This is an archive of the Treatment Action Campaign's public documents from December 1998 until October 2008. I created this website because the TAC's website appears unmaintained and people were concerned that it
was becoming increasingly hard to find important documents.

The menu items have been slightly edited and a new stylesheet applied to the site. But none of the documents have been edited, not even for minor errors. The text appears on this site as obtained from the Internet Archive.

The period covered by the archive encompassed the campaign for HIV medicines, the civil disobedience campaigns, the Competition Commission complaints, the 2008 xenophobic violence and the PMTCT, Khayelitsha health workers and Matthias Rath court cases.

Joint COSATU and TAC statement on failure of government to spend SA National AIDS Trust money

SA National AIDS Council is failing to build a genuine partnership against HIV/AIDS

23 February 2005

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) and the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) are disappointed by the failure of the Minister of Health to ensure that most of the R30 million used to establish government's AIDS Trust in 2002 has not been spent. Only R520,000 of this money has been used - and of this a large portion has been squandered on unoccupied offices for the SANAC secretariat, something that has drawn criticism from the Auditor-General.

One of the key purposes of the AIDS Trust is to fund the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC), the body established as "the highest advisory body" to the Minister of Health and the Cabinet on HIV/AIDS policy and implementation of programmes in South Africa.

The failure to spend the money, and the waste of over half a million rand, is a reflection of the fact that SANAC is not functioning properly. Meetings are held sporadically and when they do occur, it is alleged by sector representatives that the Minister of Health opposes and obstructs important issues from being put on the agenda or discussed properly. For example the Operational Plan for Comprehensive HIV/AIDS Treatment, Care and Support, released on 19 November 2003 is now far behind its original targets, yet no discussion on the Plan or why this is the case has taken place at SANAC.

It has been our experience that civil society and labour representatives on SANAC are not properly consulted, and suffer from last minute cancellation of meetings. So far SANAC has not created a space for quality debate, discussion or proper engagement of critical AIDS-related matters as a partnership. TAC and COSATU call on Cabinet to ensure the SA AIDS Trust money is spent immediately and appropriately with the purpose of enabling SANAC to fulfill its duties.

We are particularly concerned about the failure to spend the AIDS Trust money in the face of mounting evidence of the devastation being caused by this epidemic. The publication of the Statistics South Africa report on mortality last week once more confirms beyond doubt that South Africa has a massive AIDS epidemic. South Africa's best epidemiologists estimate that over 800 people are dying each day of AIDS. We cannot afford the dysfunctionality of structures such as SANAC which have been established to alleviate the epidemic. Genuine partnership and commitment from all in our society is needed now more than ever.


For comment contact the TAC national office on 021 788 3507.