PACSA eNewsletter: No. 01 2018

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Dear friends

Greetings from PACSA and we hope that 2018 will be a good and exciting year for you.  In January we welcomed two new staff members:  Mandla Gcwabasa who joins our practice team and Marcel Lee, the new PA to the Director.  The end of January 2108 was shattered by the sad passing of the wife of one of our longest serving staff members, Mr. Thulas Ndlovu.  All our love, thoughts and prayers go out to Thulas and his family.

The political and economic situation remains fragile.  The media is currently dominated by speculation on when President Zuma will resign and efforts by the ANC in this regard.  The economic situation remains depressed with increasing unemployment and a household affordability crisis.

See our latest Food Price Barometer in this regards.  2018 will be an important year to take our social justice message and work forward and to influence policies that re-imagine a new economic reality based on dignity and solidarity.  We trust we can count on your support.

A new feature of our newsletter is to invite readers and friends to make a financial contribution to support our work and assist us to build a long-term sustainability fund.  If you are in a position to support please see the banking details at the end of this newsletter.  

We hope you find the articles and stories thought-provoking and of interest to you. 


Mervyn Abrahams

PACSA Director

PACSA enewsletter news

PACSA - AGEH International Consultation on Re-thinking development practice as global solidarity

Mervyn Abrahams PACSA and Michael Steeb AGEH welcome participants to the consultation
26 participants from 12 countries gathered for a 4 day consultation hosted by PACSA and AGEH, a German Association for Development Cooperation, in Paarl, outside Cape Town, to re-think development as liberation and to promote an alliance of international faith based and Church related organizations promoting exchange of volunteers as an expression of human solidarity.

The Nutrition deficit on the plates of South Africans is the consequence of economic and political choices

Food Price Barometer
On the 1st of February PACSA’s Research and Advocacy Coordinator, Julie Smith, made a presentation at a learning space for dieticians and nutritionists working in the public health care sector and in private practice in the Western Cape. PACSA was invited to talk through its Food Price Barometer work.

Introducing the new members of the PACSA team

Mandla   Marcel copy
In January 2018 two new staff members joined the PACSA team. They are Mandla Gcwabasa, a process facilitator in the practice team, and Marcel Lee who took on the position as PA to the Director.

Book launch: Faith and Migration

Faith and Migration
PACSA’s Mervyn Abrahams was the guest speaker at the launch of the book Faith and Migration in Pietermaritzburg in December 2017. In the book, edited by Prof Philippe Denis, a Dominican brother and professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, 24 writers reflect on the spiritual and theological imperatives that should guide Christians and people of faith to recognise migrants as a sister or brother who collaborate towards improving their new home.

More than 20 years into democracy and some farmworkers still find no dignity even in death

In the Democratic South Africa, Farm workers are still subjected to undignified treatment, even when deceased. During December 2017 PACSA staff was called upon to stand in solidarity with a farmworker family in the Crammond area of the province who was denied a peaceful, dignified burial on the farm where they have lived and worked for many years.

Communicating: A new Youth Newsletter

IMG 1594 copy
The Peer educators, a project that PACSA supports, have been struggling to find a tool to share information with their teachers and school friends on their return from workshops.
PACSA enewsletter foodpricebarometer


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.
PACSA enewsletter upcoming events
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PACSA enewsletter inthemedia

East Coast Radio, 25 January 2018: Latest price barometer shows hike in basic food items

The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action says the prices of basic food staples saw the sharpest increases this month - putting poor households under even more pressure. See

The Witness, 28 January 2018: Minimum Wage Issues

The minimum wage of R20 per hour is likely to trap working families in deeper cycles of poverty, ill-health and debt, the Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) said yesterday.   Read further at
PACSA enewsletter writetous

Support PACSA’s work through making a donation

Banking details:

Name of Bank : First National Bank

Account name : Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA)

Bank account number : 50933070927

Branch Code: 221-325

Swift Code: FIRNZAJJ

Please ensure that you include a reference: (Individual or company name. Please e-mail PACSA with your relevant email address for contact purposes).
170 Hoosen Haffejee Street, 
Pietermaritzburg, 3201
P O Box 2338, Pietermaritzburg,
3200, South Africa