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Young South Africans urged to volunteer

first_img15 June 2012Human Settlements Minister Tokyo Sexwale has called on young South Africans to make positive changes in their communities by volunteering their services.Sexwale was speaking during the handing over of new houses built by youngsters in the farming community of Kirkwood outside Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape on Thursday, just two days before South Africa celebrates its Youth Day national holiday.“We emphasis this thing of volunteerism because this is the month when young people took to the streets and took matters into their own hands to better the lives of South Africans – they never sat back,” Sexwale told scores of young people at Thursday’s handover.Youth build programmeThe houses were built by a group of youngsters as part of the National Youth Development Agency’s (NYDA’s) “youth-build” programme, which encourages young people to participate in community development through the construction of houses.The 36 houses are part of the 36th anniversary of the June 16 Youth Day commemorations. The agency said each house was subsidised through sponsorships to the value of R79 812.78, which included all the building material.Sexwale said there was often a misconception among the youth of today that voluntary work was mainly for old people and the unemployed. He found it strange that many young people refused to do voluntary work even if it would equip them with skills.“This the month we remember a painful year 1976, but what we need to encourage in today’s youth is that despite the challenges, they can still do things to better people’s lives, things like what these youngsters here have done,” Sexwale said.Sexwale hailed the 150 youngsters who were involved in the construction of the houses, describing them as an inspiration to the nation and the heroes of 1976.He said that his department and the NYDA would spread the initiative to other provinces to encourage more youngsters to get involved in the programme.Human settlements projects ‘across the country’Among the beneficiaries of Thursday’s handover was 75-year-old gogo Nongazelo Maqhabase, who had been sharing a small shack with her three grandchildren for many years.She said: “I do not have words to describe how I feel, I never thought I would one day own a decent house of my own. I am a happy person today, I express my gratitude to all those who were involved in the building of the house.”Sexwale said the government was currently busy with human settlements projects across the country. A total of 10 000 houses were being built in Lephalale in Limpopo province, 50 000 in KwaZulu-Natal, and 35 000 to the south of Johannesburg.“So we are building human settlements all over the country, and by doing so we are not just putting a roof over people’s heads but we are creating jobs for the youth, because construction is a skill – we are providing skills, educations and knowledge.”‘We are also present in construction’NYDA CEO Steven Ngobeni said the agency was impressed by the interest it had attracted from young people, considering that construction was viewed as “a sector for the unskilled”.“As young people we are making a statement that we are also present in construction, and we need that skill to be further strengthened in us,” Ngobeni said. “As young people we refuse to let our challenges stand in the way of us seeing progress both for ourselves and our communities.”Deputy Minister in the Presidency for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Obed Bapela, also speaking at the handover, decried the fact that more than 50 percent of South Africa’s unemployed youth were under the age of 35.He blamed a lack of skills and a high dropout rate at schools as contributing to the country’s youth unemployment.“In 1991, we enrolled more than 1.5-million, but only 500&nsbp;000 reached matric,” Bapela said. “We cannot pride ourselves over that; we have to change focus and the way we do things.”He said the Presidency would be requesting all ministers to produce a report on “what they have done for the youth”.“We will be requesting them to give us reports on what is it that they have done in job creation and youth development since we established youth directorates in all departments”.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Remembering South African writer Peter Abrahams: 1919 – 2017

first_imgSouth African writer Peter Abrahams died on 18 January 2017. An early pioneer in the exploration of race identity in South Africa, he was a literary giant who was at the forefront of capturing the injustice of apartheid.Writer Peter Abrahams was born in Vrededorp, Johannesburg, in 1919. He lived in London and Jamaica, and his extensive collection of fiction and non-fiction focussed on pan-Africanism and race identity in South Africa. (Image: Wikipedia)CD AndersonPeter Abrahams, who died aged 97 at his home in Saint Andrew Parish, Jamaica, was one of South Africa’s most distinguished writers. His fiction and non-fiction work challenged and dissected the complexities of the black South African identity. His biting criticism of the early days of apartheid and his exploration of pan-Africanist philosophy were fuelled by the need to tell the world of the injustice of racism and colonialism.Abrahams will be remembered best for his Mine Boy, which was added to the South African school curriculum in the early 2000s.First published in 1946, Peter Abrahams’ Mine Boy exposed the condition of black South Africans under a white regime. It presents a portrait of labour discrimination, appalling housing conditions and one man’s humanitarian act of defiance. (Image: Justseeds website)Mine Boy, a brutal story of South African urban migration, became the first novel by a black South African to be published internationally. It was the third book by a black South African to be published, after Sol Plaatje’s Mhudi in 1930 and RRR Dhlomo’s 1928 novel, An African Tragedy.“I am emotionally involved in South Africa,” Abrahams said in 1957. “If I am ever liberated from this bondage of racialism, there are some things much more exciting to me, objectively, to write about. But this world has such a social orientation, and I am involved in this world and I can’t cut myself off.”During his most prolific years, 1946 to 1966, Abrahams wrote eight novels, as well as memoirs and political essays. His 1948 novel, The Path of Thunder, inspired the ballet piece, İldırımlı yollarla, by Azerbaijani composer Gara Garayev.Abrahams’ early yearsAbrahams was born in Vrededorp, Johannesburg, in 1919 to an Ethiopian father and coloured mother.According to his obituary in The New York Times on 22 January 2017, Abrahams was inspired to read and write at a young age when he heard Shakespeare’s Othello. A prodigious student, he began contributing poetry and short fiction to so-called bantu publications after completing his basic education. As a young budding writer, he consumed literature, particularly the works of black American writers.“I read every one of the books on the shelf marked American Negro literature,” he wrote in his memoir Tell Freedom: Memories of Africa in 1954. “To (these) writings of men and women who lived a world away from me … I owe a great debt for crystallising my vague yearnings to write and for showing me the long dream was attainable.”This knowledge also inspired his political thought and his desire to capture the black South African psyche in words.Ship to LondonAfter a stint as the editor of a Durban socialist magazine in 1939, Abrahams found work aboard a ship bound for London. In the British capital, he worked as a journalist on the British Communist Party’s Daily Worker newspaper.Peter Abrahams’ 1956 novel A Wreath for Udomo was inspired by his friendships with with African intellectuals and revolutionaries in exile in the UK. The novel deals with the complex realities and conflicts between duty to nation and ideals. (Image: Justseeds website)He lived in London’s African immigrant community, meeting exiled political figures and intellectuals, including future Kenyan leader Jomo Kenyatta; Kwame Nkrumah, who would go on to lead Ghana to independence from Britain; and Trinidadian pan-Africanist George Padmore. The experience inspired his most multifaceted work, the 1956 novel A Wreath for Udomo, about political and social transitions in postcolonial Africa through the eyes of the continent’s political exiles. Renowned English literary scholar Harvey Curtis Webster called the book “the most perceptive novel … about the complex interplay between British imperialism and African nationalism”.During the 1950s, Abrahams travelled across Africa, including a return to South Africa to observe the rise of postcolonial, pan-Africanist political movements. These essays, long considered the most authoritative work on the era, were later published as Return to Goli.Settling in the CaribbeanAfter being commissioned by the British colonial office to research and write a comprehensive history of Jamaica, Abrahams wrote of the island and its people: “…in the stumbling and fumbling reaching forward of its people, is dramatized … the most hopeful image I know of the newly emerging underdeveloped world”.With his wife Daphne and their three children, he made Jamaica his home for over four decades.South Africa, however, remained foremost in his writing; in particular, it was the setting of his 1965 novel, A Night of Their Own, about the anti-apartheid underground. This inspired his 1985 magnum opus, The View From Coyaba, a detailed transgenerational novel about black struggle movements in Africa, America and the Caribbean.As he got older and the postcolonial era reached its pinnacle with the end of apartheid in the 1990s, Abrahams felt less obligation to capture the zeitgeist of black African political thought. Instead, he let new, younger literary voices speak about the evolving movement.Speaking to Caribbean Beat magazine in 2003, Abrahams said: “I became a whole person when I finally put away the exile’s little packed suitcase. When Mandela came out of jail and when apartheid ended, I ceased to have this burden of South Africa. I shed it.”Abrahams never returned to his country of birth.Overdue tribute?The Daily Maverick’s J Brooks Spector observes, in his lovingly detailed obituary of Abrahams on 25 January 2017, the often overlooked connection between South Africa and the writer, and begs an important question: “Surely there should be a (South African) library named in his honour, an endowed chair in African literature at one of the nation’s premier universities, and a publishing effort reprinting his output in a standard, uniform edition?““Embracing his memory as an early literary pioneer and impact as a writer must also take into consideration the eclecticism of his political thinking, his influence on the pan-African idea, and an ethnicity that embraced the near-totality of South African experience,” Spector concludes.Source: New York Times, Daily Maverick, South African History OnlineWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? 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Forget Self-Driving Cars, These Robots Will Make You A Drink

first_img8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market Tags:#Google IO13#robots dan rowinski Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Related Posts Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Google sure knows how to throw a geek fest. The After Hours party after the first day of Google I/O was packed full of augmented reality, food, fun, dancing, Billy Idol and… robots.Lots and lots of robots.It was hard not to miss the robots, considering that the main bar on the third floor of Moscone West had three robots mixing cocktails. The wait for a robot-mixed drink was considerable, as a human controller told each bot what concoction to make. Google may have come up with the self-driving car, but these robot bartenders are pretty awesome too.Check out the photos from the Google I/O After Hours party below.Dancing on dotsLast year, Sergey Brin himself taught us how to take a selfie with Google Glass.Robot drummerI swear I have seen this robot before. At MIT, perhaps?Taking augmented reality picturesGeek’s poseThis guy was using an augmented reality app to wireframe the crowdThese robots went toe-to-toeDragons!Watching Billy Idol from the dotsThis giant robot hand was crushing everything in siteGenyMobile founder Cedric Ravalec (and Jon Hamm lookalike) talks to ReadWrite Editor in Chief Owen Thomas about his startup in France.The crowd was told not to take pictures of Billy Idol. Nobody listened.last_img read more

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BJP govt. has pushed farmers into acute distress: Hooda

first_imgSetting the tone of the campaign ahead of the State Assembly polls, due in the later half of 2019, former Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday accused the Manohar Lal Khattar government of pushing the farmers into acute distress and misleading them.Mr. Hooda was addressing a gathering in Fatehabad’s Tohana as he launched the fourth phase of his ‘Jan Kranti Yatra’.“The BJP government claims to have implemented the recommendations of the Swaminathan Commission and is patting itself on the back after it raised the MSP of paddy to ₹1,750 per quintal and cotton to ₹5,150 per quintal, claiming that farmers are being given 50% profits but that’s far from truth,” said Mr. Hooda.He added that the revised MSP is based only on part of the input costs, not comprehensive costs as suggested by the Swaminathan Commission and added that the Congress would provide 50% profits to farmers on C2 costs.Mr. Hooda alleged that the State government has also failed to deliver on its promises made to the youth of the state. “Before the elections, the BJP had promised to give jobs to youth or give them an unemployment allowance of ₹9,000 per month, they have neither provided the jobs nor the unemployment allowance,” said Mr. Hooda.Power tariffsMr. Hooda said that after returning to power following the elections, the Congress government would provide relief to all sections of the society from rising power tariffs in the State. “The Congress government will provide a 50% reduction in the power tariffs after the elections,” he said, adding that the BJP government is solely responsible for the poor condition of power supply in the State.Mr. Hooda accused the government of failing to control the rise of the drugs menace in Haryana. “The State government has failed to maintain law and order. It was a matter of shame for all of us that Haryana has become the number one State in the country for crime against women. The situation has become so bad that the police have stopped registering cases and the horrible case in Panchkula is the latest example,” he said.Mr. Hooda took on the Indian National Lok Dal, accusing it for being hand-in-glove with the BJP government. “INLD’s agitation against the BJP is a sham and it would not make any impact, even if they continued to agitate for 50 years.”last_img read more

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Narada tapes case: CBI court rejects SMH Mirza’s bail plea

first_imgA special CBI court on Wednesday rejected the bail plea of suspended IPS officer SMH Mirza, who was arrested by the central agency for corruption in connection with the Narada tapes case, extending his judicial remand till November 26. Mr. Mirza’s counsel pleaded before the Kolkata court that his client is in no manner connected with the scandal but has been in custody for 49 days. He prayed to the court to grant Mr. Mirza bail as there’s been no progress in the case since his arrest. CBI lawyers pleaded that Mr. Mirza’s appeal be rejected as his custodial remand was needed further for interrogation.Mr. Mirza was the Burdwan Superintendent of Police when he was allegedly caught in a sting operation carried out by Mathew Samuel, the editor of Narada news portal, in 2014. He was arrested on September 26 this year and produced before the court, which had initially remanded him to CBI custody for five days. The court had remanded Mr. Mirza to judicial custody for 14 days on September 30 and had extended it twice. The Narada tapes surfaced ahead of the 2016 West Bengal Assembly polls. In the tapes, persons resembling senior Trinamool Congress leaders and Mr. Mirza were seen accepting money from representatives of a fictitious company in return for favours. The Calcutta High Court had ordered a CBI probe into the Narada sting operation case on a public interest litigation, which sought an impartial investigation into the footage.last_img read more