Nelson Mandela – A Tribute from the Black Sash Trustees and Staff

The Black Sash honours the life and legacy of this exceptional South African, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, and shares the profound sense of loss of the country as a whole at his passing.

Even while he always stressed that he was part of a leadership team, his own qualities caused him to be admired and respected throughout the world. He embodied the vision of a South Africa which would belong to all who live in it, where justice and democracy would reign supreme.

We honour him for his courage and dedication, for his concern for the poor, for his respect for the rights of women as fully equal citizens, and for his commitment to a better life for children and all young people.

We were honoured by his recognition of the role of the Black Sash, in his tribute paid in his first public address after his release from 27 years of imprisonment. We were also honoured later, when veterans of the struggle were invited to meet him at a celebratory lunch, and Black Sash members were included. We believe that the values which still guide our work, after 58 years of existence, were also important in his long life of service: they include justice, dignity, affirmation of women, integrity, courage, and the importance of volunteer service and the building of a strong civil society.

We pay tribute to a man who will be long remembered for his inspiration and example. As a leader he demonstrated accountability to those he led and service to the public good. As an individual he taught by his life that each person has a responsibility to the wider society.  

MTBPS 2012: Challenges and expectations - SABC News 24 October 2012

Nkosikhulule Nyembezi,  Advocacy Programme Manager

Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan’s Medium Term Budget Policy Statement (MTBPS) is expected to continue the trend to provide a detailed three-year rolling budget (Medium Term Expenditure Framework - MTEF) and to also serve to provide predictability and sustainability of the main budget.  

This year's MTBPS is also important as it occurs during the mid-term for this administration and should therefore also serve to provide reassuring milestones that point to the realisation of the election promises.

The backdrop of this year's tabling of the MTBPS is particularly challenging: a weak and uncertain global environment; deteriorating domestic economic conditions; social tensions; a perceived drift in policy; and fragile investor confidence both locally, as reflected in low levels of capital formation and internationally, as the downgrades of rating agencies demonstrate.

Effective leadership needed to enjoy democratic gains news 21 September 2012-

By Nkosikhulule Nyembezi  Advocacy Programme Manager

The Cosatu congress emphasised a breakdown in trust between citizens and the political elite, says Nkosikhulule Nyembezi. (SABC).

 The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) congress, which took place this week, was billed as a historic event. It was to be one that would enable, among other things, organised labour and civil society formations to work together on efforts to promote public accountability and human rights in South Africa.

Indeed, it was prudent for the congress to highlight the association between public participation, accountability processes in government, and the realisation of human rights in a manner that serves as a good reminder that public platforms such as parliament and the provincial legislatures are democratic spaces that belong to the people of South Africa. This sentiment was displayed in the important resolutions dealing with efforts to combat corruption, which is threatening our collective efforts to eliminate poverty and inequality in our society.

Read the full article



By Jonathan Walton 

Advocacy Programme Manager

The Makana municipality's service delivery miseries continue to make life uncomfortable for impoverished residents. In this case, for the umpteenth time, the municipality's inability to provide drinkable water at all times will remain a problem. For too long, the municipal functionaries have been battling to decisively resolve the water situation in Grahamstown.


Read the full letter in Grocott's Mail.




With a bit of help, we can find a way out of the morass - 14 Dec 2011 - Business Day

MARY BURTON: With a bit of help, we can find a way out of the morass "The future is not going to be like the past we knew" — if we can hold the government to the principles of our constitution and if we can reduce inequality and poverty. 

THE women and men graduating from universities at this time are entering a world economy facing recession, where the talk is of global crisis, poverty is widespread and the hallmark is global and local inequality.

A Wall Street executive, Charles Stevenson, was recently quoted in the press as saying: "The future is not going to be like the past we knew…. There is no exit from this morass." He was presumably reacting not only to the financial situation, but to the "Occupy Wall Street" campaign. Let us consider where exits from this morass might be found. Globaal inequality divides poorer nations from wealthier ones, serving to perpetuate unbalanced trade relations and increasing dependency on foreign assistance.

Read the full opinion piece in the Business Day