The Black Sash Model of Community Based Monitoring - February 29, 2016

Leah Koskimaki, Meshay Moses and Laurence Piper, Department of Political Studies, University of the Western Cape, Funded by the Participedia project,


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Black Sash Annual Report  2014

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Black Sash Annual Report  2013

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Black Sash Annual Report  2012

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Black Sash in GGLN's 'Spark' Publication May 2013

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The Black Sash has endorsed the “Making Local Government Work" action guide, a joint project by SECTION27, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), The Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (SERI) and Read Hop Phillips.

The guide shows how to “engage government from inside by participating in formal processes, and from outside by going public through complaints, petitions, protest action, the media and the courts”

The Black Sash will be using this guide in various training situations with community organisations in our various networks. The manual will be used as a basis for training and support, as well as for  developing partnerships.

Click here to download the guide


Paralegal Manual

View the manual online



Black Sash in GGLN's "Active Citizenship Matters" 2013

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Black Sash Annual Report 2011

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Black Sash Annual Report 2010

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Black Sash Annual Report 2009

Download pages 1-8 (pdf 464Kb)
Download pages 9-16 (pdf 1.1Mb)
Download pages 17-24 (pdf 615Kb)
Download pages 25-32 (pdf 759Kb)
Download front and back cover (pdf 779Kb)

Social Assistance: A Reference Guide for Paralegals

This reference guide is part of a series of Black Sash guides for paralegals and other people and organisations who provide advice regarding people’s socio-economic rights. It draws on the Black Sash’s extensive experience of assisting people with difficulties in accessing social assistance – with a view to enriching your understanding of this area of law, the kinds of challenges that can be faced and what can be done about them.

The guide has been designed to help you find answers to some of the questions you may have, by dedicating a separate chapter to each social grant or award. Social assistance laws continue to change, following the government’s commitments and advocacy from the public. We hope to have captured in one publication as much up-to-date information as possible to help people in advice offices advise their clients – towards promoting efficient access to social assistance.

Download the guide (.pdf 2.6Mb)

Debt and Credit: A reference guide for paralegals

The guide is intended to assist paralegals and others – like priests, trade union representatives, and social workers – who give advice to vulnerable people struggling to make ends meet.

The guide explains the terms and processes relating to debt and credit – such as over-indebtedness, court orders, negative listings, credit agreements and the role of the Credit Bureaus – as well as providing practical tips and templates for drawing up household budgets and assessing your financial and legal situation.

Download Debt and Credit: A reference guide for paralegals (revised December 2008)

“When the grant stops, the hope stops"

The impact of the lapsing of the child support grant at age 15: Testimonies from caregivers of children aged 15 to 18

A Report for Parliament compiled by the Children’s Institute (UCT), Black Sash, and ACESS and released on 21 October 2009.

We wanted to find out what happens to children and their families when the Child Support Grant (CSG) stops at the age of 15; to show this evidence to Parliament; and to appeal to Parliament for assistance in ensuring that the CSG is extended to18.

Download “When the grant stops, the hope stops.”


Breaking the Poverty Trap: Financing a Basic Income Grant in South Africa

Nearly a decade after South Africa’s historic transition to democracy, pervasive poverty and inequality pose the greatest threat to human dignity and social cohesion. Roughly half of our population – including two thirds of all children – continues to live in poverty, despite a significant expansion of social service delivery. Our current social security system has shown the effectiveness of income transfers in combating poverty.

However, the social safety net inherited from the apartheid era was modelled on the “welfarist” programmes developed for industrialised countries, which assume close to full employment and are designed to address special contingencies and fluctuations in the economic cycle.

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A celebration of a 50-year commitment to making human rights real in the everyday lives of all south africans and an assessment of future challenges