PACSA eNewsletter: No.04 2016

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Dear friends

Greetings from PACSA
As we write this newsletter the country is preparing for the August 3rd local government elections. In our province and city we have already seen a number of killings of political party officials in what is alleged as ‘intra-party’ conflicts. We are closely monitoring these killings to see whether it would spread to communities as the election campaign enters its final weeks.

One of the highlights of the past month was our 36th Annual General Meeting. We had an in-depth discussion on the challenges facing marginalized groups in South Africa how these have intensified in the last few years. This places increasing importance on the role of the CSO sector to promote development and deepen democracy. Our media work has also exposed the low levels of wages in SA and how these are contributing to economic inequality. Please see the PACSA Food Price Barometer which disaggregates and analyses some of the latest labour market and socio-economic data to make sense of the socio-economic context in which wage levels are set.

We hope you find the various articles in this newsletter informative. Please feel free to engage with us on any of these issues.

Mervyn Abrahams
PACSA Director

PACSA enewsletter news

PACSA’s 36th Annual General Meeting

Dr Desiree Manicom. PACSA Chair speaking at the AGM
On Saturday, 18 June 2016, PACSA hosted its 36th Annual General Meeting at the Msunduzi Museum. 40 people attended the meeting during which PACSA presented highlights of its work in 2015 and rendered accountability to PACSA members and the wider society.

Workshop on Strategic Litigation and Right to Protest

Legal workshop 2
In order to deepen our knowledge and competence to mainstream legal strategies in our social change work, David Cote, Strategic Litigation Programme Coordinator at Lawyers for Human Rights, facilitated a two-day workshop for PACSA staff on the Right to Protest and the use of strategic litigation to open ‘closed spaces’ and advance a social change agenda.

Deepening our Practise: Programme Staff attends a Facilitators Development course

Our Process Facilitators participated in a Facilitator Development Program (FDP) course facilitated by Davine Thaw of Footsteps International. The programme was facilitated over 2 modules, with each module lasting 3 days.

Church Leaders call public officials to exercise ethical leadership

Church leaders 2jpg
The Midlands Christian Council, with support from PACSA, hosted a dialogue of church leaders to reflect on ethical leadership in the public space. This dialogue was prompted by the Constitutional Court ruling that President Zuma has failed to protect, defend and respect the constitution in the Nkandla matter.

Unlocking personal energy for social transformation

Participants at the Kwa Haza
The KwaZulu-Natal Stress and Trauma Network, a PACSA community partner, conducted two trauma awareness workshops in Kwa-Haza and Howick West. These workshops create safe spaces to identify trauma, provide emotional support through sharing stories and assist participants in reducing the impact of stress and trauma on their physical, emotional and mental well- being.

100% Against Teen Pregnancy Campaign

100 against teen campaign
The Source of Hope Youth Foundation, a PACSA partner, in partnership with Rivlife International conducted a community campaign entitled, “100% Against Teen Pregnancy” on the 21st May 2016. The campaign walk attracted about 90 youth from the communities of Eastwood, Cinderella Park, Panorama and Thembalihle.
PACSA enewsletter foodpricebarometer

PACSA Monthly food price barometer

Economic data shows jobs crisis in a context of low wages creates cycle of deepening poverty, inequality and unemployment.

Talks to determine the level at which the National Minimum Wage (NMW) will be set have stalled in NEDLAC. The offer made by Business of R1 800 is just too low to make any substantial improvement to the lives of workers.
PACSA enewsletter inthemedia

Minimum wage of R8 000 decent, says social body

South Africa's national minimum wage should be set at R8 000 at least if households are to have the possibility of leading a dignified basic lifestyle, according to Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa). The organisation, which campaigns for social justice and human rights, recently published economic data which showed how black households in particular are falling deeper into poverty as wages fail to help them develop financial resilience.

Blighted crops take heavy toll on prices

Consumers are paying at least 14% more for a basket of food than a year ago after the worst drought in decades contributed to lower agricultural output, research shows. The price of staples such as a 25kg bag of maize meal has jumped 22.3% to R212.98 from R174.15 in June last year, the food basket barometer of the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action shows.

2.2m families skip meals to save money

The recent Statistics South Africa Community Service findings state that 2.2 million South African households had skipped a meal in the past 12 months. But the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) - which monitors food prices and trends - said this number might not represent the scale of the crisis.

Hard times hit poor households the hardest

NOW is the winter of our discontent. Bills are piling up and Durban households are feeling the strain as lights and water charges are set to rise this month, with fuel, food and transport costs also increasing. Economists have warned this will put a strain on already over- indebted households, while the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (Pacsa) has warned of growing food costs.

Pacsa Monthly Food Price Barometer May 2016

We are looking now at Pacsa’s Monthly Food Price Barometer for May 2016. It tracks food inflation on 36 basic food items purchased by lower-income households in the city. On a month-on-month basis food prices decreased by 1.65%. Year on year, though, up by 13.3%
PACSA enewsletter writetous 
170 Hoosen Haffejee Street, 
Pietermaritzburg, 3201
P O Box 2338, Pietermaritzburg,
3200, South Africa