Kha Ri Ambe July | 2012
Nation in Dialogue
Community Service in Honour of Madiba
-not togaping leave hole
Unsung Heroine Back from Exile
arts & culture Department: Arts and Culture REPUBLIC OF SOUTH AFRICA
from the editorial desk Role playing imperative possession tool Life teaches us about two categories of people in society: those eager to see things happen by getting involved, and those who act as gatekeepers of the ‘do-ers’. The latter sit on the fence and although they expect to see things happen, they do not get involved. Their sole responsibility is to carry red pens, waiting to mark the mistakes of those who participate. These self appointed critics barely recognise other people’s efforts and alway rejoice at others downfall or failure
hen the players are on the field of play, their concentration is on what they do. Every player concentrates on his or her role for the benefit of the team. In this way we avoid becoming uninvolved critics. This highlights the importance of role-playing, at work or in the community. Role-players are those who see the gap and want to feel it. They avail themselves when the need arises. They attend and participate in activities. They contribute with inputs and information when needed. They express their views and, in a polite way, provide suggestions and recommendations. They criticise constructively where necessary and also accept criticisms. If we do all these things, we are unlikely to be against the team playing. When everybody is on the field, we do not distance ourselves when things turn sour, but own up to the results and strive towards crafting corrective measures. Role-playing is very critical if we harbour ambitions of achieving a better working environment and a better society. I have been very impressed by colleagues who are always ready to offer their service. Whenever their involvement or assistance is required, one knows that they will always be there and if they can’t, they go out of their way to ensure one gets help. Such colleagues are a joy to work with and if we are to have such attitudes then we will have a better DAC. Many will agree with me on this matter. Think of the colleagues with whom it has been easy to work with. We must all ask ourselves whether we are real role-players or whether people shiver at the thought of working with us on certain projects. Our own Madiba, whose call to us to give up 67 minutes of our time in service of our communities we also highlight in this issue, set a good example for us to follow in becoming selfless roleplayers in society. We are pleased that opinion aired in this magazine opens our understanding of how colleagues feel about the state of affairs in the department, and the changes they want to see. While shortcomings are pointed out, it is encouraging that constructive suggestions to improve things are also offered. Last month, we saw two managers swapping responsibilities. This is commendable, for an organisation that strives to keep service delivery at the top of its priorities, must continually innovate. It is clear that the groundwork is being done to gradually restructure the department and put it at the top where it belongs.
Enjoy the read!
whats inside... 03 04
Giving back to the community in honour of Madiba The “Spear” should not leave a gaping HOLE into the future
The National Archive of South Africa
Software takes terminology development to new heights
Africa’s largest and most colourful cultural event
Employee Wellness Day a Resounding Success!
Language Forum is a peer
Let’s Talk our Language Technologically!
Unsung Heroine of Liberation Struggle
Call for a mid-year stocktaking
On the couch with Cynthia
Money matters - invest wisely
Courtesy call by Chinese
Social Cohesion Media Launch
Youth Day Celebration in Dysselsdorp, Western Cape
Chief Editor: Sandile Memela Publishing Editor: James Mathibeng Writer & Photography: James Mathibeng Editing, Layout, Design and Printing – Shereno Printers Online Link: http://www.dac.gov.za/newsletter.html Information enquiries: 012 441 3639/3000 Contributors
Dr Joyce Sukumane | Mandy Gilder | Ulrike Janke Judith Nkqezo | Boitumelo Seomana | Sibongile Nxumalo
Solly Moholo perfoms during Mandela Day Celebration
Giving back to the community in honour of Madiba
t is that time of the year when South Africa and the world unite to celebrate Nelson Mandela’s life by offering 67 minutes of their time to help making a difference in their communities and in the world.
The 67 minutes symbolise Mandela’s 67 years of selfless service to the people of South Africa and the world in the course of his extraordinary life. Nelson Mandela is a world renowned political and humanitarian icon who committed his to life fighting for democracy and equality of humankind. In honour of Mandela remarkable accomplishments and contribution, and to follow in his footsteps, every person is invited to share his time in any form to helping build a better society, and to improve the livelihoods of other people through community service. Madiba’s selflessness and generous nature is a lesson for all, inspiring humanity to strive for and achieve the objectives of International Nelson Mandela Day.
Left to right | Deputy Presdent Kgalema Mothlanthe, Minister Paul Mashatile and Mandla Mandela during Mandela Day Celebration KHA RI AMBE | JULY 2012
The DAC will once again play a key role in the commemoration. Apart from leading the main event, plans are underway to coordinate the line-up of activities programmed for the celebration. As in the past, Minister Mashatile and Deputy Minister Joe Phaahla are expected to be hands on, leading by example as they will engage in various community service. Previously they have been on road visiting remote areas throughout the countries doing among other things, donation of books to libraries, beautification of public areas, visiting prisons and giving motivational talks to offenders. The same activities and more are envisaged. Activities commence on 15 June and culminate with the national event on 18 July 2012 at Lehurutshe Stadium, in the NorthWest. Although the main event will be held in Ramotshere Moiloa Local Municipality, activities over the period 15 June – 18 July will be held across the entire country. Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Premiers, MEC’s, Councillors and all sectors of society are expected to participate at various activities and events throughout the country. President Jacob Zuma will deliver a keynote address at the main event. | KRA
South Africans engage in community service (Pics from Archive)
should not leave a gaping HOLE into the future
he national stir caused by the ‘Spear’, an artwork that depicted President Zuma with his private parts, leaves one questioning the future of arts education and arts literacy for our young people. Not that the stir was due to “artistic illiteracy” in the interpretation of the artwork. South Africans generally display a high level of visual literacy and artistic talent.
But the anger demonstrated by South Africans on the streets and in the media over the portrayal of the country’s first citizen and president of the ANC exceeded the indignation expressed over the similar examples of controversial artworks of political and religious figures In 2006 Dr Pallo Jordan observed that “our internationally – Margret Sutherland’s children and our youth are increasingly painting depicting the Canadian prime shying away from reading, in favour of minister in the nude, the image of the visual stimulation and appreciation.” The Pope in an advertisement concept of for the U.K.’s national reading signs condom week, and We are still struggling to and symbols Ireland’s Taosieach (prime understand what really is prehistoric. minister) portrayed in the happened with the ‘Spear’. It An accepted nude by an unidentified was a controversy about art definition of artist. that became rooted in a political visual literacy Views of justification and discourse because of the way it is the ability condemnation expressed so offended an artistic sensibility to evaluate, ranged from race to which is not part of our public apply, or colonialism, cultural discourse. create insensitivity to disrespect, conceptual a lack of context to visual rights and dignity as enshrined in our representations. Educators are increasingly Constitution. These arguments are all valid, promoting the learning of visual literacies in a country like ours that has different as inextricably linked to the information histories, age. 4
This artistic insensitivity was felt by many, but they had no obvious channels of expression within the artistic discourse in our society, because we don’t officially (i.e. in schools, universities, the media) accept the majority Africans’ paradigm of knowledge which shapes it. This is a form of censorship on a massive scale. Although there is now greater appreciation than before for local aesthetics in architecture, design, fashion and craft, the intellectual paradigm shaping how we interpret art is still firmly located within a western narrative.
Reading, decoding and interpreting art is however a very culturally specific practice. We grow up learning from our elders which colours mean grief and which mean joy in a Zulu love-letter, or to appreciate the red of the Renaissance painter Titian to the point that we can say “Titian red’ and use it as shorthand for a particular hue.
Creating an artwork starts with the artist as an individual, who wants to communicate to or with the society they live in, to express and engage with the environment and the situation – cultural, political or otherwise – in which they find themselves. It starts with the self. Art is highly personal and emotive. But art is truthful. It resonates with deep universal human meaning, speaking across ages and races, and across the world itself. All these rich traditions are available to us and are part of our heritage. But one of them will die and be forgotten if it isn’t fed into our education system. This sadness turns into anger when the majority feel that their values, their ways of making art, their ways of appreciating art, the role that art plays in their community and their philosophical approach to art are not even part of the public discourse. How will we know we’ve made progress? When art (and artists) can be appreciated and engaged with for its artistic value and its role in society, and artists do not have to experience hostility because of their depiction of a political leader. There’ll be no argument about race, because the gallery and the artist are players in the global space and no longer die in a foreign country, like Dumile Feni, Gerald Sekoto Ernest Cole, Ernest Mancoba did. Artists will be given attention in their country of origin, not only because they were featured at Documenta in Kassel, Germany. A gallery owner will enjoy attention and footfall not because she is the first black female to own a gallery, but because the gallery is amongst the many owned by blacks and is of world standards. Research shows that presently, 91% gallery owners are white and male. We need urgently to ensure that future generations can knowledgeably carry forward both Western and African traditions which we are heirs to. It is time for an intellectual paradigm shift, for the blackout of knowledge on the one tradition to be urgently addressed, lest we will find ourselves in the same national stir over and over again. | KRA
Lindi Ndebele-Koka Director: Multimedia in Cultural Development. KHA RI KHA AMBE RI|AMBE JULY 2012 | JULY 2012
The National Archive
of South Africa
he National Archives and Records Service of South Africa Act (43 of 1996), “provides for a National Archives and Records Service; the proper management and care of the Records of Governmental Bodies; and the Preservation and use of a National Archival Heritage; and to provide for matters connected therewith”. What this means is that the National Archives is responsible for ensuring that there is “proper record-keeping” in all the three spheres of government in “any legislative, executive, judicial or administrative organ of state, including statutory body, at the national level of government”. It is the custodian of the country’s collective memory. The true history and identity of the country is found in these records. The value of the collection depends on the appreciation the country has for it. Added to this memory is the importance of good record keeping. Accountability is based on good record keeping and this goes a long way in promoting democracy
Mandate: It collects, preserve and promote public and non-public records with enduring value and make them accessible to the public and the State. The National Archivist is charged with the proper management and care of public records in the custody of governmental bodies. These records are unique and are not available in other institutions. The memory of the country is safely kept for future generations who might be interested in learning about their past. 6
The South African government ensures that the history of South Africa is documented and that only archival records are identified through a legitimate appraisal process and transferred into archival custody for long term preservation.
encountered by the National Archive includes amongst others, constant development of new information technology, limited resources and capacity to keep up with these developments, human resources, budget, space, availability of appropriate training in the country, and organisational structure which is still based on pre-democratic South Africa.
Uniqueness: Archives are the source of undiluted history of the country thereby contributing towards nation building, social cohesion and empowerment. Access to information forms the basis for economic empowerment and through the work of the National Archives the objectives of the Mzansi Golden Economy can be fully realised.
Major stakeholders are the public at large such as genealogical researchers, oral history practitioners, South African Society for Archivists and people who often visit National Archives such as students, researchers or academics.
Achievements: The National Archives initiated the development of a National Policy on Digitisation of Heritage. This policy is very important to safeguard our heritage from plunder and misrepresentation. Linked to this policy is the need for institutions to develop their institutional strategies on digitisation, thereby broadening the access to information through modern technology. Other projects hosted successfully are, the Annual Archives Awareness Week, Annual National Oral History Conferences, Federation of International Film Archives, training Timbuktu conservators land launching the Friends of the Archives Programme. KHA RI AMBE | JULY 2012
Planned activities - International Archives Day-9 June 2012 to be celebrated 7-9 June in South Africa - Friends of the Archives Workshop date still to be finalised - 9th Annual National Oral History Conference, Free State 8-11 October 2012 - International Audio Visual Day 27 October 2012 - Finalisation and implementation of the Digitisation Strategy and Embark on Digitisation projects Conducting the needs assessment - Finalisation and implementation of the Preservation Policy and Disaster Plan
Budget: The current budget for the National Archives does not cater for the social changes and the growing demand for archival services. The creation of the provincial archives added more oversight responsibilities which were not properly costed and appropriately funded. The goals for the National Archives have changed due to the advent of information technology and mobile technology. Traditional processes have to be improved to cater for new technology and yet no budget has been put forward to address this. The budget is therefore a serious reason as the National Archives is falling behind international standards and trends. | KRA 7
Software takes terminology development to new heights
he Terminology Coordination Section (TCS) of the National Language Services (NLS) unveiled a new software solution on 1 June 2012. The Autshumato Terminology Management System (TMS) was developed by CTexT of the North-West University to the exact requirements of TCS, and the HLT section of the NLS managed the project on behalf of TCS.
The TMS fulfils the requirement contained in the National Language Policy Framework that a national termbank be created that will be accessible to both government and freelance translators. The TMS is web-based, which means that even the general public can browse the contents of all finalised terminology projects. The software is also able to import completed terminology lists from projects conducted by other departments or institutions, which means that with contributions from other parties it can truly become a national repository for terminologies. Development of the TMS was executed as an open source project, and thus the code is freely available for further development. The TMS is a welcome solution to TCS, whose work in recent years has become increasingly complicated due to ageing proprietary software. The developers from CTexT met with the TCS termbank administrators on 31 May to 1 June to officially hand over the final version of the system and provide training. The terminologists will receive training in the coming weeks and move all their work over to the new system.
t s o m d n a t es g r a l s ’ a c i r Af nt e v e l a r u t l cu
he National Arts Festival in Grahamstown is Africa’s largest and most colourful cultural event, offering a choice of the very best of both indigenous and imported talent.
Every year for 11 days in mid-winter, thousands of visitors descend on this university town in the Eastern Cape, joining the locals for a feast of arts, crafts and sheer entertainment. This year’s event will run from 28 June to 8 July. The opening Gala Dinner takes place on 27 June.Termed a “Festival within a Festival”, the 2012 Main Theatre programme boasts two world premieres and a list of world-class productions at the festival’s 38th annual edition. The department has contributed R3 million towards the festival which is invested in production, development program and Marketing of the festival. The Minister, Deputy Minister and the Director General of the Department are expected to grace the occasion. Audiences will be spoilt for choice, able to take in an exhilarating and exploratory collection of performance art presentations to be offered on stages, in museums and galleries, and in unusual public spaces which, up to now, have not been been considered conventional festival spaces. From theatre to dance, opera to cabaret, fine art to craft art, classical music to jazz, poetry readings to lectures, every art form imaginable is represented in one of the most diverse festivals in the world. And there’s something for every taste, with techno raves, medieval banquets, craft fairs, cyber cafes, carnivals, buskers and walking tours. Contemporary dance has a much bigger imprint at this year’s festival, with a programme richly textured by international influences, and the Re-Fresh space for young, cutting edge choreographers to show off their creative mettle. | KRA
From left is Ulrike Janke (director HLT), Solly Mnisi (deputy director TCS), Alet Oelofse and Lutamo Ramuedzisi (TMS administrators), Wildrich Fourie (NWUCText) and Dr Mbulelo Jokweni (chief director, NLS)
“We are very excited about migrating to the Autshumato TMS. It is user-friendly and has advanced quality assurance features that will certainly benefit the work that we do for our languages”, says Mr Solly Mnisi, deputy director of the section. According to Ms Ulrike Janke, director of the HLT section, this project is a prime example of collaboration and support between the various sections within the NLS. The HLT section has considerable experience with software development management processes, which it applied to assist TCS in addressing a critical software need. The HLT section facilitated the entire project under the leadership of Ms Christine Marais, who has since retired. The system is currently hosted on a secure site at the North-West University, while the setup at the DAC is being finalised. Once this has been accomplished, the termbank will be accessible to the general public. The TCS terminology work for this year include development of terms for domains such as elections, mathematics and life orientation. | KRA
This year’s visual art programme sees a trend of inter-linking exhibitions, site-specific performances and a break-away from conventional spaces. Top local and international stars will make for a great musical mix at the festival.
Employee Wellness Day a Resounding Success!
he Employee Wellness Unit in the Department hosted a Wellness Day event on 31 May 2012. The EWU is a workplace support structure designed to address health and personal issues hindering employee work performance. The aim of the Wellness Day was to raise awareness of health-related conditions that may potential develop into to chronic ailments if not well managed, and to make healthcare facilities accessible to employees whilst at work. The day also served as a morale booster for employees. Seeing someone – the wellness unit staff – demonstrating concern for their wellbeing inspired confidence and encouraged them in their health-seeking endeavours.
Language Forum is a peer
he 14th National Language Forum (NLF) was held on 30th of May 2012. For the past Delegates listens to the proceedings nine years, it has been devoted to issues of terminology development, translation, editing, DAC Managers Mapule Gaffane and Dr Joyce Sukuinterpreting, human language technologies and The rhino mane lead the proceedings literature development, the measure of achievement since the poaching case policy came into being in 2003. presents evidence of the need to mainstream multilingualism in terms of funding. However, the rhino poaching court case and interpreting issues reported by Advocate Mathe of the Department of Justice and Constitutional The envisaged Language Act will force us to consider such things Development and the media generally, changed the direction. From as: these reports, we can infer that it is socio-cultural factors like linguistic • the cost of relying on foreigners for court interpreting and translation conflict, mediation and inter-culturality that influence language choices and uses in a multilingual country. This validates the notion that patterns • the legal and economic ramifications of a poorly funded language of language use within and across communities should determine programme the direction of policy, intent and implementation. Our present policy • the role of intercultural communication and the state’s security bears the history of past practices and sets the background for current language uses and values. • the role of language in law and justice This scenario should promote dialogue on the ways in which our • the role of language in the relationship between the economy and policy is experienced with respect to particularities of interpreting and crime translation from major languages (like English) into minor languages • the role of language technology (Chinese, Vietnamese, Pakistani, Thai and others) and vice versa. Politically, “minor language” means either a language of limited diffusion, in this case our own official African languages or one of intermediate diffusion compared to a major language such as English. The nature of language experience as reflected in our communities and school language education appear to be incongruent with the present policy.
• the role of research, education and training • the interplay between language and culture in communication • and the funding to be committed to the implementation of the constitutional mandate on multilingualism. | KRA
Let’s Talk our Language Technologically!
ave you ever wondered how Google did it? I mean searching the web using your own language. It’s going to happen in our DAC revamped websites. Yes, you heard us right, we are revamping our websites as promised in one of our mission statement to “develop and promote the official languages of South Africa and enhance the linguistic diversity of the country.” The DAC websites project includes the DAC website, the Intranet and the National Archives and Records Service of South Africa website. The new sites will have the latest technologies, a dynamic organogram, 11 official languages and….all of the exciting new features will be revealed in the next issue of Kha Ri Ambe. Let’s get you glued up to arts and culture 24/7, I mean we know you have envied other departments’ websites, wishing ours could be that dynamic. Wish no more. The NARSSA will have a state-of-the-art catalogue that researchers can use to search public records held by the nation’s archive service.
Remember the Chappies wrapper “did you know” quiz? Did you know that National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS) was built in 1974 and according to section 3(e) of the National Archives and Records Service Act (43 of 1996) the service shall maintain a retrieval system in which all provincial archives services shall participate. Currently the NAAIRS is obsolete.
On a lighter note, we are also revamping the NAAIRS, more about this in the next issue. | KRA
Service providers invited to participate in event included the Careways Group, Lancet, Virgin Active, Divine Touch, Tiger Brands, and an optometrist. During the event employees queued up to be for a range of health indicators including cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure, body mass index (BMI), eyesight, TB and HIV. The screenings were conducted by specialists free of charge. It was pleasing to observe senior managers actively involved in employee wellness programmes and encouraging their staff to participate. As a token of appreciation and encouragement for their participation, employees were treated by Divine Touch to neck and shoulder massages. Needless to say, being luxuriously pampered in the massage station made it the most popular attraction on the day. | KRA
Unsung Heroine of Liberation Struggle S
oft-spoken, Durban-born Premi Appalraju, now a deputy director in DAC’s communications chief directorate, started work in government in June 2001 as parliamentary and media liaison officer for Deputy Minister Brigitte Mabandla in the then Ministry of Arts, Culture, Science and Technology. Unassuming but firm, she speaks Telugu, Swedish and kiSwahili.
Not many realise the immense contribution and sacrifices she made for the country’s liberation. “Studying at the University of Durban-Westville from 1971 to 1974, I participated in student activities. I learnt about the ANC and the Freedom Charter through the father of my very close friend, Sherene Timol. Beaver Timol worked in the underground structures of the liberation movement. The Special Branch kept tabs on many of us. They would raid our homes suddenly and turn the place upside down searching for ‘incriminating evidence’. Harassment of my family continued long after I left the country” she says Premi met her husband-to-be, Jaya, in that period. “He lived in London but visited South Africa every few years. Jaya also worked in the underground structures and was in charge of setting up cells in the country. We would gather information – civic plans and sewer plans – and siphon it out to him. We married in 1978 and planned to live in Botswana, but those plans didn’t work out and we had to travel to London,” she recounts In London, and elsewhere abroad, Premi met renowned international anti-apartheid activists, 10
including Diana Collins, widow of Canon John Collins of St Paul’s Cathedral who founded the International Defense and Aid Fund, and Eva Hammarsköjld, the daughter of Dag Hammarskjöld, the UN secretary-general who was killed whilst flying to a meeting in Zambia in 1961” She taught literature at the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom College in Morogoro, and was later permitted to teach pottery part-time at a school in Dar-es-salaam, donating her salary to the ANC office. “Despite the severe hardships they were facing, the Tanzanians were warm, friendly, highly politicised and generous people who shared whatever little they had. I learnt to love the hospitable Tanzanians and cried when I had to leave Tanzania,” Premi recalls. After the independence of Zimbabwe in 1980, the couple, together with other exiles, moved southward to Harare, where she had a son, Vulindlela. “He was the joy of our lives. I had set
up a silk-screen project and we printed many political t-shirts and caps. I painted many ANC, SACTU and SACP banners and stitched many ANC flags.” Her work included promoting the cultural boycott of South Africa, addressing meetings, publishing a newsletter, and helping the ANC’s Amandla cultural ensemble relocate from Angola to Harare and organise their performances internationally.
as we spread out to the different parts of the country. Some comrades went under noms de plume in exile and began using their own names back home. One is always happy, years later in various gatherings, to meet up again with members of ‘our external family’.”
Premi feels very privileged to have been part of the liberation movement, and to have met and worked Despite with very prominent comrades in different the severe countries, such as OR Tambo, Chris Hani, hardships they were Thabo Mbeki, Moeletsi Mbeki, Thomas facing, the Tanzanians Nkobi, Ma Florence Mposho, Ray Alexandra, were warm, friendly, highly and Geraldine and Jabu Moleketi.
Premi taught at a primary school during the day and was gradually drawn into a cell that worked with the underground structures in South Africa. Her task was politicised and generous to conceal documents and money for Shortly after she returned in September people who shared whatever comrades to smuggle into the country, 1994, Jaya developed an auto-immune little they had. I learnt to love often secreting them in various pieces liver ailment, succumbing to it in June the hospitable Tanzanians of artwork. “I almost held my breath 1996. “Vuli was only 11 years old. I worked and cried when until the comrades arrived safely at their for a few years at the Women’s Development I had to leave destination. I spoke to no one about this.” Foundation before joining the Ministry of She hints on how Jaya was very annoyed Arts, Culture, Science and Technology.” Premi Tanzania when she revealed this to him years later. By now lives in Equestria, Pretoria. then the liberation movements were unbanned and Premi Appalraju may not have received the credit she comrades were returning home. deserves, but Kha ri Ambe acknowledges her as a true About homecoming, she describe as “thrilled and glad to unsung heroine of the liberation struggle. | KRA return to South Africa. We lost touch with many comrades
has been appointed on a contract basis as Senior Secretary. She previously worked as a personal assistant/ executive support and client liaison at the Public Services Co-ordinating Bargaining Council.
KHA RI AMBE | JULY 2012
joined the department on a contract basis as a Personal Assistant to the Chief Director for the Programme of Action. She previously worked as a PA for ARS (Real Estate) Projects.
was appointed Deputy Director for Legal Services from the beginning of June 2012. He worked for the KwaZulu-Natal Department of Economic Development and Tourism for five years as a senior legal advisor in the Legal Services directorate, providing legal expertise to the Ministry and the Department. 11
a Call for g n i k a t k c o t s mid-year
he clock is really ticking faster, isn’t it? One can barely believe the year’s already halfway through. We’ve been very blessed to reach the mid-year mark, therefore to many of us self-introspection is essential. We need to review our set goals and plans to check if we are really on the right track, so that we can make adjustments where necessary. Let’s unwind a bit and take stock. If we assess our performance now, we will not be found wanting come time to account. Every once in a while we need to be reminded that as the days pass, so too our lives are shortening. This is a reality that raise’s different emotions, depending on which side of the fence you’re standing. Some may feel contented and fulfilled, while others feel a discomfit, a sense of unsettlement, or are even fearful. It wasn’t that long ago we entered the New Year in excitement, making resolutions, jotting down our plans and objectives for the year, determined to accomplish them come rain or shine. We acted as if we had learnt our lessons, that we were ready to do away with the bad habits of previous years, and re-focus our plans to improve our lives and become better people. We should’ve known that objectives or resolutions are twofold: there are those we set for ourselves, and others that are set for us to accomplish by those in authority. We tend to get away with not abiding by the former, but the latter require complete adherence to. Those that set it for us will demand that we account. The weakness of humankind is complacency and a crippling ignorance that leads to a loss of focus, resulting eventually in the unconscious return of former habits. Then the battle against the inner man called conscience is joined. When we realise we are losing the battle to keep focused on objectives, rationalism comes to the fore. Suddenly, all sorts of reasons why we cannot achieve them begin to pop out, quicker than one can say the word ‘quick’.
I’m reminded of the story of the man who was lent money by his master to invest so that it would grow with interest, but who hid it underground instead. When his master returned for his money the man came up with all sorts of excuses why he hadn’t put the money to good use, blaming the master for being a difficult person. I should rather not mention the man’s petrifying fate.
t started implementing To those who have no late to do so. To those their plans, it is not too , thered to plan anything who have not even bo make a start now.
Objectives drive us. Without them we lack direc tion, as the DG has also hinted in one of his inspi ring columns. When you neglect or fail to accomplish your objectives, a sense of guilt will develop deep inside you that manifests in shifting blame, discontent and a fear of accounting. For the winners or achievers who fulfill their objectives, their reward is a feeling of gratification, fulfillment and peace of mind. Some people tend to define accomplishment on material or financial terms only, disregard its spiritual dimensions. The department has some great plans for the year. The question is: Are we still on course to accomplish them? We each have our own objectives. Judging by our current levels of motivation, will we achieve them? Objective resembles vision and need to be tied closer to heart than it is to mind, just as one proverb says. Lastly, objectives should not be discarded due to hurdles encountered along the way. A dog never barks at the stationary car so visionaries are more likely to encounter obstacles on their way towards their goals. However, they still need to be pursued regardless. | KRA
On the couch with Cynthia
he May 2012 Book Club reading was with Cynthia Jele, author of the multi-award winning debut novel, Happiness is A Four Letter Word (Kwela; 2010). The novel was recently announced as the winner of both the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize (Africa Region) and the Mnet Literary Prize (Film Category). Although this is Jele’s first novel, she has previously won the BTA/ Anglo Platinum Award for two of her short stories. Kha ri Ambe caught up with her in her excitement: KrA: Congratulations on the Commonwealth Prize and the M-Net Literary Prize, Film Category, you must be proud. Very proud, winning the Commonwealth Prize for Best First Book (Africa region) was unexpected because when you’ve written a book that is classified as “chick-lit” you’re made to believe that your book is not of literary importance, let alone capable of winning a prize. The award is definitely something the genre needs; I’m very honoured. Also, the competition was tight. I love short stories and naturally thought Voice of America by E. C. Osondu would win. The M-Net prize is even more interesting. To have the book turned into a movie or television series will just be too awesome. Happiness is a Four Letter word is a story celebrating love and female friendships. The four main characters – Nandi, Zaza, Tumi and Princess – all in their early-mid thirties, are friends living in today’s Johannesburg. Like any other metropolis, the pace of life is fast and the social expectations high. But they have each other, at least most of the time. The women have to deal with a range of social issues – infertility, infidelity, domestic abuse – it’s all there. They then go about dealing with these issues in the best way they can. Virginia Madikgetla and Premi Appalraju
Cynthia Jele KrA: What do you want your readers to take away from reading it? When I started with Happiness, I was just writing a book that I wanted my friends to read and enjoy because it talked about ‘us’. Towards the end of the book I realised I was actually reflecting on how my generation (those who witnessed apartheid firsthand) is really doing and whether we’re living up to the expectations of prosperity that has come with freedom. I would like my readers to take a moment from their busy schedules and just think back to where we come from and then go on and make things right. KrA: Is writing a full-time vocation for you? What else are you into? No, I write as a hobby. I work full-time as a management consultant in Johannesburg. KrA: What are your future plans as a writer I would like to start working on my next book, but I also would like to do more around my community in terms of promoting reading and writing. KrA: Any words of advice to aspiring writers out there? Start writing now, remember there is never a perfect moment to start. Also read, a lot – I’ve learned so much from other writers through their books. | KRA
Collen Hlatshwayo and Sibongile Nxumalo KHA RI AMBE | JULY 2012
Staff attending book club
From left is Boitumelo Seomana, Puleng Mdiya and Violet Masaele
-invest wisely Money matters
The younger you are, the higher your chances of ending up financially independent because you have time on your side. Have you ever heard that it is NOT about timing the market but time in the market? This is very true for savings and investments: start early and you will finish first. Do you know that I knew none of the staff I write about when I started working many moons ago. I write about money because I want you to avoid the pain of having too much debt and I also want you to become financially independent. Our schools don’t teach us about money so it is up to each one of us to educate ourselves.
any people work hard all their lives and yet they pay everyone else except themselves. When you look at their budgets and bank statements, you see money coming in on pay day and all of it going out in the next few days. They leave nothing for themselves. So before you open any accounts, make sure you pay yourself first. 1. Put away at least R500 monthly in a retirement annuity. Do you know that only 6% of South Africans retire comfortably? I’m sure you don’t want to rely on your children or the government in old age. 2. Take out life cover ASAP. The younger you are when you take life cover, the cheaper the premiums are. This is because you have a longer period to contribute and also you are healthier. You don’t want to delay in case you contract a disease e.g. HIV, diabetes, cancer or some other disease that could make your premiums very expensive and unaffordable. 3. Are you already a parent? If so, take Fundisa for at least R200 monthly for your child’s university fees - the sooner you do this, the better. 4. Buy Government retail bonds as they pay interest that is higher than inflation. This way you would be sure to have enough money to pay for transfer costs when you buy your first home.
Key Facts to remember • Pay yourself first • When you are starting out, you are working for money but as you approach 40, your money should start working harder for you • Use debt to make you wealthier, not poorer • Money-smart people can be ahead of high income people even if they earn less • Never use money to compete with anyone
5. Buy exchange traded fund shares for at least R300 monthly and use the dividends to buy furniture for cash or use the money to pay a deposit towards your first car. When it comes to furniture, cash is king. 6. As far as possible, strive to buy a home before you buy a car. 7. Further your studies in your chosen field so that you increase your chances of a promotion or even a better job. 8. When you buy a home, increase your home loan repayments annually so that you can pay off your home sooner than the 20 years the banks give you. Even R100 more monthly will make a difference. 9. Knowledge is power. Read books that will help you to create and grow wealth for yourself and your family 10. Once you have taken care of the basics, use the remainder of your money to spoil yourself. After all, life shouldn’t be all work and no play! | KRA Remember, it is not about how much you earn, it is about how you spend what you earn that will put you ahead. Are you an A Mother or B Mother? Some of the responses: A mother = buys reasonable clothes and sometimes says NO to the kids demands so she can save for their post-matric education B mother = buys all the latest expensive cell phone, iPods, iPads, and brand name clothes but does NOT save for the post-matric education of her children All of these and more are in the book From Debt to Riches by Phumelele Ndumo available at Exclusives and Adams bookshops for R134 a copy.
Article courtesy of Phumelele Ndumo www.thuthuka-sa.co.za 14
Courtesy call by Chinese
The Ambassador of Peopleâ€™s Republic of China Mr Tian Xuejun paid a courtesy call to Minister Paul Mashatile on Friday, 8th June 2012. The cultural relations between these two countries is growing tremendously.
Social Cohesion Media Launch From left is Sandile Memela (Chief Director for Social Cohesion), Minister Paul Mashatile and Duduzile Nchoba (Chief Director for Marketing), during the Social Cohesion Summit Media Briefing in Cape Town. The much publicised Summit will take place on 04 and 05 July at the Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto
Youth Day Celebration in Dysselsdorp, Western Cape
Youth display dance moves during their performance
Deputy Minister Joe Phaahla addresses multitudes of young people Hands in the air as proceedings carries on
KHA RI AMBE | JULY 2012
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04 and 05 July 2012 Walter Sisulu Square in Kliptown, Soweto