Stakeholders to embrace 16 Days of Activism

Stakeholders from City of Johannesburg Region C are set to embrace 16 days of activism to continue fighting against Gender Based Violence (GBV).

This was revealed on 12 November when stakeholders from Cosmo City, Diepsloot, and Zandspruit met at Multipurpose alongside government officials to discuss Gender based issues.

Sixteen Days of Activism against Gender based Violence is an international campaign to oppose violence against women and children. The campaign runs every year from 25 November to 10 December.

The Region C stakeholders want to achieve sexual orientation for men and women by building a crime free society, said Stephinah Boshielo of Cosmo Women’s Forum.

“We want to educate and empower the community,” she said. “We aim to do that irrespective of background, culture, religion, nationality, gender, education on the moral ethics to ensure South Africa is a harmonious country to live in.”

With the stakeholders aiming to officially kick start their campaign on 27 November, they want to comply with constitutional rights, according to Boshielo.

“We also want to instill a diverse culture in the community,” Boshielo said. “As we fight against Gender based violence we want to promote a culture that dignifies every single citizen aligned with the constitution. We want to get rid of discrimination by making sure we exercise respect when dealing with the poor and the vulnerable.”

Zandspruit Youth Forum push for Community’s Recreational Center

As land invasion continues in Zandspruit, pressure builds from the youth for a recreational center in the community.

Relevant stakeholders, including municipality are aware of the project, according to Zandspruit Youth Forum chairperson David Tebogo Mangena. Should the youth forum gets permission to use the land opposite Zandspruit taxi rank, Mangena said the community will have a recreational center for the first time.

“Zandspruit started in 1993, but so far we do not have a proper structure from the government,” Mangena said. “Nobody seems to be caring about our community development, and we want to build a mobile recreational center. Nothing recreational is happening in Zandspruit and we feel dumped when it comes to development.”

Mangena said they are appealing to the corporate community to put their vision into reality.

“We are appealing to businesses, churches, NGOs, and companies to assist in getting this dream come true. Young people have lost hope as they do not see anything good coming out of this community.”

The community needs to establish a community hall surrounded by four containers, each costing an estimated R32 900. The containers will be used for library, IT computer lab, classroom, and offices, Mangena explained.

“We are doing this to empower the youth of Zandspruit,” he added. “When children come from school, they do not have any place to go. We have students who are talented in art and acting, but they do not have a community platform to pursue their dreams.”



Workers protest over pay at Paul’s Muesli in Northriding

About 20 workers of Paul’s Muesli downed tools on 15 November and held a demonstration in Northriding, demanding increase in salary and allowances.

The workers, who come from areas like Cosmo City, Zandspruit and Kya Sands, said they approached Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) and got permission to protest. The angry workers said they expect the company to offer program fund for maternity leave.

Paul’s Muesli  which manufactures and supplies butter biscuits, oats and other products, has not met the workers’ needs since last year, said Sipho Kunene, one of the employees.

“The strike is legal,” Kunene said, “and we want the owners of the company to hear our concerns and take action. We made a proposal to the company, asking for salary increments and program funds. However, they seemed not to understand our needs.”

Workers demanded a salary increase of 50 percent, but they only got an increase of 6 percent, said Temoso Xhane, who has been working for the company for two years.

“We feel we are unfairly treated by our employers,” she said.  “Some of our co-workers have been with this company for more than 20 years, and there is still no change.  Now they are threatening to get us fired if we do not resume our work duties, which is not fair.”

The workers alleged that their bosses had been conniving with the police to stop them from protesting.

Efforts to get a comment from the company founder, Paul Ruiter, were fruitless as he could not answer several calls to his cell phone.




Mixed feelings over Cosmo City’s taxi crisis

Resumption of taxi operations by RULLDTA in Cosmo City’s normal areas has been welcomed by some residents and taxi owners. But others have expressed their frustrations as they struggle to get taxis to town in the morning hours.

“Every morning I stand in a queue for more than one hour,” said Sinethemba Qukwana, a Cosmo City resident who works in Jorbug CBD. “We understand the local taxi crisis has been solved, but we still need to be sorted out with taxis to go to town. I always arrive late at work. I think there is lack of enough taxis from our area to Jozi.”

Qukwana said if more taxis are brought to the community there would be competition which can lead to good services.

On 28 October, ward 100 councilor’s office issued a statement that together with relevant stakeholders they are committed to finding solutions to the ward’s taxi crisis. This came after RULLDTA had announced that they would be shifting from operating at Multipurpose rank to Shoprite Taxi Rank.

“It is our view that the interest of our people must always be at the center of our developmental agenda,” reads part of the statement. “We say this in line with imperatives Batho Pele enshrined in Constitution of the Republic of South Africa.”



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