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Social Forum

Day 2 - 20 March 2022 

Refugees and Migration

Xenophobia -The Human Cost of Xenophobia in South Africa: exploring the intersections between Victimhood, Solidarity & Policy.
Time: 10h30

This debate spotlights the voices and experiences of migrants, refugees and stateless persons in South Africa.  Bringing experts to the table to discuss the fight against xenophobia through aspirations, challenges, shortfalls, and the way forward. The conversation will also delve into an analysis of existing policy, its strengths, weaknesses, implementation, it’s trajectory and its ideal composition.


The human cost of xenophobia in SA:

Spotlighting the voices and experiences of migrants, refugees, and stateless persons.

Navigating Solidarity in Action:

Unpacking the fight against xenophobia through reflection on aspirations, progress, challenges, shortfalls, and the way forward.

Policy in Review:

An analysis of existing policy, its strengths, its weaknesses, its implementation, its trajectory, and its ideal composition.

Exploring the role of Renewable Energy to reverse youth unemployment

Time: 12h30

#RenewableEnergy is creating millions of jobs across the globe. South Africa had the highest unemployment rate in the world for 2021. The youth don't have time to wait. They need jobs NOW! A #JustTransition to #RenewableEnergy won't only address the climate crisis; it is also the best and most immediate solution to our unemployment and energy crises.



Thandile Chinyavanhu is an environmental and social activist. She works as a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace Africa. She writes about public health, energy access, climate mitigation and the intersectionality of climate change, particularly its impacts on women of colour.



Lethiwe Nkosi is Youth Capital’s Network Mobiliser. She is a storyteller, whose mission is to amplify African voices. Youth Capital is a youth-led advocacy campaign with the vision of a South Africa where every young person has the skill, opportunity, and support to get their first job. In 2020, Youth Capital launched an Action Plan to tackle youth unemployment. Grounded in young people’s lived experiences, the Action Plan connects young people’s realities of looking for work with data, research, and policies to form a shared strategy to #shiftgears on youth unemployment.



Kwanele is a progressive climate justice activist with an interest in youth participation in policy processes and decision making. He is part of the Youth Policy Committee and one of the international coordinators who was a lead at formulating the first-ever South African Youth Climate Action Plan at the South African Institute of International Affairs. He is also a 2022 Young Researchers Symposium Finalist. Currently, he is the Interim Secretary of the Roodepoort Youth Club at the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation.


Fighting Systemic Discrimination and Advancing Minority rights in SA
Time: 14h30

 In many visible and invisible ways, the LGBTIQ+ Community is excluded from full inclusion and equality in South African Society.  Identifying and understanding systemic discrimination is necessary to challenge and change our communities and society.  

Panelists will discuss issues faced by the LGBTIQ+ Community in a variety of sectors including Education, Health, Justice & Community to provide a holistic view of the landscape of discrimination and what actions can be taken to overcome it.


Virginia Magwaza Wenjinji is a feminist and human rights activist, founder of PFSAQ (Parents, Families & Friends of South African Queers) and deputy director in LGBTIQ+ desk in the office of the premier. 


Roché Kester has been working in the LGBTI Sector since 2006. She has worked at OUT LGBTI Well-being as a Hate Crime Manager and most recently she was the Political Advocacy Coordinator at Triangle Project. She is also involved in advocating for LGBTI rights in relation to policy change, accessibility to services and through media visibility.  She is currently the Director of LGBTIQ+ and Others in the Office of The Gauteng Premier.  She recently received a Feather Award in the category: Role Model of the Year (2021).


I am a human rights defender. I am a Black Queer Feminist and this means that I have made a commitment to live a life of love and labour that works towards the dismantling of a white supremacist, capitalist, heteronormative Patriarchy.


Dr. Ntlotleng Mabena is a medical doctor who is a women’s health and rights advocate. Dr Mabena is a visionary, who has worked with various local NGOs in the field of HIV, Sexual and Reproductive Health and LGBT advocacy. Her passion lies in working with marginalized women, and making sure that all women, especially those at the margins of society, have access to quality primary health care services. Her advocacy issues include rape care, abortion care, substance abuse and mental health, amongst others.