TAC members (Pic: TAC website)
The embattled Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has boycotted the government’s national World Aids Day commemoration in Welkom today, accusing it of wasteful spending.
“As the TAC, we are totally opposed to our government spending millions of rand on high-profile events every World Aids Day, often in provinces where the challenges are immense,” TAC General Secretary Anele Yawa told Health-e News.
“In many instances, these high-profile World Aids Day events do not make any positive impact in our battles to contain the HIV and tuberculosis (TB) epidemics in our country. These events are yet another form of fruitless and wasteful expenditure,” added Yawa.
National Department of Health spokesman Joe Maila called the boycott an “unfortunate and extreme exaggeration” but refused to disclose how much was being spent on the event.
The Welkom proceedings were attended by Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, who handed out pamphlets and engaged with residents at a taxi rank, as well Health Minister Dr Aaron Motsoaledi and the Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Pravin Gordhan.
The TAC has been internationally acknowledged for its campaigns and actions to save the lives of people living with HIV and TB in South Africa.
Through its use of the courts, it was able to force the South African government, during its period of AIDS denialism, to begin to supply ARVs to needy people.
The organisation is currently facing a financial crisis due to a reduction in international HIV funding allocated to South Africa.
You can make a donation to support the TAC at www.tac.org.za/donate.