• Protect our private info! Implement SA’s privacy law!
    Every day, ordinary South Africans get calls and messages from private companies that want our money, or political parties that want our votes, or banks that want us to take out loans. But how did they get our information? There is a powerful privacy law called the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) which is meant to protect every person’s personal info from being traded, misused or stolen [1]. The POPI Act is meant to be enforced by a new privacy watchdog called the Information Regulator (headed by Adv Pansy Tlakula), which can investigate companies or departments that misuse your personal info. But six years after being signed, this privacy law isn’t fully in force. After years of bureaucratic delays, the Info Regulator is still not operational. The law will not come into full force until the Info Regulator has enough staff and resources to fulfill its watchdog mandate. While these delays continue, millions of South Africans’ personal info have been exposed through ‘data breaches’ by private companies and government agencies [2]. We need the watchdog up and running to investigate and act against companies and departments which misuse our private info. This is especially urgent as South Africa heads to 2019 elections, given the growing risk of personal info being used for electoral interference [3]. We call on the Information Regulator and Parliament, Treasury to act now: get the watchdog fully staffed and operational, and get the POPI law in force! _________________________ [1] Read more: What you need to know about the POPI law, at https://r2k.org.za/popi-guide [2] “Five massive data breaches affecting South Africans,” Fin24, 19 June 2018: https://www.fin24.com/Companies/ICT/five-massive-data-breaches-affecting-south-africans-20180619-2 [3] “How Trump consultants exploited the Facebook data of millions,” 17 March 2018: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html Note from R2K: View the Amandla.mobi privacy policy at http://awethu.amandla.mobi/privacy_policy It includes a commitment that your personal information will not be provided to any third parties, including us. All signatories to this petition have the right not to receive further updates about this campaign or any others.
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  • Gender Wage Gap: Banyana Banyana must get equal pay!
    South African women earn 27% less than men [2]. Our country already faces so many gendered social and economical issues and the gender pay gap also contributes to these issues. Our national women’s soccer team Banyana Banyana is just one example of women who work hard, yet they still remain underpaid and underfunded compared to Bafana Bafana (national men’s soccer team). If the argument has been that men work harder than women and “deserve” a higher pay, then without a doubt our women’s team have proven themselves to have worked harder than the men, but the willingness to increase their salaries still remains low. Earning an equal salary should not be about one’s gender, it should be about the fact that people do the same work in the same industry, and therefore should be paid the same. The time is now - SAFA must take action and pay the women what they deserve. References: [1] Jordaan calls for help to boost Banyana salaries amid outcry, Matshelane Mamabolo for IOL, 30 November 2018 [2] Do South African women earn 27% less than men?, Gopolang Makau for Africa Check, 27 September 2017
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  • 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
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  • Tell Pres. Ramaphosa to force Health Minister Motsoaledi to take back xenophobic statements.
    Mzansi is in a crisis- hatred and violence against immigrants is still a big problem in South Africa. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has made claims about undocumented immigrants flooding South Africa and overburdening our health system without any evidence or proof. This irresponsible lie is part of government’s propaganda war on Afrikans and their children living in Mzansi. But we can bring this xenophobic propaganda war to an end. Today is International Children’s Day and if enough of us come together and flood Pres. Ramaphosa’s inbox, we can force him to commit to protecting all Afrikan children and tell the Health Minister to take back his statements and apologize. The Health Minister, without any evidence or proof, said “[when immigrants] get admitted in large numbers, they cause overcrowding, infection control starts failing” [1]. But this isn’t the first time government have tried to trick us. In 2015 former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said 9/10 patients in hospital and clinics were immigrants and blamed them for the health system not working and was unable to back-up their claims [2]. "Home Affairs in 2017 said it 384 000 people coming into the country from Zimbabwe, but only 27 000 can be accounted for. That tells you there is a huge problem," said DA Gauteng Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga. [3] But only 2.2 million people, less than 4% of SA’s population, are immigrants [4]. Clearly this is misinformation. In the lead up to the election it appears political leaders and political parties are trying to distract, divide and trick us with lies and misleading information and shift the blame for their failures onto immigrants. Nelson Mandela University researcher Savo Heleta writes “Why would politicians choose to face the rightful anger of millions of poor and hopeless South Africans when they can revert to anti-immigrant rhetoric and shift blame to those who have no voice?” [5] We won’t fall for it. We demand the truth. Force Pres. Ramaphosa to tell the Health Minister to retract his statements and apologize by signing this petition. It appears that some political parties are trying to focus our attention on immigrants instead of their own failings. This could be part of their larger strategy to try secure more votes for their party in the lead up to the 2019 elections. 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. 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 government to tell Aaron Motsoaledi to take back his statements and make protecting all Afrikans a priority by joining the campaign and signing the petition. [1] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-11-20-00-immigrant-blame-game-motsoaledi-remarks-immigrants-strain-on-health-system [2] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-11-20-00-immigrant-blame-game-motsoaledi-remarks-immigrants-strain-on-health-system [3] https://www.enca.com/news/das-stance-illegal-migrants-could-fuel-xenophobia [4] https://africacheck.org/reports/do-5-million-immigrants-live-in-s-africa-the-new-york-times-inflates-number/ [5] https://africasacountry.com/2018/08/xenophobia-trumps-ubuntu-in-south-african-politics
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  • Tell Pres. Ramaphosa to give pensioners a 13th cheque in December
    The majority of pensioners in South Africa when they worked did not earn enough to support their families and save for their retirement. When they reached retirement age, their only option was to go onto the state old-age pension. The massive levels of unemployment together with the VAT hike, and massive hikes in food, transport and electricity has put enormous pressure on their pensions. Pensions, like wages, bring income into the home. The old-age grant is R1 700(in 2018) a month which supports entire families making it a poverty-level grant. December and January are very long months for the 3.5 millions pensioners on this grant. They have to stretch R1 700 (in 2018) to pay for school uniforms, school fees, stationery and lunches for their grandchildren starting school in January. Even though pensioners try and put money aside by sacrificing their own needs during the year because of the increased financial pressure and deepening unemployment crisis; pensioners will have to go into deeper levels of debt to support their families. Pensioners are very worried that the extent of the debt will push them into ever deeper levels of poverty. Pensioners feel that a 13th cheque in December will help them absorb some of the pressures of these extra expenses over the December and January period and allow families to be in a better position come January and the New School year. Already Pensioners travelled to Parliament and spoke to MPs about their demands [1] [2]. With the State of the Nation Address tonight, Government is deciding how they will allocate the budget. If enough of us come together we can support the Pensioners' call for economic justice and dignity and ensure the 13th cheque is announced at SONA and included in the 2019 budget (though the President's failure to mention the 13th cheque in the SONA and Minister Mboweni’s failure to include the 13th cheque in the 2019 budget were setbacks, our Gogo’s have not backed down from their demand for a 13th cheque. We are continuing with the fight for a 13th cheque). [1] Gogos Call for better pension, Nokuthula khanyile for News24, 31 October 2018. [2] https://www.power987.co.za/news/mtbps-gogos-wants-christmas-bonus-from-tito-mboweni/
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  • Last day to stop Home Affairs xenophobic attack on our African children
    In the same week Health Minister Motsoaledi blamed our fellow Africans for the state of our health system, Home Affairs have quietly proposed new regulations to the Births and Deaths Registration Act to stop certain children born in Mzansi from receiving a birth certificate. Read the draft regulations here: http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/181012draftreg-registrationofbirthsdeaths.pdf Organisations such as Lawyers for Human Rights, Centre for Child Law, the Scalabrini Centre and the UCT Refugee Law Clinic sounded the alarm on Wednesday: http://www.lhr.org.za/news/2018/home-affairs-discontinue-birth-certificates-foreign-children
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  • Tell our political parties, if they want our vote, we the people must be able to fire them
    Right now, political parties are fighting for votes in 2019, the same parties who will fight for our votes in 2021’s local government election. Year on year we experience service delivery issues and a lack of change, even though all political parties promise this is a priority. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we could change the law so that we the people could fire our ward councillors, our leaders would be more accountable. If enough of us come together, we could use the 2019 general election to make this an election issue all political parties want to commit to. We could force political parties to commit to changing the law before 2021’s local government election. No matter who you vote for, or whether you vote, if we send a clear message to our political parties that we won’t vote for anyone who won’t commit to letting us fire them before their 5 years are up. Democracy is more than just elections, it’s about holding our leaders to account every day. Together let’s send a message that we won’t vote for a party unless they commit to letting us vote them out.
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  • 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
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  • Call on ANC to support reversing the VAT hike in 2019
    Earlier in the year amandla.mobi ran a campaign against the VAT hike and submitted a petition with 55,000 signatures to all 400 members of parliament (MP). Not one MP responded. Even the biggest political parties have said they are against the VAT hike [1], and many have said the VAT hike would hit the poor the hardest, yet it was passed on their watch. But in the next few weeks, starting from Wednesday 7 November, Parliament will be discussing our budget and taxes. It doesn’t matter which political party you voted for, or if you voted, MPs are our elected representatives and work for us. We have an opportunity now to remind them they work for us and can’t ignore the voice of the people. If enough of us come together and flood the inboxes of the key leaders of the 6 largest political parties, almost every MP will hear our voices and the conversation could be shifted towards reversing the VAT hike in 2019, and forcing wealthy companies and individuals to pay their fair share. We welcome Treasury including sanitary pads, white bread and flour in the list of tax-free items but the poor are still in economic crisis and the VAT hike lays the burden of fixing the economy on the shoulders of the poor. The gap between the rich and poor in Mzansi is one of the largest in the world. It is unjust that Treasury keeps proposing solutions to the economy by increasing the tax burden on the majority, especially poor Black women when 89% of companies in SA are not tax compliant in 2018 [2] and R965 billion leaves the continent in illicit financial flows every year. [3] Mzansi is dominated by greedy companies. We the people essentially subsidize corporates. Government and Treasury should tax the mega-rich instead. amandla.mobi is an independent, non-partisan community organisation that fights for economic and social justice. We are targeting all 6 major political parties’ key leaders. You can call on the other 5 to support reversing the VAT hike in 2019 and call for treasury to tax the mega-rich instead here: DA: https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/call-on-the-da-to-support-reversing-the-vat-hike-in-2019 EFF: https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/call-on-the-eff-to-support-reversing-the-vat-hike-in-2019 IFP: https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/call-on-the-ifp-to-support-reversing-the-vat-hike-in-2019-1 NFP: https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/call-on-the-nfp-to-support-reversing-the-vat-hike-in-2019 UDM: https://awethu.amandla.mobi/petitions/call-on-the-udm-to-support-reversing-the-vat-hike-in-2019 We are also flooding the inboxes of the remaining 377 members of parliament with a clear message, support reversing the VAT hike in 2019 and call for treasury to tax the mega-rich instead. If you have time, contact us at hola@amandla.mobi and we will get back to you with more information on how you can take action. Between the tens of thousands who are part of this campaign, if each of us send messages they will have no choice but to respond to our demands. [1] OUTA, ANC Gauteng and civil society groups march to Union Buildings, Canny Maphanga and Alex Mitchley News24 October 2018 (ANC) Yunus Carrim: ANC didn’t want VAT hike, Masego Rahlaga EWN February 2018 (ANC) DA plans march against VAT increase, Brenda Sinenhlanhla Masilela ANA February 2018 (DA) EFF'S Malema Calls On SA To Unite Against VAT Increase, Koketšo Motau EWN March 2018 (EFF) [2] Corporates not ‘tax compliant’. Baldwin Ndaba and African News Agency for The Mercury 22 Aug 2018 [3] Parliament: Illicit financial flows and the history of disappointment. Greg Nicolson for the Daily Maverick. August 2017
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  • Gold miners are dying of silicosis and TB while waiting for compensation, demand action
    South Africa’s wealthy and privileged owe a direct debt to those whose lives paid for the gold industry on which the South African economy was built. For 120 years, mining companies and the South African State have failed to protect miners from across southern Africa from harmful conditions resulting in lung disease. Although protective laws have been in place since 1903, mining companies have not been held accountable for breaking these laws. The gold industry also failed to provide adequate medical care for miners who have become sick. Sick miners have been sent home to die in their rural communities and costs are shouldered by wives and families. Current laws governing compensation make it very difficult for ex-miners living in South Africa and outside the borders of South Africa to access compensation. The Medical Bureau of Occupational Diseases (MBOD) and the Compensation Commission who are tasked with certifying and compensating sick miners are in a shameful state of dysfunctionality with huge backlogs of unprocessed applications and unpaid compensation awards. The majority of gold miners suffering from lung diseases have not been compensated from the beginnings of gold mining up to the present. To demand just compensation, miners initiated a class action court case against the gold mining companies in 2004. In the 2018 out of court settlement of this class action gold mining companies agreed to set aside R5 billion for compensation claims over the next 12 years. However, the dismal track record of actual payments made by similar out of court settlements in the past requires that society demands that this money be paid quickly and fairly. While the out-of-court settlement may be considered a victory, it is only the beginning of a struggle for justice which demands YOUR support.
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  • Government must ensure there are Sexual Offences Units at all institutions of higher learning
    A Sexual Offences Unit will ensure that survivors of gender based violence receive specialised and sensitive support and resources that will help towards their healing journey. Campuses that have an already existing ‘gender office’ need to change their systems so that they serve the concerns of everyone on campus, and are in line with the proposed Sexual Offences Unit. The Black Womxn Caucus, an intersectional women’s organisation at Wits University have called for a ‘rapid response rape team’ for gender based violence to be established on the campus. The movement advocates for a thorough understanding of gender violence as it occurs in many forms and in many spaces, and reinforces the violences that womxn and gender non-comfornimg bodies are subjected to in this country. As the number of rape, sexual abuse and killing of womxn and children in this country continues to increase so does the call from those most affected by violence in our society to organise ourselves to fight gender based violence. The Black Womxn Caucus insists that if their Vice Chancellor at the time, Adam Habib, among others, were able to establish a rapid response team [4] to clamp down on student protest action following the #FeesMustFall movement, there is no reason the university should also prioritise the establishment of a ‘rapid response team’ to address gender violence on campus. The Sexual Offences Units should include: support staff who encourage everyone on campus to go for prosecution through reporting their cases; this includes a 24 hour psychologists available at all times for emergencies, and a space for activists to assist in sharing insights to developing better models aimed at reducing all forms of violence on campus. This unit must also represent the different socio-economic backgrounds of members of the institutions community, and be able to cater to survivors of all backgrounds.
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  • 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
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