Khulumani Support Group

Khulumani Support Group

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Marking Five Years Since the Marikana Massacre, 16 August 2017



Lonmin’s event on 15 August 2017 to unveil its plans for commemorating and learning from the Marikana Massacre was an impressive affair that was addressed by the company’s CEO, Mr Ben Magara who explained that with five years having elapsed since the "sad event" of Marikana, it was now time to celebrate the lives of the deceased and to make the Marikana tragedy a catalyst for change. The focus of the event was the unveiling of plans to construct a “GREEN BLANKET” MEMORIAL SITE encompassing the Wonderkop and two adjacent small koppies. The plans are creative and interesting and would provide for a place to be visited by a global audience that has wrestled with an occurrence that seemed inconceivable in a country that had shown the world how to solve problems through processes of dialogue and negotiation. The ‘garden of remembrance’ with its benches for reflection bear a close resemblance to the Memorial of the Rwandan Genocide in Kigali. While the mining company at the heart of the tragedy of August 2012 is moving on, the views, concerns and lives of the widows themselves, have seen some limited improvement. Many of their concerns have, however, not yet been fully addressed by either the company or the state.

Week 2: Squeezing Lemons - Bailey Robbins

"When life gives you lemons, make lemonade." At 5 years old I could never quite get this expression right. When something went wrong, instead I would say "When life gives you lemons, squeeze a lemon out of it!" Close enough. It caught on, and my mom and I have been saying it ever since. 

I've been squeezing a lot of lemons this week. Week 2 of living without heat (it's winter in South Africa!), an oven, stove, or washing machine, which were all promised to me by my landlord, has felt like life giving me lemons. Adjusting to life in a new country without the comforts and people from home can be hard. But every day at Khulumani, I'm reminded to squeeze a lemon out of it. With each new day I am inspired by the bravery and perseverance of the people I meet. 

Being a Khulumani Summer Intern - Bailey Robbins

Bailey Robbins, a rising 2L at William & Mary Law School, was born and raised in Vermont. She graduated from Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts, with a degree in Children’s Studies and a minor in Education. Through her involvement with local non-profit organizations addressing poverty and homelessness, Bailey developed a passion for human rights work.  

Bailey will spend the summer in Johannesburg, South Africa, working with the Khulumani Support Group. Khulumani is a membership-based organization of more than 100,000 victims and survivors of Apartheid-related gross human rights violations. Khulumani’s mission is to build an inclusive and just society in which the dignity of people harmed by Apartheid is restored through the process of transforming victims into victors. Bailey will be assisting Khulumani in addressing legal issues surrounding a nation-wide movement they have recently taken under their umbrella, called “Destitute Ex-Miners in South Africa.”

Learning from Latin America on Planning Universal Health Systems

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE or A UNIVERSAL HEALTH SYSTEM: Are there possibilities for choosing a "path less travelled" in South Africa?

A burning issue in South Africa remains our struggling public health system with some 20% of the population being covered by private medical insurance and around 80% of the population relying on the services of this often struggling public health system.

Plans for NHI (National Health Insurance) are at an advanced stage in the country. There is a 14-year roadmap for the institution of a system called her National Health Insurance. The question is whether this will provide universal access to quality health care that attends to all health care needs from a perspective of social justice and equity in access and in quality.

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