Awethu! is a network of civil society organisations in South Africa which are working for social justice in many different sectors of society. Amongst these sectors are health, education, freedom of speech, food security, sanitation and water, land and housing, the rights of workers, safety and security, protection of women and children from violence, xenophobia, freedom of choice on a range of issues, and human rights in general.
Awethu! aims to assist all civil society structures to connect with each other and support each other in their work, whether locally, provincially or nationally.
A just and equitable South Africa, with a truly people-centred, corruption-free, participatory democracy and with an accountable government (for the people by the people) that serves everyone equally and with dignity.
Through this platform we aim to
- unite all progressive people and organisations in South Africa in a clear campaign to retrieve the project of democracy and achieve social justice for all
- improve communication and open up dialogue between activists across civil society organisations that will inevitably produce sustainable solutions for all South Africans
Values and principles
Among the progressive values underpinning the vision and work of Awethu! are: transparency, accountability, integrity, humility, inclusion, democratic decision-making, non-discrimination, non-partisanship, building from below, cooperation, learning from each other and Ubuntu.
Awethu!'s vision, mission and operating principles are guided by the South African Constitution, more particularly the Bill of Rights, and other international and regional human rights documents that the Government of South Africa has ratified, including the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Bill of Rights, the African Charter on Human and People's Rights, and the Covenants on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights and on Civil and Political Rights.
Awethu! recognises that the struggle for social justice has political and economic roots. But Awethu! maintains a strictly non-partisan approach and will not align itself with any political party nor any specific political ideology. This does not exclude principled cooperation with political parties on particular, clearly-defined issues as long as Awethu!'s non-partisan position is not compromised.
Awethu! was launched in 2013 at a meeting representing over 300 organisations from across South Africa. In 2014, Awethu! conducted nine Provincial People's Conferences. Delegates to the Conferences endorsed Awethu! as an important networking umbrella of social justice organisations. This mobisite is one step in the direction of building unity within civil society and creating the opportunity for organisations to work together and support each other, strengthening and giving a louder voice to all, especially smaller organisations in less-advantaged communities