• Stand with struggling farm workers. Reopen Labour Centres + class them as essential services
    With the harvest season on most grape and wine farms having ended in March, thousands of seasonal farm workers, the majority of whom are women, urgently need to apply for their unemployment benefits. However, because Labour Centres have been closed due to the Covid-19 lockdown, workers are unable to process their UIF applications. Online applications are not feasible for most farm workers who do not have access to computers, smartphones and data.
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  • Tell Government we urgently need a Child Support Grant increase of R500 for the next 6 months
    The lockdown is important to contain the virus, but it will increase poverty and food insecurity: International experience suggests that a lockdown is the best response to the virus from a public health perspective, but the economic impacts are devastating for South African households. South Africa already has very high rates of poverty, unemployment and inequality, and the effects of lockdown on work and earnings threaten to exacerbate all these dynamics. A team of experts commissioned to work on an economic response to Covid-19 has been modelling the possible effects of the lockdown on the informal sector specifically, and the spin-off effects for poverty levels. They estimate that, for households that rely on income from the informal labour market, food poverty rates could more than double over the three weeks of the lock-down period. As the depth of poverty increases, more people will go hungry, including millions of children. Other forms of support have been withdrawn. Before the lockdown, over 10 million children were receiving nutritious meals through the school nutrition programme and early childhood development programmes. The closure of schools and early childhood development facilities means families with children will need to provide more nutritious meals. Pre-regulation food price increases have swallowed families’ budgets and forced shoppers to buy less nutritious food: A project that monitors food prices found that the cost of a low-income household food basket increased substantially over the first three weeks of March, as the pandemic unfolded in the country. Over the whole month, the cost of the food basket increased by 7% or R220. This increase alone is equivalent to half the value of the monthly child support grant. The same report notes shifts in purchasing patterns to less nutritious food. Social grants are an extremely effective mechanism for protecting children and families against the effects of poverty: By the end of March 2020, 84 countries had introduced or adapted social protection and jobs programmes in response to Covid-19. The most widely used intervention was social assistance (non-contributory cash transfers). SASSA cannot enrol new beneficiaries into the social grant system during lockdown because the required verification and biometric requirements cannot be completed. Even after lock-down, the need for social distancing will remain, making the full functioning of SASSA offices for new applications unlikely. Therefore the quickest and simplest way to channel much-needed cash into poor households is via existing beneficiaries. The child support grant (CSG) is well established. It is by far the biggest grant in terms of numbers, reaching 12.8 million children – nearly two-thirds of all children in South Africa. It is received every month by over 7 million adult beneficiaries and contributes to the income of nearly 5.7 million households. Although child support grants are meant to be spent directly on the children to whom they are allocated, they effectively become part of household budgets and help to support entire households. Therefore, increasing this grant is likely to benefit other members of the household. Now that lock-down regulations have been amended to allow informal traders of food to continue to trade, extra cash in the hands of CSG beneficiaries will not only increase the ability of poor households to buy nutritious fresh produce but will also help to reduce the congestion in taxis and at big retailers; and stimulate the local economies of townships and rural areas. The economic insecurity and poverty-related stresses and anxiety caused by the pandemic directly contribute to increases in violence against women and children. In addition to reducing hunger, economic strengthening will be protective of women and children. In addition to increasing the CSG amount, the following measures should also be taken: 1. Vulnerable households not already receiving grants, including unemployed adults in households without social grants also need access to income support. Innovative mechanisms to reach these individuals and households need urgent attention. 2. More cash without addressing congestion at big retailers, in taxis and social grant payment queues is not effective. We, therefore, recommend that SASSA re-structure its payment system to ensure that grants are transferred into the accounts of beneficiaries in a staggered manner. 3. Selected highly nutritious foods should be subsidised. This measure is urgent and we the undersigned call on you to address this critical issue at the next meeting of the Cabinet or National Command Council. This campaign/letter is endorsed by: Children’s Institute (UCT), United Nations Fund for Children South Africa, South African Medical Research Council, DST-NRF Centre for Excellence in Food Security, Centre for Child Law (UP), Black Sash, Children in Distress (CINDI), Equal Education, Equal Education Law Centre, Rural Health Advocacy Project, Institute for Security Studies, National Association for Child Care Work, Section27, Public Service Accountability Monitor, Institute for Economic Justice, Alan J Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, Bulungula Incubator, South African Civil Society for Women’s, Adolescents and Children’s Health, Umduduzi Hospice Care for Children, Amandla .mobi, Give a Child a Family, Teddy Bear Foundation, Jelly Beanz Inc, Child Health Priorities Association, Preschools 4 Africa, Association for the Education & Care of Young Children, OXFAM South Africa, Ilifa Labantwana, National Early Childhood Development Alliance, Child Welfare South Africa, Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS UWC), Nal’ibali Trust, Protective Behaviours Southern African, Cotlands, Africa Reggio Emilia Alliance.
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    Created by Children's Institute, a member of the Budget Justice Coalition Picture
  • Demand Corona Relief Fund be set up for precarious workers during the Lockdown
    Precarious workers make use of mass transport systems (taxis and buses) to get to and from work, areas the WHO and National Department of Health have deemed as high risk for infection. Furthermore, domestic workers and health care workers work in intimate spaces with people who are at high risk of COVID-19 infection, such as the elderly and people who have travelled to and from high-risk countries. However, due to the legacy of inequality, we continue to live in, these are the very same workers who will not be paid – and cannot afford – to self-quarantine. Without income, they also cannot afford healthy food or medication, making them even more vulnerable. We commend the Government for communicating around COVID-19, however, gaps remain in addressing the anxiety, fear and stigma related to infection. On top of the fear of dying, vulnerable workers reside in communities where the potential is high for stigmatisation and discrimination in the event of self-quarantine or being identified as having the virus. We believe that a successful response to COVID-19 requires unity among all who live in South Africa, and we aim to be part of a unified solution. That unified response, however, requires Government to take bold and deliberate steps to ensure that the most vulnerable members of society are cared for and have their dignity and livelihoods secured. COVID-19 will exacerbate inequality among the working class of this country as they do not have the choice to ‘work from home’ and they are subject to ‘no work no pay’ labour conditions. This is compounded by the fact that domestic workers and informal workers particularly still do not have access to the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act (COIDA) that other COVID-19 affected formal workers have. This means that domestic workers and informal workers cannot claim compensation in the event that they contract COVID-19 while at work. Given that we are officially under a national state of disaster, Mr President, we call for expedited access to the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) for domestic workers and informal workers.
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    Created by Coalition of Unions, Formal and Informal Workers, Organisations, Activists and other Allies
  • Cheap rent for the rich? Object to the Rondebosch Golf Course lease
    Cape Town is the most spatially divided city in the country - it is still separated along race and class lines. The City has consistently blamed this spatial injustice on the lack of well-located land that could be used for affordable housing. But the City often misses the most obvious solution: It already owns massive pieces of land in well-located areas. Land that is unused or not being used to its full potential, that could provide ample space for affordable housing and reverse the City’s apartheid legacy. Last year, Ndifuna Ukwazi released a research report exposing how the City is disposing of the public land it owns by leasing it to private organisations at massively discounted rentals [3]. This land includes parking lots that are empty for up to 18 hours a day, bowling greens with very few members, and massive golf courses that provide enjoyment to only a few wealthy residents on the weekends. This is an inefficient, exclusive and unsustainable way to deal with well-located public land. Surely this land should be put to better use? If we are serious about addressing Cape Town’s apartheid legacy, we need to make our voices heard. Object to the lease renewal of 45,99 hectares of prime public land that should be used for affordable housing before 9 March 2020. The experts at Ndifuna Ukwazi have put together this progressive submission you can use when sending in your own objection. If enough of us send in our objections we can stop the City of Cape Town from renewing the Rondebosch Golf Club lease. [1] Cape Town’s course of injustice: Subsidising the rich to exclude the poor, Michael Clark for the Daily Maverick January 28 2020 [2] https://rondeboschgolfclub.com/membership [3] Ndifuna Ukwazi: Cape Town’s failure to redistribute land https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Pxly1G47qbC79l58Oss4vKvvK4AO71M-/view
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  • Add your name to assist Wits students owing more than R20 000 to register
    Lungelo Malevu, holding a BSc in Biological Sciences is one of many from Wits University who currently have historical debt “I owe R135 893.28 and the university has withheld my degree and I only have access to my unofficial transcript. This is a challenge because I cannot apply for a number of jobs since there is no proof that I have completed my degree” Portia Mosime, hoping to register for her final year in Psychology “my mother is unemployed but we survive through the money she makes from her vegetable garden which supplies her community with fresh veggies, however she makes less than R500 a month this is not enough to cover the outstanding debt at Wits amounting to R76 117.81” Students often financially excluded from institutions of higher learning are black female students from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. They account for close to 58% in universities and 57% in TVET colleges [4]. The lack of access to funding opportunities for higher learning affects them the most. Following the efforts made by the SRC and other important organizations, these testimonies should motivate people to add their names to this campaign to put more pressure on the financial committee (FinCo) as they are the ones responsible for determining the fees to be paid by students. Ultimately this should end the unequal access to institutions of higher learning affecting poor black South African youth. The efforts by NSFAS and other funding schemes can only assist a certain number of students, this further reduces the rate at which graduates enter the job market. Despite unemployment rates being high, the critical work of doctors and nurses requires a surplus of recent graduates based on the demands of the job. If a medical degree student fails to clear their historic debt they cannot graduate and enter the job market, potentially changing people’s lives. These dreams end up not being a reality. Therefore, the more support this campaign gains, the fight against academic exclusion due to finances is kept alive, students around this time are in distress and often end up further getting themselves into more debt and stress way before the academic year starts. Adding your name to this campaign at this moment ensures that the relevant decision makers can act now and implement these demands before the month comes to an end. This means that students with historic debt can continue with their studies. References [1] Wits Vuvuzela, 2019 Accessed here: https://www.wits.ac.za/registration/returning-undergraduate-students/ [2] Takalani Sioga for the Wits Vuvuzela. 3 August 2018. Accessed here: https://www.witsvuvuzela.com/2018/08/03/nsfas-tells-2019-applicants-to-wait/ [3] Michael Pedro for EWN, 2019. Accessed here: https://www.google.com/amp/s//ewn.co.za/2019/03/24/dhet-allocates-r697m-to-nsfas-to-settle-historic-debt-owed-to-universities/amp [4] South African Market. 12 November 2019 Category: Education accessed here: https://www.southafricanmi.com/education-statistics.html
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  • Demand SABC refunds the top 10 song of the year voters
    The SABC started the selection process for "song of the year 2019" and opened voting lines to listeners even though they already knew that they did not have an agreement with the concept owners of "song of the year". The concept owners took the SABC to court to stop this. The Court then instructed the SABC to not air "song of the year 2019", resulting in a loss for all those who had already voted. It is false advertising and unfair to those who voted that the SABC has taken their money but did not deliver a song of the year countdown.
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  • Demand a NHI that works for the people
    Right now right-wing groups like Afriforum and some people with medical aids, are mobilising in large numbers to try to stop the NHI. We can’t afford to let the rich try to stop the NHI which could improve the lives of the majority. We also can’t afford an NHI that fails our people. The NHI is not perfect, as seen in the pilot sites. This is why it is more important than ever to make our voices heard and with enough public submissions, shape the NHI to serve the health needs of the majority of people in South Africa. If enough of us come together, our public submissions could help ensure that the NHI is not captured by medical aids or greedy capital. While also demanding the NHI is accountable and provides quality health services free from corruption, patronage and mismanagement. The amandla.mobi team are not health experts. But what we have done is read expert submissions and identified key recommendations that reflect the values of the amandla.mobi community. That’s why we have created this progressive submission you can use when sending in your own submission. https://youtu.be/ccfj30DK0wc
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  • Tell the new Minister of Health to make anti-smoking laws a priority
    Last year thousands of amandla .mobi members came together and sent the Department of Health submissions in support of the Draft Tobacco Control Bill to ban public smoking, regulate e-cigarettes and other tobacco control regulations. The Department of Health is finished reading our submissions and the process has slowed down once again. But, with the appointment of a new Minister of Health, we have an opportunity now to put pressure on the department. We can make sure one of the first decisions the new Health Minister makes is prioritising the bill. Let’s get Minister Mkhize’s attention. If enough of us come together and send him welcome messages, it could get the new Minister to help make these overdue anti-smoking laws a reality. Sign the petition to send Minister Mkhize a message. It only takes a minute to send the pre-written message but if you could add a personal message, our welcome will be even more powerful. Each year South Africa spends more than R59 billion to address tobacco related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis [1]. At the same time the country only collects between R11 billion and R13 billion from tobacco taxes [2]. This means the South African taxpayer is paying for the healthcare bill of tobacco-related harm while the tobacco industry collects the profits. Our queues at clinics and hospitals keep getting longer and government keeps cutting the healthcare budget while cigarette companies make billions. But, the new Minister of Health, Zweli Mkhize, has a history of doing important life-saving work on HIV in KZN. He could be an important ally in our fight against big cigarette companies. Sign the petition to send Minister Mkhize a welcome message and make sure he joins us in our fight to keep South Africans safe from second-hand smoke. If we flood his mailbox with welcome messages, he’ll have no choice but to support and prioritise the new anti-smoking laws. We’ve taken the Draft Tobacco Control Bill from sitting on a shelf collecting dust, to nearly being implemented by the Department of Health. The people power we’ve built has brought us this far but it’s important we keep up the pressure until the bill is signed. [1] The Tobacco Atlas - South Africa [2] BAT revenue rises but profit and market share fall, Robert Laing for Bizcommunity July 2017
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    Created by amandla.mobi member Picture
  • Domestic, farm and EPWP workers must be included in the National Minimum Wage
    These workers pay the same price for bread - and they deserve the same minimum wage! Domestic and farmworkers are some of SA's most vulnerable workers. 95% of domestic workers and 90% of farmworkers are living under the poverty line. Numbering almost 2 million, they are the largest part of South Africa’s working poor. Yet many of them are primary breadwinners for their households. The recent National Minimum Wage Law only reinforces this poverty by giving domestic workers R15/hr, farmworkers R18/hr, and EPWP workers only R11/hr -- while all other workers receive R20/hr. Sign this petition and join the campaign calling on the National Minimum Wage Research Commission and the Minister of Labor and Economic Development, to increase minimum wage for farm, domestic and EPWP workers to the R20/hr. It is time for the National Minimum Wage Law to recognise domestic, farm and EPWP workers as equal to other workers. The domestic and farming industries still treat workers as disposable, casual labor because of the legacies of colonialism and apartheid. Many of these workers have seen little change in their working conditions since 1994. They work behind closed front doors and locked farm gates, hidden from labour inspectors. They often face terrible living conditions, illegal terms of employment, poverty wages and outright physical and sexual abuse. By granting them only a portion of the minimum wage, we further reinforce their status as second-class citizens and informal workers. This allows employers to continue to exploit them, and reinforces the cycle of generational poverty.
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  • SABC, stop airing alcohol ads that associate alcohol consumption with success.
    We live in an era where the digital world influences the lives of many people, especially young black communities from poor backgrounds. We see something, we digest it, we want to duplicate it. Institutions such as the SABC should not have a negative impact, or allow negative airing. As the national broadcasting company, content that is of harmful nature or influence should not be aired, if not controlled. It is no secret that alcohol ads are flooding television. What is more saddening is that these ads glamourise alcohol consumption, and associate it with being successful. In the ads, you will see young people in an environment ‘where successful people belong’ consuming the alcohol, and promoting and encouraging those who are watching to go buy and drink it. According to a special issue on alcohol advertising by the Southern African Alcohol Policy Alliance (SAAPA), research has linked exposure to portrayals of alcohol use in the mass media with the development of positive drinking expectancies by children and adolescents. Young people with more positive affective responses to alcohol advertising hold more favourable drinking expectancies, perceive greater social approval for drinking, believe drinking is more common among peers and adults, and intend to drink more as adults. [3] Another research conducted by the Soul City Institute of Social Justice indicate that young people’s views on alcohol advertising, marketing and availability have a direct influence on their drinking patterns and sexual behaviour. Conducted in a rural village in Mpumalanga and an urban township, where young people were encouraged to capture their experiences through photographs and captions, including participating in focus-group discussions, young males believed that drinking a particular brand would lead to them being successful and young women said flavoured drinks were targeted at them. [4] While there are a number of regulations against alcohol adverting that have passed, such as airing alcohol ads between 2pm - 5 pm on weekday and before 12pm on weekends on TV; and 6am - 9am and 2pm - 5pm on weekdays and no advertising before 12pm on weekends on radio, the laws need revisiting. In 2010, the World Health Assembly of the World Health Organisation endorsed a Global Strategy to Reduce the Harmful Use of Alcohol that countries needed to adopt. Ten policy options were identified, one of them being to reduce the impact of marketing, especially on young people and adolescents. While not explicitly calling for a complete ban of alcohol advertising the Global Strategy calls for strong regulation of the various forms of advertising and marketing and for a “precautionary approach to protecting young people against these marketing techniques”[5] If alcohol ads are never going to be banned, we strongly believe that not only the SABC, but other broadcasting channels as well, need to adopt the above strategy; • Do not use settings that associate alcohol products with status and success. • Avoid using young people in the advertisements, or implement a law that only adults from the age of 40 and so, can be in alcohol ads. • Refrain from using influential words such as “Boss, The Man, Good Life, etc. Why we should act now We are what we consume! South Africa has a peculiar drinking profile, and is currently dealing with a large community from the age 15, who are struggling with alcohol abuse. Even though there are hundreds of organisations and campaigns raising awareness about the dangers of alcohol abuse, it does not make it right to have such ads, which are promoting the very same thing that our young black women, men and non gender conforming society are struggling with. We know that advertising causes younger people to drink sooner and in greater quantities. It also creates an environment that normalises drinking and it typically only portrays positive sides of drinking and not any negatives.[6] If we act now, we can have the power to control what we consume on TV, and by doing that, we will be saving ourselves, and the lives of young people. #WeDontNeedAlcoholToBeSuccessful [1] SABC Could Lose Half a Billion Rand If Alcohol Ads Are Banned. Zodidi Dano for IOL. 16 April 2018 [2] Banning Advertising Alcohol Can Save SA R1.9 Billion. Zeenat Vallie for IOL. 2 March 2018. [3] Impact of Alcohol Advertising and Media Exposure on Adolescent Alcohol Use. Peter Anderson, Avalon de Bruijn, Kathryn Angus, Ross Gordon & Gerard Hastings. SAAPA. 14 January 2009. [4] Alcohol Ads Luring SA Youth to Drink. Noni Mokati for IOL and Soul City Institute For Social Justice. 24 February 2017. [5] Alcohol Advertising In South Africa: A Trend And Comparative Analysis. Corne van Walbeek & Michael Daly for School of Economics, University of Cape Town. January 2014. [6]Proposed New Liquor Law Needs Revisiting. Marvin Charles for IOL. 16 August 2017. Image: Pexels
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  • Tell MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale to build a center for the Gogogetters in Musina
    Building a center for the Gogogetters is part of the Department of Social Development’s mandate to deepen social assistance and enhancing the capabilities of communities to achieve sustainable livelihoods and household food security[2]. It is important because old people are seen as a liability, while in actual fact they can have a big impact on social and economic prosperity locally and globally. Gogogetters are lacking recognition because of the pervasive negative perception of ageing hence, they are finding it hard to build a center for themselves. The Musina Local Municipality has since given the Gogogetters land to build a center but because of financial difficulties, they are unable to utilize the land. Gogogetters are ready to venture into entrepreneurship because it is an important role in the country’s development. The center will boost the economy of Musina and attract more tourists as it is one of South Africa’s special economic zones. Looking at the 2019 Statistics South Africa’s Quarterly announcement of unemployment rate in the country, it has increased to 27,6% hence such an initiative is for a good cause as it will help deal with unemployment challenges [3]. The budget from Social Development is not enough and this campaign is calling upon the newly elected MEC for Social Development in Limpopo,Nkakareng Rakgoale to make sure the budget allocated for Gogogetters is increased to enable the building of the center that the Gogogetters have been longing for the past 3 years. Let’s come together and signing to join this campaign to ensure MEC Nkakareng Rakgoale builds a center to better the lives of Gogogetters. Namadzavho Mukona is a 69 year old Gogogetter whose life has been positively changed by this organization. She says because of Gogogetters, “I no longer get sick by always sleeping at home doing nothing. The activities we do at the Gogogetters are keeping me active and healthy”. References [1] South African Year Book, Social Development 2016/2017 [2] Investigative Hearing into Systematic Complaints Relating to the Treatment of Older Persons, South African Human Rights 09 June 2015 [3] SA’s Unemployment rate spikes, Sarah Smith of Mail &Guardian 14 May 2019
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  • Tell British American Tobacco to pay the tax they owe us
    The big cigarette company British American Tobacco (BAT) have been fighting hard against new anti-smoking laws and taxes by shifting focus onto the illicit cigarette trade and tax evasion. They are funding a misleading campaign to convince government not to increase taxes on cigarettes so they can protect their profits [1]. Even companies like PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) are repeating industry claims that increasing taxes drives the illicit trade [2], even though industry has been caught over estimating and funding research into illicit trade [3]. Now Sars say BAT themselves are guilty of tax fraud and evasion and owe R143 million [4]. Clearly, they have been dishonest and shady in their tactics. But big companies like BAT rely on their brand and public image so they are vulnerable to us exposing their hypocrisy. If enough of us come together and shine a spotlight on their shady business and demand they pay what they owe- they will have no choice but to pay the R143 million. Join the campaign to demand BAT stop tax evading and pay what they owe. Each year South Africa spends more than R59 billion to address tobacco related illnesses like lung cancer, emphysema, asthma and bronchitis [5]. At the same time the country only collects between R11 billion and R13 billion from tobacco taxes [6]. This means the South African taxpayer is paying for the healthcare bill of tobacco-related harm while the tobacco industry collects the profits. Our queues at clinics and hospitals keep getting longer and government keeps cutting the healthcare budget while cigarette companies make billions. But, if enough of us come together and demand they pay what they owe, they will have no choice but to pay the R143 million. Government can use this money to help our struggling healthcare system. References [1] Did Big Tobacco buy Twitter? Joan van Dyk for Mail & Guardian 7 Sept 2018 [2] What to expect from the budget: Small tax increases, lower tax collection. Muhammad Hussain for City Press 13 Feb 2019 [3] Are the tobacco industry's claims about the size of the illicit cigarette market credible? The case of South Africa. 2014 Corné van Walbeek, Lerato Shai [4] Sars faces off with British American Tobacco over R143m tax bill, Graeme Hosken for Sunday Times April 2019 [5] The Tobacco Atlas - South Africa [6] BAT revenue rises but profit and market share fall, Robert Laing for Bizcommunity July 2017
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