Letters from our readers 1987 No 4


Dear Learn and Teach We have just started our own youth con­gress, right under the state of emergency. We have only nine members and we have no experience. We also have the problem of living in a rural area where many people in the community find nothing wrong with the homeland system and apartheid. We would like you to send us the longer ver­sion of Nelson Mandela’s speech which you have promised to other readers. We need any books or magazines or anything else about the struggle. We once saw ‘Saspu Natronal’ in 1985. Where can we get it? We enjoy every copy of your magazine. Viva Learn and Teach! Youth Congress NORTHERN TRANSVAAL

Thank you for your letter. We wish you the best of luck with your new or­ganisation. You cannot get Saspu National any­ more because it has been banned. But you can get other SASPU publications by writing to: SASPU, P.O.Box 5197, Johannes­burg, 2000 There are also two other good news­papers you could get. They are the New Nation and The Weekly Mail. The addresses are: New Nation, P.O.Box 10674, Johannesburg, 2000. The Weekly Mail, P.O. Box 260425, Excom, 2023.

You could also read ‘Work in Progress.’ It is a very good magazine with articles about politics and labour in South Africa. Write to: Work in Progress P.O. Box 32716, Braamfont­ein, 2017 You can also write to the following publishers to ask for lists of the books that they sell: Ravan Press, P.O. Box 31134, Braamfontein, 2017. Skotaville Publishers, P.O. Box 32483, Braamfontein, 2017. ILRIG, Sociology Department, Univer­sity of Cape Town, Rondebosch 7700 David Philip, P.O. Box 408, Clare­mont, 7735


Dear Learn and Teach, We are a group of prisoners who want to play softball. We need a rule book and some hints about the game. Can you help us? A Prisoner

Thank you for your letter. The best people to help you are officials of the South African Softball Federation. The president is Mr Matthews Kutu­mela. He will be happy to send you a rule book and tell you more about softball in South Africa. You can con­tact him at: S.A. Softball Federation, P.O. Box 3187, Pretoria 0002 Tel (012) 80-1193 (home), (012) 541­ 1311 (work)


Dear Learn and Teach, I would like to reply to Saul whose letter I read in Learn and Teach No 2. Saul asked about political organisations for young white people. Saul, I want to greet you in the name of the black struggle. I am a boy of 14. I am a mem­ber of the Kwa-Thema Students Congress. I want to tell you about the United Democratic Front. The UDF believes in a free and equal education for all. The UDF also believes in the Freedom Charter. The Freedom Charter says the people shall govern, that we shall have equal rights and share our country’s wealth. The charter starts by saying that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, black or white. I think you should join an organisation that is a member of the UDF like the End Conscrip­tion Campaign. I would like to be your pen­ friend so we can write to each other. Your new penfriend KWA THEMA


Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me to find spare parts for my sewing machine. It is a Janome 577. I have tried all the shops in Swaziland, but I can’t find the parts I need. Stan Dlamini, MBABANE

Thank you for your letter. There are no shops in Swaziland that sell Janome parts. You can order spare parts from : Janome, 33 Crossroads Centre, Hendrik Verwoerd Drive, Randburg 2125 Tel(011) 789-4739 They will send your order by post COD. You must tell them the right name of the spare part you need. If you do not know what it is called, try to explain where it fits in the ma­chine, and what it does. Good luck and happy sewing.


Dear Learn and Teach, Greetings to all readers and writers of your magazine. Please help me with my problem. My front teeth are pushed forward. Some­ times, when I forget myself, my teeth come out of my mouth and I look so ugly. At school, all the pupils laughed at me. I am so worried about this problem. Is there a dentist or a special doctor who can help me? Agnes NO ADDRESS

Thank you for your letter, Agnes. We are sorry we cannot help you to find a dentist near your home because you did not give us your address. If you can come to Johannesburg, you can see a dentist at the Wits University Dental Clinic. The clinic is near the entrance of the university at 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein. Go to the reception desk and they will make an appointment for you to see a den­tist. The clinic gives free treatment to people who cannot afford to pay. If the Wits clinic is too far from where you stay, you could go to the nearest big hospital and ask to see a dentist. It is difficult to fix buck teeth when you are an adult. It is easier to straighten them when you are a child. If your teeth can be fixed it will be wonderful. If they can’t, you will have to try to put this problem out of your mind and get on with your life. As you get older people will stop teasing you. People will care about other things – like your kindness and help­fulness, your interests and hard work. If they do not care about these things, they are not worth knowing anyway. We hope our advice will help you.


Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me solve this problem with my studies. I work as a waitress and I am regis­tered with International Correspondence Schools (ICS) to study for JC. I am doing two subjects this year and two next year. The fees are R325 a year. I paid a deposit of R50 and I must pay R25 a month. Now I find that I can’t study by correspondence. It is too difficult to study on my own. And I can’t afford to pay the fees. I earn very little and even the R25 is too much for me. I told ICS about my problem. I tried to give them their books back, but they refused to take them. Must I really pay all the fees if I know from the beginning that I will not be able to carry on with ICS? Thembisile Luthuli YEOVILLE

Thank you for your letter. We spoke to ICS head office in Cape Town. They asked us to send them your let­ter, so that the managers can discuss your problems. ICS said that they prefer students not to stop their stud­ies. If a student cannot pay the monthly fee of R25, ICS sometimes agrees to lower the payments to R15. They said they also try to help stu­dents who are having problems stu­dying by correspondence. In some cases, if the managers believe a stu­dent has real problems in studying or paying the fees, they agree to let the student cancel their registration and stop paying. They promised to dis­cuss your letter and write to you to tell you if they will let you cancel.


Dear Learn and Teach, I was very interested in your story about Themba Nkosi’s book “The Time of the Comrades”. I have a diploma in photogra­phy and I would like to get in touch with Themba. Please give me his address. Florence R. GaRANKUWA

Thanks for- your letter, Florence. Themba works for City Press newspa­per. He will be happy to hear from you. Write to him at: City Press, Pho­tographic Department, P.O. Box 57473, Springfield 2137. Tel (011) 493-3552 You could also contact the Afrapix collective. They run photography workshops from time to time. The ad­dress is: Afrapix, P.O. Box 9942, Johannes­ burg, 2000. Tel (011) 29-3088


Dear Learn and Teach, My mother worked as a domestic worker for the same employer for 17 years. Now she has stopped working and has applied for a government pension. She asked her em­ployer if she would pay her a pension, or give her a long service bonus, but she got nothing. Is this employer not supposed to pay my mother something for all the years she worked for her? Worried Son WHITE CITY

Thank you for your letter. We are sor­ry to say there’s nothing you can do. There are no laws in South Africa to force employers to pay pensions or bonuses to domestic workers. We were sorry to hear your mother was so badly treated after 17 years ser­vice.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a worker and a reader of your maga­zine. Please help me to get my money from UIF. I am 51 years old and a father of five. We are starving because I was fired from my job and I can’t get my UIF money. The problem is that my employers will not give me my blue card. I worked at Pick ‘n Pay in Arcadia from 1981 to 1986. I was fired because I came to work drunk. I knew that I was wrong, but I asked for forgiveness. That was six months ago, but every time I go to get my blue card, the paymaster tells me I have not been fired, only suspended as punishment. But my department head tells me I have been fired. So I can’t get my blue card and I can’t claim my money from UIF. Please help me. Worried Worker SOSHANGUVE

Thank you for your letter. We spoke to Mr Van Rooyen, the manager of Ar­cadia Pick ‘n Pay. He said your blue card is at the supermarket. You can collect it from him at any time. He did not know why there had been confu­sion about your card for the past few months. He said you should discuss any problems with him and he would try to help.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a student at an adult education centre. I decided to leave school because my par­ents had no money. But I want to be an edu­cated person. I want to finish Std 10 and be­come a politician. I want to study like Nelson Mandela. Please tell me where he attended university and which subjects he studied. The other problem I have is that the people I live with tell me I must not study history. They say it is a dead subject. What can I tell them to change their minds about history? It is one of my favourite subjects. David M. WITSIESHOEK

Thank you for your letter, David. Nel­son Mandela studied law at Fort Hare University in Alice. The address is: Fort Hare University, Private Bag, Alice, 5600 You can apply to study law if you pass your matric with a university ex­emption. The university will send you all the information you need. Tell your adult education teachers that you hope to study law so they can help you get good marks. Don’t lose your interest in history, no matter what people tell you. If we want to build a better future we need to understand the past.


Dear Learn and Teach, How can I get my Junior Certificate? I wrote Std 8 in 1984. All my classmates got their certificates, but I did not get mine. When I asked my teachers what happened to my certificate, they said they were still waiting for the school inspectors. Thoko Thaba student KATLEHONG

Thank you for your letter. You can write to the Department of Education and Training to ask for your certifi­cate. Give them your full name and address, identity number, examina­tion number, date and place where you wrote the examination, and the name of your school. Write to:  Exam­ination Office, Department of Educa­tion and Training, Private Bag X184, Pretoria, 0001 If you are in a hurry for your certifi­cate, go to the enquiries office at the DET offices in Pretoria. You will find them in Scheiding House, Scheiding Street (opposite the Pretoria station).


Dear Learn and Teach, I want to buy the LP record called ‘Fosatu Workers Choirs’. Please tell me how I can get one by post. G Motaung PHUTADITJHABA

Thank you for your letter. You can or­der this record from: Shifty Records, Third floor, Management House, Melle Street, Braamfontein 2001. Tel (011) 339-7921

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