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Letters from our readers 1984 No 6

Dear Learn and Teach I want you to help me. I am an artist. I paint pictures of people and the land. That is my talent. I have passed standard nine and now I want to go to art school. But there is no art school in Port EIizabeth. I also have a wife so I can’t go back to school. Can you tell me where I can study art by correspondence? Mackson Mkalelwa Port EIizabeth

Thanks for your letter Mackson. We phoned the Education Information Centre for advice. They say there is only one art course by correspondence – a Fine Arts Degree at UNISA. Write to UNISA for more information. Their address is: UNISA, P.O. Box 392, Pretoria, 0001. If people want to know about courses or bursaries, they can write to the Education Information Centre (EIC) for help. Their address is. 601 Dunwell House, 35 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein, 2001. Tel: (011) 339 -2476. In the meantime, keep drawing and painting Mackson. Why not send us a picture for the magazine’ That would be very, very nice. -editor

Dear Learn and Teach Can you please explain something to me. I know many people who were not paid when their company closed down. What can these people do? Please don’t put my name in your magazine! G.T. Boksburg

When a company closes down, the firm must pay all the money they owe their workers. Workers must get their wages, notice pay, leave pay and pension money. But if workers don’t get their money, they must try to see a lawyer for help. Or they can go to an advice office like the Industrial Aid Society. Their address is: 1st Floor Chester House, Cnr Simmonds and Jeppe Street, Johannesburg. -editor

Dear Learn and Teach Please put my letter in your magazine. I began reading your magazine in February this year. I enjoy reading the magazine very much. I give you many thanks for the magazine and I wish you good luck for the future. Matyoka Otto Orangemund

Dear Learn and Teach Will you please help us here in Bedford Centre. We workers have no place to sit during our lunch time. Everytime we go on lunch we suffer. Yet there are hundreds of benches around the place. But we black people are not allowed to sit on them. There is a man at the centre who is very rude. He always chases us from inside the centre. We also have another problem. Our toilets are very dirty. Will you please help us or tell us what we can do? A. Worker Bedford Centre

Learn and Teach phoned the manager of Bedford Centre, – a man called Mr Smith. He said: “First of all, there are not 100 benches but six altogether. A lot of workers have lunch on these benches. They eat things like pap and they leave a mess. Then we have to clean up after them. Sometimes they come and just sit the whole day. I think these people are just selfish. Many of them have canteens. Why don’t they use their canteens. We also have other workers here, black and white. And many pensioners come and shop here. Where must these people sit’ Learn and Teach asked him about the dirty toilets. He said “I don’t know about that. I must investigate that.” Mr Smith then invited us to come and look at the centre ourselves. But we did not go because we feel that Mr Smith does not really care about this problem. He said he won’t talk to the man who chases people off the benches because “he is just doing his job.” Maybe all the workers at Bedford centre must join together and demand their rights. They could maybe have a meeting and choose people to speak to Mr Smith. Maybe he will then listen. Or if some of the workers are members of trade unions, maybe the trade union can help. We wonder how Mr Smith will feel if somebody told him where to sit, or what bus to catch, or where he can live. And we wonder how his domestic worker feels when he leaves a mess? Or doesn’t he ever leave a mess? –editor

Dear Learn and Teach I read your magazine. I think it is wonderful. Can you please tell me about pap smears and can you please tell me about breast cancer. My sister has this kind of cancer. She is my one and only sister. Please help me. Miriam Mphahlele Kwa-Thema

We are sorry to hear about your sister Miriam We have done a story on pap smears in one of our old magazines. We will send you a copy. We will do a story on breast cancer very soon. Every woman must know about this dangerous sick­ness. But in the meantime, let us quickly say something. If a woman finds a lump in her breast, she must go and see a doctor straight­ away. If doctors find breast cancer early, they can save the woman’s life. Thanks for writing and please pass our regards to your sister. Our thoughts are with her. -editor

Dear Learn and Teach I like reading your magazine. It is a real friend of mine. Can you please give me advice. I work for a security company in Durban. We work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. We get no overtime pay and we don’t get paid extra on holidays. Please give me some advice. L.M. Kwa-Mashu

Nightwatchmen and guards must not work more than 60 hours a week. (Meals are counted as working time.) If they work extra, they must get overtime pay. Nightwatchmen and guards must also get 3 weeks leave a year. But don’t speak to your boss by yourself. He may fire you. Rather speak to your fellow workers first. Talk to them about joining a trade union. Unity is your best weapon. -editor

Dear Learn and Teach I am a young man of 22 years. I started reading Learn and Teach after I picked it up in the street on my way home. I found the magazine very helpful. I wanted to buy the next magazine but I couldn’t find it anywhere. I want to get the magazine to our people. Please send me information. Steve Kanime Tsumeb, Namibia

Dear Learn and Teach It is with great pleasure that I write to you. I want to tell you that many friends like your magazine. Whenever I get a magazine, my friends borrow it from me. They take it before I start to read it. So please tell me how I can get enough magazines for all my friends? B. Mokoena Rietspruit

Thanks for the letters guys. Here is the information you want. We will send you 50 magazines to start with. Then please sell them for 30 cents each. When you finish selling them, then please send half the money back to us. You can keep the other half for yourself. Maybe next time you will want to sell more than 50 magazines. Then just write to us and tell us how many you need. By the way Steven, you say you picked the magazine up in the street. I’m sure the magazine dropped out of somebody’s bag. Nobody ever throws the magazine away. How could they? -editor

Dear Learn and Teach Will you please help me with a problem My father, who was not married to my mother, died in 1982. At the moment I am not living with my mother. I am living with my grand­father, my father’s father. My grandfather wants me to use my father’s surname. But my mother also wants me to use her surname. I am very worried about this. Which surname must I use? H.T. Meadowlands

We are sorry to hear about your problem. We can only tell you what the law says. If a woman has a child and does not marry, the child takes the name of the mother. But a person can decide to change their name if they want to. You must go see a lawyer about this. This costs money. But why not use both surnames together and then everybody will be happy. For all forms and other legal matters, use your mother’s name. And at all other times, use both names together. Long double names are nice and different – and quite sexy. -editor


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