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Social Justice Coalition (South Africa)

This article is about the South African NGO. For other uses, see Social Justice Coalition (disambiguation).
Social Justice Coalition
Formation Template:If empty
Type Community organisation
Headquarters Khayelitsha, South Africa
Region
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Membership
2000
Official language
English, Xhosa
Staff
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Website www.sjc.org.za
Formerly called
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The Social Justice Coalition (SJC) is a South African, membership-based, community social movement that focuses on campaigning for safety and security for all. It has undertaken a wide range of campaigns to promote this, including applying pressure on the South African government to ensure good governance in all its departments, campaigning against xenophobic violence, and campaigning for access to safe and clean water and sanitation services for residents of informal settlements specifically, but by extension all people in South Africa. The SJC is currently based in Khayelitsha, Cape Town.

History

The SJC was founded in 2008 in response to xenophobic attacks that swept across South Africa, leaving 62 people dead and over 30 000 displaced.[1] The SJC was formed to address many of the underlying social issues that can be seen to have manifested themselves in these violent attacks. These were identified as social and economic disparities that lead to anger amongst poor and marginalised South Africans. The SJC states that it attempts to address these inequalities in the hope that by campaigning for these concerns and giving a voice to the marginalised, future violence and crime could be avoided.[2]

Structure

The SJC is based in Khayelitsha, South Africa. It has several branches throughout the Khayelitsha area and a branch based at the University of Cape Town.[3] Past branches have been based in Kraaifontein and the Cape Town CBD. Weekly branch meetings are held where SJC facilitators run educational activities for community members centred on the campaigns the SJC is involved in.

Campaigns

File:SJC lecture series.JPG
SJC Grootboom Memorial Lecture Series on Safety, Security and Good Governance, September 2008

Good governance

The SJC has put pressure on government to investigate the South African Arms Deal in order to establish whether any government officials abused their positions and received bribes to push through the deal. A public campaign took place throughout 2009 to achieve this.[4]

Refugee rights

As a result of being founded on the basis of the wide prevalence of Xenophobia in South Africa the SJC undertook educational campaigns in centres affected by xenophobia throughout 2008 and 2009, with the aim of reducing tensions within these communities. In July 2010, the SJC responded to rising tensions between indigenous South Africans and foreigners by working to calm the situation [5][6][7]

Safety and security

As one of its primary focuses, the SJC addresses, through education and campaigns, the conditions that lead to an unsafe South Africa. Emphasis is placed on government's failed attempts at service delivery in the poorest areas of South Africa as the cause of much of the violent and criminal activities affecting South Africa. Educational activities attempt to practically empower residents of working-class neighbourhoods to take basic steps to help better protect themselves and create awareness as to why violence and criminality occurs. The SJC also places pressure on government to create a better criminal justice system and improve service delivery for all people living in South Africa.

Safe toilets campaign

File:SJC Toilet protest Cape Town South Africa.jpg
SJC toilet queue protest demanding safe and dignified sanitation, March 2010

After consultation with the residents of Khayelitsha, the SJC undertook a campaign for the provision of clean and dignified sanitation in Khayelitsha. The lack of provision of toilets increases the chances of being subjected to crime as residents in informal settlements are forced to walk significant distances to relieve themselves.[8] The SJC has recorded multiple instances of crime in these situations which it has present to the local government in Cape Town.[9] Additionally, the SJC works with the City of Cape Town to improve the sanitation infrastructure inside Khayelitsha, with a particular focus on RR informal settlement.[10] The SJC claims that the provision of more, better serviced toilets, will increase safety and security in Khayelitsha and improve the general health of the residents.[11]

The SJC currently runs educational activities inside Khayelitsha to create awareness of these issues and recently hosted a "toilet queue" protest in Cape Town to highlight the inadequate sanitation facilities and its consequences inside South Africa's informal settlements [12]

See also

Sister organisations

References

External links