Statement from Trustees of the Black Sash

At this time of nationwide concern for the safe-guarding of South Africa’s Constitution and the principles of good governance, the Black Sash Trust holds fast to its vision for a South Africa in which Human Rights are protected and the government is accountable to all.

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The Trust met urgently to consider the role of the organization.  As trustees, we have confirmed our commitment to the principles which have guided us since the “new” Black Sash was established in 1995:

Our Vision  -  A South Africa in which:

  • Human rights, particularly socio economic rights, are recognised in law, respected and implemented in practice and all sectors of society (state, private sector and civil society) take responsibility for reducing poverty and inequality  and working for  social and economic justice;

  • The government is accountable to all its people and attends to their basic needs in a participatory and dignified manner;

  • The Constitution is protected, promoted and fulfilled by all and the rule of law is respected.

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Our Mission

is working towards the realisation of socio-economic rights, as outlined in the SA Constitution of 1996, with emphasis on social security and social protection for the most vulnerable particularly women and children. We will, in the course of our work, explore options to significantly reduce poverty and inequality.

We believe the implementation of socio economic rights demands open, transparent and accountable governance (state, corporate and civil society). To this end we will promote active civic engagement by all living in South Africa and made possible by a strong and vibrant civil society comprising community based organisations, non-governmental organisations, coalitions and movements.

We believe that these principles are under threat, and that more than ever our trust in democracy depends on the Constitutional rule of law.  We believe that this must be protected.

The Black Sash of 2017, like its predecessor, has no affiliation to any political party, and together with our community partners it works for the provision of social security to the millions of South Africans who need it most.  This remains the main task of our national and regional offices and our dedicated staff.

Yet, as trustees, it is our responsibility to contribute towards the strengthening of the democratic society which enables the work of civil society to continue.  We demand a government which is accountable to all its people and serves them to the best of its ability.  We believe that true protection of democratic rights will come about by a return to the founding charter of our Constitution.

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We call on all who value democracy in South Africa, and on our supporters, partners, and past members of the “old” Black Sash, to sustain these values.


Issued by the Black Sash Trust