Does the outcome of the 2016 Local Government Elections indicate a major shift in South African politics?
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?
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.
On Thursday the 28th July 2016 the first public interest case in the country to clarify the rights of citizens to access free basic electricity was to be heard in the Pietermaritzburg High Court. The case was brought by the Electricity Action Group [EAG], a group of mostly elderly women residing in low-income households from communities across Pietermaritzburg.
Since we released our 2016 PACSA Food Price Barometer on 13 October 2016 we have engaged with a number of different stakeholders who are in a position to influence policy on food and the food system in South Africa.
See the 2016 Report at http://www.pacsa.org.za/images/food_barometer/2016/2016_PACSA_Food_Price_Barometer_REDUCED.pdf).
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.
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.
Food price inflation in the baskets of low-income households’ edge up to 20% year-on-year, with maize meal up 40%.
August 2016 saw the price of the PACSA Food Basket (a basket modelled to track food price inflation on low-income households) increase to its highest levels year-on-year.
The community of Gezubuso, a semi-rural area outside Pietermaritzburg, has initiated a project to clean and revive the natural network of water springs in the area in order to meet the community’s need for water.