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Letters from our readers 1985 No 1

Dear Learn and Teach Will you please help us. We are working on a farm. Our problem is our wages. We have not been to school — but we still feel we should get enough money to look after our families. I want to tell you about our problems so that you can see for your­selves. We work everyday from six o’clock in the morning until six o’clock at night Monday to Saturday. I only earn R30 per month. The farmer gives us mealie meal. We get no leave pay. At the end of the year, we get R40. That is our bonus. I have five children, my mother and my wife to look after. How can I live on my wages? I am writing for all the workers on the farm Please help. A Worker NEWCASTLE Thank you for your letter . We are sorry to hear about your problems. Many farmers treat their workers badly because the law does not protect farm workers at all. Farm workers must come together to fight for a better life. There is already a trade union that helps farm workers. Write to or phone at. Orange Vaal General Workers Union, 308 Trevor Building, Voortrekker Street, Vereeniging. Phone. (016) 220234 -editor

Dear Learn and Teach Greetings to the readers at Learn and Teach. I have a problem Every night I dream the same dream. I have been to a herbalist, a prophet and doctors. But no—one can help me. Can you or the readers tell me what I can do? I will thank you greatly for a reply. Wilmon MDLETSHE DURBAN Thanks for the letter. It sounds like you have problems. Perhaps you should see a sangoma. Or go to the hospital and say that you want to see a psychologist. Maybe they can explain your dream, or tell you why you are having it. We hope that you can get help. Good luck. —editor

Dear Learn and Teach My name is Julius. I want to tell you about my problem. I have worked at a factory for three years. We start work at 5 o’clock in the evening and we finish at 6.30 in the morning. We work six and a half days a week. I pack wool into boxes. And I clean my section everyday. l am very good at my job. But my wages have stayed the same since 1981. I have never had a paid holiday or sick leave. Can you give me some advice? Julius RUSTENBURG Thanks for the letter Julius. If you work a 6 day week then you must not work more than 8 hours a day. You are working 6/4 days a week and 13% hours a day. The law also say you must get a paid holiday every year and at least 10 days sick leave. —editor

Dear Learn and Teach I am asking for advice. I work for a security company in Durban. We work 12 hours a day, 6 days a week. We get no overtime and we get no extra pay for working holidays. What can I do? Lewis Molefe KWA-MASHU Thank you for your letter Lewis. The law says nightwatchmen must not work more than 60 hours a week. If meals are counted as working time. If you work longer you must get overtime pay. There is now a trade union that helps nightwatchmen. Maybe the union can help you. The union is called Vukani. Write to: Vukani, P.O. Box 8204, Cumberwood, 3235. —editor

Dear Learn and Teach I am writing this letter because I want you to help me. I want to know the meaning of the word “eadecieted”. I can’t find it in the dictionary. LD Chamane OZWATHINI Sorry, we do not have the meaning of this word. Are you sure that spelling is right? Is it English? Check it and if you still have problems, write to us again. —editor

Dear Learn and Teach I read a story about Bishop Tutu in Drum magazine. This story made me want to help my people and to suffer with them It is not because he won the World Peace Prize. It is because he fought for his people. I want to set up a National Trade Union. But I need to know more about them. Can you send me addresses of trade unions in South Africa? I also want to know if there is a college that teaches about trade union affairs. I am teaching English to people in the evenings. They tell me their problems. This also makes me want to help my people but I do not know what I can do. I read stories in your magazine about workers’ problems. Now I am writing to you. George R. Haunanga SWAKOPMUND Dear George Thank you for the letter. We are pleased that you want to help workers in your country. As far as I know there is no trade union college. But the two big union groups in this country say they can help. You can write to: (a) COUNCIL OF UNIONS IN SOUTH AFRICA The Information Unit 7th floor Lekton House 5 Wanderers Street Johannesburg 2001 (b) FOSATU WORKERS PROJECT 7 Fines Building 28 Voortrekker Street Benoni For addresses of all trade unions in South Africa you can write to: (c) S.A. LABOUR DEVELOPMENT & RESEARCH UNIT (SALDRU) Research Division School of Economics Robert Leslie Building University of Cape Town Rondebosch 7700 -editor

Dear Learn and Teach I am 15 years old and in Standard 7. I have asked many people the following questions. But they cannot give me answers. 1. Why do black matric students receive their results late? 2. Why do so many students fail? 3. Why do they not write their examinations at the same time as the whites? 4. Whites receive their results early and few fail. Why? Please, Learn and Teach, give me some answers. Angelinah T. Monzi SEBOKENG Thanks for your letter. There are many reasons why there are differences between the results of black and white students. But the main reason is the money. The government spends very different amounts on people’s education. This is how much they spend for every student: — Whites- R1385-00 Indian- R 871 -00 “Coloured” 593 -00 African 192 -00 This means that African students do not have the same things as other students. Today student organisations are fighting for an equal education for all South Africans. —editor

Dear Learn and Teach Please do me a favour. Send me the story about Haile Selassie the emperor of Ethiopia, and Peter Tosh. I really enjoy you magazine. It has helped my English. Jah bless the readers of Learn and Teach. Kaizer Nemaangani TSHIAWELO,SOWETO Thanks for your letter and Jah’s blessing. We are glad you like our magazine. —editor


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