Join us in listening to leaders from civil society discuss the need for improved communication and consultation between communities and government.
What is the SJC?
The SJC is a grassroots movement based in Khayelitsha, calling for safety and security for all through active citizenship and accountable governance. Our primary campaign calls for clean and safe sanitation facilities in informal settlements – areas which are disproportionately affected by crime. Many of our members and individuals in the broader community are robbed, raped and murdered by criminals on the often long and arduous journey to and from a toilet. The unhygienic condition of these toilets further exposes many to a number of severe health risks. Both of these dangers are a direct result of inadequate toilet provision, monitoring, and coordination. Moreover, the overburdened police and court services in these areas render justice and safety a privilege, not a right.
While working on these issues over the course of the past year we have experienced a distinct lack of dialogue between local government and the community, which promotes antagonism and often leads to violence and significant service delivery bottlenecks.
What is the lecture series all about?
The SJC hosts an annual lecture series to encourage active citizenship and engagement on issues directly related to people living in poor and working class communities, but to all people living in South Africa. In previous years we have addressed challenges to the realisation of the rights enshrined in our Constitution, and issues relating to safety and security. The theme this year is Masithete! (‘Let’s Talk!’ in Xhosa), and will focus on ways of improving communication and consultation between local government and communities. Failures in this area were publicly illustrated earlier this year in Makhaza, where a lack of adequate consultation resulted in people being forced to use toilets without walls and roofs. The aftermath further served to exacerbate existing tensions between local government and the community. We understand that this is not an isolated incident, and that similar problems exist throughout Cape Town and indeed the country. The SJC feels that if service delivery is to be hastened, communities and government need to find new and improved ways of engaging with each other.
Who will be speaking?
Four speakers from civil society will discuss this topic from various perspectives on consecutive Mondays at 18h00 in and around Cape Town, beginning 4 October 2010. The lecture schedule is as follows:
- Vuyiseka Dubula, General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) – who wil discuss the organisation and its members relationship with Government over the past 12 years. 4 October 2010, 18h00 (Site C New Hall, Khayelitsha)
- Geoff Budlender, From the Cape Bar– Who will talk about how to maintain and advance the legacy of Irene Grootboom, a renowned housing activist who died homeless. 11 October 2010, 18h00 (Community House, Salt River)
- Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of COSATU – who will discuss the role of the labour movement in encouraging dialogue and service delivery. 18 October 2010, 18h00 (Site B Hall, Khayelitsha)
- The Most Reverend Archbishop Thabo Makgoba - who will speak on the SJC’s campaign for sanitation in Khayelitsha and other informal settlements, and how this basic right may be advanced. 25 October 2010, 18h00 (Community House, Salt River)
The SJC have for the first time partnered with the Cape Times to ensure that both the events and presentations have the widest possible exposure. The four lectures will be divided between Salt River and Khayelitsha. It is hoped that by doing this, we will not only encourage people to address way of improving communication with Government, but also to improve engagement across a divided city.
We would like to invite you to attend the lectures, which are open to all. Please don’t hesitate to contact Yoni Bass on 072 2000 922 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any queries.
More information and directions to venues can be found on our website, and facebook group: Social Justice Coalition.