The Deputy Chairperson of the Inclusive Society Institute (ISI), Prof Zweli, and its Chief Executive Officer, Daryl Swanepoel, met with Hon Bettina Lugk, a member of the German Bundestag’s Foreign Affairs Committee, on 13 September 2022. Hon Lugk was accompanied by Hon Ulla Schmidt and Hon Dagmar Freitag, former members of the Bundestag. Hon Schmidt, a former Minister of Health, who oversaw the implementation of the German National Health System, has been intricately involved in the ISI’s research into the proposed NHI in South Africa, and Hon Freitag has been an active participant in the Institute’s social democracy dialogues.
The objective of the meeting was to appraise and update both sides on political developments within their countries and to chart a way forward for further interaction and cooperation between themselves and the broader social democratic movement.
Areas of mutual concern included the rise of the far right, populism, such as xenophobic incitement, and a decline in public trust in democracy, which threatened social cohesion and stability. Social democrats from across the globe needed, now more than ever, to constructively seeks solutions to ensure social justice and cohesion.
It was agreed that channels of communication and cooperation needed to be maintained and further strengthened.