New Dawn_Vol 5_Pretoria_Part3

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					                                                                                                                                            Vol 5 - 2009

‘50 by 2015’ still pie in the sky
            n ambitious movement launched         It was a groundbreaking undertaking, drama-
            three months ago to halve new HIV     tized by commitments and the exchange of
            infections by 2015 has not yet gone   ‘vows’ as the parliamentarians and civil so-
            anywhere because the project lacks
people who can push it on a full time basis, it
has emerged.
          Between July 15 and 17, 2009, civil     What we thought we could do
society organizations and parliamentarians        and what we have actually done
mooted a new and unique alliance to fight for
improved HIV prevention in Southern Africa,       is not necessarily on par with
which contains approximately two in five of       what we wanted to do.
all people worldwide who have been infected
with HIV in the past few years.
          At a meeting of parliamentarians
and representatives of leading civil society      ciety organizations entered into a new ‘mar-
organizations from most of southern Africa        riage’.
held in Pretoria, South Africa, it was acknowl-             In a joint statement issued at the end
edged that HIV infections in the region were      of their workshop the parliamentarians and
very high and there was a real risk of treat-     Civil Society Officers further pledged: “We
ment costs being unsustainable unless the tap     firmly commit ourselves to respecting our
of new infections was closed.                     unique roles as parliamentarians and Civil So-
          It was agreed then that prevention      ciety Officers. We will communicate in open
was not only desirable but possible. In the end   and honest ways towards better understanding
the parliamentarians and civil society organi-    and collaboration. We will act as a bridge be-
zations agreed on 10 things:                      tween representatives of the people and orga-
-         The SADC region cannot develop in       nizations of the people….”.
                                                                                                           Soul City’s Ms Rayhana Rassool
          the face of HIV and AIDS;                         Three months later, an official as-
-         Prevention/turning off of new infec-    sociated with the ’50 by 2015’ movement has
          tions in critical;                      admitted that things have not gone according
-         Achieving ’50 by 50’ is a minimum       to plan.
                                                                                                     ally done is not necessarily on par with what
          requirement to roll back the epidem-    Speaking to parliamentarians and other stake-
                                                                                                     we wanted to do. At the moment there are
                                                                                                                    no full time people working
-         Total elimi-
                                                                                                                    on this initiative. We are all
          nation of
                                                                                                                    committing time from various
                                                                                                                    daily jobs that we are doing as
          child trans-
                                                                                                                    well and so things are taking
          mission is
                                                                                                                    slightly longer than we had an-
          essential by
                                                                                                                    ticipated”, she said.
                                                                                                                         Rassool said her team was
-         Certain
                                                                                                                    working on an information
                                                                                                                    pack with the SADC Parlia-
          tions are
                                                                                                                    mentary Forum.
          more vul-
                                                                                                                         She encouraged anyone
                                                                                                                    desiring more information
          than others;
                                                                                                                    with respect to the ’50 by
-         Mass mo-
                                                                                                                    2015’ movement to contact
                                                                                                                    SADC PF.
          is needed
                                                                                                                         She, however, revealed
          to create
                                                                                                                    that pharmaceutical compa-
                                                                                                                    nies were yet to be brought on
-         Dynamic
          and com-
                                                                                                                         Rassool said the achieve-
          m i t t e d
                                                                                                                    ment of MDGs required the
                                                                                                                    achievement of universal ac-
          is required;
                                                                                                                    cess to treatment to keep peo-
-         Knowledge
                                                                                                                    ple living with HIV alive. Pre-
          of epidem-
                                                                                                                    vention of new infections was
          ics is im-
                                                                                                                    also important.
          portant in
                                                                                                                         There are countries that
                                                                                                                    are considered key in the
          responses;                              holders attending a workshop on migration and
                                                                                                     achievement of MDGs and that priority should
-         Monitoring and evaluation are im-       migrants access to health facilities, Rayhana
                                                                                                     be given to them in terms of focus, she said.
          portant; and                            Rassool said not much has been achieved.
                                                                                                               “These are countries that have ap-
-         All responses should respect human                 “Three months might sound like a
                                                                                                     proximately 15 percent HIV prevalence rates”.
          rights.                                 long time but is have flown by and what we
                                                  thought we could do and what we have actu-

Vol 5 - 2009

      Official says HIV/AIDS workplace
      programme working in Swaziland
                   n HIV/AIDS workplace pro-                                                                  workers.
                   gramme initiated by the Royal                                                                          “Those surveys showed that season-
                   Swaziland Sugar Corporation for                                                            al workers had the highest prevalence rate of
                   seasonal workers in the agriculture                                                        42,9 percent in 2002 and 44,8 percent in 2007.
      sector in Swaziland is working, an official has                                                         Contract workers had a prevalence rate of 35,1
      said.                                                                                                   in 2002 and 36,4 in 2007. Permanent workers
                 Swaziland is a landlocked semi-arid                                                          had a prevalence rate of 37,2 percent in 2002
      country in southern Africa. It shares borders                                                           and 33,6 percent, slightly lower than both sea-
      with South Africa and Mozambique. The                                                                   son and contract workers”.
      country has the world’s highest HIV infec-                                                                          Motsa said in terms of gender spe-
      tion on earth with an estimated 26 percent of                                                           cific HIV prevalence, a survey conducted in
      the adult population living with HIV. Added                                                             October 2007 had revealed that HIV preva-
      to the HIV epidemic, Swaziland is, like most                                                            lence among female seasonal employees was
      countries in southern Africa, is grappling with                                                         61 percent; 47,7 percent among contract fe-
      unemployment.. It is estimated that 40 percent                                                          male workers, and 61,5 percent among casual
      of the population is unemployed and approxi-                                                            female employees.
      mately 66 percent of the population survives                                                                        “The prevalence rates are high for
      on less than USD1 per day.                                                                              people who move from one point to the other
                 The Royal Swaziland Sugar Corpo-                                                             seeking employment or trying to make ends
      ration is among the biggest single employers                                                            meet. They are vulnerable and need sympathy
      in the country, engaging scores of people on                                                            and support”.
      its sugar cane estates.                                                                                             RSSC has a policy that requires that
                 Ms Faith Motsa is the Commu-                                                                 all departments allocate time for HIV/AIDS
      nity Services and Development Manager for                                                               activities but contract and seasonal employees
      RSSC.                                                                                                   are still not being sufficiently reached, she ex-
                 “We grow sugar cane on 20 000 hec-           Ms Faith Motsa, Community Services and          plained.
      tors of land. We also support cane out grow-               Development Manager for RSSC.                            Motsa said RSSC has identified un-
      ers. These are in different parts of the country                                                        employment, gender inequality, lack of recre-
      and are smallholder farmers who grow sugar          on employees, seasonal workers, RSSC busi-          ation, high migration, morbidity, single hostels
      cane individually or in groups and bring it to      ness and the community. We have put a lot of        that prohibit people to live with their spouses,
      us as we have a high capacity to mill the sug-      resources into this project”.                       low wages, and sex for wages among factors
      arcane. We have two mills that produce brown                   She said her company was deter-          driving HIV/AIDS.
      sugar, a refinery for white sugar and one Etha-     mined to sustain its corporate responsibility                   In partnership with IOM and others
      nol plant”, Motsa said when she made a pre-         initiatives.                                        RSSC will roll out programmes to respond to
      sentation at a workshop focusing on migration                  “For humanitarian reasons we can-        the HIV epidemic.
      and migrants access to health services. The         not disengage ourselves from the community                      Already a baseline data and work-
      workshop was held in Pretoria, South Africa.        and just insist on production and profitability”.   place policies have been put in place, per edu-
                 She said HIV/AIDS was negatively                    Her company considers seasonal           cators trained and awareness on TB and HIV
      impacting on RSSC by reducing productivity,         and contract workers in Mhlume, Ngomane,            are ongoing.
      increasing morbidity/mortality.                     Tshaneni and Simunye vulnerable. RSSC                           “Seasonal and migrant labour have
                 It was against this realization that     employs about 1 500 seasonal employees and          free access to ARV therapy provided by RSSC
      RSSC came up with interventions to mitigate         nearly 3 500 other people in outsourced ser-        medical services”.
      the effects of the HIV epidemic on seasonal         vices such as can cutting, cane haulage and                     However, the initiative faces chal-
      and contract workers.                               maintenance of contract companies.                  lenges. They include low levels of literacy of
                 “If our company is to remain com-                   In November 2002 and October             the target group, time constraints, high mobil-
      petitive on the world market we need to reduce      2007 RSSC carried out surveys to determine          ity of beneficiary group, limited resources and
      new infections. Our objective is to facilitate      HIV prevalence among seasonal and contract          high HIV prevalence.
      the management of HIV/AIDS and its impact

      DRIVERS from p.7

      useful because we are here to learn from each       truck drivers and others who cross the border.      back to their countries. When people move for
      other’s experiences and in every presentation       However, there is a broader issue or challenge      whatever reason they also try to use the ser-
      there has to be a case study to lead us to think-   in terms of legislation. The provisions would       vices that the host country offers – hospitals,
      ing about the way forward,” she said.               be focused at entrenching and protecting the        schools and so on. Our challenge is how to
                 South Africa’s Hon Ben Dikobe            rights of refugees. In terms of the law there       facilitate that sort of engagement. We can only
      Martins said there was need for laws and poli-      are prescripts that countries need to follow.       deal with this issue if we understand the extent
      cies that protect economic refugees who now         In the case of South Africa, the majority of        of the challenge”, he said.
      form the majority of migrants or refugees.          migrants to this country are not political refu-                Hon Dr. Albertina Luthuli, also
                 “The reality is that migration is an     gees. The main reason for migration to South        from South Africa, said there was need for
      issue that affects all of our countries. The        Africa is economic. People who come to              SADC to be clear on what sort of assistance it
      Namibia-Angola case study focuses on a par-         South Africa don’t want to stay in the country      renders to countries shouldering the burden of
      ticular area and uses – by way of example –         forever. They want to trade and save and go         migration.

                                                                                                                                                Vol 5 - 2009

Red Cross seeks lasting solution to
flooding in the Zambezi River Basin

    ALL EARS: Parlimentarians from all over SADC listen to Mr. Farid Abdul Kabil is in charge disaster management with the Red Cross in Pretoria

            early 20 percent of the approxi-         stakeholders to pool resources with a view to      wet seasons. For that reason, many people are
            mately 32 million people who live        effectively respond to the challenges the Zam-     affected contributing factors include climate
            along the Zambezi River are affect-      bezi River Basin faces.                            change.
            ed by floods every year, an official                “The project aims at initially cover-              “We are looking at improved farm-
of the Federation of the Red Cross and Red           ing 700 000 beneficiaries directly and indirect-   ing techniques, proper water management so
Crescent Societies has said.                         ly. It will focus on risk reduction as opposed     that we optimize resources. Adaptation mea-
           Mr. Farid Abdul Kabil                                                                             sures would entail relying less on rain fed
is in charge disaster management                                                                             agriculture, use of irrigation, intensifica-
with the Red Cross said his or-                                                                              tion of food production and better pres-
ganization responds with relief                     Despite the fact that we have the                        ervation of the food that we produce. We
items, medical facilities and food                                                                           will also look at risk reduction activities”,
each time floods hit communities
                                                    river cutting across (eight) coun-                       he said.
in the Zambezi River Basin.                         tries we still have issues to do with                          Kabil said all disasters start off as
           Kabil said notwith-                      food security as a result of drought                     hazards and only become disasters when
standing the widespread destruc-                    and flooding which occurs every                          the communities fail to deal with the haz-
tion that it leaves when in flood;                  year during the rainy season which                       ards.
the Zambezi still remains an im-                                                                                      The idea is to enable the people
portant source of livelihood for                    starts in November or December                           know what to do when something bad is
households and governments in                       and ends up to March.                                    coming. Traditional methods of coping
the basin. The river provides po-                                                                            with disasters that are eroding would be
table water, food, sustains tourism                                                                          restored.
and generates electricity.                                                                                           In Zambia the Lozi Chief is able
           “The river basin has challenges.          to response”.                                      to move his people just before floods to high-
Despite the fact that we have the river cutting                 The challenges facing the basin in-     er ground. There are plans to replicate that
across (eight) countries we still have issues to     clude infrastructure and the vulnerability of      knowledge in other parts of southern Africa.
do with food security as a result of drought         the people, he said.                                          “Another thing is to look at systems
and flooding which occurs every year during                     “We will work with the communi-         within the community so that when disaster
the rainy season which starts in November or         ties; strengthen existing infrastructure and set   strikes they do not have to wait for the big
December and ends up to March. The efforts           it up where it does not exist. Working with the    trucks of the united nations or Red Cross to
of flooding are felt up to June of the next year.    local leadership and others we will ensure that    come in from outside to help them. Systems to
We also experience outbreaks of diseases like        there are structures able to identify the chal-    help people before external assistance comes
cholera and malaria. As a result of a lot of         lenges communities face, set up structures to      in must be in place. This will involve put-
movement of people within the basin HIV is           warn communities of impending floods and           ting strategic stocks in areas that are prone to
a big challenge due to transactional sex and         impending droughts”.                               floods”.
other factors”.                                                 He said the Zambezi River Basin
           He said there were plans by various       experienced intensity in terms of droughts and

Vol 5 - 2009

      “States must legalise, manage
       migration for development”
                                                           in South Africa. When you look at it from this
                  countless images have been
                                                           perspective you have to question the logic of
                  shown and many stories told
                                                           some of these estimates. The realistic estimate
                  or written about migrants in
                                                           is that there are probably one million Zimba-
                  southern Africa. Invariably, the
                                                           bweans in South Africa. This is a massive pro-
      migrant is portrayed as lowly educated, un-
                                                           portion of the overall Zimbabwean population.
      skilled, poor and as a burden to the host com-
                                                           New Dawn:            Ploughing through the
      munities. Where are the skilled professionals
                                                           acres of things that have been written about
      that have moved into other countries?      Ms.       migrants and looking at the images of immi-
                                                           grants that people have been shown over the
      Tara Polzer, a senior researcher with                years, one gets the impression that migrants
      the Forced Migration Studies Programme at            are liabilities. What are the positive spin-offs
      the University of the Witwatersrand in South         from migration for sending and receiving
      Africa says migration should be formalised           countries? Do migrants have a role in devel-
      rather that criminalised as it can bring about       opment?
      development in thne SADC region.                     Tara Polzer:         First of all we need to rec-
                                                           ognize that migration is a fact. It is not some-
      New Dawn:            Over the years several          thing we can turn on or off. The only policy
      figures with respect to the number of mi-            options that legislators and countries have is
      grants in South Africa have been bandied             whether to facilitate migration in a way that
      around, many of them conflicting. What new           makes it legal and therefore gives it the op-
      insights are emerging?                               portunity to be constructive, or whether to
      Tara Polzer:         It is still very difficult to   criminalize it and both undermine the ability
      come up with an accurate estimate of overall         of migrants to contribute to development and
      migration for various reasons. There is a lot        undermine the ability of the host state to man-       Ms. Tara Polzer, a senior researcher with the
      of circular migration because people move in         age the issue. Whether migration can be a pos-        Forced Migration Studies Programme at the
      and out and also because of undocumented             itive thing has nothing to do with the migrants
                                                                                                                University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa
      migrants who try to stay invisible. However,         but the policy responses that states choose.
      there are ways of estimating more or less de-        New Dawn:            Are migrants the same?         move to a new place. So it means that hose
      pendably. When you do that based on census           Tara Polzer:         There are different types      who move are often more likely to start their
      data as well as extrapolating from that we get       of migration and certain ones have more im-         own businesses and be positive contributors to
      a much lower number than the estimates that          mediate benefits. For example, a host coun-         host economies.
      have been bandied around. We estimate that           try would immediately benefit if a new doctor       New Dawn:           You say states that receive
      there is somewhere around 1,6 million up to          comes in and starts working. There are less         migrants have two clear choices: formalize or
      two million. That is less than three percent         slightly obvious benefits from other kinds of       criminalize migration. Which option would
      of population of South Africa and that is quiet      migration. A migrant coming in to work on           you recommend?
      a standard percentage all over the world. So         a farm would be considered the least skilled        Tara Polzer:        I would obviously advise
      South Africa is not at a much higher level than      kind of person.                                     to manage and legalize. Criminalization does
      other destinations.                                  New Dawn:            It would appear to me          not stop the migration flow. You have the
      New Dawn:            South Africa is the pre-        like there are more migrants employed as            same number of migrants or even more and
      ferred destination for many migrants from            general hands on farms than South Africans          they are more vulnerable. The United States
      all over the continent and beyond. How               in South Africa. In fact, some farmers have         of America has spent billions of dollars build-
      many of the migrants in South Africa are             been quoted as saying that they struggle to         ing a wall on its border with Mexico. The
      Zimbabweans?                                         find South Africans willing to work as farm         year after they built the wall the number of
      Tara Polzer:         For a long time people          hands. What does this tell us about working         migrants increased dramatically. It does not
      have been saying that there are three million        conditions on these farms?                          stop anyone. It increases the number of people
      Zimbabweans in South Africa. That is simply          Tara Polzer:         It raises questions. It        who try to migrate and those who die in the
      logically impossible, because we know from           might mean that conditions on some farms re-        process and increases the level of labour ex-
      Zimbabwe’s census that there are only a little       main exploitative and if South Africans were        ploitation.
      bit over 12 million Zimbabweans anywhere             employed on them conditions would be higher         New Dawn:           When you were invited to
      in the world. Half of those are under the age        or better. It brings us back to the point that I    attend this workshop, what did you hope the
      of 15 and half of those are female. We know          made that it’s not the people themselves who        workshop would achieve?
      that even though in the last three or four years     are inherently either a danger or a benefit to      Tara Polzer:        I would like to commend
      the number of female Zimbabwean migrants             the economy. It’s decisions made by policy          the SADC Parliamentary Forum for taking this
      to South Africa has gone up, the vast major-         makers. Something to remember is that peo-          issue up. They clearly thought about it given
      ity of Zimbabwean migrants (70 percent) are          ple who move long distances in search of op-        the draft agreement on the table about migra-
      still young men aged between 20 and 40 years,        portunities in urban areas from local rural ar-     tion health and that already shows advanced
      and there simply are not three million young         eas or from across national borders tend to be      levels of awareness and the need for a regional
      Zimbabwean men in the world. They don’t              the cream of the crop; more intelligent, more       response to migration.
      exist. It is also unrealistic to believe that all    entrepreneurial, better educated and healthier
      Zimbabwean men aged between 20 and 40 are            because it take a lot of energy and courage to


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