It has been three and a half years since the United Nations (UN) adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In July, South Africa will be among the 51 countries that will table voluntary national reviews of their progress towards addressing the SDGs at the 2019 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development to be convened by the UN Economic and Social Council. With the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng having identified capacity building, collaboration, and engagement with government and industry as areas for the University to contribute to achieving the SDGs, several SDG-focused initiatives involving PII associate units are underway at UCT.
Vibrant discussions marked a recent dialogue held in Gugulethu under the banner of the Community Systems Strengthening (CSS) for Health Project. This pilot partnership project of the Learning Network for Health and Human Rights is managed by UCT’s School of Public Health and Family Medicine and aims to develop the capacity of community members to build healthier communities. The dialogue created a platform for community members, CSS participants and other stakeholders to discuss issues and interventions relating to the social determinants of health.
The PII’s first seminar for 2019 was a true reflection of the initiative’s aim to encourage knowledge sharing, cross-disciplinary collaboration and communication – both within and beyond the university community – to expand and raise UCT’s collective contribution to addressing poverty and inequality in South Africa. The event, hosted with the SALDRU and in partnership with UCT’s Children’s Institute (CI), served as the Cape Town launch of the South African Child Gauge 2018. This issue of the CI’s annual review of the situation of South Africa’s children addresses the theme “Children, families and the state: Collaboration and contestation”. The seminar provided a platform for lively discussions on the need for government policies to be cognisant of the various, and fluid, family formations in South Africa.
Poverty and Inequality Planning Group member Associate Professor John Ataguba has been selected to the World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Future Council on Health and Healthcare. He is director of the Health Economics Unit at UCT's School of Public Health and Family Medicine. His role within the WEF Council will be to promote an agenda that benefits Africa as well as the developing world at large. He’s also been tasked to design new healthcare initiatives which could be implemented globally and be appropriate for all people.