Letters from our readers 1985 No 4


Dear Learn and Teach I have a standard 9 boy living with me. This boy bought shoes from Pick a Pair in Tzaneen. His brother paid for the shoes. When he got home, he saw that the shoes were too big. He wanted to change them. But he didn’t know that he had to have the cash slip. He took the shoes back to the shop. The shop took the shoes. Then they said he had stolen the shoes. They said if he argued with them, he would be arrested. I had to give the boy money to pay for the shoes. This means that the shop sold one pair of shoes twice. I am asking for legal advice. Phetole Makgopa PIETERMARITZBURG

Dear Phetole We gave your letter to the Campus Law Clinic. They say that it is difficult because of the cash slip. The cash slip is your proof that you paid for the shoes. It is important to always keep cash slips. With a cash slip, you can always take the goods back. The Law Clinic wrote to the shop. They asked for your money back. They need to know how much you paid. Thank you for your letter. With or without the cash slip, it sounds that the shop did not treat the boy well. -editor


Dear Learn and Teach I want you to tell me about the new tax laws. I am a citizen of Bophuthatswana but I work in South Africa. I get R225.00 per month. I am married with two children. In your story about the new tax law last year, you say that I do not have to pay tax. Also, I do not get a payslip – just a cheque. We have no medical aid and no allowances. Lastly, the women are badly treated where I work. If a woman falls pregnant, she must resign – there is no maternity leave. So the women get no money while they are away. When they come back, they are like new workers or there is no job for them. Please reply soon. Simon Mokgosi ZEERUST

Dear Simon Thank you for your letter. First the tax. You are quite right – you should not pay tax. You must ask your boss for a payslip. Then you will see if they are taking tax from you. The boss must give you a payslip. The payslip must say how many hours you worked. It must say how much money you get and how much money they take off. And now the women. It sounds that your shop treats women badly. The law says women must get four weeks off before the baby is born – and eight weeks afterwards. She can get money from the U.I.F. for this time. But perhaps you should also write to a union called CCAWUSA 2nd Floor, Khotso House, 42 De Villiers Street, Johannesburg, Tel: (011) 23-6127. They help shop workers and pregnant women. Good Luck. -editor


Dear Learn and Teach I come from the district of Naphuno. I live at Pharare at New Phepene. There we are suffering. We do not get water. There are only springs in the ground, but no taps. The government of Lebowa does not care. We sometimes get sick from the water. When we go to the clinics, they always swear at us. And the government does not build schools for us. We waste our money on bus fares – we have to travel far to work. Please speak to your government for us. We want to be like Lebowakgomo and Seshego. We want a location, water, electricity, tarred roads, a cinema, a stadium and a library. Thomas M. LEBOWA

Dear Thomas Thanks for your letter. We cannot talk to our government ,. they are the same as the Lebowa government. The Lebowa government gets most of their money from the South African government. And it is not only in Lebowa that people suffer. It is the same in all homelands. We can only hope that one day it will be better. -editor


Dear Learn and Teach I really liked the story about the swimmer, Mokatjo Spencer Mota. Please send me his address. I want to know how to swim. Spencer’s story has made me feel very keen about swimming. I want to know that one day the water in the pool is waiting for me. Notty Naves MOROKA

Dear Notty Thank you for your letter. We are pleased that you liked the story about Spencer. Spencer is not in Soweto at the moment. If you want to learn to swim, write to:-Amateur Swimming Association of South Africa (A.T.A.S.A.) President: T. Seotsanyana 11238 Orlando West Extention P.O. Orlando 1804 Tel: (011) 949-4903


Dear Learn and Teach I am a reader of your magazine. I want to talk about Springbok Patrols – about the bad way they treat their workers. I also want to talk about Mr Bartman’s threat to take Learn and Teach to court if you printed the story. We want his address. We want to write and tell him that we know how he treats his workers. And that we do not like it. We have organised one security firm in Port Elizabeth. But our constitution stops us. So I ask the other unions to organise these workers – not just in the Transvaal, but everywhere. Nomonde Mgumane General Workers Union PORT ELIZABETH

Dear Nomonde Thank you for your letter. Since our story in the magazine, five more workers from Springbok Patrols have gone to the Black Sash for help. They all said that they were badly treated. We are also very sorry to hear that you are now in detention. We hope that you get out soon. We hope that you see your letter in the magazine. -editor


Dear Learn and Teach I read your magazine. I see that you help many people. So I am asking for help from you. I worked at East Rand Engineering in Klerksdorp. I started in 1949 and left in 1979. I worked there for 30 years. I was onIy away twice. When I left, they gave me my wages, R56.12, and R43,21. The next week they gave me only R42,28. I have asked many people for help but did not get any. Please help me. I have been struggling for my back pay for seven years. Godfrey Sibanda KLERKSDORP

Dear Godfrey Thank you for your letter. The Campus Law Clinic phoned East Rand Engineering. They do not give back pay. But they do give long service bonuses. They say they pay these every five years. Did you get this. Also they say they have a pension fund. Have you got any pension money from them. You must write and tell us. Please send a payslip if you have one, your number with the company, and your reference number. -editor


Dear Learn and Teach Please help me. I worked at Modderfontein Dynamite factory for 20 years – from May 1956 to May 1976. They gave me my blue card when I left. When I got home, I went to the labour office at Mahwelereng. I wanted to sign for U.I. F. They took my blue card. They told me to come back after three weeks. I went back after three weeks. They showed me a letter from the labour department in Pretoria – the letter said I will never get any money because I decided to leave Modderfontein. But this was not true. Modder­fontein fired me. I had a fight with a white man. That is the end of my story. I still don’t know where my blue card is. Please tell me what to do. Nelson Lekalakala Kempton Park.

Dear Nelson Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to say that we cannot help you. You waited too long. They will not give you money from 1976. But they should have given you money in 1976. If you leave your work or even if you are fired.vou must still get money from the U.I.F. You must tell your employer to write to Modderfontein. They must ask the labour Department for a new card for you. Then, If you stop working, you can get money from U.I.F. -editor

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