Letters from our readers 1986 No 7


Dear Learn and Teach Greetings to all the readers of Learn and Teach. I have a problem. I am chairman of a cultural committee. I want to find doctors to help me stop people from smoking. Smoking is bad, good people. I think that dagga is also bad for people. There are many people who die because of cancer from smoking. What is the government doing about this? I also want to say that young people must stop drinking alcohol. Themba Stephen Zizi SOWETO

Thank you very much for your letter. We think that all doctors will agree with you that smoking and drinking is bad for people. You can write to SANCA — the South African National Council for Alcohol & Drug Abuse. They help people with drinking and smoking problems. Their address is: SANCA P.O. Box 10134, Johannesburg, 2000.


Dear Learn and Teach I am a young man with a matric certificate. I want to go and study at a university in South Africa. But I do not have money. I want to work and study at the same time. Please give me the address of a university where I can study through the post. Hendrick Khumalo TEMBISA

Thank you for your letter. You can write to the South African Institute of Race Relations and ask them about bursaries. Their address is: P.O. Box 97, Johannesburg, 2000. You can also write to the University of South Africa (UNISA). They offer correspondence courses. Their address is: P.O. Box 394, Pretoria, 0001.


Dear Learn and Teach I am writing this letter to ask taxi drivers to be careful. Here in Daveyton taxi drivers do not even stop at stop signs. They knock down and kill our lovely brothers and sisters. In two months we have buried three children from our school. They were all killed by taxis. Please tell us what to do. Student DAVEYTON

Thank you for your letter. We are very sorry to hear your story. Drivers cannot be too careful. If the taxi drivers are so bad in Daveyton, you must go and talk to them. Talk to the South African Black Taxi Association (SABTA). Maybe they will help drivers to drive more carefully.


Dear Learn and Teach I want to praise you for doing a good job. I do not live in South Africa but I like your magazine. I think you help many people with their problems. I am now reading Number 5, 1986. I think it is like all the other issues. It is very good. The centrefold ‘Your rights under the emergency’ is very nice. But I am sorry that you had to write such a poster. A reader ZIMBABWE

Thank you very much for your letter. We are very happy to hear that you enjoy reading Learn and Teach. We hope that you keep on reading the magazine.


Dear Learn and Teach Things are really difficult when you are looking for work. And when you do not work, life is very difficult. A lot of black people are not working. And they do not have a place to stay. They are hungry and troubled. Sometimes I get very angry when I see such people suffering. I ask myself: Is God for black people or for white people? Does he like white people more than black people? Tebogo Jacob Mokhoto MAMELODI EAST

Thank you for your letter. We know how you feel. There are many people who are unemployed right now. But we hope that one day, things will change. We hope that many people will get work and be able to feed their families.Some people say it is the government who likes whites more than blacks — not God.


Dear Learn and Teach I have a problem. On June 16th this year, I did not go to work. The next day when I went to work, my boss asked where I was on the 16th. I just kept quiet. He told me he would beat me. So I said I would hit him if he hit me. So we started fighting and then I was ar-rested. Please help me because people like my boss do not have a right to treat us like this. Young Comrade TEMBISA

Thank you very much for your letter. We need to know more about what happened. Why were you arrested and what were you charged with? If your boss hit you first, then your boss is in the wrong. But you must prove that he hit you first. You must find other people who saw him hit you. Go to the Tembisa Advice Office. They will help you find a lawyer. Here is their address: Methodist Church, 816 Mashemong Section, Tembisa. We hope they will help you with your problem.


Dear Learn and Teach I know that you have helped many people with their problems. I hope you will also help me. Last year. I was working at a shop in Cradock. Then we went on strike. We wanted our bosses to stop hating blacks and liking whites. Our manager treats blacks like slaves. For example, one of my friends got sick and he wanted to go to a doctor. The clerk at the doctor’s office wrote the wrong date on his sick letter. When my friend came back to work, he was fired without a warning. But people of other races do not have to show doctors’ letters if they go to the doctor. Our manager is also a rude man. He tells us that if we are not satisfied, he will fire all of us. Vuyisile Joka Goniwe CRADOCK

Thank you very much for your letter. We are very sorry to hear about your story. Maybe you should join a trade union. A trade union will help you to fight for your rights. The trade union you can join is the Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (CCAWUSA). Their address is: 3rd floor, Print House Building, 365 Kempston Rd, Port Elizabeth. Or you can phone them at (041) 49456.


Dear Learn and Teach I pass my greetings to all the readers of Learn and Teach. I say keep it up. I was very shocked to read the story of an old man, Mr Mojapelo in your magazine. I also liked your story about Mrs Sibanda and her fight for a better South Africa. I want to ask women who are in the struggle the following question: If you were Mrs Sibanda, would you follow your husband or would you stay? What I want to tell you is that as long as we are under PW Botha’s government, everyone who fights for their rights will be arrested. Just like the first general secretary of the ANC, Canon Calata who was arrested for nothing. I want you to always remember this. Thomas Mosipidi Kgotseng VARKKVLEI

Thank you very much for your letter. We are very happy to see that you enjoyed some of our stories. We also hope that one day people will live in peace. And that apartheid will be gone forever.


Dear Learn and Teach I read my story in our favourite magazine, Learn and Teach. It is a very interesting story. But I am not happy about parts of the story, especially the sentence: “Today Bra Jake drinks a drop too much. He no longer gets free dops on the house and he has no friends who love his music.” Let Bra Jake put it straight. I am still respected by my fans. Even now when I touch my horn, people forget their blues. They start to follow my beat and my kind of music. So please don’t say that I have no friends and I drink a drop too much. Bra Jake Khotle JOHANNESBURG

Thank you very much for your letter, Bra Jake. We are very sorry that we hurt your feelings. We want to say that we respect you and we like your music. Please forgive us for our mistake.


Dear Learn and Teach Greetings to all the readers and writers of Learn and Teach. I have a problem. In 1977, I met two men who told me that they want me to join an insurance company called ‘African Friend Insurance’. They said I must pay R2-00 every month. They told me that if I was a member for three years, their company would buy me a car. They said if I hurt myself badly, their company would pay me R5000-00. I joined that insurance company. I have paid money for five years now. I tried to borrow some money from them but they refused. They said I will only get money when I am dead! They also said that if I stop paying, I will not get my money back. Then I got sick and I went to hospital for three months. I had no money to pay for my insurance. When I came out of hospital I received a letter from the insurance company. They said I must start as a new member again. So I cancelled the insurance and I lost all the money. Mzwandile Mzamane CAPE TOWN

Thank you very much for your letter. lt sounds like you were treated badly by the insurance company. They should have paid you some money. We know that the Legal Resources Centre is keeping a file about these companies. Maybe you should go and see them. And maybe they will help you to get your money back. Their address is: 1st and 2nd floor, 144 Church St, Cape Town.


Dear Learn and Teach I like Learn and Teach magazine like my sister’s nose. I started reading Learn and Teach in 1982. I say, ‘Angikhathali ngawe Learn and Teach.’ Please help me, I am looking for a school where I can learn agriculture. I am in standard 7. Cynthia Madonsela TSAKANE

Thank you very much for your letter. And thank you for the nice things you say about Learn and Teach. We think that you must write to the Education Information Centre and tell them where you want to study. They will help you with your problem. Their address is: 601 Dunwell House, 35 Jorissen’Street, Braamfontein, 2017.


Dear Learn and Teach Please help me with my problem. I live in Soweto with my father. My mother ran away from home. My problem is that I went to school in the Transkei. I lived with my grandparents while I was in the Transkei. I have a Transkei travel document. But now I want to get the new South African Identity Document. I do not have a birth certificate to show that I was born in Soweto. Also I am not on my father’s house permit. What can I do? Luthando Mantanga SOWETO

Thank you very much for your letter. We are very sorry to hear about your problem. We think that you should go and speak to the people at the Black Sash. No one knows what the new laws mean. But the people at the Black Sash know better than us. You can visit them at this address: 1st floor, Khotso House, 42 De Villiers Street, Johannesburg.


Dear Learn and Teach I like Learn and Teach because I think it is useful and it helps a lot of black people. But I did not like your story called ‘Workers of the World’. I think that the writer of that story says mine workers here are like mine workers in Bolivia. I also think that the writer says mine workers here will be happy if they do not have bosses — just like the mine workers in Bolivia. I think that this story is written in a communist way. And some of the things in the story are not true. I think that you must read page 21 of the Sunday Star of September 14, this year. It is about how the mines in Bolivia are having big problems. Q.M. Lamenle PRETORIA

Thank you very much for your letter. We are very sorry to hear that you did not like that story. In fact, it was not a story written by Learn and Teach. It was about a book written by the Labour History Group. We have given your letter to them.


Dear Learn and Teach I hope that you are going to solve my problems. I am a domestic worker. I worked for one family in Highlands North for 30 years. Then in 1985 my bosses started telling me that they would fire me. They did not tell me why. So I did not think it was serious. Then one weekend, they told me to pack all my things and go. I asked for my salary, long service pay and overtime money. But they only gave me my salary. I have gone to a few people for help but no-one has helped me. So please Learn and Teach, help me get my long service pay and my overtime money. Worried woman JOHANNESBURG

Thank you very much for your letter. We are sorry to hear about how your bosses treated you. We think that you should go to some people called SADWA — the South African Domestic Workers Association. Their address is Tudor Mansions, Troye Street (corner of Bree Street), Johannesburg. We hope that they will help you get your money.


Dear Learn and Teach I would like you to know that the letter written by Alfred Vuso in Learn and Teach Number 5 of this year, is not true. What he says about his work, pay and treatment is not true. Alfred worked for the Schoenstatt Sisters as a contract worker. His contract ended on the 8th of August 1986. And we did not sign a new contract with him. Alfred said we said he could not join a trade union. This is not true. We do everything to help our workers who want to join unions. It is not true that when Alfred asked for more money, we told him to go and speak to the bishops. And we do not tell our workers to pray for what they want. We try to help the families of our workers. Maybe you should have checked with us before you published Alfred’s letter. Sister M. Judith Steib Secular Institute of the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary CONSTANTIA

Thank you very much for your letter. We are very sorry to hear that you think we made a mistake. We receive many letters from our readers. We do not check on any letters that we get. We feel that our letters page belongs to our readers and so we try to print as many letters as we can — just like we are printing your letter.


Dear Learn and Teach

Please put my jokes in Learn and Teach. Question: How long was a Chinese person? Answer: How Long. Question: If there is butter in the kitchen and I went in and you came out, what will be left in the kitchen? Answer: Bitter. Question: What takes you and gives you back? Answer: A camera. T.J Makhatholela SOSHANGUVE

Thank you very much for your jokes. We hope the readers will like them.


Dear Learn and Teach Please help me. I am looking for the address of the ‘Hall of Karate’ in Pietersburg, Louis Trichardt or Sibasa. Albert A. Matamela BRAAMFONTEIN

Thank you very much for your letter. We do not know any addresses of the ‘Hall of Karate’. But maybe one of our readers knows the address. If anyone knows, please write to Albert at: S.A.Division, P.O. Box 31429, Braamfontein, 2017.

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