By Collette Schulz-Herzenberg
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Extra info for A Lethal Cocktail: Exploring the Impact of Corruption on HIV AIDS Prevention and Treatment Efforts in South Africa
In the same month the South African Council of Churches commented publicly about its concern over ongoing tensions between NGOs and the government, while the South African Democratic Teachers Union criticised the government for its lack of leadership over HIV/AIDS and the health minister’s promotion of beetroot as a traditional cure for the disease (News at Ten 2006). International pressure and criticism continue to mount. At the Sixteenth International AIDS Conference in Toronto in 2006, the South African government came under fire for failing to contain the country’s HIV epidemic and for the health minister’s controversial stance on nutrition and ARVs.
The political impact of HIV/AIDS is also apparent. AIDS is likely to affect the government’s ability to deliver goods and services efficiently (Barnett & Whiteside 2006:316). The disease also affects elections and electoral systems, with the high number of by-elections in the region possibly due to the loss of politicians to the virus (Chirambo 2006). Generally, the loss of skilled and experienced politicians undermines the capacity of democratic structures and institutions, which traditionally act as oversight institutions in a democracy.
The government has set up and continues to fund a number of large-scale publicawareness prevention programmes such as Khomanani, Soul City and loveLife. In addition, the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) was launched in January 2000, comprising representatives of 16 government ministries, 17 civil society sectors, 18 government departments and the parliamentary committees on health (NDoH 2005:133). SANAC’s main role, from the government’s point of view, is threefold: to act as adviser to government, develop national partnerships and mobilise resources.
A Lethal Cocktail: Exploring the Impact of Corruption on HIV AIDS Prevention and Treatment Efforts in South Africa by Collette Schulz-Herzenberg