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Resistance against Exclusion,
Exploitation and Discrimination
esset logo
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spacerABOUT US

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On this page

Strategic objectives for 2015 - 2017

Methodology

Focus Areas

Values

Overview

History

Mission, Vision and Values

Staff profiles

 

Strategic objectives for 2015 - 2017

Strategic objective 1

To enable and mobilize churches and other ecumenical organizations to actively support the social struggles of the poor and vulnerable social groups and to speak out against socioeconomic exclusion, exploitation and discrimination.

 

Strategic objective 2

To enable poor communities to sustain struggles that strengthen their social power and that lead to social transformation.


Strategic objective 3

To enable the poor and vulnerable social groups to improve their socioeconomic conditions, in particular poor women and youth, and to contribute to the elimination of gender inequality.

 

Methodology

ESSET’s methodology is predicated on popular education principles which assume poor and working people are bearers of knowledge. We use various platforms such as participatory action research, workshops, conferences, media, assemblies, community meetings, field work, and community visits to ensure that the marginalised groups are able to analyse their conditions and develop concrete strategies for improving their social and economic conditions. Our methodology provides vulnerable groups, especially women, with a space to respond organisationally to social and economic inequalities. As an ecumenical organisation, we draw our inspiration from liberation theology, which was a major contributor to liberation struggles in South Africa and other parts of the world.

 

Focus Areas

  • On-going analysis of the social and economic context in South African, the region, the rest of the continent and the world can sharpen our understanding of our own struggles.
  • Engaging church leaders so that they can begin to speak the truth to power, and raise issues pertaining to social and economic justice
  • Increasing social justice activism among church leaders through awareness-raising and collective reflections.
  • Mobilizing church leaders and ecumenical activists to participate in the social struggles of informal traders and poor communities
  • Moulding and building grassroots women intellectuals.
  • Offer training for grassroots intellectuals in informal trader organizations and poor communities to be able to play a meaningful role in social mobilization
  • The work of ESSET stretches into the region through the PAR [participatory action research] work in five SADC countries in Southern Africa.
    Capacity building support to the women’s cooperatives that ESSET helped form in South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland to improve the livelihoods of poor women informal traders
    ESSET will thus work with progressive civil society organizations, to promote and build the Social Solidarity Economy in the SADC region.
  • Advocating for policies and measures that protect the livelihoods of informal traders, including more enabling and gender sensitive informal trading policies and legal measures that eliminate sexual harassment of women informal traders, and that extend social protection to own account workers in the informal economy.

Values

The integrity, equality, wholeness and fullness of life,
God’s preferential option for the poor, and
Responsible stewardship for all creation

 

Overview of ESSET

The Ecumenical Service for Socio-Ecumenical Transformation (ESSET) is an independent ecumenical organisation that works against the systematic exclusion of the poor and marginalised social groups by advocating for social justice.


It is registered as a non-profit organisation (section 21) founded in 1996 with a mandate to build to the capacity of local churches to work for socio-economic justice. The South African Council of Churches (SACC) and a number of other ecumenical organisations were instrumental in ESSET's formation.


ESSET partners and facilitates processes within churches and a wide range of civil society organisations such as informal trader associations; ministers' fraternal and provincial councils of the South African Council of Churches. ESSET also collaborates with other faith based organisations in South Africa and in other SADC countries including Lesotho, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

 

ESSET History

Some church leaders with foresight predicted that our country will become a land flowing with milk and honey after the down of democracy. Their analysis of the South African nation building more than two decades ago showed that communities would not automatically reap maximum benefits of democracy after the downfall of aparteight. They had a vision of initiating interventions that will build capacity of people whom the system had excluded from the mainstream economy.


The Ecumenical Service for Socio-economic Transformation (ESSET) was established by the leaders of the South African Council of Churches and other church denominational groupings to facilitate programs that enable the church to know how to empower people to deal with socio-economic challenges. They felt that the church was a strategic institution that was supposed to be used as a base for economic justice programs.


The founding directors of this organisation are leaders who fought for the political liberation of the people of South Africa. They include Dr. Beyers Naude, Proff. Barney Pityana, DR. Brigalia Bam, Bishop Seoka, Dr Wolfram Kistner and others. These leaders knew that political freedom that was not going to be backed by economic justice would be meaningless to millions of vulnerable people who often do not have access to resources and are far from people of power.

 

Mission, Vision and Values

Mission

To advocate for social and economic justice by committing ourselves to being in solidarity with the poor in their struggles as they act in resistance to their marginalization and oppression.


Vision

A transformed society, free of socio-economic exclusion, exploitation, and discrimination.


Values

ESSET values and promotes:
• Integrity
• Equality
• Wholeness and fullness of life
• Responsible stewardship for all creation

 

 

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Contact details

 

Postal address

PO Box 62098
Marshalltown
2107

Physical address

6th Floor, Khotso House
62 Marshall Street
Johannesburg


Tel: +27 (0)11 833-1190
Fax: +27 (0)11 833-1076
Email : info@esset.org.za

Web: www.esset.org.za

 

Staff profiles

Sonto Magwaza

Sonto Magwaza
Position: Executive Director
Email: sonto@esset.org.za

Madalitso Mtine
Position: Programmes Manager
Email@: mada@esset.org.za

Madalitso Mtine
Position: Programmes Manager
Email: mada@esset.org.za

Ibrahim Steyn
Ibrahim Steyn
Position: Consultant
Email: Ibrahimstyn@gmail.com

Winnie Ndebele

Winnie Ndebele
Position: Finance Manager
Email: winnie@esset.org.za

Xolelwa Mshubeki

Xolelwa Mshubeki
Position: Theology and Social Justice Programme Officer
Email: Xolelwa@esset.org.za

Mandla Mndebele

Mandla Mndebele
Position: Informal Trade Programme officer
Email: mandla@sset.org.za

Azola Goqwana

Azola Goqwana
Position: Community Driven Development programme officer
Email: azola@esset.org.za

Kokeletso Kay Legoete

Kokeletso Kay Legoete
Position: Communications officer
Email: Kokeletso@esset.org.za
Cindy Bacela
Cindy Bacela
Position: Administrator
Email: cindy@esset.org.za