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TAC marches against gender-based violence in uMgungundlovu

In response to the recent rape of the six year old daughter of a TAC member in Elandskop, KwaZulu-Natal TAC uMgungundlovu (Pietermaritzburg) marched through Elandskop last week demanding an end to gender-based violence (GBV), sexual assault and rape in the community and asking for improvements in the local criminal justice system. Out of the eight rapes reported in Elandskop this year only one has ended in a conviction.

Public Launch of the Social Justice Coalition

As a response to the recent attacks on foreign nationals in Western Cape, individuals from all walks of life have been mobilised in providing humanitarian relief. Lack of faith in the government, city, big business and even civil society has led us to respond individually and voluntarily.

The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is an independent group that believes in freedom, equality, non-violence and a human rights framework that respects among others, the right of every person to life, dignity, and access to health care.

Call for papers for upcoming conference: TAC's impact in its first decade and challenges for the future

Authors are invited to submit abstracts (maximum 300 words) on any topic related to the conference theme: TAC's impact in its first decade and challenges for the future. The conference will be convened in Cape Town 8-9 December 2008 . The organisers intend publishing a volume of the best papers from the conference during the first half of 2009. Abstracts should be emailed to history@tac.org.za.

Deadline for abstract submissions : 31 July 2008

TAC Eastern Cape and other NGOs urge Eastern Cape MEC for Health to cooperate with civil society and implement the NSP

The Treatment Action Campaign, Cosatu, SACP, Amnesty international (SA) and the EC NGO coalition have tried to meet with the current MEC for Health in the Eastern Cape, Ms Jajula, since she took office in 2006 . Our numerous attempts to meet with her have all been met with rebuff; instead she has referred us to DDG Dr Diliza from clinical management services. Now, two years into her tenure as MEC, Mrs. Jajula is still not committed to meet with representatives from civil society.

Plea by Andrew Feinstein to Mayor Helen Zille

I watched from a distance as the xenophobic violence unfolded in South Africa. At first, I was ashamed - Is this what our young democracy has become? My shame evolved to anger as the utter lack of leadership and inadequate government response further exacerbated the situation. However, amid these feelings of disgust, I also felt pride and admiration towards those proactive organizations who worked to alleviate the suffering of displaced peoples. The Jewish community and TAC paid for a group of around 140 refugees to stay at the train lodge until yesterday, when they ran out of funds. The mosque on Tennyson Street opened its doors to more than 180 refugees. Old TAC offices have been converted to refugee camps, and hundreds are staying in Methodist Churches around the city.

Caledon Square Group of Refugees have no shelter from today

As of today, TAC and the Cape Town Jewish Community are unable to continue raising money to pay for the accommodation of the group known as the Caledon Square refugees (because they originally spent 3 days sleeping outside Caledon Square Police Station). This is after all the responsibility of the state not civil society or private individuals. The city has refused to open civic or community centres to shelter them, even though there are many that would be suitable in the Central Business District and its surrounding suburbs.

Shattered Myths: The xenophobic violence in South Africa

On Thursday 22 May, Cape Town changed forever. The xenophobic violence that started 1,200 kilometres away in Gauteng spread to Du Noon township. On Friday the TAC offices began to get reports of violence on trains and Somali shops being looted. The details were scanty, but by Friday evening the consequences became visible even in the affluent city centre. About 150 people sought refuge outside Caledon Square, the city's main police station. Hundreds more gathered at the central train station so they could catch a train to Johannesburg in the morning and then leave the country.

Cape High Court interdicts Matthias Rath and orders Government to investigate him and stop breaches of the Medicines Act

Today the Cape High Court handed down a landmark judgment in a court action initiated by TAC and the South African Medical Association (SAMA) against Matthias Rath and the Government of South Africa. The case was originally heard before the Court on 12-14 March 2008.

Civic Centre Liveblog

One day later, 13 June, 17:20 About 100 of the Caledon Square Group continue to sit in. They are being supported by about 25 TAC members. The city and province met for hours yesterday and again today, yet there is still no decision on what to do. It's quite absurd. From Sunday morning, the the whole Caledon Square Group has absolutely nowhere to go. --Nathan Geffen

18:20 I have now left the Civic Centre, but will try to provide further updates if their are any development regarding the continuing occupation of the building. --EG

17:42 It is a scandal that the Province and City could not establish a joint task team until now. After four hours of meetings, they have not even been able to open a single hall or offer the comrades from the Caledon Square Group accommodation. Therefore, the Caledon Square Group will stay here and spend the night in the Civic Centre. A group of TAC comrades will stay with them. Hopefully we will be able to bring food and blankets for the comrades who stay. It is truly shameful that the City and Province cannot do better than this. --EG

17:19 This is what Smit says:

  • The City and Province have set up a joint task team — they are to have a workshop tomorrow to figure out a way forward;
  • The issues are complex and they ask our patience and to allow them time to address them;
  • On our other demands, they promise to address them tomorrow in the meetings of the new task team (his point is that the problem is a long-term one and there won't be any immediate solutions);
  • They ask us to leave the building and, while they won't force us out, they will lock the doors for the night. (Are they seriously threatening to incarcerate us in the building without arresting us?). --Eduard Grebe

Protest at Cape Town Civic Centre: TAC's Demands

  1. We demand that the all available places of shelter, including all those under control of both Province and City, are immediately opened. This includes Sea Point Civic Centre, Salt River Railway Institute, Woodstock Community Hall, Muizenberg Civic Centre, schools that are not in use and other government facilities.  
  2. We demand immediate closure of camps. The camps are a serious health risk, have inadequate shelter and prevent people from going to work and school. People should be moved, on a voluntary basis, to safe community places, including the places mentioned above.
  3. We support reintegration back into communities, people who want to be repatriated to their country of origin or resettled to a third country.
  4. We demand that the UNHCR come in and assist with reintegration, repatriation and resettlement as they are obligated and mandated to.
  5. We demand that the City and the Province establish a joint task team including the mayor, the premier and civil society to address the above demands.

 

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