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.


27 January 2004

Build a People's Health Service - Roll out the Treatment Plan!

Resolutions of Treatment Action Campaign National Executive CommitteeMeeting, Cape Town, 26 - 27 January

TheTreatmentÊ Action Campaign (TAC) National Executive Committee (NEC)Êmet in Cape Town on 26 andÊ 27 January. ÊRepresentatives from TACbranches, Medecins Sans Frontieres, the AIDS Consortium, the South AfricanMedical Association (SAMA), religious organizations, trade union federationsand TAC funders participated in the meeting. Resolutions were passed on anumber of issues. The most urgent of these are a campaign for a People's HealthService and actions to speed up Government's rollout of the operationaltreatment plan. Resolutions were also passed regarding the upcoming SAMA marchto the opening of Parliament, prevention issues and the Yfm "Test Yourself"campaign to be launched following the death of Fana "Khabzela" Khaba.

People's Health Service

In 2004 theTAC will campaign for a People's Health Service. This will mean working toimprove the quality of public health and reduce the inefficiency and excessivepricing of the private sector. Our resolve is founded on the principals in theFreedom Charter and the Constitution which require decent health-care for all.

The long-termobjective of this campaign is a unified health service in which the public andprivate sectors are complementary to each other, as opposed to the currentsituation where the private sector undermines the public sector becauseexhorbitant medicine, diagnostic and hospital prices force poor patients to usethe underfunded, overburdened public health system. Short-term objectives areto improve conditions of service for public health-care workers and reduceprivate sector prices.

Detailedpolicy positions on this campaign will be developed through research and wideconsultation.

This campaignwill be launched with a People's Health Conference which will take place inlate March or early April 2004. At thisÊ conference, the TAC will:

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ invite allmajor political parties to articulate their vision of health-care in SouthAfrica;

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ produce adetailed reportÊ of the state of the antiretroviral treatment rollout;

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ describe indetail a vision for improved health-care in South Africa.

TAC brancheswill present poster exhibitions at the conference explaining what they havedone to improve health-care delivery in their areas and what challenges theyhave faced.

ARV Rollout

The TAC NECheard a presentation on Government's operational treatment plan as well asreports from TAC's six Provincial Coordinators and others on the state of therollout. The NEC welcomed the operational treatment plan as a major stepforward. However, the NEC noted with concern theÊ lack of progress inimplementing the plan.

With theexception of the Western Cape -- which has started treatment in at least 13sites -- no province has yet started to provide antiretrovirals. Someprovincial governments such as Gauteng and Kwazulu-Natal seem to be preparingfor rollout, but other provinces such as Limpopo have not even made theirprovincial plans available. A number of health facilities have been identifiedas ready to proceed with treatment, but an unjustifiable delay in drugprocurement is hindering progress.

The NEC noted the following points of concern:

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Theoperational treament plan requested R296 million for the year ending March2004. Only R90 million has been allocated.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ As far ascan be ascertained, none of the R90 million has been disbursed to provinces.Consequently provinces do not have sufficient funds to purchase antiretroviralsor to get their programmes started while the procurement process is beingestablished.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Theoperational plan commits to communicating its details. But to date nosubstantive communication has taken place, either to the public or to healthworkers.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ The plancommits to treating approximately 50,000 people by the end of March 2004. Asfar as can be ascertained less than 1,500 people have been placed on treatmentprogrammes, nearly all of them in the Western Cape.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Theaccreditation process in the operational plan is unduly onerous and the NEC wasreliably informed that sites that were accredited by the operational plan taskteam are being re-evaluated for accreditation.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ TheNECÊ welcomes the increased cooperation the TAC isÊ receiving frommany provincial governments but noted that despite efforts by the TAC,relations with national government have not been repaired.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Theprocurement team, headed by Dr. Humphrey Zokufa, has not commenced their work.Dr. Zokufa has been quoted by the Financial Times as saying that theprocurement process "will be slow and cumbersome" (FT, 20 January 2004).This is unacceptable and interim arrangements must be made for provinces topurchase medicines until the procurement process is in place.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ The SouthAfrican National AIDS Council (SANAC) has not yet met to discuss theoperational treatment plan.

The NEC resolved that the TAC will:

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Requestgovernment to make Annexure A of the operational plan report - a week-by-weekimplementation timeframe - public.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Write toprovincial health departments requesting reports on site readiness andtreatment service point strengthening plans. These letters will also reiterateTAC's offer of support with the rollout.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Write toDr. Zokufa requesting an explanation of his comments quoted in the FinancialTimes. The letter will be copied to the Minister of Health.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ InFebruary, conduct large public meetings in major cities addressed by TACleaders on the antiretroviral rollout.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Revivedemands for the signing of the NEDLAC agreement. (This will be a basis forformal collaboration between Government,Ê Labour and Business on HIV/AIDS.This will also be raised at SANAC.)

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Report tothe country on the progress of the antiretroviralÊ rollout in April.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Seekdonations, particularly from international humanitarian organizations, ofantiretrovirals to give to hospitals that are ready to provide treatment.

¥ ÊÊÊÊÊÊ Continue tomobilise TAC branches to support health facilities in their communities.

SAMA March to Parliament on 6 February

The NECÊnoted the proposed SAMA march to the opening of Parliament on 6 February. TheNEC believes this event is important and in principle supports most oftheÊ issues for which SAMA is marching. The NEC proposed furtherdiscussions with SAMA with the view of setting a date for broader mobilisationwhich will include other health-care workers. The TAC will encourage itsmembers to attend the 6 February march.

Prevention Campaigns

The TAC iscommitted to strengthening prevention campaigns, particularly among youth.ÊThe organisation will step up its campaign for wider condom distribution,particularly in schools, coupled with life-skills programmes. The NEC alsonoted that a more sophisticated approach to prevention is required than the ABCcampaign.

Support for Yfm "Test Yourself" Campaign

The NEC notedthe death of ÊYfm radio DJ, Fana "Khabzela" Khaba, of AIDS.HeÊ was a role-model for youth in South Africa and lived openly with HIV.The TAC expresses its support for Yfm's Ê"Test Yourself"campaign that has been launched following his death. We will build on the YFMcampaign by stepping up our treatment literacy campaign and by urginggovernment to provide more accurate public messages on the science, preventionand treatment of HIV/AIDS.