The Right to Know (R2K) Campaign held its 3rd annual summit 15 to 17 March 2013, hosted by R2K KZN working group in Durban.
The summit was attended by over 60 activists, professionals, community leaders and ordinary individuals representing communities, NGO's and CBO's.
The annual summit was an opportunity for everyone interested in the campaign to share successes and challenges, share ideas about how to strengthen the campaign as well as to elect new national working group (NWG) members.
The summit began by forming committees for each leg of the campaign. These legs of the campaign are:
1. Secrecy: Ongoing mobilisation and advocacy against draconian clauses in the Secrecy Bill;
2. Access to information: Supporting communities and groups in the R2K coalition to access existing information that is critical to their broader struggles for social justice;
3. Right to communicate: Promoting a free and diverse media sector by monitoring and responding to legislative developments, educating and organising activist organisations on the ground on these issues, and advocating for more support for community media organizations, and;
4. Whistleblowers: Linking whistleblowers to appropriate partner organisations for support.
5. Building the R2K: Strengthening R2K structures and operations to maximise effectiveness and align the campaign to the needs of ordinary citizens.
The various committees discussed work that should be prioritized for the upcoming year and came up with concrete action plans. These plans were later discussed, refined and adopted.
Summary of resolutions*
- Fight the Spy Bill (the General Intelligence Laws Amendment Bill);
- Fight the Secrecy Bill ( the Protection of State Information Bill);
- Challenge the National Key Points Act; and,
- Defend the Right to Protest.
Access to information:
- Strengthen our coordinating in this sector;
- Establish an Access to Information Working Group within the Campaign;
- Deepen our community solidarity work;
- Politicise the Promotion of Access to Information Act; and,
- Support open data.
Right to communicate:
- Fight for the Right to call;
- Democratise Community media;
- Ensure that digital television serves the people;
- Fight for quality public broadcasting; and,
- Defend independent, critical journalism against the proposed Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT).
- Provide solidarity to whistleblowers; and,
- Advocate for amendments to the existing whistleblower law.
Building the R2K:
- Expand on the current campaign;
- Increase support for activists;
- Ensure Working Group Structures are representative;
- Ensure better reporting and record keeping;
- Emphasize community based mobilisation;
- Compile basic literature, multi-media and campaign information into a 'starter pack' that can be widely distributed by provincial working groups to community organises;
- Encourage activist networks: encourage the retention and development of activist networks;
- Create a database of supporters;
- Hold regular public meetings between provincial working groups and supporters.
- Publish newsletter: National Newsletter should be published periodically to update supporters on R2K activity;
- Issue statements out to mailing lists (in addition to posting them on the R2K website, Facebook and Twitter);
- Translate campaign material;
- Document internal success stories from provincial working groups and share them nationally;
- Develop activists and build their capacity to speak, engage and answer questions on core R2K issues.
As part of the summit, delegates had the task of electing individuals to the national working group. This process was overseen by independent observers who were invited to oversee the process. R2K's constitution and democratic processes were also tested through this process.
The following individuals - who represent the demographics, gender, skills and geographical distribution of R2K members - were elected. In alphabetical order:
1. Alison Tilley
2. Carina Conradie
3. Dale McKinley
4. Hennie van Vuuren
5. Jane Duncan
6. Meshack Mbangula
7. Murray Hunter
8. Nosipho Mngoma
9. Nomvula Skakane
10. Vinayak Bhardwaj
11. Zion Onceya
Learn more about the campaign and how you can obtain materials - such as the 'protect your rights' handbook and the 2013 Whistleblower calendar - by visiting R2K's website.
*Full list of resolutions with action plans will be available on R2K's website once finalized.