The Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action (PACSA) is a 40 year old Non-Profit Organisation (NPO), established in 1979 to fight for social justice (at the time of its inception was fighting injustices of the apartheid government). PACSA’s core founding values and programmes promote Equality, Justice and Dignity in communities around uMgungundlovu District Municipality and surrounding districts. Our work targets situations that lead to vulnerabilities in communities. These include lack of basic services, unemployment, victimization through Gender Based Violence or HIV, hunger and poverty. PACSA fights for fairness in the way economic, political and social benefits and burdens are distributed in South Africa. For vulnerable communities or individuals to change their dire situations they need to realize the power they have within themselves to drive change. By realizing communities agency PACSA is thus realizing the capacity of these communities (and individuals) to act independently and to make their own free choices.
Our work is two pronged, there is advocacy and social activism work initiated and driven by PACSA. This work is informed by research on issues affecting large scale communities, i.e. increase of the Minimum Wage Labour and Food Prices vs poverty lines. Research findings then inform submissions for policy change. The second arm of our work is in partnership with Community Based Organizations (CBOs) who work on social justice and realization of human rights. PACSA partners with them, identified their developmental plans and goals and help them achieve their goals until they gain independence. This approach is called Process Facilitation because instead of PACSA telling these partners what they need and what they should do, PACSA allows partners to voice their needs, plans and interests, provokes their thinking and plans, support their transformative journey and drawing them closer to the achievement of their goals.
- Building agency, resilient, self-sufficient communities
- Building knowledge power in communities and individuals affected by injustices to change their vulnerable situations
- Strengthening democracy, activating the power within communities to drive change (democracy is governance by people)
- Increase public participation in government planning and decision-making
- Influence fairness, justice and equality in the treatment of individuals with differences