Articles in Category: PACSA NEWS
On the 1st of April 2018, despite massive resistance, government went ahead and increased the VAT rate to 15%. We have argued in the past that increasing the VAT rate on food was unwise.
This media statement using our April 2018 data looks at the month-on-month impact of the VAT hike for households living on low incomes. It is a snap shot as the effect of the VAT hike will take time to run through the value chains however already it signals some worrying trends. Foods subject to VAT make up 54% of the total cost of the PACSA Food Basket. The statement finds that the increase in VAT by 1% resulted in a 6.5% increase in the total VAT levied on the foods subject to VAT on the PACSA Food Basket, moving the total VAT payable to R221.59.
The PACSA Food Basket has now reached its highest level of R3 144.02. It has increased by 9% over the past eight months. Hiking the VAT rate has made the affordability crisis deeper and will have a considerable negative impact on households living on low incomes, who are already in a very severe crisis.
We call for food to be made a public good; to remove all VAT from food; to increase wages to those of a living wage and to regulate food prices.April 2018 PACSA monthly food price barometer
26 participants from 12 countries gathered for a 4 day consultation hosted by PACSA and AGEH, a German Association for Development Cooperation, in Paarl, outside Cape Town, to re-think development as liberation and to promote an alliance of international faith based and Church related organizations promoting exchange of volunteers as an expression of human solidarity.
PACSA’s Mervyn Abrahams was the guest speaker at the launch of the book Faith and Migration in Pietermaritzburg in December 2017. In the book, edited by Prof Philippe Denis, a Dominican brother and professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, 24 writers reflect on the spiritual and theological imperatives that should guide Christians and people of faith to recognise migrants as a sister or brother who collaborate towards improving their new home.
The January 2018 PACSA Food Price Barometer shows the inadequacy of the value of the Child Support Grant to support households to provide a basic but nutritionally complete monthly diet for a boy/girl child between the ages of 10-13 years.
The Peer educators, a project that PACSA supports, have been struggling to find a tool to share information with their teachers and school friends on their return from workshops.
In January 2018 two new staff members joined the PACSA team. They are Mandla Gcwabasa, a process facilitator in the practice team, and Marcel Lee who took on the position as PA to the Director.
In the Democratic South Africa, Farm workers are still subjected to undignified treatment, even when deceased. During December 2017 PACSA staff was called upon to stand in solidarity with a farmworker family in the Crammond area of the province who was denied a peaceful, dignified burial on the farm where they have lived and worked for many years.