Post Elections in Mfuleni

The 8th of May marked an important day for most South Africans as the nation held its 6th national election. However, it soon came to light that the had been a drastic decrease in voter turn out this year when compared to the last national elections that were here held in 2014, with key political parties such as the currently governing African National Congress(ANC) as well leading opposition Democratic Alliance(DA) having lost a significant amount of voter support while the third largest opposition party the Economic Freedom Fighters(EFF) grew by a significantly large margin compared to its past result.

In keeping with the premise above, it is clear that voter apathy continues to plague this democratic process in South Africa. People just generally do not see the point or importance of participating in elections. With one of the popular reasons being that they have lost trust confidence in political parties that promise to bring about change during campaign rallies and speeches that often never actually materialize for various reasons.

One of the places where this is most self-evident is in the less affluent areas of the country, particularly township communities, where most low-income earners still live below the poverty line and without access to basic public services such as housing, adequate drinking water, and sanitation. I visited the township of Mfuleni, which ironically has seen a number of housing development projects carried out by the City of Cape Town municipality over the past four. Of particular interest to me was Garden City, a relatively small area that forms part of the township. Garden City to this day has remained isolated from any infrastructure development projects that have been carried out in some of its surrounding areas.

I then spoke to the current community leader, Malibongwe Yisa, who gave me a detailed explanation of the reasons surrounding the delayed development of the area. One of them was that the previous community leadership, that has since been replaced and driven out of the community altogether was corrupt and only sought to advance its own interests rather than those of the community. Another obstacle to the development was a lack of funding for the project, which according to him has since been secured through the assistance of the Western Cape provincial government. As it currently stands, the area comprises of only informal settlements(Shacks), which tend to be a challenging living space under harsh weather conditions.

Furthermore, the area development project had been underway this past year but was soon halted after it had been said that people would be forced to share plots, which didn’t sit well with community members. In response, the municipality set aside a nearby piece of land and the project is slated to resume on the of June this.

I tied this story to elections primarily because of how much it draws in how a sometimes trivialized process such as election participation can have high implications for those in the less privileged spectrum of society.

 

 

 

A review of Chocolat: The Film

Chocolate is a British-American romantic comedy-drama film that is based on the 1999 novel Chocolate by Joanne Harris. Furthermore, the film was directed by prolific Swedish film-director Lasse Hallstrom. Staring Juliete Binoche as Vienne. The film tells the story of a young mother who’s arrival at the village of Lansquenet-sous-Tannes with her six-year-old daughter to open a La Chocolaterie Maya.

The film opens with a narrative rendition about the village and the behavioral nature of its community. The narrator further tells the story of Vienne Rocher (Juliette Binoche), an expert chocolatier who drifts across Europe with her daughter Anouk (Victoire Thivisol), following the north wind.

The demeanor of the people that reside in the village is largely characterized by a sense of compulsive adherence to the long-held tradition of “tranquillité”. A rigid form of self-discipline and morality, with the mayor at its helm, The Comte de Reynaud (Alfred Molina)is duty-bound in ensuring that his authority goes without question from any dissidents. S

It is also for this reason that it does take long before they are made to realize that, their arrival has become the main reason for much of the events that materialize throughout the of the film. As the rivalry between Vianne and Reynaud intensifies, a band of river Romani camp out on the outskirts of the village. They fall to the embrace of Vienne and her daughter who invites them to her chocolatier, after which, a mutual attraction develops, which them culminates to a spiral of events that test their tolerance to the indifference imposed on them by the villagers.

From the standpoint of someone who has watched the film for the very time since its release 17 years ago, it is safe to say that, at first glance, the retrospective picture quality of the movie leaves much to be desired. This, of course, compensated for by the fact that the events depicted in the story take place during the winter season of 1959.

One can also point to the directors’ creative spirit when it comes to his use of subtlety in portraying scenes that prompt a variety of emotional responses from its audience. Ranging anywhere between utter outrage, towards the Comte de Reynaud’s for his devious and conniving ways, to a deep sense of empathy to for Vienne as it seems, that at every turn of  an attempt, her concerted efforts to be a part of the community are thwarted by the very same man to whom she has done no wrong.

Chocolate embodies an essence of optimism towards the concept of non-conformity. This reveals itself most prominently in the story when one realizes that, being an atheist during those times, came at the cost of religion being used against you.  If there is one thing that all preceding reviewers of the film can agree upon, it is that Chocolate becomes the star of the story. A catalyst of positive change, an enabler of love under the guise of spontaneity, a sneak-peek out of the window of conformity, a trigger of resistance and a revealer of false pretenses.

This brings me to how the director shows his experience in the field by using chocolate, a type of food that finds familiarity in being associated with romance to personify man’s relationship to food in ways that, at face value, would seem insignificant, but make sense upon closer observation. A good example of this is the film’s tag-line “One taste is not enough” implying that the act of embracing new experiences, like a bite on a piece of chocolate, for instance, is usually accompanied by a sense of belonging that is strong enough to build new relationships.

The method of storytelling used in the film the serves as a reminder that as people, we always have a way of finding refuge in the food that we consume, the family spirit that it brings about in our gatherings with loved ones and how it is embedded in our cultural identity. In all respects, the film rightfully earned it’s away to all of its 5 five Academy Award-nominations, eight BAFTA nominations as well as four Golden Globe award nominations.

Chocolate is the kind of film that I would recommend to those of my peers, that mostly prefer to take on an introspective outlook on the concept of love, both in terms of its general definition as well as romantic context. Having watched the film twice prior to writing this review. I would say that there is a reasonable amount difficulty that comes with finding fallible parts in the telling of its story.

 

Ends/761

 

References:

En.wikipedia.org. (2018). Chocolat (novel). [online] Available at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chocolat_(novel) [Accessed 16 Oct. 2018].

IMDb. (2018). Chocolat (2000). [online] Available at: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0241303/plotsummary?ref_=tt_stry_pl#synopsis [Accessed 16 Oct. 2018].

 

 

 

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South African women have had enough!

 

Hot on the hills of the globally celebrated Madiba month (July), the 1st of August, which marks the beginning of Women’s month was off to a vigorous start. The dress-code was of black and red was a reflection of a united crowd as women, gathered in their numbers on Wednesday morning, in preparation for the #Totalshutdown. A national women’s march in protest against gender-based violence against women and the Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Quire (LGBTQ) community.

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Participants of the #totalshutdown march in Cape Town                         Photo: Bulelani Dyomfana

The march comes after a number of widely publicised violent crimes against women throughout the country, particularly over the past five to three years. The most notable being, the murder of the then 22-year-old Karabo Mokoena by her boyfriend this past year, through which it is alleged that, after killing her, he had her mutilated and then went on to have her body burnt with petrol to dispose of it.

“I was there. I [removed] the body from my apartment. I put a tyre around her and burnt her. “I put petrol on her and walked away,” he said in his during his bail application. The murder not only shocked the country, but it also triggered a wide-spread outcry amongst women, with the hashtag #Menaretrash dominating social media.

In Cape Town, however, the early hours of Wednesday morning proved to be much more busy than usual as women of all backgrounds took to the streets in solidarity and marched to parliament to hand over a memorandum of grievances. South African actress, businesswoman, and television personality Bonnie Mbuli, as well as Democratic Alliance Member of the National Assembly Phumzile Van Damme,  were among the well-known public personalities who took part in the march.

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Members of the SAPS preparing to escort people                       Image taken:  Bulelani Dyomfana

It is public knowledge that domestic abuse, at a national level, has gone from bad to worse in recent years. Statistical data gathered by the South African Police Service (SAPS) in the period 2016 to 2017 is a testament to the extent to which domestic violence has become increasingly entrenched in South Africa. According to these crime statistics, at a provincial level, the Western Cape is not exempt from being one of the prominent are in which crimes committed against women and children during that period, as it indicates on Graph 18 that the Western Cape is among the most prominent provinces in which women and children were victims are Gauteng with a total of 49 164 counts, followed by the Western Cape (46 199 counts), KwaZulu Northern Cape (7 676 counts), while the other remaining provinces recorded an average 14 000 counts per annum.

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The total shutdown is one such organized interest group that was born from the government’s inefficiency in combating gender-based violence on a national scale. The main aim of the #Totalshudown is to raise public awareness of the prevalence of gender-based violence in every aspect, this also includes violence against the rest of the LGBTQ community.  “I’m here for every woman that has found herself subjected to all kinds abuse in the hands of a man that claims to care for her,” said Linda, a third-year student at the University of the Western Cape.

One of the women who took part in the march took the opportunity to express her grievances and  reservations toward gender-based violence by including chains as part of her dress code. “These chains are meant to show you that this is what being abused for more than 20 years feels like. The longer you stay the harder it is to get out” she explained. The march had a strong message to convey, in that although there was a largely diverse number of participants, young women where at the forefront. A significant moment that shows the growing discourse around matters that society tends to deem too sensitive discuss.

 

 

 

The State and Mfuleni: Politics of Township Violence

 

Although it is generally understood as merely the act of when one person exerts a physical force, usually out of emotional aggression, onto another, with the main intent to cause physical harm or damage to property. Violence in and of itself is not only a multi-faceted concept. But it is also one that takes on a number of definitions as well as classifications depending, largely on the context in which it is being used to examine the impact it has had and continues to have in shaping our societies.

This blog seeks to look at and analyze the impact of violence in the modern townships. This includes examining the philosophical theories of violence in order to gauge the extent to which they correlate to the current state of this modern township community.  However, the main point of focus is on Mfuleni, a small township situated 40 kilometers from the city of Cafope Town in the province of the Western Cape, South Africa.

As a countermeasure to avoid digression between the context in which these theories of violence relate to the societal conditions of this township, One has made use of the three pronged typologies of violence formulated by Norwiegen theorist, Johan Galtung  . An additional reason is that, in drawing the distinction between these three types, Galtung not only defines the concept of violence but also points to the circumstances that usually materialize, which usually results in working-class communities being subjected to social stratification on the basis of race class and gender.

According to Galtung ; Direct Violence represents behaviors that serve to threaten life itself and/or to diminish one’s capacity to meet basic human needs. Examples include killing, maiming, bullying, sexual assault, and emotional manipulation.

Structural Violence, on the other hand, represents the systematic ways in which some groups are hindered from equal access to opportunities, goods, and services that enable the fulfillment of basic human needs. These can be formal as in legal structures that enforce marginalization (such as apartheid in South Africa) or they could be culturally functional but without the legal mandate (such as limited access to education or health care for marginalized groups).

The last of these typologies, according to Gultang is Cultural Violence, which represents the existence of prevailing or prominent social norms that make direct and structural violence seem “natural” or “right” or at least acceptable. For example, the belief that Africans are primitive and intellectually inferior to Caucasians gave sanction to the African slave trade.  Galtung’s understanding of cultural violence helps explain how prominent beliefs can become so embedded in a given culture that they function as absolute and inevitable and are reproduced uncritically across generations.

The township known to many of its residents as eMfuleni, is a small township with a land area of 13.46-kilometer square and is a relatively young township compared to two of its more well-renowned neighboring townships, namely, Khayelitsha and Delft. It is a predominantly Black Township, with a mass population of 52 274, which translates to 3 883.98 people per kilometer square, The town plays host to a 95, 9% Black African Population, with 0, 21% being white and the remainder being 3% Coloured, and 0.10% being Indian or Asian according to Census 2011.

Most of the people who have have been residents in this township for longer periods were relocated there to Mfuleni during the latter stages of the 1990’s due accessive floods and shack fires that were occurred often in different townships across the province, such as PhilippiNyanga, and Khayelitsha. Hence, the mixed nature of the community.

Although this disproportion in diversity often results in it being much easier for the community to relate in exercising their political rights and freedom of expression. For the most part, one is inclined to be of the view that the current political climate in Mfuleni is largely characterized by a lot of development, particularly in that of its housing sector.

Furthermore, in tackling issues that relate addressing its sociopolitical problems. One finds that it is also a community that is not exempt from most of the socio-political as well as socio-economic issues that are common amongst other predominantly black townships along the Cape Flats.

At a local government level, Mfuleni is governed by two wards, Ward 16 which operates as representative of the Democratic Alliance well as Ward 108 of the African National Congress . Ward 108 is the largest in the Mfuleni in terms of governing territory as well as voter support concentrated specifically in the township as it covers Fairdale – Fountain Village – Mfuleni.  Ward 16, on the other hand, covers more territory, but mostly in neighboring areas that are remotely located outside of Mfuleni such as:  Dreamworld – Driftsands (South of Old Faure Road and Mfuleni build-up, south-west of Eersterivier Way/Spine Road, Faure and Dreamworld build-up, north-east of N2 Freeway) – Eersteriver south – Eersterivier (South-east of Forest Drive, south-west Francoline-, Egret-, Bernadine-, Arlene-, Norman-, Beverley and Van Riebeeck Street, north-west of Stratford Avenue) – Electric City – Faure as well as Forest Village.

Violence, in its varying forms as defined above by Gultang, is often instigated as result of the community’s prolonged frustrations over poor service-delivery by the state. Which then results in intensified protests or other criminal activity. This is usually an unresolved issue, with not much in the way of intervention by the state, until things begin to escalate to a level in which the residents resort to barricading roads with burning tires and damaging state property. This points to the violent nature of the relationship between the community of Mfuleni and The state. Most residents say that they usually turn to violence as last resort upon realizing that they have exhausted all of the other alternative means of communication in voicing out their grievances to local government officials.

A more recent example of this is when, according to an article published by ground up on the 08th of March earlier this year, Police fired teargas to disperse residents who were rioting and barricading Nqubelani Street with burning tires in Extension Six, Mfuleni, on a Wednesday afternoon.  Then the following morning, residents made further attempts to occupy vacant land and erect shacks, but the Anti-land Invasion Unit (ALIU) and Law Enforcement demolished the shacks. A riot followed the next morning, which then resulted in damage on people’s property as well as surrounding businesses. As result of this, some of the demaged infrastracture remains unrepair for reasons not stated by the community’s civils servents.

Upon careful observation of the fundamental cause of the violence that is prevalant in townships, particularly in Mfulen. One finds that, to a large extent, it corralates to Frantz Fanon’s aguement in his book “The Wretchet of the Earth” published  in 1963. Fanon argues that the use violnce in overthrowing colonial rule is justified, because colonialism itself, is an act of violence that is sustained by a contued threat. Futhermore, Fanon goes on to point out that under colonial rule, non-white people are forced into a status of second-class citizenship in which they are denied economic as well as educational oppornitiess. As result end up not being treated with respect. This according to Fanon can only lead to a growing intolerance by the native before they lose their patience entirely with the colonisers.

In empahsisng the premise of his arguement, Fanon further states that a movement by the urban bourgeoisie would merely result in a compromise with the colonisers, and that in turn would result in the establishment a new state that would not be much different from that of its oppresive period. Furthermore, the compromise would, for the most part, be to the benefit of the bourgeoisie, with them submiting to a subserviant position to the colonisers, with the exeption of  a few privilages and way of living that is characterised by a continued reliance on the colonisers. Fanon argues this is an outcome that would further oppress those natives would are at the pesentry level of society.

To conlude on his premise, Fanon further expresses that, even if the colonisers are later driven out by the urban bourgeoisie, they would still mantain access to the colonised society through the agency of the bourgeoisie as the colonial system would still be in place, at the expense and further exploitation of the lower-class natives. Thus Fanon argued that the coloniser must be forcefully drive out of the society and an entirely new system be put in place that would prioritize the native as opposed to the colonisers.

Thus, in accordance with Fanon’s theory on violence; the structural as well as direct violence that is currently prevalant in the community of Mfuleni is predominently rooted in the displacement as well as social stratification of black communities dating from as far back in time as the days of the arparthied regime. This is despite South Africa’s first democratic election in 1994, in which the government that undertook the responsibility of assuming political power, made notable progress in improving the lives of the previously economically marginalized, and yet in a similar vain, has found itself in a compromised position in which, the majority of  black South African live in abject poverty.

 

 

References:

 Fanon, F. (1963). On Violence. [online] Abahlali.org. Available at: http://abahlali.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Frantz-Fanon-The-Wretched-of-the-Earth-1965.pdf [Accessed 7 Jun. 2018].

Galtung, J., 1969. Violence, peace, and peace research. Journal of peace research6(3), pp.167-191. Accessed: 08 June 2018, at: https://scholar.google.co.za/scholar?hl=en&as_sdt=0%2C5&q=johan+galtung+structural+violence&oq=Johan+G

Galtung, J., 1990. Cultural violence. Journal of peace research27(3), pp.291-305. Accessed: 07 June

 

 

 

 

Building wealth through financial education and empowerment with Socialize Invest and Trade (S I T)

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Members of the Social Investment and Trade                Image Source: http://www.sitinvest.co.za

The Social Investment and Trade (S.I.T ) is an investment club that was founded on the 30 November 2013 by Business Analyst and Strategist Consultant at Epiphany Consulting business analyst Lazola Belle, Mojalefa Mputi, who is the club’s Marketing manager as well as four of their colleagues. It operates primarily on the mandate of teaching its members about saving and investing, particularly on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE). According to an interview on the hustle and flow podcast.

The founding members of the investment club are based in Johannesburg. According to Lazola Belle, the Social Investment and Trade club’s founding is model shares similarities to that of a Stokvel. In that, it takes a communal as well as an educational approach to teaching its members the knowledge and skills required to manage their investments. However, Belle also draws an equally important distinction between the two. Stovel’s are founded on the basis of proportionally accumulating funds, only to dissolve them over a short time period, usually in the period of twelve months. Furthermore, he goes on to point out that stokvels are vulnerable to inflation as well as other fluctuating market forces  “Stokvels are more consumption vehicles instead of investment vehicles.” he says, as he draws to the conclusion that stokvels are founded on the basis of desperation for swiftly generated income for further consumption rather than to sustaining it.

“That’s a very interesting distinction. On the one hand, you have the Stokvel which is born out of desperation. On the one hand, you have an investment club which is born out of excess, which is abundance. That in itself then dictates what you do in the club. If you are in a Stokvel you have something that dictates that every 12 months I must get something. If you are in an investment club, you understand things like 5 years, 10 years, 15 years – time value of money and that completely changes the dynamics.”

An investment club, on the other hand, is also founded on a model of accumulation of funds, but the fundamental difference to it is that the fund is sustained for a longer time period. This achieved through exposing the fund to strong market forces in order for it to generate passive income for its members over long periods of time. “If we start milking the calf before it becomes a cow, it is a bit of a problem.”

The Investment club was founded on 30 of November 2013 and has been operating nearly five years. On the spectrum of South Africa’s small to medium enterprises business sector, the Club forms part of the financial sector that mainly operates within the realm of saving and investing funds. Its main objectives according to its website are:

Educating its members about saving and investing, particularly investing directly on the stock exchange. And aims to grow and develop a culture of saving and investing amongst its members. With a focus on facilitating positive social interactions that will ultimately lead to future prosperity.

Invest funds on JSE instruments which allow for a maintained gradual return with mitigated Invest funds on JSE instruments which allow for a maintained gradual return with mitigated risk, instruments such as ETFs, Unit Trusts etc.

Adopt a forward-looking investment philosophy which focuses on long-term growth, while at the same time delivering an annual dividend. And to provide a platform where members educate each other about financial management, investments, savings and other topics of interest which could aid member’s development

In explaining the challenges that they face Lazola points out that some of their members tend to join the club with the wrong mindset, namely wanting to draw funds from the pool within a short time period. The club focuses a lot of emphasis on the importance of being financially literate, mainly because the majority of South Africans tend to adopt a mentality of extensive spending with little to no regard to exposing themselves to high levels of debt. The majority of South Africans are not aware of investing as a lucrative method of generating passive income in order to be better enabled and financially equipped to fund their own business endeavors and institutions.

Another distinguishable aspect of Social Investment and Trade club is that it takes the form of an educational platform for investing and saving rather than that of a business in the traditional sense. Lazola also points out that the main advantage of an investment club is that it is founded with an educational element of realizing the psychological aspect that, money loses value over time and that there’s a common tendency of prioritizing spending upon attaining income, namely a salary as opposed to investing a portion of it first and then tending to one’s expenses afterwards. Among other challenges that the club tends to encounter, Is when members are faced with a pressurizing financial problem, they tend to sacrifice their portion of funds from the club and end up giving up on their investment journey and thus leaving the club. This what Lazola refers to as having a consumption mindset rather than an investment mindset.

Upon on its initial stages, the founding members consulted an experienced expert in the field of directly investing in the stock exchange,  mainly the JSE. Mike Brown of ETFSA in order to better educate themselves about which area of investing was best for starting their fund. Mike Brown is an experience financial adviser and is registered to the Financial Services Board of South Africa (FSB). Mike then recommended that they invest in Exchange Traded Funds(ETFs), tThe video below gives a briefer and more  understandable explanation as to what Exchange Traded Funds are:

Upon having gathered enough of the basic information that is required to get started, they decided to invest an initial amount of R1000 into their fund. Within the period of three years, the invested amount had accumulated to over R500 000. Belle does however point out that they have made mistakes along the way and have  learnt a number of lesson in terms of what path to avoid.

 

 

 

 

 

Legends Live Forever

 

Picture yourself as a student, Sauntering about, just going through yet another one of his mostly boring days in the drought  stricken City of Cape Town. You find your self walking side by side with two people, who seem to be more focused their topic of conversation than the very crowded road they are that they happen to be walking on.

Their voices are raised way too high for them to care enough to know that I may be listening in. The topic in question is regards to the better of two American rap artists that are deemed legends by the American music industry and other rap music enthusiasts around the world. 2 Pac Omari Shakur and Eminem [Marshal Mathers the III].

On the one end of the of this heavily engaged pop-culture debate, it is argued that 2 Pac has more legendary status than Eminem purely on the basis that he believed that, he was the most consequential rap artist, despite having had a shorter career span in the music industry. due to his untimely death on September 13, 1996. Needless to say, the other holder of this contentious verbal exchange was opposed to this opinion.

What these two conversates have in common, is that the media shaped their perceptions of who they deemed to be regarded as a legend. Now legend is a word that carries a profound amount of weight and often finds itself reserved only for those who are most deserving of it. Highly opinionated critics protect its integrity by subjecting its use or misuse to an utmost amount of scrutiny.

Tupac, for instance, was not a gangster but was considered to be one of the most prominent voices of West Coast gangster-rap in during his rapid rise on the rap and hip-hop scene in the early to mid-90’s. In a history section article by TIME magazine’s Lily Rothman, entitled 20 Years After Tupac’s Death: A Symbol of Possibility, of Life Cut Short”, In it, Rothman States that: “ When the rapper and actor Tupac Shakur died of September. 13, 1996 TIME called his murder “ a defining nightmare for a gangsta-rap world whose paranoid royalty seem increasingly compelled to live out the grotesque violence that fills its art”. The article further states that: In 20 years since, however, his legacy has proved to be about much more than that  “ gangsta-rap world”. The main point of the article forms basis around research findings conducted for a book titled  Icons of Dissent: The Global Resonance of Che, Marley, Tupac and Bin Laden by Jeremy Presentholt, an associate professor in the Department of History at UC San Diego. He [Tupac] had a “global resonance” and, as quoted by the TIMES article “more complicated and more nuanced than what I was familiar with from an American perspective”. It is clear then that a legend is a prestigious term, reserved exclusively for those whose names will stand the test of time and live on for generations.

Even in listening to some of the songs that were released shortly prior to his death. One can conclude that Tupac knew that his death was imminent. Thus he dedicated his lyrical ability to speak out against social injustices that occurred during his time, thus he is still revered by rap and hip-hop fanatics and activists alike, as a legend in the music industry. The article reference used above further how the media blurs the lines when it comes to how it shapes our perception of what is ‘legend’ in a more exposed the Arts.

A notable example of this is the how the same the same word, ‘Legend’ is contextualized when telling life stories of prominent politicians Such as Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King junior as well as Malcolm X. All three of these individuals played a significant role within the span of their respective political careers. But one finds that their narrative is often told differently by media.

 

 

Reference links:

For Feature image:

Spin. (2018). Tupac’s Mother Sues Death Row’s New Owners for $1.1 Million. [online] Available at: https://www.spin.com/2013/09/tupac-shakur-afeni-royalties-death-row-lawsuit-unreleased/ [Accessed 17 May 2018].

 

ROELAND STREET: The Mother City’s Back-yard enterance

Situated on the southeast precinct of the city of Cape Town, as you approach the end the De Waal Drive headed towards the City. One finds his or her exciting drive being forced to abide by the 60 kilometers per hour speed limit of the perfectly functional dreaded speed-trap camera on the left-hand side of the road, as you breeze past Central Fire Station & Centrale Brandweerstasie towards the first intersection, you are greeted by the embrace of an alarmingly busy descending road known as Roeland Street.

 

Roeland Street 1A view of Roeland  Street from Juta Avenue                                        Bulelani   Dyomfana     
     

However from the perspective of someone who decides to take a morning stroll down the street, Roeland comes to life in an entirely different way, from the intensity of heavy road traffic flow, the honking horns, and middle fingers thrown up during incidents of road rage among impatient motorists rushing to get to work, to the sullen face of a destitute beggar standing dead-center in the middle of the road holding up a plaque or cardboard that reads “No Job” “No Money” or  “Willing to work for food”, to police sirens blaring down the road as prisoners are being escorted to court. Roeland Street is the only part of the city that effortlessly exposes you to this level of visual stimulation.

 

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CPUT, Roeland Street Campus                                                                                      Bulelani Dyomfana

 

It is also the only street in the city where one is able to grab a coffee at Barista Cup, A coffee shop situated on the design garage of the Roeland Street Campus of the Peninsula University of Technology.

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Barista Cup Coffee Shop                                                                                         Bulelani Dyomfana

                                                                                                                     

 

 

However from the perspective of someone who decides to take a morning stroll down the street, Roeland comes to life in an entirely different way, from the intensity of heavy road traffic flow, the honking horns, and middle fingers thrown up during incidents of road rage among impatient motorists rushing to work, to the sullen face of a destitute beggar standing, dead-center in the middle of the road, holding up a plaque or cardboard that reads “No Job” “No Money” and  “Willing to work for food”, to the police sirens blaring down the road as prisoners are being escorted to court.

 

Roeland Street is the only part of the city that effortlessly exposes you to this level of visual stimulation. It is also the only street in the city where one is able to anonymously marvel at the beauty of pole-dancers while filling up the Engine Service Station facing up toward De Villiers Street.

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Western Cape Archives and Records Services                                                         Bulelani dyomfana

A Street rich in history as it is in its contemporary modern form. One such place is the Western Cape Archives and Records Services, which is responsible for managing and preserving records that form part of the City’s sparsely diverse heritage, it is said that the records date as far back as 1651, the time at which the first Dutch colonial settlers arrived in the city. Not only are the records preserved for government use but they are also made available to the South African public, which makes the street an ideal start for tourists who wish to know about the history of modern-day Cape Town.

 

More than just a beautiful backyard for a taking a sneak-peek into Cape Town’s history, Roeland street also plays host to a number of remarkable spots, one of which is the European-Inspired café and espresso bar Vida e Caffé, and an ideal spot for catching up with your mate over a cup of fresh ground coffee or rather that coffee date you want to get right the first time around.

 

Reoland Square                                                                                                           Bulelani Dyomfana

Reoland Square, which boast numerous tech and gadget shops such as Digicape.

dav
Digicape, Situated in Roeland Square                                                                       Bulelani Dyomfana

A tech-gadget store that is the only premium re-seller of Apple products in South Africa, besides Apple’s iStore. Digicape subscribes to maintaining the same level of standard as the iStore, so much so that one is indistinguishable from the other, as digicape has adopted the same layout of interior decoration.

 

All in all, Roeland Street is more than just a backyard route to commute in and out of the city for the middle-class, and the elite to and from work, politicians to and from parliament and convicts from court to prison, rather a steep route that holds a connotative value characterized by proximity between the past and future through facilities that preserve the city’s heritage and retail outlets that market products that prepare people, particularly the youth for the future. One can only hope that many get to see the street for what it truly is, a marvel to behold.

References:

Feature Image Credit

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/the-26-major-cities-with-the-highest-quality-of-life-in-the-world-a7720651.html

 

 

South African journalists or media endorsing/supporting political parties

Post-Apartheid South Africa is ranked amongst the best countries in the world when it comes to press freedom, but with that in mind, South Africa is also a nation in which state intervention, is the predominant approach to resolving its problems. Thus, in this context, is then easy for one to understand way political power is so sparsely divided namely between branches government such as the Executive, Legislature, and Judiciary. However, the media on the other hand, as one of the chapter nine institutions of South Africa, and bears the responsibility playing of being a watchdog, ensuring there is a reasonable amount of scrutiny towards the way our constitutional democracy is presided over by figures of state authority.

Much of the same can be said of South Africa’s Media Industry, particularly journalism. South Africa’s political arena has values, in the context of ethics, to abide by, just as much as South African media. This blog looks to centre it’s focus around the importance of ethical values that underpin the profession of journalism as it relates to the choice of topic: South African journalists or media endorsing or supporting political party, in which we will evaluate the context in which, ethics, which by definition, are “the means by which one assesses the nature of human behaviour insofar as we are able to judge whether an action or motive or the consequence thereof is right or wrong by referring to a determinative set of principles” (Oosthuizen, 2011) and values being “a preference for a particular principle or action which usually results in an achievement of some kind of social good”, (Oosthuizen, 2011) does bring one’s attention to why the importance of these two concepts underpin any system of thought.

Value-based practices are normative, which means that they are formulated based on what people ought to do, thus pointing out that, the professional values journalism is entirely based on media ethics, particularly Normative-ethics, which specifically deal with social expectations for conduct (Oosthuizen,2011)

It then follows that journalists ought to conduct themselves in a way that is in accordance with the media values of their publication or media house, but what is also of key importance, is that, for media houses, there is a level of integrity and credibility that need to protected by adhering to professional journalism values such as Accuracy, Impartiality, Balance, Independence and Public Interest.

One such example that relates the topic of South African or Media journalist endorsing or supporting political parties, was when on Thursday 4th of February 2016 the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters, Julius Malema spoke very strongly of ANN7 and TNA journalists at a press conference held at the EFF’s headquarters in Braamfontein, saying that Gupta owned news channel and newspaper were operating as “cartels” and “the mafia” and are not welcome to EFF events. (Britton, 2016). This is an example of when professional values of politicians and that of South African journalists diverge, which then results in acts of conflict such the above-mentioned statements made by Julius Malema towards ANN7 and The New Age journalists.

Upon speaking to Radio702 breakfast host John Robbie on Friday the next morning, National Spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi would go on to clarify Malema’s statement by saying that the EFF was not threatening the Gupta-Owned media house, but rather were running a political campaign against the Guptas and their relationship with President Jacob Zuma “We reserve the rights of admission. They are barred. We don’t think that they qualify to be called Press” (Britton, 2016)

But the Code of ethics and conduct for South African print and online media preamble states that “The media exists to serve society. Their freedom provides for independent scrutiny of the forces that shape society and is essential to realizing the promised democracy. It enables citizens to make informed judgments on the issues of the day, a role whose centrality is recognized in the South African Constitution” (Code of ethics and conduct for South African print and online media, 2016)

In which section 16 of the Bill of Rights provides that: “(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, which includes:

  • Freedom of the press and other media;
  • Freedom to receive and impart information or ideas;
  • Freedom of artistic creativity; and
  • Academic Freedom and freedom of scientific research

(2) The rights in subsection (1) does not extend to:

(a) Propaganda for war;

(b) Incitement of imminent violence; or

(c) Advocacy of hatred that is based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutes incitement to cause harm.” (The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 2015)

 

Thus, the clash of professional value systems between the Economic Freedom Fighters and that of The New Age and ANN7 journalists, is self-evident that whatever lack (such as impartiality or independence there) is in conforming to and adhering to the values of good journalism by journalists or media houses will or does culminate in conflict which in turn compromises credibility.

South African journalists are also ethically obligated by section 2 sub-section 2.1 the Press Code of Ethics which states that “The media shall not allow commercial, political, personal or other non-professional considerations to influence or slanted reporting. Conflicts of interest must be avoided, as well as” (Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African print and online media, 2016)

The Economic Freedom Fighters may have been correct in pointing out the conflict of interest within the Gupta owned media house, by the association with president Jacob Zuma. But they or not a regulatory body and thus have no authority to restrict the operations of journalists from ANN7 and The New Age.

 

 

 

References:

 

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.,2016, The Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, Pretoria.

 

The Press Obudsman,2016, Code of ethics and conduct for South African print and online media, Press Council, South Africa Viewed 11 October 2017 from: http://www.presscouncil.org.za/ContentPage?code=PRESSCODE

 

Oosthuizen, L. 2011. Media Ethics as a field of study in the South African Context. Juta.

Britton. N.,2016, ‘ANN7 and The New Age don’t qualify to be called Press’- Mbuyiseni Ndlozi, Johannesburg, Viewed on 11 October 2017 from:  www.702.co.za/articles/11342/ndlozi-ann7-new-age-restriction

 

 

 

Home is where the heart is even when it comes to food

 

As a young boy who grew up in the former Transkei region of the Eastern Cape province, in a rural village called eCiko located on the outskirts of a small town called Willowvale. Traditional Xhosa food had always been and still is the norm. And thus for the longest time, our most frequent diet, as a family of 13, was predominantly starch-based foods. That means that often times we would alternate between Umvubo (Which is a mixture of Creamed Milk with dry pap) and Umgqusho (Samp and Beans) and for breakfast Amagwinya (Fat Cakes), Umbhako (Traditionally baked bread) or uDodorhoyi (Steamed Bread) as our most frequent diet.

XHOSA FOOD
Traditional Xhosa Dish: Umgusho (Samp and Beans)

Other additions to our frequent diet were: Imifino (Wild spinach mixed with maize-meal), Umqa (Pumpkin mixed with maize-meal) and freshly garden-grown maze (on a seasonal basis). I make the point of focusing on my home of origin because that is where I experienced food and most of the challenges that come with attaining it. However, even at home in the Eastern Cape during that period, there were modern exceptions to the rule such as rice, pilchards, various combinations of freshly grown vegetables. Something else I often found fascinating about the food back home, was that the majority of the food, particularly most of our vegetables and corn were home-grown as opposed to being purchased from retail outlets. The same can be said about our milk, which was also milked directly from one of the cattle in my grandfather’s cattle-kraal each morning.

Fast-forward to 15 October 2012, when for the very first time I moved to Cape Town, more specifically a dusty young township known as Mfuleni situated in the Cape Flats region that is roughly 5 kilometers shy of Khayelitsha, which is by far the biggest township in the Western Cape.

Things are entirely different in Mfuleni compared to Willowvale when it comes to food economy. The township is poverty-stricken, due to the fact that the majority of its residents have fallen prey to economic inequality and live below the poverty-line, the landscape is mostly sand instead of soil and people do not grow their own food but rather, rely on purchasing cheap and nutritionally deprived foods from, Tuckshops, Vegetable-Stands and Other available retail outlets.

With this in mind, I think organizations such as Oranjezicht City Farm are vital for impoverished communities such as mine to not only reap the benefits of having various projects through which they can grow their own food but to also learn to make better health decisions with regards to what they eat.

For me personally, as a student-journalist, the best approach in resolving this problem would be to host meetings with community leaders and conduct talks in which we collaboratively encourage community members to harvest their own vegetables and other plant-based foods, open a chain of soup-kitchens and educate whilst feeding the impoverished about the food which they eat. This would also require additional state-resources such the use of the Mfuleni Community Hall, as well as a more direct involvement of state officials such as Mfuleni’s ward councilor.

References:

Click to access The%20Food%20Dialogues%20Report%20-%20web%20friendly.pdf

http://www.picknpay.co.za/recipe-search-results/umgqusho-samp-and-beans

http://southboundbride.com/traditional-xhosa-wedding-monica-dart-tembakazi-mateli/