PACSA eNewsletter: No.05, 2015

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Dear Friends

Greetings from PACSA

In the beginning God said: “Let there be light: and there was light. And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness. And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” Genesis 1: 3 -5

Winter has finally set in and with it has come an announcement that ESKOM intends increasing the electricity tariffs by a further 12% bringing electricity price increases this year to 25%. Across the country, as in Pietermaritzburg, people are mobilising to protest this increase in electricity tariffs. If ESKOM succeeds with this increase it will mean that hundreds of thousands of households across the country will be forced to disconnect themselves from the electricity grid because they will not be able to afford it. Access to electricity will become the preserve of those with the means to afford it. It is for this reason that PACSA joins this broad movement of protest and we will argue that other funding mechanisms need to be found for ESKOM.

 We also offer you insights of some of our other work over the past month and invite all those readers from the Pietermaritzburg and Durban areas to join us for our 36th Annual General Meeting on Saturday, 13 June 2015, at the Msunduzi Museum.

We hope you find this eNewsletter interesting and informative. Please feel free to engage with us on its contents.

Mervyn Abrahams

PACSA Director

PACSA enewsletter news

PACSA opposes ESKOM’s application for 25.3% increase in electricity tariffs

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.

Celebrating Africa’s diversity

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.

Showing of Africas fashion diversity

PACSA and Siyabonga Helping Hand collaboration

‘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.

PACSA and Siyabonga Helping Hand collaboration

Stress and Trauma Network members qualify as councillors and facilitators

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.

Stress and Trauma Network members qualify as councillors and facilitators

It’s about healthy relationships: Umphithi Men’s Network dialogue

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.

Couples Dialogue 2
PACSA enewsletter foodpricebarometer

PACSA Monthly Food Price Barometer April 2015

Eskom's application for a 25.3% increase currently being decided upon by the Energy Regulator NERSA comes at a time when the majority of working class households are struggling to put food on the table. In April 2015, the cost of the PACSA food basket was R1629.04.

PACSA enewsletter upcoming events
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PACSA enewsletter inthemedia

Inflation set to rise as maize crop wilts

The maize crop volumes that SA will produce this year have been revised slightly upwards, but the country will still need to import and food prices could rise at a faster pace as a result.

Minimum Wages must be Living Wages: Workers Support Families

The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action(PACSA)Minimum Food Basket in March 2015 for a family of four members increased from R2 155.62 to R2 170.04, a R14.42 or 0.67 percent month-on-month increase.

Eskom hike ‘a disaster‘

'Increase in electricity... will directly impact food purchased' ESKOM'S application for a 25,3% tariff increase is a tipping point in the ability of most South Africans to put food on the table.

Call to Protest tariffs

The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) has called on all residents and businesses to take a stand against Eskom's increase in electricity tariffs. A meeting will be held at the PACSA offices today to plan what steps the community and businesses will take to stop the electricity hike.

City to ‘come to a standstill’

Mass gathering to protest ESKOM’s tariff hike to take place on June 23 2015. Its 25% too far. That is the view of those who gathered at a community meeting held at the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) offices on Tuesday.

PACSA enewsletter feature article

Praxis & Social Mobilisation

We offer as our feature an interesting and challenging article by Richard Pithouse published by the South African Civil Society Information Service.

PACSA enewsletter writetous 
170 Hoosen Haffejee Street, 
Pietermaritzburg, 3201
P O Box 2338, Pietermaritzburg,
3200, South Africa