Significant milestone for health - SATURDAY DISPATCH 09 Oct 2010

Sharing national insurance costs is the best way to forge healthier society, says Nkosikhulule Nyembezi.
THE formal announcement of a National Health Insurance (NHI) policy discussion at the ANC national general council a couple of weeks ago is a significant milestone for South Africa.
It comes at a time when the country is faced with a deteriorating health infrastructure and an increasing burden of diseases. So serious is the situation that it is threatening to reverse the collective gains made since 1994 to improve the socioeconomic conditions of the population.
This announcement effectively introduces an important debate on a policy framework that is aimed at providing affordable universal health coverage m gradual phases, starting in 2012.
Naturally, participants in this policy discussion are expected to advance the broader interests of the general population above everything else.

Read full article in Saturday Dispatch

Let us build a health system based on ubuntu - PRETORIA NEWS 08 Oct 2010

The vast inequalities in our society extend to our hospitals. While some may feel they should not pay for other's medical care, we must act as a nation, not selfish individuals, says Elroy Paulus.
The suprise release of the ANC's discussion document on the proposed National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme has again revealed South Africa's deep and disturbing economic divisions. Only 15 percent of us enjoy first-class private health care while the rest of the population has to rely on an underfunded and poorly resourced public health care system.
It concerns me that this may be yet another aspect of our unequal society we have learnt to see as "normal". Perhaps (privately) readers of this article believe they deserve better health care treatment because they can afford to pay for it. Or perhaps you believe it is a great pity yet inevitable, that poor people get sick and die young as they can't afford to look after themselves.

Read the full article in the Pretoria News

Cloud of secrecy hides the rot - MAIL & GUARDIAN 03 Sep 2010

The Protection of Information Bill will give greater power to a smaller number of people. Our MPs must act for us, write Hennie van Vuuren, director of the Institute for Security Studies & Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager Phelisa Nkomo.

In the historic setting of Cape Town's St George's Cathedral, more than 200 South African and international civil society organisations launched the Right2Know Campaign this week.
This broad-based campaign, which seeks to defend and advance constitutional rights to access information and freedom of speech, has the support of inter-faith groups, advocacy organisations and think-tanks alike. 
Read the full article in the Mail and Guardian

SA facing economic devastation - Cape Times, 25 Aug 2010

INSIGHT by Nkosikhulule Nyembezi and Elroy Paulus

IT’S more than a year since President Jacob Zuma took office and 16 years since the ANC swept to victory . Yet, it is getting harder and harder for most South Africans to see their glass as “half full”. It appears there is still too little political will to do something substantial about the painful poverty overwhelming so many households. This despite various strategies for economic growth.

Although there is no single study or survey that provides proof of this painful realisation, a useful reference point is the latest figures from the National Credit Regulator (NCR) as well as the data in two recent reports by Statistics South Africa – the General Household Survey and the Quarterly Labour Force Survey. 

Read the full article in the Cape Times

"The Black Sash - fifty-five years on" - Umrabulo, August 2010

An opinion piece by Marcella Naidoo, Black Sash National Director

In May of this year, the Black Sash celebrated 55 years of working to secure human rights for all who live in South Africa. 20 years ago, Nelson Mandela recognised our work at his first public appearance in Cape Town's Grand Parade, calling the organisation "the conscience of white South Africa" during the apartheid years. Sadly, amid all the commemorative anniversaries we have marked and celebrated this year, the Black Sash suffered a significant loss. Our patron and veteran human rights activist, Sheena Duncan, passed away in the same week that we had planned to commemorate our founding.

Click here to read the article on the ANC website