MINE STRIKE COULD SEND COUNTRY OVER THE EDGE
taught in blocks, instead of being day-specific, kids have their own laptops and lockers, and they have access to the coffee shop on campus.
Sounds lovely, doesn’t it? And it can be, especially when you see your child maturing before your eyes. Not so much, though, when you track their weekly spending on the school’s online portal and discover that the charges for vanilla smoothies are racking up.
Aqeel needs to understand that, while the school fees might be exorbitant, they don’t include complimentary smoothies.
Anyway, let’s chalk his smoothie excesses up to the novelty of suddenly having more freedom than was previously the case.
I’m more concerned about Backto-School Night. The Middle School principal has recommended parents wear running shoes as we will only have five minutes to move from one teacher and class to another.
Apparently, the aim is to let parents experience what their children do in rushing from class to class, so we can better understand what they’re going through as new Middle Schoolers, compared with the relative pampering of previous years.
Oh well, I guess it’s time for me to “step up” and fulfil my responsibilities as a parent. And it’s only one night, after all.
My phone beeps. It’s another message from Shihaam.
“We have Saabirah and Yaqeen’s curriculum night tomorrow, in case you’ve forgotten that, too.”
I could definitely do with a vanilla smoothie right about now. Bawa, a former newspaper executive editor and magazine editor, is writing a weekly column about the life and experiences of a proud South African living as an expat in Qatar. TO SOUTH African Gold Mines: I am not sure whether you have read the article in the Daily Sun about Amcu’s threat of a crippling strike, but I think all gold mines should take the threat very seriously.
Even if you can’t meet the
R12 000 demanded as a living wage this year, I think you should work through your figures and change your medium- and long-term planning to make this possible, as whether it happens now, or some time in the future it’s not going away and I believe it will become a reality.
Those mines that plan for it will be those that become major players in future extractive industry cycles.
South Africa cannot afford another Marikana and the president and head of police are aware of how close this country is to a spontaneous uprising.
Given the justifiable anger of the workers and many unemployed, THE city requires private sector developers who apply for additional rights to contribute to the provision of affordable housing in Cape Town.
The city’s Transport and Urban Development Authority was established in January last year to expedite the delivery of housing, among other priorities. Since then, we have nearly doubled delivery, and for the first time in the 18-year history of the metro have exceeded the city’s housing delivery target.
However, the backlog of housing is large and growing, and national grants are shrinking.
A revision to the country’s national planning legislation introduced a uniform, effective and comprehensive system for planning decisions, a key aspect of which was the principle of spatial justice and inclusionary development.
Since taking responsibility for the planning department last year, I engaged with local and international experts regarding the concept of inclusionary development. Broadly speaking, it refers to the requirement to include affordable housing in cases where municipalities grant additional rights to a development. such a strike could become the Waterloo for mine owners. So even though the stakes are incredibly high, with no one being able to afford such a strike, I suggest respectfully that a complete rethink about the type of mines, leaving out marginal ones that can’t support a living wage for instance, needs to take place.
We as privileged South Africans need to realise that our history has been airbrushed out in all the uncomfortable and unpleasant ways, leaving a colonial sanitised history which was based on the (untrue) belief that we are better people than those whose first language is not English or Afrikaans.
And while it may be very difficult to change our commercial style, it is no longer just to expect the majority of our citizens to live in inhumane circumstances and not receive a fair wage.
And it’s not only the mines
This is common practice in most developed cities. I have met the deputy mayor of New York, international experts from the US-based Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and various local experts regarding this mechanism and its possible role in assisting with affordable housing provision and apartheid redress and spatial access.
I have subsequently requested city officials to develop a concept document that could form the basis of discussions in preparation for an Inclusionary Housing Policy for Cape Town. The concept of inclusionary housing and the process of engagement with all stakeholders has received support from the mayoral committee. The city will that need to change course; all government ministers and administrators need to come back down to affordable levels of pay according to what the country can afford, as well as many others like heads of universities, councillors, etc.
We are the most unequal country in the world and something has to give.
The economy has almost come to a halt in the past four weeks and such a mine strike can quickly get out of control given the hunger and frustration levels, unanswered protests, spiralling crime and the fact that the present government is closer to a (rainbow) colonial elite now than to the freedom fighters they were voted in as.
We are on a knife-edge and the next few weeks and months could determine which road we find ourselves on. Franschhoek
zz| now initiate discussions with various stakeholder groups in pursuit of solutions that will assist us to develop an economically viable draft Inclusionary Housing Policy.
Where people live matters – location determines access to schools, job opportunities, public transport, hospitals, and public services.
Property values have increased dramatically over the past decade, and lower- and middle-income households find it increasingly difficult to find well-located properties that they can afford to buy or rent.
Inclusionary housing could assist with the provision of more affordable units within welllocated areas of the city and allow our society to develop in a more integrated, inclusive manner in line with international best practice. I want to reiterate that:
The concept document is a starting point for engagement on how the city could implement inclusionary housing in Cape Town.
Importantly, the policy must not be a deterrent for the valuable construction industry and place at I HEARD on the radio that proposals to ban toy guns may be on the justice agenda due to some children and grown-ups using them to commit armed robberies.
Now, keep in mind that when a person of any age points a toy gun at a victim, that is a very serious crime of armed robbery. We are quick to find an even faster solution that is not beneficial to the majority. A few years ago the best garden insect repellent was fine tobacco dust and because a few drug addicts used it, it was banned from the shelves.
There is the case of drug addicts using a cough mixture which contained codeine to enhance their high and now a patient has to show all IDs short of DNA and blood group and fingerprints to get that healing muti for a cough and cold. The very idea to ban toy guns is in my opinion a very dangerous manoeuvre to every single boy having a toy gun.
Imagine (that) toy guns are banned and after the ban as in the case of our illegal gun plaque, there are children still having them and in a playful gesture point them at a person or law enforcer. That child’s life will be in danger in the line of self-defence by the victim. Now if we want to ban toy guns, next will be toy dolls with the excuse that they could enhance testosterone levels which could lead to rape and if a child abuses animals there will be a proposal to ban all animal toys, so this call is out of line.
The justice system in totality must sentence adults to long terms of imprisonment for armed robbery by using toy guns and when it comes to children using toy guns to commit armed robberies, there must be detention centres for these underage criminals.
Let children be children and let them enjoy their toys and take note of this quote by Marge Cambre and Mark (Hawkes) – toys are important, formative components in children’s lives. They entertain as well as teach, and they may do both positive and negative consequences.
Now, kids have their own laptops and lockers, and access to the coffee shop on campus
risk the thousands of jobs which this sector sustains.
At this stage, it is proposed that the contribution the developer could make in terms of affordable housing should be based on a formula which takes into account the land value and development cost, and may accommodate an on-site, off-site or fees-in-lieu contribution, as per international norm.
The proposed requirement for inclusionary housing will not impact on existing property or development rights. It is expected that the mechanism will only apply where developments are seeking additional rights.
We want to work with you – industry leaders, experts, NGOS and our residents – to ensure that we develop a policy that is workable, implementable and practical.
I encourage interested stakeholders to please contact my office or their relevant representative stakeholder organisation to request to be included in this process.
zzWhere people live matters – location determines access to schools, job opportunities, transport
THE mining community gathers at the “Hill of Horror” during a memorial service for miners killed during clashes at Lonmin’s Marikana platinum mine in Rustenburg, in August 2012. | |