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Letters from our readers 1988 No 1

Dear Learn and Teach, I am an ex-prisoner who has served three years in prison. On coming home I was deeply excited by the article in magazine number 7 1987. The article was titled: “A union born in prison.” I feel the union does an interesting job in unionizing ex- prisoners. It keeps them busy and part of the community. I would like Learn and Teach to please publish the address of the union as I would like to join. I hope the union has a branch in the Transvaal. S.N. Watville

The address of the National Union of Ex-Prisoners for Crime Prevention and Re-adjustment is: Nuepfocar, c/o Jerry Nxgjola, Ecumenical Centre, 20 St. Andrews Street, Durban 4001. The union does not have a branch in the Transvaal yet.

Dear Learn and Teach, I teach English at a secondary school in Katatura, Windhoek. Thank you for a very valuable magazine. The pupils love reading it. We especially love your stories about Namibia. Have you done any stories on the suffering of Namibians in the north of our country where the South African forces are waging their war? V.M. Windhoek

Thank you for the nice things you say about the magazine. Thanks for your idea – we will see what we can do!

Dear Learn and Teach, I greet all Learn and Teach readers in the name of the Freedom Charter. My problem is with the new identity books. I applied for the new ID in December 1986. I am a Lebowa citizen and I applied in Randfontein. I am still waiting for the ID, one year later. I went to driving school and now I have my Code 10 licence. But I have no ID book to put it into. I have spent a lot of money going up and down to the offices to check if my book is there. They keep telling me not to worry, my book will come. SM Randfontein

Thank you for your letter. Many people are having problems with the new ID books. Unfortunately, you do not give us enough details, so we can not ask the Department of Home Affairs about your book. You must go back to the Randfontein offices and speak to Mrs Cordioli. We spoke to her about your problem. Take your old reference book with you. The Department will send you your ID book by post free of charge. You do not have to fetch it. Tell the Randfontein office where you want them to send your book. If you still do not get your ID book, please write back to us and give us your personal details and your old reference book number. You can also write to the Home Affairs head office at this address: Mr L. Kok, Deputy Director: Civic Affairs, Dept of Home Affairs, Private Bag X200, Pretoria 0001 * Anybody who has been waiting a long time for an ID book should first speak to the person in charge of the office where they applied. Do not only speak to the clerks – everyone has the right to speak to the person in charge of the office. If this fails, write to the Pretoria head office at the above address. Please include all details such as full names, full address, reference book number, date and place where you applied for the new ID and the problems you have had.

Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me, Learn and Teach. I am 18 years old. I finished Std 8 last year. I have no money to go to Std 9. My parents do not want me at home, so I am staying with my uncle at the farms. I have been reading your magazine since last year. I was even arrested with it. I asked my school principal to help me, but he is a proud man and he refused. I do not know how I can get a bursary. Please listen to my cry. SK Lichtenburg

We were very sad to read your letter. We wish we could help you, but we do not have any money for bursaries. Maybe you could ask your uncle to help you get a bursary. If you belong to a church, ask your uncle to help you to speak to the minister for a bursary. Or ask him to go with you to speak to the principal again. Most bursaries at high school are from the Department of Education and Training (DET)- but you need your school principal’s help you to apply. You can also write to the Education Information Centre (EIC). The EIC have a full list of where you can go to ask for a bursary. Their address is: EIC, 6th Floor, Dunwell House, 35 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein, 2001. Tel: (011) 339 2476

Dear Learn and Teach, I am a domestic worker in Linden. In October last year I was bitten by a dog. My employer took me to her doctor for treatment. The owner of the dog promised to pay the doctors bills. He also told my employer he would pay me because I was injured. But he has not paid anything. Now my employer has gone to live overseas. I am working for her friend. What can I do to claim my money from this man? Anna Masumpa Linden

Thank you for your letter, Anna. We think you should ask your new employer to speak to the owner of the dog. She can ask the man to keep his promises to pay the doctors bills and to pay you for the trouble that his dog caused. If you do not want to do this, you can ask the domestic workers trade union to help you. The S A Domestic Workers Union (SADWU) organises domestic workers and helps domestic workers to fight cases such as yours. If SADWU thinks you need help from a lawyer, they will send you to one free of charge. Please speak to one of the union organisers: The address is: SADWU, Park Chamber, Wanderers Street (corner Plein St) Johannesburg 2001.

Dear Learn and Teach, Last year I worked at the Eidelweiss Mobil garage in Springs. One night in October, robbers attacked me while I was on duty. They stabbed me all over my body and broke my left arm. They left me dying. One driver found me and took me to hospital. I stayed there for three weeks. Then I returned to work. My arm was still in plaster. Two weeks before Christmas, the garage boss paid me R100 and fired me. I asked him why, but he said nothing. Please help me to find a place where I can claim my wages and money for my injuries. Jackson Banda Springs

We are sorry to hear about your problems, Jackson. We think it is best if you get help with your case. Maybe you can sue your boss for unfair dismissal. Or maybe he did not pay you all your leave pay. Take all your papers and go to see the Industrial Aid So ciety (IAS). They help workers who are not members of a trade union. The address is: IAS, 3rd Floor, Camperdown Building, Corner Polly and Kerk Street, Johannesburg. Tel (011) 23 8479 or 23 8229

Dear Learn and Teach, My father was fired by Vaal Transport. He worked for them for 23 years. He was a trade union shop steward. He got only R4 500 when he left the job. I think that is too little after 23 years. Who can help him to claim his money? BM Sharpeville

Thank you for your letter. It is possible that R4 500 is all the money your father can claim from Vaal Transport. It does not seem much after 23 years service. But many employers pay low bonuses and pensions. We think you must ask an advice office to check if your father can claim anything more. You can go to: Industrial Aid Bureau, 312 Trevor Building, 23 Voortrekker Street Vereeniging 1930 Tel (016) 21-2541 Open: Mon ~Fri 8,30 to 4,30

Dear Learn and Teach, My problem is that I can’t get a job. I want a job as a junior office clerk and typist. I have a typing diploma and can do filing and petty cash. I have tried at the agencies like Kelly Girl, Drake and Brent Personnel, but they make excuses. Another woman told me these agencies do not hire African workers, but they do not want to say so honestly. Is this true? How can I find a job? INK Alexandra

Thank you for your letter. We spoke to the personnel agencies. They say they interview and test anybody who applies to register with them. But they say the problem is with the employers. Many employers who ask the agencies to find employees for them do not want black people. We do know of a personnel agency who have helped many black people in the past. The agency is called EIC Personnel. If you register with them, maybe you will have more luck. The address is: EIC Personnel, 6th floor Dunwell House, 35 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein 2107. Tel (011) 339-2476

Dear Learn and Teach, I am writing to you because I am interested in selling the magazine. How does it work? Will you deliver the magazine? I am also interested in writing stories for the magazine. Themba Komangu Pretoria

Thanks for the letter, Themba. We will be very happy if you sell the magazine. We give our sellers the magazine at half price. If you cannot fetch the magazines from our office, we will send them to you by post. We always start off by giving new sellers 25 magazines to start with. If all goes well, we will give you as many as you want. We have already posted magazines to you. Good luck and we hope to hear from you soon.

About writing stories for the magazine – yes, we are very interested in our readers writing for the magazine. If the stories are used we will pay you – not a fortune, but something. Please write to us with your ideas. Or you can phone us at (011) 838 3030 or 838 3039.


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