'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

Voters can't eat vows - TIMES, THE (First Edition) 09 May 2011

Political parties have focused on many things in their campaigns for votes, but are very silent on food security, writes Nkosikhulule Nyembezi.

THE alarming lack of household food security in our country appears to have become a victim of political neglect ahead of the May 18 local government elections. The reason for this is hard to find as unemployment and food insecurity have, since the onset of the global economic recession, displaced housing, crime and even health as the issues surveys show to be uppermost in voters' minds. Their focus on jobs and food are understandable considering last year's Statistics SA General Household Survey which showed that nearly half of South Africans are living on less than R524 a month and spend the bulk of this meagre income on food. This year's survey, released on May 5, reflects a similar crisis. So, as we try to make sense of messages on party posters, we need to question why the major political parties are paying so little attention to these critical issues. Read the full article in the Times