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)".
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
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.
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.
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.
- Voters can't eat vows - TIMES, THE (First Edition) 09 May 2011
- Bring these elections back to basics - MERCURY 16 May 2011
- Shun token support, vote for change - DAILY NEWS (Deadline) 22 Mar 2011
- EC battles 48% poverty levels - DAILY DISPATCH 22 Mar 2011
- Kiviet must confront fact that EC skidding wildly off course - DAILY DISPATCH 17 Feb 2011
- Gordhan's challenge to fill in Zuma's gaps - DAILY DISPATCH 23 Feb 2011
- Five million jobs needed - CAPE TIMES 10 Feb 2011
- Open up the borders - TIMES, THE (First Edition) 08 Feb 2011
- Can social security build a more inclusive society? - SA Reconciliation Barometer, Dec 2010
- As the rich get richer, the poor become destitute - MERCURY 21 Dec 2010
- Ailing infrastructure threat to water quality in the country - DAILY DISPATCH 14 Dec 2010
- Why we are taking on bread giants - CAPE TIMES 24 Nov 2010
- Give us our daily bread - The Times, 28 Nov 2010
- Refugee Amendment Bill can ease the pressure - MERCURY 28 Oct 2010
- Delays expose consumers - DAILY NEWS (Deadline) 20 Oct 2010 Page 9
- Significant milestone for health - SATURDAY DISPATCH 09 Oct 2010
- Let us build a health system based on ubuntu - PRETORIA NEWS 08 Oct 2010
- Cloud of secrecy hides the rot - MAIL & GUARDIAN 03 Sep 2010
- SA facing economic devastation - Cape Times, 25 Aug 2010
- "The Black Sash - fifty-five years on" - Umrabulo, August 2010