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FROM THE DIRECTORS DESK
Greetings from PACSA
2015 is fast drawing to an end and this is the final newsletter for the year. This newsletter contains news of a few activities that PACSA has been involved in over the past weeks that you might find interesting. As we approach the holiday season we thank all our friends and companions who journeyed with us over this year.
It has really been an intense year with many shifts in our context, which in turn required analysis and shifts on our part.
You can read some of these in the article on the PACSA Annual Strategic Review. Yet, we end the year with much to be thankful for. On behalf of the PACSA staff and Council we thank you for your continued support, encouragement, critical engagement and your solidarity with us. We wish you all a peace-filled and restful holiday season.
In keeping with our organisational rhythm we had a three-day strategic review to ascertain where we find ourselves at the end of 2015 in terms of the social change objectives set out in our 2015-2017 Strategic Framework and where to build on in 2016. The major outcome of our review was that the strategic direction as encapsulated in our strategic goal and objectives remain valid and must continue into 2016.
PACSA partnered with the Kwasuka Sukela campaign on a World Aids Day commemoration on the 1st December 2015. Speaking at the commemoration, Dudu Radebe, the PACSA Practice Development Manager said, “huge strides are being made nationally to mitigate the impact of HIV and AIDS, mostly through the provision of anti-retroviral treatment. However much needs to be done to shift gender-based inequality and violence which continues to drive the spread of the pandemic. KwaZulu-Natal remains the epicentre of HIV prevalence, which stands at an estimated 37.4 (per Health Systems Trust statistics in 2014).
Round-table conversation on shifting the socio-economic structures that entrench gender inequality and violence
PACSA hosted a roundtable discussion on the 26 November focusing on ‘Shifting the socio-economic structures that entrench gender inequality and violence.’ This roundtable which was attended by 26 people from a range of social partners formed part of our 16 Days campaign of Activism against Gender-based violence.
Mervyn Abrahams participated in a colloquium on Migration and Xenophobia in Basel, Switzerland, in early December 2015. This colloquium was jointly hosted by KEESA and the Centre for African Studies at Basel University. The colloquium explored migration and xenophobic responses in both South Africa and Switzerland.
The price of the PACSA food basket increased by R9.74 (0.59%) month-on-month – from R1 638.36 in October 2015 to R1 648.10 in November 2015. The drivers of higher levels of inflation on the PACSA food basket were maize meal (+0.9%), rice (+3.5%), white bread (+3.9%), brown bread (+2.2%), cooking oil (+6.8%), frozen chicken pieces (2.7%) and tomatoes (+35.4%). No media statement for November 2015 Monthly Food Price Barometer.
The minimum wage for domestic workers will be increased next month, but analysts have mixed views on whether the pay rise will impact positively on the lives of workers. The Department of Labour announced the wage hikes on Monday which includes an 8% to 10% increase for domestic workers, depending on the hours and areas in which they work. Read the full article here published in Independent Online News on 17 November 2015
THE market price for cauliflower has increased by as much as 10 times, tomatoes by four and potatoes have almost doubled in the past few months as the impact of the drought starts to show in food shortages and prices, say fresh food producers. Struggling commercial farmers are closing shop and others are downsizing their operations and staff to keep afloat. Read the full article here published on the Kwanalu website but sourced from The Mercury
CONSUMERS will have to dig deep to keep afloat after an increase of 25 basis points in the interest rate was announced yesterday. The new rate at which the Reserve Bank lends to commercial institutions is 6.25%, with the prime lending rate as generally charged by banks rising to 9.75%. The increase caught many economists by surprise. And its announcement was immediately followed by warnings about the effect of the hike on a wide range of items, with the most dire being on food inflation reaching as high as 10%. Read the full article here published by the Herald on 20 November 2015
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