PACSA letter to the Standing Committee on Finance on expanding the zero-rated basket to mitigate the effect of VAT
Expanding the basket of zero-rated foods has been contested on the basis of the following arguments:
- Expanding the basket may disproportionately benefit the rich (because rich or poor we share quite a few common foods).
- Selecting the new foods to be included in the zero-rated basket is incredibly complex as what foods are eaten, how foods are prepared and changing households purchasing patterns are all influenced by household specific and other complicated external variables. Even with the experience PACSA has around tracking food patterns and prices, there are just far too many variables in creating an expanded zero-rated basket that responds to the requirements of the working class and the impact on the larger economy. At best, we would be able to make an educated guess – but this hardly seems a sufficient response to the crisis we are in. Read full statement
Budget 2018 does not respond to the economic crisis as experienced by millions of Black South Africans. 2018_Budget_response_PACSA
The Nutrition deficit on the plates of South Africans is the consequence of economic and political choices
On the 1st of February PACSA’s Research and Advocacy Coordinator, Julie Smith, made a presentation at a learning space for dieticians and nutritionists working in the public health care sector and in private practice in the Western Cape. PACSA was invited to talk through its Food Price Barometer work.
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.
Zero-rated foods do not protect the poor from the negative impact of the increase in VAT to 15% 2018 VAT Response PACSA
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.
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.