The Black Sash works to advance equality and social justice.
They provide a paralegal service to those who need help in a variety of matters, including child support and other social grants, labour problems, debt counselling and citizenship applications. Their services are free.
Started 50 years ago as a women's human rights organisation, the Black Sash opposed apartheid through protest action, marches and advice offices for those who had been deprived of their human rights.
Since the victory of democracy in South Africa, the organisation's role has changed. It now focuses on fighting poverty and empowering people - especially women - to benefit from the rights now enshrined in the country's constitution. Black Sash works towards:
- Informing and organising people and civil society so they can claim their rights;
- Efficient and honest administration in government;
- Laws that work;
- Getting government to allocate more of its budget to social security; and
- Protecting the integrity of the constitution.
The seven regional offices help recover an average of R13 million a year in government grants. In the process, clients recover their rights to the recognition of their dignity and humanity.
The Black Sash is an independent, non-governmental organisation which contributes significantly to different areas of national policy.
Their research and recommendations have tangible, real-world effects on crucial policy instruments like the Social Security Agency and Promotion of Administrative Justice Acts.
Black Sash train dozens of new paralegals for other organisations each year, and conduct outreach and education campaigns in four provinces, on issues ranging from HIV/AIDS to voter education.
They believe in the rigorous monitoring and promotion of basic human rights.
Black Sash intervene when necessary, to ensure rights extend to all.
The Black Sash is an advocate for a just society and are committed to making human rights real.