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CALS Quarterly Issue 14

- Lee-Anne Bruce

Read the latest issue of our quarterly newsletter and find out about our work trying to promote equality and social change

Not long ago, our country was going through a time of unrest made up of different elements and complex causes. What was clear to us at the time was that whatever motivated this unrest initially, it could never have gathered such momentum without the high rates of impoverishment and inequality we know are still experienced keenly in South Africa. This must remain at the forefront of our work, not only responding to the immediate needs, but ensuring long-term social change. 

We welcomed the recent announcement that special COVID-19 relief of distress grants would not only be reinstated but extended to caregivers in an effort to alleviate food insecurity. Yet, we know that the grant system in place needs to be improved and the small amount alone is not nearly enough to bring an end to widespread poverty. We continue to advocate, along with our many civil society partners, for universal basic income support to be introduced and for corruption and the looting of state resources to be addressed. 

In the last month, we have been encouraged by the decision to prosecute former Minister Bathabile Dlamini for perjury, following her testimony at an inquiry established by the Constitutional Court into her role in the social grants crisis several years ago. Though it has taken some time to get to this point, we believe this sends a message that everyone is equal before the law and even those occupying some of our highest offices must be held accountable for their actions. 

Women's Month has once again also seen our teams working on a number of projects promoting gender equality – from ensuring the independence of the Commission for Gender Equality, to representing victims and survivors of abuse in court, to conducting workshops in rural areas around the country aimed at supporting women experiencing gender-based violence in mining-affected communities. Click the image below to read more about these and other recent projects.