Winning the poverty war - Daily News, 2 Dec 2008

By Elroy Paulus, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

DEPUTY President Baleka Mbete unveiled the draft anti-poverty strategy discussion document at the Union buildings in Pretoria on October 29.
About 80 representatives from the government, international agencies, civil society and public entities attended the launch.
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Urgent intervention needed to prevent another matric debacle - HERALD (Morning Final) 02 Feb 2009

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

Underneath the cold cover of disappointment following the 50,6 per cent pass rate for Grade 12 pupils, visits to selected schools in some parts of the Eastern Cape during the first and second week of the school calendar have exposed another chilling threat: a chronic state of dysfunctional schools, an education department under-prepared to turn the situation around on time and a possible repeat of 2008's poor matric performance in 2009.

Read this opinion piece in the Herald

Make good on these promises - Witness, 11 Feb 09

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.
Throughout this presidency, South Africa has lacked a comprehensive and sustainable strategy to address the urgent needs of the more than four million South Africans who don't have work or access to any form of income support.
President Kgalema Motlanthe's State of the Nation speech contained some worthwhile sentiments, including a positive shift on government's commitment to deal with structural unemployment.

Read this opinion piece in the Witness

Budget 'deaf and blind' to the unemployed - Cape Times, 13 Feb 09

By Elroy Paulus, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

South Africans had every reason to be optimistic following last week's State of the Nation address, when President Kgalema Motlanthe promised that his government would "sustain and expand social expenditure, including progressively extending child support grant access to children of 18 years of age?"

It seemed that at long last our government would honour its constitutional responsibility and realise the right of our children to social protection. It also appeared, briefly, that our government had begun to accept the need to give the one-in-four adults who can't find work in our economy some support too, albeit temporary, through the expansion of the social relief of distress grant (SROD).

Read this opinion piece in the Cape Times

Budget still marginalises poor and unemployed - CITY PRESS 15 Feb 2009

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

This year's budget speech by Finance Minister Trevor Manuel held few surprises, given the general concerns raised by commentators in the face of the global financial crisis.
Coupled to that were the expectations of many ordinary citizens fed up with the political transition our country is going through.
To the more than four million unemployed South Africans and many more who face a greater likelihood of losing their jobs, the budget speech fell short of challenging South Africans to exercise maximum national solidarity in favour of the poor during this time of global crisis.

Read this opinion piece in City Press