A collaborative response to South Africa’s continuing levels of inequality is the only sustainable way to assure a just, equitable and peaceful future. Everyone needs to play some kind of part – big or small – in making good the constitutional promise of an improved quality of life for each and every South African; that’s according to the organisers of a summit scheduled for early in November.
“President Ramaphosa has taken the bold first step of putting together an economic recovery plan for our nation, which he presented in parliament a few days ago. We need to follow his example and find our own ways in which we can contribute to a better future for our nation. It is a mammoth task, and all South Africans should be making their own contributions towards achieving it.
“We hope that the outcomes of our summit will make another contribution to building an equal and justice South Africa”, says the convenor of the Second Annual Social Justice Summit Professor Thuli Madonsela.
The event is organised by Madonsela in her capacity as the Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at the Law Faculty of Stellenbosch University.
“We have invited representatives from various sectors to be a part of our Summit, with the goal of securing their support for a plan that we first started working on in 2018. The inaugural Social Justice Summit in 2019 saw the formal adoption and endorsement of the Musa Plan for Social Justice and we will take the next steps in the rollout of this plan, which is the launch of a crowdfunding initiative called the M-Fund,” says Madonsel
The Fund, she explains, is an initiative to accelerate the advancement of equality and the elimination of poverty, in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 10 (reducing inequality). The Musa Plan is loosely based on the war-time Marshall Plan, which focused on the recovery of Western Europe after the end of the Second World War.
The Musa Plan has four key result areas which aim to:
1. Empower policy- and law-makers to leverage data analytics to catalyse social justice and SDG 16 through responsive law and policy reform;
2. Foster social accountability and social cohesion through legal, human rights and democracy awareness and empowerment initiatives;
3. Mobilise societal, corporate and international support and resources towards accelerated reduction of poverty and inequality by 2030; and
4. Encourage leadership among all and contribute to a capable state.
“Key to the Social Justice M-Plan is the appreciation of the importance of collaboration within the university, and between universities, disciplines, the state, society and business. The coordination of resources will be critical for this purpose.
“The Social Justice M-Plan is ultimately intended to be a collaborative venture between Stellenbosch University and other academic institutions in a manner that builds bridges between diverse communities,” says Madonsela.
At the November Summit, the focus will move to the mobilization of resources to make the implementation of the Social Justice M-Plan a reality. A call will be made for small donations as part of a crowdfunding initiative in pursuance of the Social Justice M-Plan’s goals.
“We want people to leave the Summit with a sense of urgency as well as a better understanding and acceptance of what social justice entails and how they can be an ambassador for this important project,” says Madonsela.
The Second Annual Social Justice Summit takes place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, on a digital platform under the theme “All hands on deck, to leave no one behind.”