If our new President is serious

If the Presdent is seriousTAC welcomes resignation of former President Zuma – urges new Acting President Ramaphosa to initiate bold reforms

JOHANNESBURG, 15th FEBRUARY 2018 – The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the resignation of Jacob Zuma as President of South Africa. Under Zuma’s disastrous Presidency key state institutions have been weakened, unemployment has risen, and corruption and mismanagement has flourished.

As TAC, we have in recent years seen first-hand how widespread corruption and mismanagement have compromised service delivery to people dependent on the public healthcare system – especially in the Free State, Mpumalanga, Gauteng, the Eastern Cape and KwaZulu-Natal. Underperforming and uncommitted Premiers and MECs for Health have often been rendered untouchable due to their political connections. We consider the Life Esidimeni tragedy, the victimisation of the #BopheloHouse94, and the oncology crisis in KZN, amongst others, to be the direct symptoms of this degradation of the state brought about by Zuma.

We have no illusions about the massive task ahead of South Africa’s new Acting President Cyril Ramaphosa, the team around him and our society more broadly. Our healthcare and education systems both remain deeply dysfunctional. Unemployment rates remain unacceptably high and South Africa remains one of the most unequal societies in the world.

In the coming weeks, we will be looking for signs that Acting President Ramaphosa is serious about addressing these foundational crises facing our society.

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will reduce the size of the current bloated Cabinet by at least 20% and bring an end to the policy and culture of cadre-deployment.

·       If Acting President Ramaphosa is serious he will remove the following grossly underperforming and/or suspiciously corrupt Ministers from office:

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Out of Darkness, Towards the Light

Darkness to lightThe long, dark year is over. Months of life-threatening illness combined with money problems to make my 2017 a year not to be repeated and best forgotten. It has been a challenge both personally and for the IMAXI Cooperative, which was also down and out for months at a time. The darkness obscured the route ahead, and our important research project on participation in global health institutions, All Aboard, had to be halted before it arrived at its final destination.

It was not the first year in which some of IMAXI activities had to be postponed or cancelled due to our members, all volunteers, falling either seriously ill, seriously skint or just blown off track. Yet 2017 will be the last. The Board of the IMAXI Cooperative has decided at its recent meeting to change its way of working so that a crisis affecting individual members does not derail all of our collective efforts. In short, we recognise that our all-volunteer approach to functioning must change, and that resources should be found so that project teams are supported both financially and materially. The failure of one individual’s health or finances must not bring the collective’s progress to a full stop again.

 This change requires that the Cooperative establish a revenue stream independent of the projects that we develop. We are presently studying three different ideas which could possibly deliver sufficient income to provide some support for our activities and the activists who work on them. This would be a major relief as IMAXI has tried to function only through our own donations since it was established in 2010. Since we are all poor, living with disabilities or diseases, this system may have been appropriate to ‘start-up’, but it is no longer workable. So we are down in the IMAXI Forge, designing some prototypes for our own use. In the next few weeks we will decide which of these would work best.

After a year often derailed in the darkness, we are now beginning to roll forward. We can not only see the light at the end of this long tunnel, but can almost breathe the fresh air that awaits us. From full stop to full speed ahead, soon.