In a written submission to the National Energy Regulator of South Africa (NERSA),PACSA opposed the application by ESKOM to increase the cost of electricity by a further 12.69%,over and above the already granted 12,7% increase which comes into effect on the 1st June 2015. Should NERSA grant ESKOM’s application it will mean a 25.3% increase in the cost of electricity over the year.
‘Siyabonga Helping Hand’ (SHH) is a local NGO which has been working in the Edendale Valley since 2007 to support children, most of whom have lost one or both parents to AIDS, through education and care. Over the past few months PACSA collaborated with Siyabonga Helping Hand to provide training for staff in facilitation skills and to assist them to facilitate a process of communicating their new organisational strategy to their constituency.
One of UMphithi Men’s Network’s objectives is to encourage just and healthy relationships between men and women. The idea behind the‘couple’s sessions‘is that a shared understanding of gender as social construct allows couple’s to find the means to renegotiate gender roles in their relationships and households.
Bernd and Almut Schulteiss, AGEH seconded consultants based in PACSA, hosted the annual AGEH-Fachkraefte in Amanzimtoti, near Durban, in April 2015. AGEH (http://www.ageh.de/english/start-page.html) is the German Catholic agency for international cooperation; and they provide personnel with specific expertise for development cooperation projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America or Central or Eastern Europe. Once a year the AGEH seconded personnel in Southern Africa meets for a few days to discuss common issues and re-connect.
About 300 people gathered for a day-long celebration with the theme, Africa - one continent - many cultures. The celebration, hosted by the Msunduzi Museum and supported by PACSA, highlighted the diversity of the African experience through its music, culture, cuisine, fashion and literature.
Eight members of the Stress and Trauma Network, one of PACSA’s community partner groups, have graduated as qualified stress and trauma facilitators and counsellors; this is after receiving certificates in crisis and support and also an advance certificate in trauma counselling, through the University of Pretoria. The graduation ceremony took place in Pretoria on the 15th of May 2015. Through individual commitment and mutual support, members of the network have worked tirelessly to attain the qualifications, this included attending intensive lecture sessions, writing assignments and doing the course practical’s in order for them to qualify.
The YPO youth advocacy forum joined the May Day march in Durban this year. Bukiwe Zondi, from the YPO, reports on the march. We were invited by ALUTA of South African Students (ALUTA) to attend the workers day March in Durban. The march focussed on unemployment, poverty, labour brokers, slave wages, demanding for Free Education and quality health service. While the YPO interrogate questions and issues surrounding unemployment and different aspects of education this was an important place for listening and connecting.
Raymond Suttner, a veteran in the liberation struggle, launched his latest book, ‘Recovering Democracy in South Africa’, at a PACSA hosted event on the 16th April 2015. Through this book, Raymond advances the idea that South Africans must “become more actively involved in their own emancipation”. Democracy is about the ‘popular’ and more self-empowerment,” that we should expect more from our democratic system and “invest greater efforts in creative ways of building democracy and institutions that go beyond and augment what is found in the Constitution.”