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

EC hospitals feeling the heavy burden of Aids pandemic - Daily Dispatch, 24 Feb 09

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

A recent report about an East London private hospital that is turning patients away and delaying medical procedures as it struggles to cope with a rise in the number of HIV/Aids patients, is another reality of a province, and a country, that are gradually giving in to the increasing pressure of a progressing epidemic.

Political adverts displayed on taxis are fuel waiting for a fire - MERCURY (Durban) 12 Mar 2009

 By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

POLITICAL advertising in KwaZulu-Natal has climbed off the billboards and televisIon screens into minibus taxis as political parties inject creativity into their efforts to reach out to potential voters ahead of the Apr11 22 elections.
In an unprecedented development, taxi owners have decided to display advertisements carrying faces of political leaders on their vehicles, thus putting this mode of public transport in the spotlight as a medium for election advertising.

Read this opinion piece in the Mercury

Social Relief should never be political - Witness, 20 March 09

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

Were the issue at hand not so serious, the abuse of the Social Relief of Distress (SRD) by some politicians campaigning for support ahead of the April elections could be seen as a comedy of errors.

However, the series of problems (including food stampedes) that have characterised the distribution of the large additional SRD allocation of R500 million is no laughing matter. The blunders are, to a large extent, a result of some politicians interfering with the handing out of government-funded food parcels in order to secure votes.

Read this opinion piece in the Witness

We voted them in, now we must ensure they deliver - CAPE TIMES, 08 May 2009

By Elroy Paulus, Black Sash Advocacy Programme Manager.

The dust appears to have settled after all the fanfare, noise and mudslinging of what were arguably the most aggressively fought elections in our young democracy. Sufficient time has passed for all the parties to either close up shop or count their spoils and weigh up the impact of their victory or losses. In all of these post-election reflections, it is imperative that political leaders, whether preparing to govern as a majority party, or as the official opposition, keep the burning issues affecting the unemployed and working poor "top of mind".

Read this opinion piece in the Cape Times