Oxfam South Africa (OZA) is a social justice organisation working at the intersection of poverty and inequality.
Our work is grounded in feminist principles and practice and the gender inequality that Covid once again highlighted has encouraged us to focus even more on these principles as we seek a just society.
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What we do
Our programmes work together to highlight the ways in which poverty and inequality impact work and livelihoods, accountable governance, and natural resource justice.
CLIMATE JUSTICE – A JUST TRANSITION
We are piloting various initiatives that highlight the need to reduce inequality and injustice in the impact of climate change.
As South Africa remains one of the world’s biggest coal producers, one of our main concerns is how a just transition from coal to clean energy can take place as recently highlighted as an important issue at COP26.
REJECT OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION – SAVE OUR OCEANS
Beyond engaging with policy and policy makers, our climate justice work is also focused on movement building in climate change affected communities. We have been at the forefront of this work first in the extractives space but have now expanded the work beyond extractives.
Our focus on climate justice led to our participation at the Climate Change Conference (COP 26), where Salima Hamada from our Saving Lives Building Resilience programme represented us. She highlighted the work we do, including the East Africa Climate Change project, on which OZA is a partner.
Oxfam South Africa has been in partnership with the City of Johannesburg and the City of Ekurhuleni on the Waste Recycling project since 2009. Through our interventions the recyclers now have city sponsored land with structures built for sorting, we also fundraised for plastic and other recyclable processing equipment which makes the work more sustainable.
WOMXN, JUSTICE & POWER
Violence in South Africa is a daily reality, and this year our 16 days of activism campaign focused on unpacking violence in South Africa and its impact on our lives.
Poverty as Violence
We supported our partner Women on Farms with their call for Feminist reparations, a farm worker women’s demand for dignity. The campaign highlighted poverty as violence. It was built on the fact that for far too long farm women have endured many injustices – their land was stolen, they became slave labour and others ruled over them and this campaign called for them to reclaim what was forcibly taken from them and own it.
The Hunger Virus
It became clear at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that South Africans are increasingly going hungry. Oxfam International released a global briefing document that showed that by the end of the year 12,000 people per day could die from hunger linked to COVID-19, a number potentially more than the people expected to die from COVID-19.
Food Security and Women
Working with partners, we harnessed the power of women by supporting food security and livelihoods in the rural areas of the Eastern Cape, Ntabankulu and the poorest urban areas of Cape Town, Vrygrond. We donated containers which were used as kitchens for cooking for the community in two soup kitchens. These efforts helped vulnerable partner communities to mitigate the extreme crisis caused by the protracted Covid-19 pandemic.
Our call for a feminist government in South Africa and the region has been consistent. This is a government that would build inclusive, sustainable development with the full participation of the community. This is a government that responds to all while protecting the most vulnerable in emergencies. We have also collaborated with partners towards building a People’s Feminist Economy. This is an economy and society that recognises and values the right to dignified work and livelihoods for all.
We support movement building across South Africa by working with and supporting initiatives like the Makhanda Development Initiative, which has a vision of Makana developing into an economically viable, diverse, socially stable community so that all residents can benefit from its development and all stakeholders at the launch committed to realising this vision.
HOLDING IFI’s ACCOUNTABLE
As South Africa received more and more funds from International Financial Institutions to support Covid 19 relief efforts, our Global Impact programme focused on the role of IFIs in development. This led to the revival of the SA/Africa CSO NDB Working Group, co-chaired by Oxfam South Africa and African Monitor. This working group seeks to engage the NDB and its Africa Regional Center (ARC) on its role in SA and the region, in coordination with BRICS civil society.
ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE ON GBV
We support two feminist movements, the Call to Action collective and Shayisfuba. These collectives have been instrumental in the fight against GBV and ensuring government is held accountable for its actions and plans. As part of the collective we helped to raise awareness on GBV and the National Strategic Plan (NSP) for GBV through education, research, advocacy and information provided on our and the other partners social media platforms.