No, Mr President, we cannot reduce social grants to reassure business - CAPE TIMES 07 Dec 2011

PRESIDENT Jacob Zuma's comments last week to investors that social grants are not sustainable and that taxpayers should rather be developing SA than feeding the poor, run the risk of undermining this vital poverty intervention programme. While the president may have been trying to reassure business leaders that we are not turning into a welfare state, it was irresponsible of him to send out a message that our society will reach a point soon where we can afford to reduce social grants. That won't happen till we can reduce people's very real need for support. As his own National Planning Commission acknowledged, "We should not underestimate the length of time it will take to fix the problem (of poverty)".

Read the full article in the Cape Times

'Grants a lifeline to millions' - Herald, Monday 28 November 2011

By Alexa Lane, Black Sash Eastern Cape Provincial Director and Ratula Beukman, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

Social assistance,  for anyone who is unable to care for themselves and their dependants, is a fundamental human right enshrined in our Constitution. Our Constitution also states that our government must take reasonable measures within its available resources to progressively realise this right to income support. 

But a social grant is much more than just a theoretical Constitutional right for millions of poor and vulnerable people in South Africa. It is a lifeline and often their only means of survival. Social cash transfers are a vital and empowering element of any meaningful attempt to meet our constitutional obligations to our most vulnerable citizens.  Together with skills development and job creation, and the effective delivery of social infrastructure, social grants can facilitate the realisation of economic, social and political rights by including everyone as active members of society. Read the full article in the Herald newspaper

Ruling eats into our consumer rights - CAPE TIMES 08 Sep 2011

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi. ALTHOUGH I am deeply disappointed by the recent ruling in our lawsuit against the bread companies fotmd guilty of price-fixing, I believe we cannot be deterred in our battle against corrupt and corrosive business practices in South Africa. A case such as this provides us, as ordinary consumers, with a unique opportunity to confront price fixing in South Africa. We cannot simply let the bread giants off the hook, especially when you consider the massive collective profits they made by robbing millions of individual consumers by overcharging for bread over many years. It is not as though, in this case, we need to prove their unlawful conduct.

Read the full opinion piece in the Cape Times

Seeing migration in perspective - 05 Jul 2011 The Star

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi. In the four days that I spent at the Cosatu central committee meeting in Midrand, I was encouraged to observe that participants were constantly reminded of several issues that had become significant for us all over the years.

One such issue is the high level of intolerance and human rights violations of foreigners who are part of our formal and informal economy. This is an important issue as we conclude a series of events this month to highlight the plight of refugees and migrant workers internationally, and given the xenophobic attacks that we witnessed in 2008.

Read the full article in the Star

Living with the lessons learnt - STAR 24 May 2011

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi. We need to use what we've gained from these elections to fill the gap between the haves and the have-nots. THERE is a handful of important lessons that we can pick up from Wednesday's elections.

One of them is about the unwavering commitment of South Africans to continue building a united and democratic nation that is able to take its rightful place as a sovereign state in the family of nations. In South Africa, where the right to vote by all was achieved only 17 years ago, elec-tions tend to measure more than they would in a mature democracy. The culture of holding regular elections  remains a crucial goal that has, in part, determined the extent to which our resolve to consolidate democracy is taking place. 

Read the full article in the Star