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  • Grassroots organisations act in their own names and are accompanied in their own advocacy and development.
  • The work of livelihoods groups has improved food security as a result of their food production and micro enterprises.
  • Our work and our practice seek to enhance human dignity.

Does the outcome of the 2016 Local Government Elections indicate a major shift in South African politics?

Mervyn Abrahams PACSA Dr Lubna Nadvi Mike Pothier CPLO and Ralph Mathekga at the roundtable discussion
 
The recent local government elections have been described as a ‘watershed election’ as the ANC lost control of some of the key metropolitan municipalities to opposition parties and a number of coalition governments at municipal governance level. In order to explore the meaning and significance of that election for our long-term political direction, PACSA, in collaboration with the Catholic Parliamentary Liaison Office, hosted a roundtable discussion on whether the outcomes of the elections indicate a re-alignment of political forces in South Africa?

A National Minimum Wage of R3 500 is too low and could trap millions of workers in continuing cycles of poverty

Table 1: PACSA Affordability Tables: Income and expenditure for households of various socio-economic scenarios: October 2016. See Household H for National Minimum Wage of R3 500.
 
Table 1
 
After a number of years of debating in NEDLAC whether South Africa requires a legislated national minimum wage covering all workers and if so, at what level should it be set, a panel of experts advised that the level should be set at R3500.00.

PACSA Monthly Food Price Barometer: November 2016: 13th cheque for pensioners?

Imagine if all old-age pensioners received a 13th cheque in December? Imagine the difference it would make? Pensions are used to teach, clothe and feed kids. Pension money is being used to escape more punitive debt arrangements and secure interest-free loans in stokvels. December and January are very hard months. A 13th cheque of R1 510 could be a strategic intervention to help families start the new year in a better space by contributing to school fees, clothes, shoes, stationery and omalume whilst also enabling the securing of friendlier debt arrangements.  What do you think? If you support the idea join the campaign #13thchequeforpensioners. See full statement here.

2016 Maritzburg Social Justice Film and Arts Festival

Film Festival
 
The 2016 Social Justice Film and Arts Festival took place on the Pietermaritzburg campus of the University of KwaZulu-Natal on the 22, 28 and 29 October. The theme of the 2016 festival was “Imagine we all resisted . . . where-ever we are”. A significant change to the 2016 festival was that we changed the name of the festival from the PACSA Film and Arts Festival to the Maritzburg Social Justice Film and Arts Festival and adopted a new logo.
 

Belgian Youth visit PACSA as part of an exchange visit to South Africa

Belgian and South African youth interact during the exchange visit
 
On the 3rd November 2016 we hosted an exchange visit between local youth and a group of 13 Belgian youth from St Quirin in the city of Huy, Belgium. The Belgian youth are connected to Entraide et Fraternite a long standing partner of PACSA. The visit and conversation focused on sharing experiences between young people in South Africa and in Belgium.

PACSA Monthly Food Price Barometer: November 2016: 13th cheque for pensioners?

Old-age grants play a critical role in supporting families. Pensions are used to teach, clothe and feed children. Over the last year, pensioners have told us how they are using the monthly grant to access friendlier forms of credit to cover food shortfalls and extricate their families from more punitive unsecured debt. Women are moving some of their grant monies into stokvels which have been restructured from primarily savings instruments to that of providing interest-free loans which assist in protecting families when money runs out before the end of the month. See media statement at See media statement at

A National Minimum Wage of R3 500 is too low and could trap millions of workers in continuing cycles of poverty

The low proposed National Minimum Wage of R3 500 per month is not enough for workers to support their families, nor does it address our historical racial wage structure. After this figure has been legislated, we suspect that it will institutionalise South Africa’s low-wage trajectory and deepen income inequality.  Read the Media Statement here

About PACSA

PACSA is an independent, faith-based, non-governmental organisation that has worked to achieve social and economic justice for over 30 years. PACSA works for improved social cohesion as inequality and poverty is reduced in communities in the uMgungundlovu District in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa.

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