thuli madonsela
Photo Cred: Thuli Madonsela

The Social Justice Summit will focus on making social justice a reality for all in South Africa!


Western Cape, South Africa (12 October 2020) – Delegates from across the world will gather in early November, to find ways of making the concept of ‘social justice’ a tangible reality in the lives of ordinary South Africans.

The Second Annual Social Justice Summit is convened by Professor Thuli Madonsela, Law Trust Chair in Social Justice at the Law Faculty of Stellenbosch University. The event, she says, comes at a time when ordinary South Africans are more in need of social justice than ever before.

“The coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the harsh realities of the inequality that still exists in South Africa, despite us having one of the most ground-breaking Constitutions in the world. We are the most unequal society in the world, one where 55,5% of people were already poor, and many of these experiencing food insecurity before the pandemic. The question we will ask delegates is simple – what can we do about it together, with all hands on deck? 

“Social justice is essentially about the equal enjoyment of all rights and freedoms regardless of human diversity reflected in the fair and just distribution of all opportunities, resources, benefits, privileges and burdens in a society or group and between societies,” says Madonsela. 

A key item on the agenda in November will be the launch of the M-Fund, a crowdfunding initiative to accelerate the advancement of equality and the elimination of poverty, in pursuit of Sustainable Development Goal 10 (reducing inequality).

The Fund’s name refers to the Musa Plan for Social Justice (Social Justice M-Plan) which was launched in 2018.

“The plan, which is multi-stakeholder led, was endorsed by Government, business and civil society at the inaugural Social Justice Summit in 2019. It was named after activist Palesa Musa who was arrested at the age of 12 on June 16, 1976, jailed in solitary confinement and tortured for being an activist for freedom,” says Madonsela. 

“We will challenge delegates to find material and practical ways of making social justice a lived reality for more people in our nation. Collaboration stands at the heart of achieving this goal, and we hope that academics, civil society and organised business will join us. 

“Climate change and social justice are the most pressing challenges that pose an existential threat to our planet, but for many people, it took COVID-19 to realise the true magnitude of the social justice crisis. 

“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. 

Plenary sessions at the Summit will focus on Land & Poverty; Economic Inclusion & Well-being; Education & Training; Data Analytics & Poverty Mapping; Health, Mental Health and Nutrition; Access to Justice and the Rule of Law; Peace and Social Cohesion; Climate Change & Environmental Sustainability; Politics and Democracy; and Gender and Other Excluded Groups.

The Second Annual Social Justice Summit takes place on Wednesday 4 November 2020, on digital platform under the theme “All hands on deck, to leave no one behind.”

Visit for more information.

Sources: Stellenbosch University 
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