A roundtable discussion on A National Minimum Wage for South Africa was held on the 14th July 2015 in partnership with the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office (CPLO). Speakers included Eddie Cottle from the Labour Research Service, Gilard Isaacs and Bandile Ngidi from Wits University. The speakers provided a historical background of the National Minimum Wage [NMW], debunked much of the arguments against it on the basis of evidence and clarified how it is being currently defined in the National Economic Development and Labour Council (NEDLAC), a statutory body that brings together government, organised labour, business and community-based organisations which collaborates on shaping economic policies.
The 2015 edition of the PACSA Film and Arts Festival takes place from Thursday, 24th September to Saturday, 27th September 2015 at the Msunduzi Museum (the old Voortrekker Museum), at 351 John Langibalele Street, Pietermaritzburg.
The by Southern African Association of Youth Clubs-SAAYC conducted a one day workshop on ‘Young Leaders for South Africa’ at PACSA offices recently. The workshop was attended by 20 young leaders, including two leaders from the Peer Educators Network, a PACSA community-partner.
The National Energy Regulators’ rejection of ESKOM’s application for a further tariff increase this year has averted a pending crisis facing South African consumers and our economy. This rejection is a victory for all those who mobilised in the call to protest this application because electricity tariffs have already breached affordability thresholds.
In Pietermaritzburg the mobilisation was led by the ‘Stop Eskom’s 25% Increase Coalition’, a coalition of 19 organisations, which included citizens, civic organisations, CBOs, religious groups, small businesses, unions, student movements, NGOs, social justice and political groups.
About 35 people gathered on the campus of the Frankfurt University on the 17th July 2015 for the launch of the photograph exhibition ‘So leben wir – Alltag in KwaZulu-Natal.’ This exhibition, compiled by the well-known South African photographer Cedric Nunn, was first exhibited at the 2014 PACSA Film and Arts Festival. The German exhibition is funded by Bread for the World and organised by the German Ecumenical Service on Southern African (KASA. A number of those present for the launch have been friends of PACSA from the anti-apartheid days or had worked in church circles in South Africa.
On the 26 of July 2015 the Source of Hope Youth Foundation conducted a youth dialogue in Eastwood, Pietermaritzburg, to discuss the social factors influencing the increase of teenage pregnancy in their community. According to the Eastwood clinic 146 teenage pregnancies were recorded in the communities of Eastwood and Themba-Elihle in 2014. Participants from three schools, Sobantu High School, Copesville High and Eastwood High, participated in the dialogue.
PACSA had its 36th Annual General Meeting on 13 June 2015 at the Msunduzi Museum. The AGM was attended by 45 people amongst whom were a number of PACSA members including a few founding members. After the business part of the meeting Rev Russell Pollitt, Director of the Jesuit Institute in Johannesburg, addressed the meeting on the topic, ‘Faith, Justice and Social Action in South Africa Today.’
Commission investigates causes of the xenophobic violence and reintegration of victims into their communities
On the 23rd of June 2015, PACSA joined a number of faith-based organizations in a reflection on the recent spate of xenophobic violence in KwaZulu-Natal. The conversation, hosted by the Special Reference Group on Migration and Community Integration in KwaZulu-Natal under leadership of Judge Navi Pillay, previous United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, focussed on the causes of the violence and how victims could be reintegrated into the communities from which they fled.