Letters from readers 1988 No 5


Dear Learn and Teach, Thank you for a very touching report on the celebration of Nelson Mandela’s birthday at Wembley Stadium. Your magazine is good at highlighting people and events which should never be allowed to be erased from the memory of the nation. This is a great service, do keep it up. I do not know if I am reading too much into what is meant to be a comic strip, Sloppy. I find it simple but so profound. Keep going and best wishes to all of you, Sr M.J. Modise SEBOKENG

Thank you for your kind words Sister Joseph. We love you too!


Dear Learn and Teach, I was selling your books to earn more money, but due to the police I will stop. The police want to arrest me when I sell these books in schools and town. They have told me that if I don’t want to get into trouble, I must stop — because they say I teach the people politics. I wished to continue with your selling, but due to the circumstances, I’m sorry. JM ZEERUST Thank you for your letter. We are sorry you feel unable to carry on selling the magazine. Our magazine is legal. It is checked carefully by lawyers before it is printed. If anyone selling our magazine is harrassed by the police, that person must phone us. We promise that we and our lawyers will do our best to protect our sellers. As for those policemen who harrass our sellers, we say: “Lay off! You have no right to harrass our sellers. They are doing a legal job, selling a legal magazine!”

Dear Learn and Teach, I work in a hospital as a laundry assistant. I have worked in this job for three years. Every month, I pay UIF and pension. Next year I want to go back to school. How can I get my UIF money and all my pension money on the day I leave the job? I need to use that money for books and uniform. Monde GRAHAMSTOWN

Thank you for your letter, Monde. It will not be possible to get your UIF or pension refund on the day you leave your job. It will take some time for you to get your pension money — sometimes as long as six months after you leave. Please ask whoever is in charge of wages at the hospital how long you must wait for your pension. You must claim your UIF benefits in the Transkei. Fill in application forms at the local labour office near your home. This office will probably be at the nearest magistrate’s offices. The UIF money will also take a long time to be paid — at least a few months.


Dear Learn and Teach, I would like to thank all the staff of the Learn and Teach magazine for the wonderful work you have done for us blacks. Your magazine enlightens everybody with what is really happening all over South Africa. But I was amazed to hear that ‘Sloppy’ has broken his hand and can’t draw. I am very sorry for him. The guy is a real artist and clown, a teacher too. So be better Mogorosi and continue with your fun. We love you. Sabelo Nkosi EMPANGENI Sloppy answers: “Ag, Sabelo bro, never write letters like this one again. You see I’m one of those people who hate to see a big person cry — so I feel really stupid when I do the crying. You should have seen the flood of tears that almost drowned the entire Learn and Teach staff after reading your letter. Anyway, on a serious note, we say thanks for a beautiful letter. Hopefully you’ll find new enlightening articles with every magazine that you read. As for Sloppy’s hand, it’s healed and is as good as new, so it’s back to the drawing board for ol’ Slop. Heyta daar!

Dear Learn and Teach, Greetings to all the readers. I am 21 and worked for three months for Nampak in Pretoria. I got fired. Now I want to claim the money I paid for income tax. I went to the Revenue office. They said I must have the IRP5 certificate, but I do not have it. What can I do? Barnard GA-RANKUWA

Thanks for your letter. You must go back to Nampak to ask for your IRP5 form. The Wages Officer or Personnel Clerk must give you the IRP5. Then you must take the IRP5 back to the Receiver of Revenue office and fill in the forms they give you. Nampak cannot refuse to give you the IRP5. If they refuse, you must go back and report this to the Reciever’s office.

Dear Learn and Teach, I am 19 and passed matric last year. Because of money problems at home, I could not study further. Our family is really suffering. In 1976, my father went to work in Johannesburg at the Civic Centre, but he never came home. Now I am the breadwinner, and I can’t find a job here in Tzaneen. Can you help us to find my father, or to get a job so that I can support my mother, two brothers and a sister? My mother tries to tell me to get a job with the Defence Force, but I refuse because I foresee the downfall of the Pretoria regime. Worried Son LETABA

Thank you for your letter. We were sorry to hear about your problems at home. We tried to find your father, but had no luck. The Johannesburg Municipality has no records of your father ever working for them. We wish you luck in finding a job soon; we are sorry we can’t help you to find a job. But have you heard of the Unemployed Worker’s Union? They are doing a lot of work to help the unemployed. You can contact them at: UWC, P.O. Box 260143 Excom 2023. Tel: (011) 290478

Dear Learn and Teach, My parents live in Koster. I think that everybody there is being exploited. They have to pay rent and electricity — but they built their own houses and the houses don’t have electricity. Even the streets do not have lights. They have been paying for electricity for four years. Daughter JOHANNESBURG

Your parents and other residents have every right to question the local council about the rent and street lights. They should challenge the councillors and the town clerk. They should ask what happens to the electricity fees and rent money they are paying.

Dear Learn and Teach, I am a married man without a job. I want to further my studies because I think that little education means little money. I passed Std 5 at school. Is there any way I can study further? Jack KATLEHONG

Thank you for your letter, Jack. You can further your education by attending night classes at an adult education centre. You can still register for Form 1 lessons this year and you will write exams next May. The closing date for registration for this year is September 9. The classes are at the Aaron Moeti Adult Education Centre, 309 Mosiliki Section, Katlehong. The telephone number is 905-1604. Fees are R2 per subject per year, plus R6 for exam fees in each subject. Classes are held from 6pm to 8pm, Mondays to Thursdays.


Dear Learn and Teach, I appeal to you to help us get a free lawyer. My brother was buried at the wrong place without my family’s knowledge. Now we really need a lawyer who can help us to get his body, and arrange for a proper funeral at home. Solomon PRETORIA

Thank you for your letter, Solomon. We were sorry to hear of the problems about your brother’s burial. You can get legal advice by going to the Black Sash Advice Office in Pretoria. The advice office will send you to a lawyer who will help you free of charge. Please take with you any letters, certificates or documents that will help with the case. The address is: Black Sash Advice Office, St Andrew’s Church, 294 Schoeman Street, Pretoria 0002 Telephone (012) 323-4488 Open Tuesday, Thursday & Saturday mornings from 9am to 12 noon.


Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me to get my money for an injury at work. My arm was broken, and I got only R700. This money doesn’t help me, because I can’t do heavy jobs now. A.D. THOKOZA

We are sorry to hear about your arm. Unfortunately, you did not give enough details about your case — so we can’t find out whether the R700 you received for your injury at work was the correct amount. But compensation for accidents at work is not very much — it is possible that R700 is all the money you will get. If you want to find out more about Workmen’s Compensation, go to the Industrial Aid Society (IAS). They will help you. Please take all the letters and documents about the accident with you. The address is 201 Metro Centre, 266 Bree Street, Johannesburg. Tel (011) – 29- 9315/6. The IAS service is free.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a Std 10 student and my problem is English grammar. I need books and help with English before my exams at school. Another thing I need is the address of St Barnabas College. Thabo TUMAHOLE

Thank you for your letter. To help you with your English, you can buy two books called Read Well and Write Well from Turret College, P. O. Box 11350, Johannesburg, 2000. They cost R5 each. Good luck with your exams. The address of St Barnabas College is Langeberg Avenue, Bosmont, Johannesburg, 2093. Telephone (011) 673-6741.


Dear Learn and Teach, Please help me to get a job as a traffic cop. I have applied twice, but they always refuse me a job. I need your help. Mike GIYANI

Thank you for your letter, Mike. Most municipalities already have long waiting lists of applicants for traffic cop jobs. They mostly take applications only from people who have good matric passes. You will just have to carry on applying to different municipalities. Also, try asking other traffic cops for advice about how to get the job.


Dear Learn and Teach, I am a guy who can’t get a job. I passed Std 10 and have a secretarial diploma. But whenever I apply for a job, they say they only need women, not men. We will do the same job, so why must they refuse me just because I am a man? I really feel like hating myself because of this problem. My friends are working – its only me who can’t get a job. Edward JOHANNESBURG

Thanks for your letter. We were sorry to hear you have been struggling to find a job. We think it may help if you apply for jobs as a clerk, not as a typist/secretary. It is a fact that most jobs for secretaries are for women, and it is not easy to change what people think about what jobs men and women can do. You can also register with the employment agency at the Education Information Centre, Dunwell House, 35 Jorissen Street, Braamfontein. Tel: (011) 339-2476. The EIC Employment Bureau helps in finding office jobs for black people and does not charge for the service. Good luck.


Dear Learn and Teach, I have done a course in leather work. I can make leather belts and bags and other small things. But my problem is tools and money to buy the leather. Can you help me? Unemployed PRETORIA

Thank you for your letter. We are sorry we cannot help you to get a loan. Or you can apply for a loan from the Small Business Development Corporation. You do not need an appointment — just go to their offices and ask to speak to one of the business advisers. The office closest to you is: SBDC, 24 Aster Street, Doringkloof, Verwoerdburg, Pretoria


Dear Learn and Teach, Can you help me to get a hawker’s licence in Johannesburg. I live in Hammanskraal, and it is very difficult to get a hawker’s licence here. I think it will be easier in Johannesburg. Robert HAMMANSKRAAL

Thank you for your letter. You must apply for a hawker’s licence in the area where you want to sell. You can’t apply for a hawker’s licence in Johannesburg and use it to sell in Hammanskraal. You must apply to the administration office near you. If you need more information go to the African Council of Hawkers and Informal Business, (ACHIB) 803 Medical Towers, Jeppe Street, Johannesburg.


Dear Learn and Teach, I work at Pick ‘n Pay. Please give us the head office address of Pick ‘n Pay and we need to know what are the rules about casual workers? We complain, but they do not take our complaints seriously. Solomon RADIUM

Thank you for your letter, Solomon. Casual workers are workers who work for not more than three days per week — but a person can work as a “casual” for a long time. There is no law which says the company has to put someone on permanent staff after they have worked as a casual for some time. We think you should discuss your problems at Pick ‘n Pay with the trade union which organises there, the Commercial, Catering and Allied Workers Union (CCAWUSA). The Johannesburg head office of CCAWUSA is P. 0. Box 10952, Johannesburg. The union also has offices at 7th floor, Park Chambers, corner Plein and Wanderers Streets, Johannesburg. Telephone (011) 23-6486. The head office of Pick ‘n Pay is P. O. Box 908, Bedfordview, 2008 Telephone (011) 455-1310.

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