• Stop taxing my period
    Thousands of amandla. mobi members have fought hard to make free sanitary products a reality for millions of girls. Unfortunately, for the households that could put a few rands together to buy a pack, the VAT hike announced earlier this year has made it even more expensive, meaning more people who need sanitary towels could go without. But right now, we have an opportunity to change that. Public submissions to the expert panel investigating the expansion of zero rating to more items was extended. But it ends on June 4, 2018. Send the panel a direct message telling them to recommend that sanitary products are included in the list of essential zero-rated products. People who get periods will buy up to 17 000 sanitary pads or tampons in their lifetime [1]. This basically means that the average person could spend up to almost R40 000 on sanitary pads in that time [2]. This in a country in which over 50% of the population live in poverty. The VAT hike has had an impact on the cost of living in Mzansi. People are spending much more on essential food items, reducing how much they have for other needs. And living a decent, dignified life requires so much more than food. Our community exists to primarily protect us, Black women. You, and over two hundred thousand others have taken action to make this real. And we need you to once again stand with us and make sure the panel recommends dropping the tax on our periods. [1] A guide to 'alternative menstruation': Save money and the world during your period, Pontsho Pilane for Bhekisisa. 31 Oct 2016. [2] Why treasury won't support a fall in the tampon tax, Pontsho Pilane for Bhekisisa. 5 Dec 2016.
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  • Life Orientation must not be scrapped in Grades 10-12
    Learners need LO in Gr 10-12 and many benefit a great deal from this vital subject. The Minister made the promise in 2015 that LO will not be scrapped, but strengthened. So don''t break this promise! The implications of taking out LO will mean that teachers will not specialise in LO at universities if it is a small subject that only goes to grade 9. It will mean the end of the subject. There are many great LO teachers who are devastated. Learners only take career ed seriously in Grades 11-12. LO teachers are heartbroken at the sad news of history usurping LO. This was not a democratic decision not were LO experts consulted. To pit one subject against the other is unwise. Instead, the Department can create a subject called which can include African history and herstory, African role models and Governance, Constitution, Voting, Human Rights, etc. LO topics are vital to learners in Grades 10-12, they give in-depth career education, sexuality education, create awareness on gender issues, improve study and exam writing skills, stress management, substance abuse, environmental protection and relationships, diversity and self-esteem enhancement. They also promote Indigenous Games. [1] Motshekga defends life orientation, The New Age. 15 Feb 2017.
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  • Isolate Apartheid Israel!
    South Africans were horrified by the targeted shooting of peaceful protesters in Gaza by the Israeli Defence Force that left around 60 people dead and many hundreds wounded on 14 May 2018. It was seen for what it is – a coldblooded massacre, reminding us when we were shot down for peacefully protesting against apartheid in Sharpeville and again in 1976 in Soweto when children were shot and killed. This was not the first time the Israeli occupation force has carried out atrocities and it won’t be the last unless the world acts now. It was only by internationally isolating apartheid South Africa in support of popular uprisings, strikes and armed struggle that we were able to put enough pressure on the regime. Likewise, we need to intensify pressure on our government to immediately cut diplomatic ties with racist Israel, signalling to the world – and especially to the Palestinian people – that we have not forgotten their support for us during our Struggle. Merely recalling our Ambassador is not sufficient. We must cut all diplomatic ties, expel the Israeli Ambassador from Pretoria and heed the call of the international BDS movement and demand complete trade sanctions; sport, cultural and academic boycotts; disinvestment and an arms embargo in support of Palestine that belongs to all who live in it. Since 1994, South Africans have called on the government to impose comprehensive sanctions against the apartheid Israeli regime: • a ten thousand strong march in Durban during the United Nation’s World Conference Against Racism in 2001 where the “Second Anti-Apartheid Movement” was declared and a boycott, divestment and sanctions campaign against Israel adopted by representatives of South African civil society led by prominent liberation movement veterans; • an equally strong march at the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002 in support of the Palestinian struggle and against the presence of an Israeli delegation including Shimon Peres; • the refusal of dock workers in the port city of Durban to offload an Israeli ship in 2009 in the wake of Israel’s ‘Cast Lead’ assault on Gaza • the decision in 2011 by the Senate of the University of Johannesburg to sever ties with Ben Gurion University. • On the 9th of August 2014, between 150 000 to 200 000 South Africans marched in Cape Town against atrocities in Gaza and for full sanctions against Israel. It was the biggest march in South Africa’s history and continues solidarity activity since the first South African democratic elections in 1994. • The Council of the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) resolved that TUT would not forge any ties with the State of Israel or any of its organisations and institutions on the 24th of November 2017. In 2014 President Zuma sent Aziz Pahad as a ‘peace envoy’ to Israel. We still have not received the outcome of Pahad’s trip. At the same time Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, answering questions in the National Council of Provinces, called for “constructive engagement” with Israel – a phrase used by Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher to justify their relations with apartheid South Africa. It is clear that Israel is not interested in peace as it continues to violate international law. The ANC Conference in 2017 adopted a resolution to downgrade our Embassy in Tel Aviv. President Ramaphosa has subsequently, on more than one occasion, reminded South Africans of the ANC resolution as a matter that government has to deal with. Minister Naledi Pandor, in the debate following State President Ramaphosa’s SONA address in February, went further and said that South Africa will “cut diplomatic ties” with Israel. We now demand implementation! We call on the South African government to: * Permanently recall our ambassador from Israel; * Expel the Israeli ambassador from South Africa; * Prosecute South African citizens that join the Israeli army in any capacity; * Stop SAA code sharing with Israeli airline 'El Al'; * Prohibit South African companies from trading with Israel; * Prohibit Israeli funding of South African political parties; * Work to persuade African Union member countries to adopt similar policies; * Engage with all South African organisations in the Palestinian solidarity movement. For more information please contact pscgauteng@gmail.com
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  • 24 hours to have VAT removed from more essential items
    Before the VAT increase kicked in on 1 April 2018, National Treasury had announced that it would set up a panel of experts to consider and review the country’s current list of items that have been zero rated for VAT. We know that the VAT increase has hit the poor and those who rely on social grants, the hardest. National Treasury set up an independent expert panel to look into removing VAT from more items and is calling for submissions. But we have only 24 hours to do this. We can pressure government to review the current list of zero rated items so that we give some relief to poor households. Currently, Mzansi has 19 basic food items on the zero rated list [1]. This includes dried beans, samp, maize meal, rice, milk, tinned pilchards, brown bread, eggs and vegetables, as well as illuminated paraffin. The zero rating does not apply to items such as sanitary products, soap, stationary, margarine and school uniforms to name a few. The poor cannot live off just 19 zero rated items. Many of our leaders seem to acknowledge that the VAT increase is a problem, and we can use this moment to continue to reduce the impact of the VAT hike on the poor, while working towards holding Treasury and Parliament to account. [1] Zero-rated and exempt supplies, National Treasury website. [2] https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/treasury-calls-for-publics-input-on-adding-items-to-zero-rated-vat-list-20180517
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  • Spousal Visa for LGBT Couple
    Without a spousal visa, Wendy cannot: Enroll in any institution Register for school yet she was accepted for 2017 Get formal employment Get proof of residence Apply for a driver's licence Open a bank account Travel outside of South Africa which means the couple cannot... visit her FAMILY! How can your department infringe so many rights? Nomfundo and Wendy have followed the law and procedures necessary for a spousal visa. It is not fair that their relationship is not recognized and acknowledged in the same way as a heterosexual couple. The law and the Constitution protect them. The Department of Home Affairs needs to be held accountable!
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  • Zara pay back the money to Laduma Ngxokolo
    Ma'Afrika, Ours is a history of ongoing exploitation from white monopoly capital, and this time the brand Zara has decided to appropriate Laduma Ngoxolo's designs, by distributing his socks on their website (which they have since taken down). Despite this a small town boy, who worked extremely hard building his business in the Eastern Cape has to utilize his resources to take on an established multi-billion dollar company that tried to rip him off. Since Laduma will have to use his own resources, it is time for South Africans to come together to create a dent in the Zara wallet. Cultural appropriation and exploitation is a tale as old as time, where white capital benefits from the knowledge created in indigenous communities. Boycott all Zara stores in order to send a clear message that we will not tolerate the exploitation of our artists and our people! #BoycottZara #LocalArtMatters #LocalArtistsMatter [1] Press release from Select Committees Chairperson: https://www.parliament.gov.za/press-releases/select-committees-chairperson-welcomes-zaras-decision-remove-copied-designs [2] Press release from MaXhosa by Laduma https://www.facebook.com/MAXHOSA/posts/1592432134158921
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  • Support the striking Simba workers!
    As labour-brokered workers under Adcorp Blu, their core demand is to win their right to be made permanent workers of Simba, with better wages and benefits. Parliament changed section 198 of the Labour Relations Act in 2015 to give labour-brokered workers the right to become the permanent employees of the client companies after three months of work. ‘The majority of us workers are women,’ said worker leader Nthabiseng Shai. We want to be Simba people, but we still say Simba must fall!’ The workers are fed up with the way Simba has mistreated them to dodge and undermine the right the law gives them. ‘Some of us have been working here for more than five years,’ explained Shai. ‘They don’t want to make us permanent. They are changing us from a labour broker to another, from Adcorp Blu to FunxionO.’ The workers decided to strike when Simba again changed their employment contracts without consulting them. The Simba Workers Forum is calling on the public to support them. Please contact PepsiCo, the parent company of Simba, and tell them to give the workers permanent jobs: Call the toll free number 0800980063 This campaign is in collaboration with the Casual Workers Advice Office
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  • Tell the City of Cape Town that we reject the budget and privatization of water
    Cape Town is being used as an international social experiment. Yes there is a drought but 'day zero' is a deliberate lie to justify the rapid privatization of water. The City used a formula that assumed it would not rain; it assumed that it would be windy and hot every day; they failed to consider that large agriculture was abusing water; day zero was flawed from the beginning. Now the international banks are using Cape Town to threaten other cities in SA and the rest of the world, to privatize water. That is why we need to join hands to stop the privatization of water in Cape Town * over 260 000 families (almost half of Cape Town) has already had water management devices forced onto us. * these limit the amount of water that households can use per day * the city aims to change to pre-paid water; in other words, no money, no water; they have already introduced this in parts of Grabouw *currently the real cost of water provision is R6 per kl; the City has increased this by 500% and want to increase it by a further 27-87 %. They want to charge high tariffs for water so the large banks can make pots of money. *the City wants to borrow from international banks for large scale projects such as desalination; the major part of the water budget will go to desalination, about R7.4 bn. In other words, the international banks will make profits out of water. Desalination puts our water into private hands, for profits; desalinated water has caused the death rate from heart attacks to double; it also makes fruit less nutritious. * just as the national govt increased electricity prices by 20% per year, the City wants to do the same with water. * many of the water management devices (over 16%) are defective; they are leaking and shut off, leaving thousands without water for basic needs; * many are getting huge bills of thousands and sometimes hundreds of thousands of Rands. *pressure is reduced in the pipes during the times that people need water; thousands are without water. *the City and other levels of govt knew more than 10 years ago they had to adopt water saving measures such as using recycled water for sanitation; they knew they had to recycle water for recharging aquifers; they knew they had to fix the infrastructure (the City loses 100 million litres per day through leaks). They failed. If we do not stop the privatization of water, the same high tariffs and poisonous desalination will be forced on more communities in SA and around the globe. The next generations will be paying huge tariffs for water. If you have no money, you will have no water. People will die as a result. The City must be stopped. The Water Crisis Coalition is marching to the City and to parliament on the 25th April 2018 at 10am from Keizergracht , at the end of Darling Street, opposite the castle. We want to hand over all signatures and petitions. We invite you to print copies of our petition and to bring them along on the day. Copies can be obtained via watercrisiscoalition@gmail.com Some useful references: Proof that Day zero formula was fake: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Fo95AHFCN2bGdGWU1uajRHcDMxVFZUdFFObFU4djhuWFg0/view?usp=sharing Here is the downloadable leaflet which can be used as a free train ticket on the 25th April 2018, for the march. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Fo95AHFCN2aThmWFRrdHZvYUhCNXp0ejFvX3piNHU3eVRZ/view?usp=sharing Joint Saftu-Water Crisis Coalition memorandum handed to the City on our demands on water 12 April 2018 https://drive.google.com/file/d/1xLVvvmRPzUZKJWFBxwGphhGFItJF6W0-/view?usp=sharing Downloadable petition which we will hand over to the Mayor on the 25th April 2018. Why not sign up your community or workplace? https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2Fo95AHFCN2VVQ0OWYtSGNIWkNDeXVBWk9lcDk5ZFU5MVU4/view?usp=sharing Thesis on some of the 70 springs around Table Mountain https://etd.uwc.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11394/2686/Wu_MPHIL_2009.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y Now the City wants to reduce the collection points for water at Newlands from 32 to 16. Let us march against this madness. Open the springs now. https://m.facebook.com/groups/320668791777159?view=permalink&id=355469214963783 Call by Reclaim Camissa on the need to preserve our springs http://thegreentimes.co.za/calling-government-conserve-groundwater-springs/ Reclaim Camissa site www.reclaimcamissa.org www.facebook.com/RECLAIMCAMISSA/ http://twitter.com/ReclaimCamissa There are a number of other petitions against the budget. We are not in competition with any of them but wish to bring our perspective forward. If you are not comfortable with signing our petition, here is a site which you can consider: https://www.dearcapetown.co.za/coct-budget/
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  • Provide basic services to informal settlements
    “When we think about using the toilet, we feel dirty. We feel like we don’t have human dignity, but we have nowhere else to live, so we just have to make the best of it. This is why we are building our own toilets.” Margret Mabene, Mzondi resident. Just recently, reports surfaced that people living in Mzondi informal settlement, Ivory Park, had started a crowdfund so that they could build toilets [1]. This desperation exists across many informal settlements that are scattered across South Africa's cities. Despite this, many people living in informal settlements are overlooked in service provision. There is a growing demand for living space around cities, and South Africa has housing backlogs. People living in informal settlements have rights. The need to grant them access to water and sanitation is a human rights issue. South Africa has the laws that force municipalities to provide basic services. Abahlali BaseMjondolo, in their Harry Gwala court case against the City of Ekurhuleni, are a good example of how people living in informal settlements have used the law to defend their rights. In this case, the people successfully argued that Ekurhuleni had a statutory obligation in terms of the Water Services Act, which requires a safe albeit temporary toilet for each stand, including in informal settlements [2]. It is important for ordinary South Africans to stand in solidarity with those who are marginalised. This is important for the advancement of justice and equity, ideals that are enshried in our Constitution. People living in informal settlements deserve dignity, like all human beings, irrespective of their material condition. [1] Community tries crowd funding to get toilets, Zoe Postman for GroundUp News. March 13, 2018. [2] The right to basic services in informal settlements: Notes on Harry Gwala High Court hearing 12 December 2008, Abahlali BaseMjondolo. Dec 15, 2008.
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  • Tell DUT to pay workers decent living wages and end the strike
    DUT staff moral is at its lowest because of the failure by management and the council to resolve this matter in a timely and respectful manner. Staff also deserve a decent salary for their living, it is a violation of their rights when they are ignored by the Vice Chancellor, management and the Council as well. This frustrates staff, and as a result they are withholding their labour and the whole university is badly affected. We want our kids to study and we want staff that will attend to our student needs in a manner that truly affirms that DUT is a student centred university of which right now is not the case. The strike is affecting students in so many ways. One of the students, Sphamandla Gumede, when interviewed by Independent News said, "it makes me very angry. At home they don’t understand why we haven’t started studying. They are thinking I am coming to university to just waste money." https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/dut-strike-leaves-students-despondent-13300671
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  • Decriminalise sex work now! Don’t let this moment pass
    Sex work is work, and right now sex workers are calling for solidarity to keep them safe by supporting the call for the full decriminalisation of adult sex work. Some in Parliament support this call and if enough of us make public submissions before the 26th February 2018, we could change the lives of sex workers. Like many other people, Nosipho uses her profession to support herself and her family, to further her studies, to save up for her future and to gain financial freedom and security [1]. But because sex work is criminalised in Mzansi, she and many others, face unsafe working conditions where they face corrupt police who want bribes or rape sex workers in exchange for not being arrested. https://www.youtube.com/embed/dg4l3X9rJHw?ecver=1 This video explains the 4 possible legal models for sex work and why South African sex workers want the full decriminalisation of sex work. Despite the overwhelming evidence showing the ongoing harm caused by criminalisation, the much anticipated sex work report by the South African Law Reform Commission (SALRC) recommends that sex work remains a criminal offence [2]. Now, for the first time in decades, there's a real chance for change. Sex workers and women’s rights groups, like SWEAT and Sisonke, have loudly condemned the report. Parliament's Multi-Party Women's Caucus noted the flaws of the report [3] and the chairperson of the Caucus stressing that the full decriminalisation of sex work is the only model that respects the rights of sex workers [4]. In just a few days, the Women’s Caucus could help determine what the future looks like for people like Nosipho. If we don’t speak out against this horrendous report sex workers may be sent back into danger. There’s only a few days left to make submissions responding to the report. Make sure to send yours through by the 26th February 2018. [1], I am a sex worker: criminalising my work puts me in danger, Nosipho Vidima for GroundUp News, June 14, 2017. [2] Parliament's women's caucus to host sex work summit, Jeanette Chabalala for News24. Feb 9, 2018. [3] Sex work report on prostitution rejected, Nicola Daniels for Independent News. May 30, 2017. [4] Multi-Party Women's Caucus disappointed about law reform commission report on adult prostitution, Ms Masefele Story Morutoa. June 1, 2017.
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  • Deny Katie Hopkins entry into South Africa
    Katie Hopkins is a white supremacist, a bigot and a racist. Not only does she want to come into South Africa to cover a story that has no factual basis, ie that the farm murders are white genocide and ethnic cleansing of white people, she has also sent offensive tweets about our decorated world champion and athlete Caster Semenya. In the same way that Home Affairs denied homophobic Steven Anderson entry last year, we expect the Department to follow suit in denying Katie Hopkins entry. We already have enough racists to deal with from within our borders.
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