OSF-SA focused its work on freedom of expression and oversight of state institutions.
In May 2010, OSF-SA’s first Board Chairperson, Dr Van Zyl Slabbert passed away.
In September 2010, the government announced the withdrawal of the 2009 special status permit granted to Zimbabweans who had fled the political violence in Zimbabwe.
To strengthen advocacy and law reform, the Criminal Justice Initiative made a number of grants that aimed to strengthen oversight and accountability in respect of penal reform, legislative monitoring and reform, and budgetary monitoring, asa well as supporting parliamentary portfolio committees, the convening of civil society dialogues, and research on the nature of public-private partnerships.
Grants to the Election Monitoring Network helped mitigate the risk of violence during South Africa’s fourth municipal elections.
OSF-SA funded human rights-based, public-interest litigation work for vulnerable groups (such as sex workers, asylum seekers, refugees, and prisoners), including advancing access to health services through community-based budget monitoring of service delivery and providing legal services for vulnerable groups.
The Media Programme supported the launch of the Right2Know Campaign, initially a collation to challenge the Protection of Information Bill (Secrecy Bill), and partnered with the Mail and Guardian Newspaper to set up the Mail and Guardian Centre for Investigative Journalism (amaBhungane) – the first South African non-profit centre mandated to develop investigative journalism in the public interest.
In 2010, in partnership with AfriMAP the Country Report on public service broadcast reform was launched, and OSF-SA, the South African National Editors’ Forum, and the IEC worked together to produce specialised training manuals for journalists and civil society covering elections. OSF-SA partnered with the Media Development and Diversity Agency, the Department of Communications, and the ICASA to train 120 community radio journalists on preparing for the elections.
2010/11 grants: 131