Inxeba to be screened at PMB Festival

Category : PACSA news

The nineth annual Maritzburg SOcial Justice Film and Arts Festival, hosted by PACSA in collaboration with the University OF KwaZulu Natal, Alan Paton Centre and Struggle archives, The Witness, Gay and Lesbian Network, KZN Language Institute, Speak through art, Groundwork and AFRA (Association for Rural Advancement) from 27th-29th September.

Read more here…


PACSA DIRECTOR POST: ADVERT & JOB DESCRIPTION

Category : PACSA news

PACSA (Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action) is an independent, faith-based NGO that has worked to achieve social and economic justice in the uMgungundlovu District in KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, for over 30 years. It facilitates development processes with local community partner organisations at their request, and accompanies them over time as they seek to achieve community development as well as influence structural change.

Position/job title: PACSA Director.

PACSA seeks to recruit a Director, to be based in Pietermaritzburg


The VAT hike on food prices and calls for food price regulation.

Category : Uncategorized

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


PACSA submission on the proposed National Minimum Wage

We call on the Portfolio Committee on Labour to consider the political consequences of passing a poverty-level National Minimum Wage which with the possible amendments to the Labour Relations Act and Basic Conditions of Employment Act will be felt for generations. These will lock Black South African workers and their families into deeper poverty and reproduce the low growth, low wage and low jobs trajectory.

Read full submission here…


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


Resource paper on the proposed VAT and fuel levy hike and its impact for the foods on our plates.

Budget 2018 proposed hiking the VAT rate to 15% and levying a 52 cents hike on the fuel levy. Using food as an entry point and drawing on PACSA’s food price barometer research, the following short paper is intended as a resource to better understand and conceptualize the impact of these proposals for working class households.

Read full paper


2018 Budget Response_PACSA

 Budget 2018 does not respond to the economic crisis as experienced by millions of Black South Africans.

2018 Budget Response_PACSA


VAT Response_PACSA

Zero-rated foods do not protect the poor from the negative impact of the increase in VAT to 15%

2018 VAT response PACSA


Release of the 2017 PACSA Food Price Barometer annual report

Category : PACSA news

The PACSA Food Price Barometer is an indicator of food price inflation on the baskets of low-income households. It shows the impact of food price inflation for low-income urban households in Pietermaritzburg but is able to express a picture of what is happening in low-income homes across South Africa. Because of the way women living on low incomes allocate their expenditures: food prices cannot be analysed outside the economy; nor can the economy be analysed outside the foods in our trolleys and on our plates. The Barometer is a useful instrument to measure the state’s political choices and economic performance. It finds that households living on low incomes are coming under enormous pressure as the crisis in our economy deepens and many of the buffers and instruments to mitigate the impact of the crisis are not available. Read more..


PACSA MONTHLY FOOD PRICE BAROMETER

Category : PACSA news

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 inadequacy of the Child Support Grant [CSG] (totaling R380 per month or R12.67 per day) is starkly revealed when we compare it to Statistics South Africa’s inflation adjusted Food Poverty Line of R531 per capita per month (R17.70 per day, which means the CSG of R12.67 per day is R5.03 per day below the food poverty line); and the actual January 2018 cost of securing a basic but nutritionally complete monthly diet for a boy/girl child between the ages of 10-13 years (R588.45 per month or R19.62 per day).   If we compare January’s daily costs of R19.62 to the daily value of the CSG of R12.67; it means an under spend of more than a third (35%) of nutritional food on the plates of around 12.1 million children and therefore a direct undermining of children’s health, growth and development and our future education, health, social and economic outcomes. See the January 2018 Food Price Barometer