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.
Read this step by step guide to understanding and analyzing a local government budget with a focus on a specific service delivery issue. The guide was a collaborative effort with the International Budget Partnership-South Africa and the Accounting for Basic Services project.
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.
June 16th is a day for deep introspection when the country honours and celebrates young people who had the courage and determination to rise up against the apartheid state 41 years ago. There is however little to celebrate in light of the excessive levels of violence and sexual abuse being perpetrated against children and the youth in our country every day. June must therefore also be a month in which we ask some serious questions about what role government plays in ensuring a strong democratic South Africa for future generations.
South Africa has had a Domestic Violence Act since 1998, but its critics say the law is ineffective. Women & Girls recently spoke to Claudia Lopes, project manager of the Heinrich Boell Foundation, about the challenges of tackling domestic violence in South Africa and what needs to be done to ensure women can leave abusive relationships quickly and safely.
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.
When conventional forms of activism don’t reach the ears of a democratically-elected government, the courts can provide a platform to hold the state accountable. A High Court ruling against the South African government’s efforts to buy in nuclear power is a case in point, writes Leonie Joubert.
On 25 September 2015, the member states of the United Nations agreed on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that will be the cornerstone of the Post-2015 Development Agenda. The SDGs are acknowledged as a great achievement that amalgamates the sustainability agenda with the development agenda. The South African government has unreservedly endorsed the SDGs, noting that the triple challenge of poverty, unemployment and inequality that they address is also the primary focus of the country. As such, the SDGs are conceptually aligned to South Africa's National Development Plan.
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.
Led by HBS partners Earthlife Africa (ELA) and the South African Faith Communities Environmental Institute (SAFCEI), the anti-nuke campaign has managed to challenge the South African government on its decision to pursue a 9.6GW nuclear procurement programme.
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.
If some of the most powerful twenty countries in the world are committed to building cooperation with Africa then the best way to do this is allowing Africans to set the agenda and to be at the table as an equal partner.