PACSA eNewsletter: No. 10 2015

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Dear Friends

Greetings from PACSA

A highlight in the month of October is the release of the PACSA Annual Food Price Barometer. The 2015 Barometer highlights that households are underspending on their food expenditure by 55% and are taking on debt to put food on the table. Please read the article below and download the report for further reading.

October also saw major protests on our university campuses as students demanded a no fee increase in 2016 and the re-employment of outsourced workers on campuses.
 The #feesmustfall protest is a significant moment in our history with students actively organising, aligning themselves to workers struggles and questioning the lack of transformation of the state. Our feature article by Achille Mbembe, ‘The State of South African Political Life’, provides an analysis of the current ruptures and a politics of impatience.
We hope you find the articles and stories thought-provoking and of interest to you.
Mervyn Abrahams
PACSA enewsletter news

World Food Day Celebration in Pongola

Food Justice collect at World food day copy
The Food Justice Collective, a consortium of 6 groups working on livelihood creation and alternative solidarity economies, accompanied by a PACSA staff member attended a World Food Day Celebration hosted by the the Impisethunjini project and Biowatch in Pongola, Northern KwaZulu-Natal.

PACSA launches its 2015 Food Price Barometer

Food price barometer
We launched our 2015 Food Price Barometer to the media on the 15th October to coincide with World Food Day. The Barometer highlights that households take on debt merely to put food on the table. The overall food price inflation on the PACSA food basket from November 2014 to September 2015 was 4.3%. A closer inspection of the inflation in the basket shows that the highest levels of inflation is on the core staples foods and the lower quality proteins. These are foods that households have to procure to access a level of energy and nutrition.

uMphithi Men’s Network: Grieving with Mpendle Men's Forum

Umphithi members carry two food parcels which was handed to the families of the deceased
uMphithi Men’s Network and Mpendle Men’s Forum visited the Zuma and Ngubo families at Mpendle to grieve with thewm the loss of their sons. Xolani Zuma was gunned down at night as he crossed from one house to another within the family homestead. The reason for his murder remains unknown and no arrests were made. Mbongeni Ngubo, the secretary of the same forum, passed away after a long illness. Both Xolani and Mbongeni were active in the uMphithi Men’s Network and mobilising young men to join the forum.
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PACSA enewsletter inthemedia

Households take on debt to buy food, while cost of staples climb

Low-income households cannot make it through the month on their incomes, underspending on food by 55.6%, the 2015 Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) Food Price Barometer has found.

South Africans take on debt to eat, or live in hunger

Low-income households are taking on debt to cover food shortfalls, a small-scale study has shown. “Our research found that food ran out by the second or third week in the month and debt was taken to cover food shortfalls,” Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) said in a statement on Thursday.

Struggle to put food on the table

With rising inflation and salaries remaining stagnant, low-income families struggle to make ends meet and incur debt to put food on the table. This was the conclusion of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action which released its annual food price report on Thursday.

Consumers living in debt to afford food

The recent Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) 2015 Food Price Barometer, indicates that many households in South Africa are taking on debt in order to put food on the table. The report highlighted that “low-income households cannot make it through the month on their incomes.
PACSA enewsletter feature article

The State of South African Political Life

As feature article we provide a piece ‘The State of South African Political Life’ by Prof. Achille Mbembe from Wits University in which he argues that “in these times of urgency, when weak and lazy minds would like us to oppose “thought” to “direct action”; and when, precisely because of this propensity for “thoughtless action”, everything is framed in the nihilistic terms of power for the sake of power – in such times what follows might mistakenly be construed as contemptuous.”
PACSA enewsletter writetous 
170 Hoosen Haffejee Street, 
Pietermaritzburg, 3201
P O Box 2338, Pietermaritzburg,
3200, South Africa