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Spotlight on Black Sash

The GGLN is pleased to welcome The Black Sash as a new full member of the network. The organisation has been an Associate member of the network since mid 2008.

The Black Sash will be 54 years old this year. Since its inception, the organisation has been advocating for social justice, using strategies and tactics specific to the context and challenges of the times. By working with marginalised groups, the Black Sash’s helps make human rights real to all living in South Africa.

The organisation assists the marginalised to speak for themselves regarding their social and economic circumstances.

Black Sash’s work began as a women’s protest movement in 1955 and currently the organisation focuses on three key areas namely, Rights Education, Advocacy and Advising Communities.

Rights Education: provides knowledge and training to communities and groups aimed at helping them access their social and economic rights.

1. Comprehensive Social Security Protection;

2. Consumer Protection; and

3. Social Services and Subsidies (the newest Programme which the Black Sash aims to consolidate and expand on in the next few years)

The organisation also has a National Advocacy Unit consisting of Programme Managers responsible for the programmes mentioned above. Recently the Black Sash has been involved in social dialogue programmes to combat xenophobia in affected communities.

In Cape Town the Black Sash has assisted farm dwellers access their rights in eviction cases. In Gauteng the organisation has began exploring work relating to assisting a community to access identity documentation and basic services through mobile units.

The organisation also has a presence in KwaZulu Natal where it in collaboration with the SA Human Rights Commission has visited the communities of Welbedacht to explore ways of consolidating developmental rights based work in the near future.

In Port Elizabeth the Black Sash is working with the Xolisanani HIV/AIDS Support Group in KwaNoxolo on issues such as social assistance, particularly for the disabled and chronically ill. The organisation facilitates their access to health care at the local clinic, food security and healthy nutrition and skills development.

The Black Sash has also engaged with the Khanyisa Support Group from the Walmer-Gqebera community, primarily to discuss the issue of policy deviations in the implementation of Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission between 2 Health clinics, one run provincially and the other locally.

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