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  • After recent attacks against foreign nationals last week, ActionAid South Africa (AASA) is horrified to learn of the xenophobic utterances made by Mario Khumalo, leader of an outwardly xenophobic political party, South African First, as well as the anti-foreigner march planned to take place in Pretoria tomorrow. The march is led by the Mamelodi Concerned Residents who have allegedly been handing out flyers spreading hate speech and inciting violence against foreign nationals.

  • Realising a re‐imagined nation free from the culture of violence will require duty bearers to focus on

    the challenges of a coordinated response. Strategic planning (also been alluded to through the #TTSD 24 demands) is vital. Diverse concerns such as strengthening the implementation of existing laws, addressing challenges in the criminal justice system (including police services), promoting gender equality, increasing women’s economic empowerment, the role of the media, lived experience of women and a reflection on our own conversations; have to be aligned to a unified strategic purpose.

    As we work to drive social change, we must continually reflect on our impact on the everyday culture within which gender‐based violence thrives. Are we effectively disrupting the norms that condone the physical and emotional terrorising of women, gender non‐confirming and LGBTQI persons? Rape Culture has been defined as a “a complex set of beliefs that encourage male sexual aggression and supports violence against women. It is a society where violence is seen as sexy and sexuality as violent, women perceive a continuum of threatened violence that ranges from sexual remarks to sexual touching to rape itself. In this state both men and women assume that sexual violence is a fact of life, inevitable...” Unfortunately, much of what has become ‘normal’ about

    sexual violence is often validated through education, media, culture, tradition and all around us.

     This 16 Days, we aim to be engaged in the business of shifting the conversations around us, to

    influence a change in public discourse around gender‐based and sexual violence. Our mission is to

    disrupt the norm and in a small way shift the power of the present reality towards a lived reality where gender-based violence and gender inequality are not acceptable or excusable.

    Even in our private conversations and lives, we challenge ourselves to commit to this social project that is scary, uncomfortable and provoking. It means we rethink our responses to lewd texts and comments around us that encourage and normalize violence. It means becoming that ‘party pooper’ or ‘not-funny’ colleague. This commitment means that we begin to embody the disruption we so long to see happen.

    Why do we think that this is an important part of our focus? It is because we are convinced that the invisibilized punishing and policing and controlling of people’s bodies, behavior and spaces can be and should be changed. We can refashion a world where gender-equality thrives; and where violence is completely unacceptable. We are committed to developing a unified purpose – a coordinated project of alternatives to challenge the status quo – that will forge a new culture free from violence. We are committed because in addition to the structural and systemic drivers – we cannot leave behind our own language and private behavior that frames our thinking and influences our actions both consciously and sub-consciously.

  • In response to the recent court judgement in the Pretoria High Court, Minister Mantashe lamented the ruling, claiming that “the community of Xolobeni needs mining in order to bring about much-needed development in the area” and that “mining is being treated like a curse rather than a blessing. It is not treated as a wealth, it is treated as more of a negative. It is a polluter, it is a depravation and all that. That worries me a great deal because the mining we have, we are endowed with it naturally. We should just be forced to mine responsibly.”

  • PRESS STATEMENT: Unacceptable appointment of Bathabile Dlamini as Minister of Women in the Presidency.

    2 March 2017

    Dear Mr President,
    Our sincere and heartfelt congratulations on your appointment as new president of the Republic of South Africa.
    We address this letter to you as ActionAid South Africa in solidarity with women’s rights organisations, feminist groups and LGBTI activists to express our concern and dismay at the appointment of Mrs Bathabile Dlamini as the country’s Ministry of Women in the Presidency.
  • ActionAid supports Mining Affected Communities in their struggle to claim their rights. ActionAid South Africa (AASA) welcomes the Court challenge by mining affected communities against the Mining Charter that will be heard in the Pretoria High Court on the 19th, 20th and 21st of February 2018.

    Part of the failure of the mining regime in South Africa is directly linked to the manner in which citizens, who are guaranteed rights in the Constitution, are reduced to subjects who are denied agency.

  • ActionAid is calling on governments worldwide to end violence against women in public spaces following their findings in a new report set to be handed to Parks Tau, President of United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) tomorrow at Constitutional Hill.

    South Africa received the lowest scoring in the report entitled, “Whose City?” which has been produced by ActionAid as part of the Safe Cities For Women campaign, aiming to advance women’s rights in urban spaces.

  • Mary Sibande and ActionAid South Africa (AASA) collaborate to mark 16 Days of Activism. In a ground-breaking project with the award winning artist, AASA unveils ‘Umhlangano’ (the gathering) at Gallery Momo in Johannesburg on November 30th.

  • ActionAid South Africa (AASA) welcomes the ruling by the Pretoria High Court to grant Mining Affected Communities United in Action (MACUA) together with Women Affected by Mining United in Action (WAMUA) and Mining and Environmental Justice Community Network (Mejcon) leave to join the challenge against the Mining Charter despite attempts by the Chamber of Mines to oppose their application.

     

  • Is the African Mining Vision (AMV) simply a continuation of the past colonial models of wealth accumulation that put profit before people? This is the question that will be discussed on Tuesday 10 October at an ActionAid panel discussion bringing together ActionAid representatives from eight countries as well as key stakeholders within the mining sector including UNECA, Dirco, Chamber of Mines and the Department of Mineral Resources.

  • As the South Africa Council for Educators (Sace), the regulatory body for teachers, meet with provincial education departments next week to address the recent scourge of sexual violence, bullying and abuse in schools, 200 school girls from across the country will gather in Cullinan to adopt a charter calling on duty bearers to uphold their right to safe quality education.

  • Tomorrow, ActionAid South Africa’s youth network – Activista, will gather outside the Protea Magistrates Court to join hands with the Rainbow Activist Alliance and the Forum for the Empowerment of Women (FEW) to demand justice for Lerato Tambai Moloi.

     

  • As the globe marks World Public Services Day— 23 June, ActionAid South Africa demands that government and municipalities ensure all public services are accessible and responsive to the needs of women, and funded through progressive taxation and spending.

  • Across South Africa today people are joining protest actions of differing scales and under different political banners to demand the removal of Jacob Zuma as State President. ActionAid South Africa echoes these calls for him to stand down immediately. South Africans have long known that Zuma is not fit to lead our country. He has proved this to us over and over again both prior to and during his presidency. Words and phrases like Remember KweziNkandla, Remember Marikana, Zupta, state capture and now, cabinet reshuffle and junk status have been sown into the tongues and psyches of all citizens. The exasperation, disillusionment and on-going dissent has culminated into what we have seen dominate the headlines and conversations over the past few days— a resounding call for Zuma to go.

  • ActionAid South Africa applauds and stands in solidarity with the women who have spoken out about their experiences of sexual violence on taxis. Although pleased that Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane has encouraged women to report rape, we urge her and other duty bearers to take decisive action to protect women accessing transport and navigating our cities. We simply cannot place the responsibility on the survivors and those most at risk. Governments must take preventative and protective measures. 

  • As mine bosses and foreign investors converge in Cape Town next week to discuss how best to extract maximum profit for the benefit of a few at the annual Mining Indaba, affected communities continue their daily struggle for human rights, land sovereignty and food security. The women at the forefront of this struggle - the people who bear the brunt of the extractive industries’ social and environmental impacts - will picket outside the Cape Town Convention Centre and outside the South African Parliament this Tuesday 7 February to make their voices heard.

  • To mark 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women, ActionAid South Africa (AASA) and youth network, Activista, will be taking to Park Station in Johannesburg tomorrow to raise awareness about safe cities for women and gender responsive public transport, as well as to share the recommendations of the recently launch report—  Freedom to Move: Women’s experience of urban public transport.

  • ActionAid South Africa (AASA) applauds Chapter 9 Institutions and our Judiciary for upholding the rule of law by ordering the release of the Public Protector’s State Capture Report detailing widespread corruption, fraud and undemocratic maneuvers within and between members of government and the infamous Gupta family. The report and its release not only demonstrate South Africa’s rigorous democracy and constitutional authority, but more admirably our active citizenry and the power of people to hold leaders and corporates to account.

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