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.
C/O Chairpersons of Portfolio Committees on Health and Finance: Mr. James LV Ngculu and Ms. Barbara Hogan
Dear President Mbeki, Deputy-President Jacob Zuma and all members of Parliament
We are marching today because the opening of South Africa's Parliament in 2003 should be an important day to signal to the nation and the world the increased determination to prevent and treat HIV infection and to control an epidemic that threatens many parts of our national life. Our march is made by people representing millions of South Africans: We are people with HIV from all provinces of South Africa, members of all the major trade union federations of our country, women’s organisations, NGOs, members of medical organisations, representatives of religious faiths, academics, students, the lesbian and gay community and many more.
We stand here to demonstrate the willingness of our society to rally behind government in confronting the epidemic of HIV and AIDS. In particular we stand here to demonstrate the depth of support there would be for government beginning to treat people with HIV/AIDS. By government estimates, over 600 people die daily as a result of this disease. This daily presence of death, which has touched every person on this march, will become an immense well of anger that that will protest should there be further delays in our national response to halting this carnage in our country.
In particular, we come to you with three demands:
We consider it unacceptable that hardly any people in South Africa receive antiretrovirals through the public sector. Government policy to withhold these medicines is widening inequalities between the rich and the poor and between the private and public health services. It also increases the inequality between men and women. Our people are increasingly aware that many of the deaths caused by withholding antiretorivals are avoidable. Government inaction is seen as a key factor in this. Government has resources. Government also has the power to stop drug company profiteering. It has failed to use the power won with the support of people internationally to reduce the prices of anti-retrovirals and all medicines.
If our reasonable demands are met by government, the TAC, its allies and supporters commit to turning all our energies to implementation in all areas of HIV prevention and treatment. Areas for partnership are clearly set up in the NEDLAC framework agreement.
However, whilst TAC commits to partnership, we must also say that we cannot, with conscience, wait any longer. Numerous memoranda have been given to government leaders over the last 4 years. Many of these have gone unanswered. Protests, interfaith services, talks, negotiations and pressure have met with promises, and then, equivocation.
It is in this light that TAC has made it clear that failure to respond on these issues will lead to the commencement of a peaceful civil disobedience campaign by TAC activists. This is not the preferred route but, in the face of the illness, death and despair that face us daily in our communities, we will have no choice. The organisations gathered here today in solidarity with the Treatment Action Campaign witness this appeal to government to meet its promise on HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment that includes universal access to anti-retroviral therapy.
This campaign is supported by millions of people in South Africa and the organisations that represent them. Through international solidarity, it is also supported by hundreds of organisations globally. We urge you to make a choice that will reduce social conflict, give hope to our people and our continent, as well as cherish the ideals of freedom, equality, dignity and the right to life for all.
Attached to the letter is a list of some of the local and international organizations that support today’s march. Yours in the struggle for health and dignity.
Thabo Cele (PLWA) Nomfundo Dubula (PLWA) Pholokgolo Ramothtwala (PLWA)
Kwa-Zulu Natal Western Cape Gauteng
Portia Ngcaba (PLWA) Thembane Shabangu (PLWA) Edward Mabunda (PLWA)
Eastern Cape Mpumalanga North-West
Zackie Achmat (PLWA) Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane Willie Madisha
Treatment Action Campaign Church of the Province of South Africa COSATU President
Gretchen Humpries Sharon Ekambaram Rev. Dr. Simphiwe Xaphile
FEDUSA AIDS Consortium J.L. Zwane Presbyterian
Vuyiseka Dubula Rabbi David Hoffman Moulana Farid Essack
Médecins Sans Frontières Temple Israel, Cape Town Positive Muslims
Mark Heywood Lu-ann Hatane Dr. Kgosi Letlape
AIDS Law Project NACOSA (WC) SA Medical Association
ACCESS – Alliance for Children’s Entitlement to Social Security
AIDS Law Project
All Africa Women For Peace
Anglican Church on Southern Africa
Basic Income Grant Coalition
Children's Rights Centre
Combined AIDS Ministry
Durban Lesbian and Gay Community Centre
Kagiso Anglican YCW
Methodist Church of Southern Africa
Positive Wits - HIV/AIDS Campaign
SA Academy of Family Practice,
SA National NGO Coalition
South African Medical Association
Southern African Catholic Bishops Conference AIDS Office
South African Council of Churches
The Caring Network
The Southern African HIV Clinicians Society
Themba HIV/AIDS Project
Western Province Council of Churches,
Wits HIV/AIDS Education and Support Project
Wits Perinatal HIV Research Unit
Women on Farms Project and many others
Youth Against AIDS Network
ACT UP/ Atlanta, Atlanta, GA
ACT UP/ Cleveland, Cleveland, Ohio
ACT UP/ East Bay, Oakland, CA
ACT UP/ Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
ACT UP/ New York, New York, NY
ACT UP/ Paris, Paris, France
ACT UP/ Philadelphia, Philadelphia, PA
AIDES, Pantin, France
AIDS In Africa Committee, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, Evanston, IL
AIDS Interfaith Network, Inc., New Haven, CT
AIDSETI (AIDS Empowerment and Treatment International), Washington, D.C.
Africa Action, Washington, D.C.
African Services Committee, New York, NY
All Africa Women for Peace, Pretoria, South Africa
Amahoro Association, Jersey City, NJ
American Jewish World Service, New York, NY
American Medical Student Association, Reston, Virginia
Amnesty International, London, England
Artists Against AIDS Worldwide, New York, NY
Artists for a New South Africa, Los Angeles, CA
Black AIDS Institute, Los Angeles, CA
Boston Global Action Network, Boston, MA
Canadian Treatment Action Council, Toronto, Canada
Canadian AIDS Legal Network
DanceSafe, Sacramento, CA
European AIDS Treatment Group, Germany
Exponents Inc., New York, NY
Foundation for Integrative AIDS Research, Brooklyn, NY
Gay Men's Health Crisis, New York, NY
German Institute for Medical Mission, Germany
Global AIDS Alliance, Washington, D.C.
Global Alliance for Justice Education, AIDS Working Group, International
Global Exchange, San Francisco, CA
Global Network of People Living with HIV/AIDS, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Greek Committee for International Democratic Solidarity, Athens, Greece
Hatter Support Society for Gays and Lesbians in Hungary, Budapest, Hungary
Health GAP, San Francisco, CA
Health Rights Action Group, Kampala, Uganda
Hepatitis C Outreach Project, Portland, OR
International AIDS Empowerment, El Paso, Texas
International Community of Women Living with HIV/AIDS
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission,San Francisco, CA
International Labor Rights Fund, Washington, D.C.
INTERSECT-Worldwide, New York, NY
James S. Coleman African Studies Center, University ofCalifornia Los Angeles
Jubilee Northwest Coalition, Seattle, WA
Maryknoll AIDS Task Force, Maryknoll, NY
Michigan Coalition for Human Rights, Royal Oak, MI
Middle East Children's Alliance, Berkeley, CA
Mobilization Against AIDS International, San Francisco, CA
NextAid, Los Angeles, CA
Northeastern Law School Global AIDS Campaign, Boston, MA
Northwest Coalition for AIDS Treatment in Africa, Seattle, WA
Operation USA, Los Angeles, CA
Physicians for Human Rights, Boston, MA
Planet Poz, Albuquerque, NM
Project Inform, San Francisco, CA
Saint Michael's College Student Global AIDS Campaign, Colchester, VT
Shanti, San Francisco, CA
South Africa Development Fund, Boston, MA
Student Global AIDS Campaign, Cambridge, MA
Survive AIDS, San Francisco, CA
Sydafrika Kontakt, Denmark
TransAfrica Forum, Washington, D.C.
MEMORANDUM TO PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH AND ALL MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES CONGRESS
Dear President Bush and Members of Congress
The HIV/AIDS epidemic throughout our world claims thousands of deaths daily. These deaths are premature, predictable, avoidable and the result of the HIV virus. We are marching today because the opening of South Africa's Parliament in 2003 should be an important day to signal to the nation and the world the increased determination to prevent and treat HIV infection. Our march is made by people representing millions of South Africans: We are people with HIV from all over South Africa, members of all the trade unions of our country, women’s organisations, NGOs, medical organisations, representatives of all faiths, academics, students, the lesbian and gay community and many more. We urge our government to sign a national HIV prevention and treatment plan. We are also delivering this memorandum to your government for two reasons:
The Treatment Action Campaign and all our allies globally and locally insist that we will get a formal response from your government.
Zackie Achmat Sipho Mthathi Mark HeywoodOn behalf of the Treatment Action Campaign