Building on our succesful Community Monitoring and Advocacy (CMAP) and our Reproductive Maternal and Child Health (RMCH) projects, the Black Sash has launched the Making All Voices Count (MAVC) pilot project. Our project, managed by Hivos, is part of a global initiative which aims to empower Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to take ownership of and participate actively in citizen-based monitoring of three government services in 20 service sites across South Africa.
Stories from the Field
Evashnee Naidu, KZN Regional Manager, participated at the Chatsworth and District Partnership against Aids/Women of Destiny S.A. 2014 Women's Imbizo on 27 August. A huge turnout of around 500 women marked this auspicious occasion. Participants included correctional services employees from Umzinto and Westville.
A panel of presenters consisted of a range of experts whom the organizers considered Women of Excellence in their respective fields. Black Sash addressed the challenges faced by women in their households due to the Unlawful and Illegal Deductions of Grants. Despite how rife this issue has been all over the country for over 18 months, beneficiaries were still shocked to hear that this was happening. Many were under the impression that they were immune to the deductions due to the SASSA re-Registration process, not realizing that this was the loophole which had created the opportunity for the unlawful deductions to take place.
Our KZN Regional Office was approached by the Mpofana Municipality to participate in a Stakeholder Dialogue on Mandela Day (18 July) in Bruntville as part of our work with our RMCH project (Reducing Maternal and Child Mortality). The forum was conducted in one of their most rural areas where the highest number of deaths with mothers and babies/children are recorded. The map by Statistics SA, pictured, shows that Ward 4 of Mpofana is severely affected by poverty.
The community could attend a mobile clinic, and Black Sash, PMB Stats SA and Siyanqoba made presentations and answered questions. The latter handed out T-shirts, shopping bags, caps and umbrellas to participants who answered questions correctly, based on the presentations.
Black Sash Cape Town Regional Office was invited by the Witzenberg Community Advice Centre to conduct a rights education workshop with farm workers and community members in Ceres on June 21 2014.
Ratula Beukman and Abigail Peters spoke about the Maintenance Amendment and Children's Amendment Bills (in relation to the foster care crisis) to be tabled at parliament in 2014. Farm workers raised rights-related issues that they face, such as problematic service delivery and their living conditions.
On 5 June, the Black Sash (Cape Town Regional Office) met with its local partners in Caledon to inform the curriculum of our upcoming Popular Paralegal Training course. Conducted by Black Sash's Ratula Beukman, this meeting addressed farm workers rights and how to put together a guideline for the paralegal training.
Some areas for consideration for the training include ESTA (Extension of Security of Tenure), police-enforced removals from homes on farms, and mobilizing farm workers to understand and enact their rights. Forced evictions occur all the time, often on unconstitutional grounds. Women are particularly affected by the lack of housing, as they cannot acquire a house without a husband.
Participants came from the Overberg Development and Empowerment Centre (ODEC,) TCOE, Rural Legal Centre, Theewaterskloof Agency (Riviersonderend) & Sikula Sonke (Grabouw). Partners of the BlackSash will assist with gathering participants to attend the training that will take place in the next few months.
- Monitoring SASSA service points in Gugulethu
- Rights Education Workshop in Gansbaai
- Rights Education on Community Radio
- Black Sash releases Maternal and Child Health Baseline Study
- Black Sash joins "A Call to Witness" March
- Victory for Adelaide community - SASSA office to re-open
- Black Sash participates in panel discussion on SABC 1 on Human Rights Day
- Black Sash KZN discusses Child Maintenance on Ukhosi FM
- Launch of the SAHRC's "Report on the Right to Access Sufficient Water and Decent Sanitation in South Africa: 2014" - 11 March 2014
- Black Sash KZN Presents on Social Grant Protection at Community Forum
- Black Sash conducts weekly rights education session on Thetha FM
- Black Sash supports the training of young leaders at City Year workshop
- Local Government Workshop at the Lighthouse in Cape Town
- Monitoring SASSA service delivery in Gugulethu
- A national lesson from a small 'plattelandse dorpie’
- Budgeting for Human Rights and Social Justice
- The People's Budget for Human Rights and Social Justice
- Black Sash Cape Town stays in touch with Land Restitution Issues
- Black Sash interventions in Aberdeen on deductions from grants and service delivery issues
- Rights Education visit to Gugulethu SASSA Paypoint
- Mississippi students inspired to write and perform a play about the Black Sash
- Strengthening Public Accountability Mechanisms to Improve Maternal & Child Health Services
- Black Sash Conducts Consultative Sessions with civil society partners across the country
- The Democracy Development Programme (DDP) acknowledges Black Sash contribution to Deepening Democracy in KZN
- Black Sash Joins Women’s March against Gender Based Violence