning and not only learning about modules placed in curriculum's but also raising and emphasizing the importance of self-discovery and identity. Students need to learn more about themselves as well as their cultures and then teach others about it. When we teach young black girls that their hair has to be changed so they can suit a certain school culture what are we teaching them about themselves and how they were born? Schools should embrace the black culture and not try to change it. Most of these schools implemented their hair policies way before African black children were allowed into the then-White-only schools so they are not very inclusive of the black culture and the way African hair grows.Were the hair policies of schools reviewed after Apartheid and changed to suit everyone's hair needs? Each school can have different policies and school cultures as long as black pupils do not feel like they are being prejudiced against how they look as Africans. Schools need to also enforce educating themselves on African black cultures and how the African hair grows if they continue to enforce hair policies. [1] Pretoria Girls High pupils were victims of racism-MEC, Lizeka Tandwa for News24, 2016/12/03 [2] Gauteng High School embroiled in natural hair scandal, Silindelo Masikane for the eNCA, Monday 11, March, 2019 [3] Several State & Private Schools have bans on Dreadlocks. Afros and braids, Prega Govender for Mail & Gaurdian, 02, September, 2016 [4]School Governing Bodies: Play your part, Department of basic education 2019 [5] Lesufi gives Kempton Park school deadline to change hair policy, Nation Nyoka for News24, 25/07/2017
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  • Implement proper measures to monitor and run efficient scholar transport in KwaZulu-Natal
    1. Many children in rural KZN even in our current times still walk for more than 5km to school. KZN has the highest proportion of children walking to school. Scholars are incorrectly classified at the department of education as attending the school of choice and not that that is closest to home. Learners have difficulty concentrating and staying awake in class due to waking up early and walking long distances on an empty stomach. Children walk on gravel and curvy mountainous area making it dangerous for the children walking especially girl children. Children rely on minibus taxis and bakkies for transport. In 2017 alone 10 pupils died and more than 90 were injured using these modes of transport. It is important that children are given access to safe transportation from home to school to allow them their right to education and safety. 1. The Long walk to school. Nkululeko Nene for IOL. 17 September 2017
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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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