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
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.
TAC Responds to Minister of Labour
5 Febuary 2003
The Minister of Labour, Mr Sheperd Mdladlana, on ETV news on Tuesday night (4 February), accused TAC of not negotiating in good faith with Government. This comment was made in the context of TAC and its allies' mobilisation for a march to the opening of Parliament on 14 February.
Our response to Mr Mdladlana is:
If Government signs the NEDLAC framework agreement, it will give hope to millions of people with HIV in South Africa, their friends and familes. TAC would like nothing more than to be able to work with Government to make the treatment and prevention plan a success. If the agreement is signed before 14 February, our march will be turned into a celebration with Government. If the agreement is signed before the end of February, we will call off our civil disobedience campaign. The acrimony and battles between TAC and Government of the past few years can be laid to rest and we can move forward together. Over 200,000 people will die of AIDS this year if they do not get treatment. A Government of the poor should not hesitate to do what's right - to treat our people.
- The primary purpose of the march is to demonstrate the peoples' support for a treatment and prevention plan.
- After agreeing to sign the NEDLAC framework for a treatment and prevention plan in November 2002, Government inexplicably pulled out, without offering any substantive reason for doing so. Furthermore Government has been silent on the matter of signing the agreement since December.
- In October, 2002, a TAC delegation met with Deputy-President Zuma and agreed to delay our plans for civil disobedience from 1 December to the end of February, in order to give Government an opportunity to commit to a treatment plan. However, we never gave up our right to mobilise. The march on 14 February will be a legal and peaceful march. It, and the buildup to it, are a democratic expression of the desire of most South Africans for government to agree to a plan that has the potential to save millions of lives. By failing to sign the NEDLAC agreement and not participating in any substantive manner in negotiations at NEDLAC since December, government has left the TAC and its allies no choice but to increase the pressure to sign the plan.
- There have been confusing signals from Government over the last month. The minister of Health has given credence to an AIDS denialist. The Mpumalanga Government continues to flout the Constitutional Court's order on mother-to-child transmission prevention and to attempt to evict GRIP from a hospital in Nelspruit. There have been media reports of Government's intention to commit to antiretroviral therapy in the Budget Speech, yet no Cabinet Minister has been prepared to confirm these reports. TAC and our allies would be derelict in our duties as civil society organisations campaigning for the rights of people with HIV/AIDS if in this climate of confusion we sat about silently.
Join the march to parliament in Cape Town on 14 February to demonstrate the desire of South Africans to move forward in alleviating the HIV epidemic, through the implemention of a national HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention plan.