29 April 2003

At a meeting on April 25th 2003 with Deputy President and SANAC Chairperson, Jacob Zuma, TAC was asked to consider suspending its civil disobedience (Dying for Treatment) campaign, pending a full day meeting with SANAC on Saturday May 17th 2003 and its outcomes.
At a meeting of the TAC NEC, and several key allies, on April 29th 2003 it was agreed that the campaign would be suspended. This was despite reservations expressed by several NEC and staff members who stressed the urgency of changing government policy on ARV treatment and the NEDLAC draft agreement. TAC NEC members also reiterated concerns about whether SANAC has the power to act to save lives.
However we are suspending the campaign in the interest of ensuring the fullest opportunity for government to prove its good faith and to demonstrate that TAC's campaign is about saving lives. The decision will be explained and defended at TAC branch meetings.
TAC will decide on whether to resume this campaign depending on the outcomes of the SANAC meeting and the process of preparation for it. Our next NEC will take place on May 18th 2003.
It was noted that it was agreed with the Deputy President that:
1. On the agenda of the SANAC meeting will be (not necessarily in this order):
* An ARV treatment programme for the SA public sector and the report of the Costing Committee;
* The Nedlac Framework Agreement: how it was arrived at and how it will be finalised;
* TAC's relationship with government and SANAC: questions SANAC may have about TAC's structure, finances, decision on civil disobedience etc.
2. To prepare for this meeting a joint committee of SANAC and TAC will be set up to work on the agenda as well as necessary supporting documentation. TAC proposes that any disputes in this committee be referred to the SANAC chairperson with clear recommendations.
TAC proposes that where relevant, the outcomes of the May 17th meeting be immediately and formally tabled with government as urgent recommendations from SANAC with a request that they be considered and confirmed within three weeks of the SANAC meeting. The outcomes must include using the legal powers of government to reduce the prices of medicines.
The TAC NEC reiterates its desire to work constructively with government and all other sectors of society in HIV prevention and treatment. However, should we encounter further unjustifiable delays or deceit, we will continue with all existing campaigns to get agreement on a national plan that saves lives by preventing HIV infection and treating people with AIDS.
Proposed by Mark Heywood, TAC National Secretary
Seconded by Zackie Achmat, TAC Chairperson
Agreed unanimously by TAC NEC members and staff present on teleconference: Theo Steele, Luyanda Ngonyama, Arthur Jokweni, Ivy Ntlangeni, Cati Vawda, Sindiswa Godwana, Ncumisa Nongo, Sharon Ekambaram, Nathan Geffen, Mandla Majola, Sipho Mthathi, Nonkosi Khumalo, Pholokgolo Ramothwala, Desmond Mpofu, Thembeka Majali, Rukia Cornelius