Monday, August 21, 2006

Government vs. State

So our government may be ridiculous and bordering on Delusions of Divine Grandeur, but at least we have the right state systems in place that, when used properly, uphold our lowly citizens’ rights.

It was good to see on the news this morning that a few piece of legislation were declared “unconstitutional” but our highest court…the Constitutional. This was not because they were “bad” pieces of legislation but rather that public participation was extremely lacking in the creation of these pieces.

In its judgement, the court said Parliament had failed in its obligation to allow reasonable and sufficient public participation before the Bills were promulgated and enacted.

Of course, it takes a few lobby groups, eg. Doctors for Life International, to bring this to the court’s attention, but it does show that South Africa has the systems in place. Now it is up to us as democratic-championing and responsible citizens to access these systems when we feel our government is abusing our rights.

Now just to get our Health Minister fired, who I am not so lovingly watch insult her critics:
1. She & Health ministry official Sibani Mngadi accused UN Special Envoy for AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, of having a vendetta against SA, after Lewis’ criticisms at the AIDS Conference.

2. Manto described South Africa's media coverage at last week's global Aids conference as poor, and blamed this on none other than the TAC;

3. She also said she thinks that “the TAC was just a disgrace, a disgrace not only to the [health] department but a disgrace to the whole country”.

Thank god for the TAC, who were instrumental in eventually forcing the government to offer ARVs to its citizens, albeit in a poor & slow manner.

Mngadi said Africa does not need an "unsubstantiated attack", but rather a delivery on the many resolutions made by international organisations and other countries on "addressing poverty and underdevelopment, which increase the vulnerability of our populations to diseases".

No, what Africa needs is leaders who are properly and intelligently committed to their own citizens' plights and needs, to stop demanding outsiders fix our problems, and who champion what the MAJORITY of us are calling for – such as universal access to adequate health care and medicines, accountability and the resignation of any government official who fails to put in place the systems that would save millions of citizens lives.

I’ll step down from my soapbox for the day now, thanks.


Revolving Credit said...

Based of what the official government standpoint regarding ARVs & other 'traditional'/ alternate medication appears to be, I have been wondering : Do you think that when I next go to Fruit & Veg City, I could just give them my medical aid number instead of paying cash?

Anonymous said...

Hahaha, Rev good one.

Champs, it is gonna take a massive fall out within the ANC for Manto to be evicted from her position. Unfortunately, jobs for life and positions for pals is rife in government and unless you make a serious gaff or fall-out with Thabo, like Zuma did, then you're in it for the long haul. She really is a complete twit though, as a SA citizen I am embarrased by our display of ineptness in dealing with such a high profile global issue.

Champagne Heathen said...

Rev, Lol!!!
I reckon you'd get away with it with Discovery. They are always carrying on about "holistic" medical care. Mine is all about prefered providers, so at the very least they'd probably allow Woolies beetroot.

Dave - I know, but if she can live in denial so can I!! A colleague confirmed this, saying that the TAC needs ANC support and considering most ANC members see the TAC as embarrasing SA on the world stage it becomes more unlikely by the day. sigh.