The new 2015 guide to Services for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa is now available to download. Click on the image below, or follow this link: 2015 Guide to Services for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa
CoRMSA supports students from universities all over the country protesting over increases in tertiary education fees. We have long advocated for the provision of Section 29 of the Constitution that says: “everyone has the right to further education, which the state, through reasonable measures, must make progressively available and accessible”. Conversely, exorbitant annual fee increases is making access to further education progressively unavailable and inaccessible and denying the right to further education for the majority of South Africans and non-nationals living in South Africa.
Contrary to the misconception that asylum seekers and refugees ‘steal’ our services, these students are not eligible for National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding and, with limited bursaries available to them from other sources, most try to pay for education from their own pockets. Fee increases, along with challenges to the rights of asylum seekers to work and earn money to pay these fees, is making access to tertiary education even harder for people who have fled persecution, war and conflict and cannot return to their home countries. This in turn leads to increasing the number of young people in South Africa that are unskilled and unemployed, whereas asylum seekers and refugees that graduate go on to contribute and enrich our economy as qualified professionals.
CoRMSA further condemns the use of teargas and stun grenades by police against students protesting peacefully for their Constitutional rights. We consistently raise our concerns over the manner in which the police use excessive force against non-nationals, workers – and now against students – when there is no threat of violence against them. We cannot accept any situation where the forces of law and order act in a violent, arbitrary and prejudicial way against those that they are mandated to protect.
We remain committed to the vision of a South Africa that belongs to all who live in it. It is only through standing together in our common struggles for free, quality education, for freedom of expression and assembly and against xenophobia and all forms of discrimination that we will build a country that is inclusive and truly united in our diversity.
For more information please contact:
082 816 2799
National Programme Coordinator
078 287 1485
CoRMSA supported and participated The Black Sash Trust, Call to Action “Hands Off Our Grants” campaign that took place at Maponya Mall Soweto. This campaign asserts the constitutional right to social security. The Call to Action was launched after months of evidence gathering. Beneficiaries testified that money was deducted from their SASSA bank accounts without their knowledge or informed consent. The campaign aims to challenge the unlawful, fraudulent and immoral business practices facilitated by the current outsourced SASSA/CPS contract for the national payment of social grants. The Black Sash and other organisation including CoRMSA are refusing to remain silent about the hardship and struggles of poor and vulnerable people affected by these unauthorised and often fraudulent deductions. As a result beneficiaries experience food shortages and are unable to take their medicines. Many, particularly in rural communities, struggle to find recourse, spending extra money on transport and airtime, often with little success. CoRMSA is also greatly concerned about these unlawful deductions currently happening more especially to the refugees who are the recipient of social grants:
The Hands Off Our Grants (HOOG) Campaign calls for:
- SASSA to in-source the full administration and payment of grants as soon as possible.
- A SASSA-owned and controlled recourse system to be put in place urgently.
- The current service providers (Cash Paymaster Services [CPS], Net 1 and Grindrod bank) and SASSA to take full responsibility for these disputed debit deductions and to refund them with bank charges and interest, backdated to 2012. Beneficiaries must receive the full cash value of the grant.
- SASSA to be obliged to protect the confidential and personal information of beneficiaries, thus reducing their vulnerability to loan sharks and financial service providers accessing these bank accounts – those who only want to profiteer at the cost of the poor!
- The recently established Inspectorate to act swiftly to protect the interests of grant beneficiaries.
Beneficiaries should register disputed debit deductions with their local SASSA office immediately or approach their local advice office for help.
To endorse this campaign and for more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact the Black Sash Office: 021 686 6952
CoRMSA’s National Programme Coordinator Mr. Thifulufheli Sinthumule was part of panelist at the Chevrolet Feather Awards LGBTI Dialogue that took place at Studio Gesso, Melville.
The panelists was composed of legislators, NGO, LGBTI activists, unionists, doctors and general members of the LGBTI community. Attendees will be made up of LGBTI people from various groups.
The objective of this year’s Dialogue is to facilitate an even bigger conversation on issues that affect the daily lives of LGBTI people. The issues range from access to health services, HIV treatment, asylum, registration of same sex marriages, changing of one’s gender on their identity document and on the birth registry, issues of sex education and the training of teachers on social justice and the overall safety of LGBTI people, especially groups identified as vulnerable. CoRMSA focused its discussion on matters relating to refugee and migrant LGBTI groups on South African and Regional context. .
Lawyers for Human Rights, in partnership with Tri Continental Film Festival (TCFF), is pleased to invite you to two evenings of impact cinema at the Kutlwanong Democracy Centre in Pretoria.
On Thursday, 15 October, we will host a special screening of the award-winning documentary film “Democrats“. Filmed over three years, this film follows the two men (from the opposing Zanu-PF and MDC political parties) responsible for drafting Zimbabwe’s new constitution and their unlikely alliance.
Then on Friday, 16 October, we will screen “The Shore Break”, a South African film detailing a local community’s struggle and determination against titanium mining in the Amadiba area on the Wild Coast.
When: 15 and 16 October 2015
Where: Kutlwanong Democracy Centre, 357 Visagie Street, Pretoria
Time: 6:30pm for 7:00pm (drinks and snacks will be provided)
Please RSVP to Melissa du Preez at email@example.com or 071 879 0327 at your earliest convenience.
The annual Tri Continental Film Festival is a not for profit festival that brings impact cinema to South Africa, with the aim of using cinema as a tool to support human rights activism. TCFF and LHR have been partners on this festival for 13 years.