JOHANNESBURG: 27 OCTOBER 2014: Over the weekend of 25th / 26th October the TAC held a successful and positive National Council (NC) meeting with its leaders from seven provinces and key allied organisations. Among the many deliberations, the NC members received a report from the CEO of the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) Dr Fareed Abdullah and discussed the growing challenges and threats to HIV & TB prevention and treatment in South Africa.
The NC reaffirmed that TAC’s five key campaigns are:
1. Monitoring the implementation of the National Strategic Plan on HIV and TB!
2. Fixing provincial health systems, with a particular focus in the Free State, Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga!
3. Declare drug resistant-TB a Public Health Emergency and Stop new TB infections in Prisons!
4. Prioritise Women’s Health rights – Reduce cervical cancer and monitor the roll out of the HPV vaccine for girls!
5. Fix the Patent laws on drugs to promote public health!
It is now well known that the TAC is facing a severe funding crisis, having only raised a small proportion of the R35 million it requires to keep functioning in 2015 and beyond.
Therefore one of the main subjects of discussion at the NC was the funding crisis and the steps the TAC will implement to overcome it. We are confident that if people rally behind our ‘Global Appeal to Save Lives’, the TAC’s work will not only continue but be strengthened and expanded. In the words of the TAC General Secretary, Anele Yawa, “Our future is in your hands.”
Global Appeal to Raise R10million
On Sunday 2nd November, HIV activists and supporters of the TAC will kick-off a month of global fundraising to “Save TAC, Save Lives” by running the “People’s Marathon” to raise funds for TAC.
Three “buses” of TAC runners, led by Vuyiseka Dubula, a TAC leader and woman living with HIV, will be visible in the 42.2km, 21km and 10km Soweto Marathon races wearing the TAC’s iconic HIV positive vests, singing struggle songs, handing out condoms and educational information, under a banner with the slogan “Running for Our Lives”. Supporters and the media can follow the progress of the runners on the day by following @TAC and #SaveTAC on twitter.
We are happy to report that Discovery Health has decided to donate R200 000 to sponsor the TAC runners if the 42.2km bus completes the race in under 5 hours. TAC challenges other corporate leaders to follow Discovery’s example. “Our future is in your hands.”
We also appeal to the public to sponsor the runners at www.tac.org.za/donate.
We are incredibly pleased to announce that Madam Graça Machel, an international human rights icon and friend of the TAC, has promised to do her best to be at the end of the marathon to meet the TAC bus which will arrive at 10.30am. This will inspire our runners to rise to the challenge.
Month long campaign
The Soweto Marathon is the first step in a month-long campaign that will see a series of events and activities that draw attention to the TAC’s work and funding needs. These events will be promoted by some of the most respected health activists and social justice leaders in the world. Each will call on their communities and constituencies to support the TAC. The TAC’s suppporters and the media are advised to watch #SaveTAC daily to find out who these supporters are!
The month will culminate on 1 December, World AIDS Day, when the TAC, togeher with its partner SECTION27, will host an AIDS Activist Reunion and Rededication to mark 10 years of activism that have saved 2.5 million lives. This event will see leading activists from the health, legal, research and entertainment sectors gather together with TAC leaders again for the first time in ten years to examine our achievements and recommit to the challenges that lie ahead. Respected national and international leaders in the fight against HIV have already commited to attend this historic event and we will share their solidarity messages during November.
On Tuesday 4th November our first global icon will make his appeal. At this launch full details of the campaign will be announced.
We shall overcome! Our future is in your hands!
For more information and interviews please contact:
Anele Yawa – TAC General Secretary 079 328 1215
Mark Heywood – TAC National Office Bearer 083 634 8806
Sindi Blose – TAC Deputy General Secretary 078 718 2786
– Donations can be made to the TAC to sponsor our runners at www.tac.org.za/donate
– A photo opportunity with Madam Graça Machel will occur on Sunday 2nd November. For more details please contact Butho Mpofu for more details at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0618076443
– More details surrounding the press conference on Tuesday 4th November will be circulated this week. Please contact Butho Mpofu.
– Read the profiles of our runners here and why they are running for the TAC. More will be uploaded daily at www.tac.org.za.
Tantaswa Ndlelana, TAC activist openly living with HIV tac.org.za/news/sponsor-tantaswa-soweto-marathon
Vuyiseka Dubula, TAC activist openly living with HIV tac.org.za/news/i-run-tac-because-i-am-alive-after-being-arvs-11-years-mostly-thanks-tac
Qhaba Mosuli, TAC supporter and member of “Runners for Health” tac.org.za/news/tac-has-managed-save-millions-people-lives
Tshawe Sithile Nohaya, TAC activist and runner tac.org.za/news/when-you-start-running-you-even-forget-you-are-hiv-positive