Letters from our readers 1986 No 6



Dear Learn and Teach We are asking for a donation to build a school in Middelburg, Transvaal. Our school has no class rooms. We use tin houses for classrooms but they are too small. In winter they are too cold and in sum­mer they are too hot. E.M.Meje (Principal) MIDDELBURG

Thank you very much for your letter. We are sorry that we cannot donate any money now. But we hope that the South African Council of Churches will help you. We spoke to them and they said you must write them a letter. Their address is: The Director of Interchurch Aid, SACC, P.O. Box 4921, Johannesburg, 2000. Maybe some of our readers can also donate some money. If you want to donate money to this school, please write to: The Principal, Private Bag X1572, Middelburg, 1050.


Dear Learn and Teach Please send me the next 8 copies of Learn and Teach. And please send me your calendar. Sonny Mabuafeela MMABATHO

Thank you very much for your letter. We do not have calendars at the moment. But we are going to make calendars at the end of the year for next year. You will be one of the first people to get it.


Dear Learn and Teach Thank you for your magazine. A lot of your stories teach us things. I like your story about Thomas speaking to abomantshingelani. The story is like my life. I also work as a night watchman. I want to join a union but I do not know what union to join. I am wor­ried about working twelve hours a day. Please help me. I am sorry about my poor handwriting. Hamilton Hadebe BRAAMFONTEIN

Thank you for your letter. There is nothing wrong with your handwriting. We read your letter easily. You must go and speak to the Transport and General Workers Union. They organise watch­ men. Their address is: Cosatu House, Cm Jeppe and End Streets, Johannesburg. We hope that they will help you.


Dear Learn and Teach I have a problem. I am Ndebele by birth. My father is Ndebele and my mother is Tswana. In 1982, I took my mother’s surname. I have a Bophuthatswana passport. Now I want to change my Bophuthat­swana passport because my father is angry with me. How can I apply for a South African passport? I will be happy if you can help me. Andrew Dlamini RUSTENBURG

Thank you very much for your letter. The law says that if your mother and father were married in court or in church, then you must have your father’s surname. If you were born before your parents got married then you can apply to change your surname into your father’s surname. So, before you even start applying for the South African passport, you must first change your sur­name. Otherwise you will still have your mother’s surname and all the documents will have your mother’s surname on them. You can change your surname at your nearest offices of the Commissioner.


Dear Learn and Teach I have a problem and I hope you can help me. I worked for East Rand Mines from 1969 to the end of 1981. I was transferred to another mine in Crown Mines in 1981. I worked there until 1984 and all the time I worked there I was not paid a cent. I com­plained to the head office in Booysens. The people at the head office took my address and they told me to wait. I have not heard from them until today. And now I am broke – I need some money. Please help me. Awen Mpengesi BERTSHAM

Thank you very much for your letter. The people who will help you with your problem are the Na­tional Union of Mineworkers. We give their address in the answer to the next letter. We hope that they help you to get your money.


Dear Learn and Teach Please tell me where I can get a business licence. I would like to start a small business selling sweets, cigarettes, polish and steel wool. Veronica Mvemve SEBOKENG

Thank you for your letter. You can write to or visit the Small Business Development Centre at this address: 5 Wellington Road, Parktown, Johan­nesburg.Or you can phone them at this number: 643-7351


Dear Learn and Teach Greetings and congratulations to all readers and staff of Learn and Teach. I am interested in African music. I would like to write to a group in Lesotho called Sankomota. Please give me their address. Jacob Simons Kgwadiba AFRICA

Thank you for your letter. Sankamota are in Lon­don right now. You can write to them there. Their address is: TSAFRIKA Productions, Room 114, 14 Peto Place, London WW1, 4DT.


Dear Learn and Teach Please send me the address of Dr Manas Buthelezi. He is the chairperson of the South African Council of Churches. Joseph Choma STEELPOORT

Thank you for your letter. You can write to Dr Buthelezi at this address: P.O. Box 32413, Braam­fontein, 2017.

Dear Learn and Teach Please help me. In February 1985, I bought a car from a scrapyard. Then I took my car to some people to fix. When I went to collect my car, they said l owe them R200-50. I gave them R90-00 as a deposit. They said they will take the car to the testing grounds so that I can change the name of the car to mine. Then they told me that my car will not pass the test at the testing grounds. They said I should trade­ in my car. So I sold the car for R1000-00. And then I bought another car from them and they said I must give them R550 on top of the R1000-00. But I never got my car. Now I am out of work. I do not have money for my instalments on the new car. I went back to those people to tell them that I cannot pay my instalments because I am not working anymore. I told them I wanted my money back. They told me I cannot get my money because I waited too long be­fore I told them. I want to know if I can fight to get my money back. Simon Mashiane VANDERBYL PARK

Thank you very much for your letter. We think that you can fight to get your money back. There are lawyers who can help you with this problem. You can go to the Law Clinic, University of the Witwatersrand,1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfon­tein. The clinic is in the West Campus of the University. We hope that you will get your money back.

Dear Learn and Teach Please help me. On the 14th of June this year, I was unlawfully arrested at Ellisras. Police thought I was a suspect and then they arrested me. They investigat­ed the case and at the end they found that I was not guilty. But still they fined me R30 or 10 days. What can I do? Philemon Maswanganyi ENKELBULD

We are sorry to hear about your story. There is very little we can do about your arrest because you did not give us enough information in your letter. We need to know what you were doing when you were arrested, who arrested you, where you were held, who fined you R30. We can only help you if you write and tell us all this infor­mation. We hope to hear from you soon.

Dear Learn and Teach I am one of the accused in a court case. My friend, Hendrick Mabula, is the other accused. My problem is that I have a lawyer but Hendrick does not have a lawyer. Can you please help my friend get a lawyer? Freddy Selebano VILJOENSKROON

Thank you very much for your letter. We think that your friend needs a lawyer. There is a place called the Legal Aid Bureau. There they will get him a lawyer to go to court to defend him. Their address is Legal Aid Bureau, 95 Commissioner Street, Johannesburg. We hope that the people there will help your friend.

Dear Learn and Teach Will you please help me? I worked in Bafokeng mines for seven years. Earlier this year, there was a strike at our mine. Then the bosses sent us home. After fourteen days, some workers were called to sign new contracts. When I went to the bosses, they told me that I was ‘blacklisted’ from the mine. They gave me my blue card. The card said I worked in the mines from 1983 until 1986. But it is not true. I worked at the mine from 1977 until 1986. They did not even give me my long service bonus and my pension fund. Please help me with this problem. Elijah Mahlangu WONDERBOOM

Thank you for your letter. We think that you must go and speak to the National Union of Mineworkers. You must speak to someone called Blackie Mtshontaisa there. Their address is 1st Floor, Cosatu House, Corner Jeppe and End Streets, Johannesburg, 2001. They will help you.

 

Dear Learn and Teach I hope that what I ask does not sound silly. And I hope that you will take my question seriously. I want you to print what was said during the Rivonia trial. I especially want Mr Mandela’s speech. I was very lit­tle at the time. But I still feel that Mr Mandela was speaking for me too. I want my son and daughter to grow up knowing about the heroes and history of this country. The last thing that I want is this. I want you to put a picture of Mr Mandela in your magazine because I do not have one to show my family. Phuthiatsana WITSIESHOEK

Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to say that we cannot print what was said at the Rivonia Trial – that would take a whole book. Even Mr Mande­la’s speech is very long. We will give you a little now and we will send you the whole thing in the post. We have also put the only picture which we are allowed to use in the magazine. We hope that this is enough for you.

Dear Learn and Teach I am very angry, here at Piet Retief Kemp Mill. I studied in Swaziland and I finished my Form 5 (Standard 10). But I am paid R7,82 per day. I told my manager that my wages are too little. I told him that I wanted an increase.He did not refuse. He promised me that he would give me an increase. But I have never received extra money. Now I am so angry that my mind is full of scorpions. What can I do? Jeffrey Shandu PIET RETIEF

Dear Jeffrey Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to hear about your problems. We also think your wages are very low. But you must talk to your boss. The best thing is not to talk to your boss alone. What do other workers at Kemp Mill think about their wages? If they are also unhappy with them, then you can all talk to your boss together. Or you can get a union to help you when you talk to your boss. The union that works with mill workers is: Paper, Wood and Allied Workers Union, 5th floor, Cosatu House, Cm Jeppe and End Streets, Johannesburg ,2001. We wish you good luck.

Dear Learn and Teach I hope you will help me. I want to be a journalist but I don’t know what to do. I am doing Standard Nine at Veritas Secondary School. Joseph Mbongo MEADOWLANDS

Thank you for your letter. If you want to be a jour­nalist, you can speak to the Star newspaper. They run courses for people while they work. Their telephone number is 633-9111. You can also do a journalism degree at Rhodes University. Their address is: P.O. Box 94 Grahamstown 6140.

Dear Learn and Teach I want to join your school, ALP. I am an adult of 27 years and I finished Standard 5 at school. I want to join ALP because I want to know about South Africa, and unions. I also want to learn to read and write in English. I am a member of the Chemical Workers Industrial Union (CWIU).Please help me. Ezra Mohlakane SECUNDA

Dear Ezra Thank you very much for your letter. We are sorry to tell you that ALP – the Adult Learning Project­ is in Cape Town. But we will give your letter to the other people at Learn and Teach. They teach people to read and write in English. We hope that they help you.

Dear Learn and Teach My father has a problem. He worked in Modderfon­tein for 24 years. He worked for a company called AECI. In 1984, he resigned and AECI promised him a pension. But when he goes to collect his pension sometimes they give him nothing. Sometimes they give him R80. I am worried about my father. Please help me, Learn and Teach. Alpheus Mphahlele KWATHEMA HOSTEL

We are very sorry to hear about your father. We are not sure if your father was promised a pen­sion or UIF. If your father got a pension then you can claim your father’s money from AECI. But if your father left the job without a pension, then there is nothing we can do. The law says that you must claim your UIF within 9 months. If you apply after 9 months, then you are going to lose all your money. If you still need more information please write to Industrial Aid Society, Camperdown Building, 99 Polly Street, Johannesburg, 2001.

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