Dear Learn and Teach One day when I was sitting in the bus, I saw someone reading your beautiful magazine. I could not read the whole magazine but I saw your address. Now I would like to receive it in the post. What must I do? Jacob Mokwena RUSTENBURG
Thank you very much for writing. We love getting such letters. If you want to get the magazine in the post, please send us a postal order for R6 and we will send you the next eight issues of Learn and Teach.
Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me get my unemployment money. I worked at S A Security Services until I got sick. When I went back to work, I found that my job was finished. I got no money from them, and I have got nothing from UIF. P.R. JOHANNESBURG
Thank you for your letter. We are sorry to hear about your problem. The law says that when you leave a job, your employer must give you a blue card. You need this blue card to get money from the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF). If a company does not give you your blue card, they are breaking the law. Go back and ask them for your blue card. If they do not give it to you, go to the UIF office at the Department of Manpower, 156 President Street, Johannesburg to complain. They will help you to get your card. But go as soon as possible, because you must claim your unemployment money before 9 months has passed after losing your job.
Dear Learn and Teach, My husband passed away in 1984. Can I get any money from the UIF? Widow KWANOBUHLE
Thank you for your letter. It sounds like you haven’t received UIF death benefits for your late husband. The UIF rules say that you must claim death benefits before three years has passed. If three years has not passed, you must take your late husband’s blue card, death certificate, your marriage certificate and your reference or identity book to the nearest labour office. If you do not have the blue card, you can go to the place where your husband last worked to ask for it.
Dear Learn and Teach, I am a single woman of 26 and I live in Durban. I have been looking for work since May 1986. Now I have decided to look for work in Johannesburg. I am looking for any clerical job. I would like to work for a church organisation, old age home or even a hospital. I can find a place to stay in a hostel in Bosmont if I have a job. PL DURBAN
We are sorry to hear of your problem. We are sorry we cannot help with a job. But if anybody who reads this letter has a job for you, they must please write to us and then we will let you know. In the meantime, we wish you luck in your search for work.
Dear Learn and Teach, I have a problem – my wife cannot get a baby. She gets very painful periods – but the doctors say her womb is fine. Please help us because my wife and I want a baby. Worried Husband KRUGERSDORP
We are sorry to hear about your problem. Maybe you and your wife should see a doctor at a family planning clinic. Sometimes doctors must do tests on both the man and the woman to see why they cannot have a baby. The Family Planning Association (FPA) in Johannesburg can help you. The clinic is at: 3rd floor, Marlborough House, corner Eloff and Commissioner Streets, Johannesburg. The telephone number is (011) 331-2695.
Dear Learn and Teach, I have two problems. My first problem is that I can’t talk properly. My other problem is my pass. My pass has a N72 hours’ stamp in it. So I cannot find work in the cities. I tried asking about the stamp but the people at the pass office didn’t explain things nicely to me. Worried Man DENNILTON
Thank you for your letter. The pass laws have been changed. You do not have to worry about the 72 hours’ stamp in your pass any more. The new law says you no longer need stamps in your reference book to stay in town. It also says all South African citizens must now apply for the new identity book. You can apply for the identity book at your nearest pass office. About your speech problem – we know how you feel. A couple of us at Learn and Teach stutter and stammer. If you don’t believe us, phone us and ask for Speedtrap or Sharky. But before you do, make sure you have a few hours to spare – it will be a long call! Next month we are planning to do a story about speech problems. As soon as the story is ready, we’ll send it to you free of charge.
Dear Learn and Teach I am the eldest in my family. My problem is that I have no job to support my family. My father has just died. He left my mother with seven children. Before his death he worked for the Railways for 33 years. Now I want to take his place on the railways. I went all the way to Komatipoort, but the station master refused to employ me. Erick SOWETO
Sorry to hear about your dad, Erick. We spoke to the Recruitment Officer at Johannesburg station. He said the station master at Komatipoort does not have to give you a job, even if your father worked there for 33 years. He also said that the Railways is only looking for new ‘higher grade’ workers – people with Std 6 or higher. If you passed Std 6, you can go to the Employment Office at Park Station in Johannesburg to apply for a job. We wish you luck.
Dear Learn and Teach Please help my brother. He worked on the mines at Boksburg from 1967 to 1980. Then they sent him home without a pension. He has a wife and four young children. What can he do? N R Tsekoa QUTHING
Thank you for your letter, Ms Tsekoa. Most miners do not get a pension from the mines. Only higher grade’ miners get pensions. If your brother still has any of his old payslips, he can check if deductions were made for pension. If there are no deductions, he is not going to get a pension from the mines. If your brother worked in the mine for a long time, he may get long service payment. The mines have long, difficult laws about long service payments. One of these laws is that the miner must have worked in the mines for 10 years. Your brother can go to the TEBA offices in Lesotho to check if he can get a long service payment.
Dear Learn and Teach I am a young woman of 19. I went to school in Swaziland. But I did not finish because my parents were too poor. Now I want to finish my Form 1. I hope your reply will make me smile. ENKATLEHONG
Thanks for your letter. Why not study at an adult education centre? There is a centre in Katlehong at 209 Moseleki Street. The phone number is (011) 903-5908. We hope this makes you smile, if only a little.
I would like to greet all freedom lovers. I would like to greet those white children of God who do not know about the aims of the UDF and peoples’ organisations. White comrades, we know that your forefathers told you to hate black people. But we members of the UDF love all nations. We call you to join the struggle to fight for rights for everyone – so that all the tribes can form one nation. Comrades organise because the future is ours. VMX KATLEHONG
Dear Learn and Teach, I have a Code 10 licence but it is not in my identity book. I want to know if I can still use it. I also want to know how we can force our boss to increase our wages. We get R69 a week. We are forced to work on Saturdays, but they do not pay us for the overtime. When we asked for an increase, the boss said we steal, so he cannot give us an increase. When I go on leave, I only get R200. What can we do? Worried Worker WYNBERG
Thank you for your letter. First, your driver’s licence – if you want your licence on your new identity book, you will have to take your test again. The new law says that all driver’s licences must be put into identity books before six months has passed after getting the licence. If you wait longer than six months, then you must take your test again. It seems your boss is wrong by paying you low wages, and cheating on overtime and leave pay. All bosses must pay for overtime, and must pay full leave pay. It is very difficult for us to tell you what your minimum wage is because you did not tell us where you work or what job you do. We think you should go to see the Industrial Aid Society. The IAS is an independent, free advice office for workers. They will be able to tell you if you are being cheated and what you can do about it. Please take along any payslips. Their address is: Industrial Aid Society, 3rd floor, Camperdown Building, 99 Polly Street, corner Kerk St, Johannesburg. Tel (011) 23-8467.