Inequality, poverty and the failure to deliver quality public services such as health and education threaten to undo democratic gains in the region. In response, the Democracy & Social Justice programme seeks to strengthen the political voice of marginalised groups advocating for socio-economic rights and the equitable use of state resources to address injustice.
Pietermaritzburg Pensioners travel by bus from Pietermaritzburg to Parliament in Cape Town to ask government to provide all pensioners with a bonus in December and to increase pensions to the level of a living wage.
Realising substantive gender equality in South Africa, Namibia and Zimbabwe has been challenging. Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people and communities in the region remain disadvantaged, stigmatised and excluded from many aspects of economic, political and social life. Public and political awareness-raising and the prevention of gender based and sexual violence are therefore core focus areas of our work. We also partner with key civil society actors as well as public and religious thought leaders to effectively challenge homophobic policies, legislations and attitudes.
A recently launched research report by the Hlanganisa Institute for Development in South Africa, the National Shelter Movement of South Africa and the Heinrich Böll Foundation, calls on government to strengthen current policy and funding to shelters for abused women. Greater investment in critical support services - such as those offered by shelters - is vital in a country with high rates of violence and abuse committed against women and children.
In S v Baloyi the Constitutional Court placed a clear duty on the state to address domestic violence. Shelters disrupt this violence in significant ways but are significantly under-funded. This brief examines existing policy around shelters for abused women and recommends how this can be expanded and costed to more effectively uphold women’s rights and needs.
Faced with on-going development challenges compounded by the imminent threat of a warming and unstable global climate, sustainable development considerations have never been more compelling in Southern Africa. The Sustainable Development programme seeks to facilitate platforms for civil society, policy makers, decision makers and other stakeholders traditionally left out of the mainstream discourse to ensure that the interconnectedness between humans and nature is understood.
Southern Africa has a rich diversity of natural resources and yet most of the region's countries are characterised by high levels of poverty and inequality. Together with our partners in South Africa and Zimbabwe we seek to engage all relevant stakeholders, from local communities to national decision makers, in order to help realise the sustainable, fair and transparent management of natural resources in the region.
Yesterday, May 3rd 2018, a historic settlement was reached between South African mineworkers who contracted silicosis or tuberculosis while working underground and seven gold mining companies, the first class action settlement of its kind in the country.
After a long struggle to protect the rights of indigenous communities, a landmark decision has been taken by the Rooibos Industry to enter into negotiations with the Khoi and San as the associated traditional knowledge rights holders to the uses of Rooibos. An Access and Benefit Sharing Agreement is currently being concluded between the two parties based on mutually agreed terms, and in compliance with Nagoya Protocol.
This component of our work aims to inject questions of human rights, sustainable development, good governance and gender equality into discourses around African international relations and global governance. We are especially interested in South Africa’s and other emerging powers’ roles on the continent and beyond.
This edition of Perspectives contributes to the ongoing debate on infrastructure development in Africa by sharing snapshots of experience from around the continent, exploring questions about democratic participation, the role of human and environmental rights, and economic transformation.