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Batho Pele Principles

Let's talk as we celebrate activism

By: Andzani Hlongwane

As the cold winter morning brought with it chilly weather, Tiveka Lodge was the venue for a robust engaging chat between the youth and older generation of Management from the Premier’s Office. Ms. Shirley Mokgalaka the host open the session with a prayer calling on the Presence of God to come and bring about wisdom in the meeting.

She called to the Podium Deputy Director-General in the Office of the Premier Mme. Manamela who posed a question to the youth placed in the different Units playing an assisting role by helping their Supervisors in various ways through learnerships, Internships and some other young people working different tasks within the place of work.

The question she posed was. What are you doing to commemorate the death of the youngsters of 1976? She went on to say that they are merely not celebrating youth day but they are celebrating the heroism of the youth of 1976, saying you are commemorating us because at the time we were the youth of the day. She went on to give a summary of the significance of pausing and reflecting on the day.

Which resulted in wide protests across South Africa having Soweto has the f epicentre of the riots when they started out right through the Town of Makhado in Limpopo which resulted in the documented deaths of scores of youth amounting to 5000 but in essence 1000 school children were brutally murdered for protesting peacefully.

Hector Peterson was the first pupil to be shot. Protesting against the learning of Afrikaans not only as a language but as a medium of instruction for subjects such as the likes of Mathematics, English and Science.

The students were intercepted by the Police as they were on their way to Orlando High and instead of the police saying that the children must go back they just went on a ramphage on a bullet spree resulting in pupils being killed on the spot by the then police force.

Torture was being instituted by the Police when they would embark on a harassment campgheins in the homes of children. She gave instances of how life was so difficult back in the day of how children, who were not armed, possessed no weapons, defendless and in need to be engaged were just shot and killed.

This made life so difficult resulting in many of the students fleeing to different Provinces of the Country in the likes of the Northern Transvaal, Free State, Fort Hare University some went to Thethlope now the University of Limpopo, which enjoyed International acclaim because the youth studying there were militant vibrant, forthright and determined in their fight for freedom of African children to learn their mother tongue. Some even going to an extend as to flee the Country.

Police intensified their assault bringing war tankers and other weaponry. She went on to say that the Renown Cadre of the people Peter Mokaba was her classmate at Kiti High School who would have been 61 today. Mr. Mokaba mobilised everyone because the police were now in Tethlope.

Those students from Soweto could not come into their classrooms to protest. Unfortunaly by 1977 the protesting did not end well in the sense that others had skipped the country others were killed, detained and they did not stay long in the Jail Cells. She further said youth like her in most cases appreciated staying in a Village because they would go home and stay there.

She added an explanation that she took the Young work force through this history because she wanted them to understand what their parents went through concluding that everybody contributed towards the struggle of self-determination in their own way, some became drop-outs and they were fortunate to go somewhere else to complete their Standard 10’s.

She concluded by saying that those that have died if they were to come back from the died would they be happy with what is happening now. Issues such as youth being on nyaope, bearing labels of rapists. Would they be proud of that?

She urged the youth that as they have come into the workplace, they must revolutionise it saying Mme Manamela we understand how you do things without being radicalised in such a way to provoke Management but conduct themselves in a diplomatic manner that is respectful.

She encouraged the youth to be Independent thinkers, transform those that are at the helm about the issues that they should not only think about the negative part of the ideas that they are posing.

Contributing to the harmonious functioning of the workplace in a larger scoop, that history must not repeat itself. She pleasantly concluded saying that the Interns and experiential learners as the continuity of Public Servants must enjoy their celebration of activism.

Shirley spoke in the same vein asking. What we are learning? Are we promoting the causes of the youth or are our endvours leading to a sink hole as the youth in our entirety. Are we coming up with something new in the workplace? Are we happy with what we are working with?

Are your peers going to say that you come up with a platform for them that they can truly say that they are delighted to continue using? She concluded by thanking Mme Manamela for the insightful glance at history and ignition of fire to leave the Office in a better light brightened for future experiential learners and Interns.

Mogalaka went on to introduce Edgar Shingange that addressed the youth on being young and skills. Presenting him as coming from Dan Village outside the Town of Tzaneen, He is a Speaker of many sought after events, a Business Strategist and possesses a B-COM Degree which he obtained from UNISA and continued towards his Post Graduate Qualification in Procurement .He is the Pioneer of Madipong Supply Chain and Procurement Institute.

Mr. Shingange acknowledged the Protocol that was present and particularly the Premier Mr. Stan Chupu Matabatha in his absentia and all the leadership of Limpopo at large not excluding the young Interns and experiential learners for availing themselves to receiving his message.

He started his chat to the youth by saying that he is not here to teach but also here to learn and that he and his 5 siblings were raised by a Strong Mother having had lost their father who was the bread winner at the tender age of 8 years. He went to say that he was a very ill disciplined boy and thinks that the lack of a father figure was the root cause of the bad behaviour.

He went on to explain that his bad conduct cost him suspension and expulsion from various Schools. As he reflected about the time he had to learn to conduct himself in a good light it was the time he matured and came to the realisation that if he was not able to go to School nobody would do that for him.

He went on to narrate that this bad behaviour would escalate from his older brother ,sister and him being a brother with a little sister and brother as well he took it upon himself to say that he would not repeat the same pattern.

He went on to give a lengthy explanation saying he did half of his BCOM Degree partly from home and had to make sure that he studied in preparation of the exams ensuring that he writes in a successive manner.

He went on to describe how he started working in the City of Johannesburg in the year 2010 in a Company called Metronic who were a supplier of health equipment like peace makers and heart makers.

He went on to elaborate he was broadly part of their Logistics Department having a vast amounts of knowledge in this field doing inventory , ware house pick up managing and at the time he had not finished his Degree. He further went on to say that he is currently serving in the Public Service as the Supply Chain Manager of the Gauteng Enterprise Propeller.

He also added that he has worked with many Public Entities, Companies and Enterprises in Procurement, Supply Chain, Tendering and RSQ’s. He went on say that he is a member of CIMS Charted Institute of Procurement and Supply Chain.

He went a step further to say what he does administrating Demand Management and Acquisitions assisting the Public Sector Arena like in our Revenue collector of SARS, the Competion Commission, the Municipal Demarcation Board, and Adams and Adams Attorney’s. Saying he is still young but has seen and worked in many places bringing him great insight and a treasure chest of Experience and know how.

He continued his chat reaffirming that when you are a youth you can be successful saying he is 31 years of age and started his Company Madidi Supply Chain Institute in 2016 looking in to skills development as the first part in a vision to transform the sector both the Public and Private Sector.

Transformation ideals in the sector must happen as a matter of urgency particularly in the Private Sector in the but sub-divisions of Logistics, Transportation, Warehousing, International Trade and Trans Shipment.

Trans Shipment deals with the movement of Ships from the Cape Town and Durban Harbour and exporting products in the International arena and is still being dorminationed by our white brothers and sisters. He further elaborated asking a painstaking and challenging question.

Asking why are our people not getting in this crucial part of the economy to be significant role players and contribute in the sector? His Company investigated and found that there is hug scarcity of skills in the segment and took it upon themselves to say that they should be the problem solvers.

He as the sole founder of the corporation ensured that his Institute was accredited so as to encourage the up skilling of the youth to enter the space. Their accreditation came through Transport TITA, SITA which gave them the green light to train people. So he took it upon himself to employ people that would be givers of knowledge and facilitation of youths that are brought into the programme.

Dealing with Supply Chain Training and Professional Driving seeking a solution to say how can we bridge the gap between the lack of information about the sector and the know how expertise working closely with High School Matriculates that have challenges of furthering their Studies in Higher Education Institutions by lacking funding or simply information on how to gain access into the field.

He elaborated further by saying that his Entity has embarked on programmes for the up scaling of the youth. Saying last year they completed a learnership that provides the Matric Graduates with driving skills which is funded by Transport SITA and facilitated by a Company called Chamunda Driver Leaner Driving Academy. He reariated his Institutions continued commitment saying that they started out with 10 learners by the end of this June they would have been qualified as Professional Drivers.

He added support to his words by saying he is seeking ways to link them to prospecting employers here in the Province of Limpopo or elsewhere in the Main Stream Economy of Country of The Greater Gauteng Province.

He added weight to his speech displaying his love for skills transfer and mentoring young people saying that at the current moment he is starting a project that he will be training 73 learners in his Institute facilitating them at his own capacity with his highly effective entourage of highly skilled Trainers and Facilitators.

He went on further describing Government’s new strategic way of employing stringent risk management containment measures, saying that it wants to regulate the Supply Chain, Procurement and Logistics Industry ensuring that those with shoddy workmanship should have their licences suspended having had been identified and put on the system never to work for a certain period of time of maybe 10 years.

There are on a rigorous drive to make known the many Service Providers that are in the Data base System so as to minimise corruption these discussions are underway as the session is taking place.

He went a step further pleading with the youngsters from different Units to be Servants of the People to have their best interests at heart to wage war against dishonesty and all sorts of scheming for the benefit of personal gain.

He finally concluded his insightful straight to the point chat by lobbing the young protégé Public Servants in not relying on Government for employment but seek ways to help to contribute to the Public Sector tax collection efforts by being employers themselves.

Shirley the MC of the discerning discussion went full speed ahead and introduced the next speaker of the day Seasoned Journalist with 10 years experience in the media industry having had worked in Media Houses like the Public Broadcaster the SABC, the eNCA , the likes of ANN7, Energy FM and is currently working as a Radio DJ at Tobela FM. A well spoken Orator of note who is passionate about the Limpopo Province, South Africa and Africa story.

A Journalism and Media Graduate from the Tshwane University of Technology, an avid story teller who has gone on to study Political Economy and a Graduate from the Thabo Mbeki leadership Institute, the beautiful Ms. Nkagadimeng Kekana hails from the warm Lebowamong Township and is currently doing her research studies in journalism looking at the Integrity of Journalists in the workplace.

Nkagading a self taught speaker of the Sepedi Language said she could not speak or write the language but today she can speak like she is an original speaker. She titled her talk as the youth in media launching herself like a rocket as she took off for lift off saying that It is important as the youth to direct the conversation of issues that affect them since content is derived on Social Media and this is tied to the behaviour they have seen.

Kekana went on to say that the youth are consecrated on what is happening on Social Media platforms and whatever thing we write on these platforms these very words will shape the way we behave and more importantly the way we think.

She went on to say that she started reading at a very young age and was blessed because her late Father was a self published Author more particularly in his retirement age years and this encouraged her to be a Barbaric reader and this caused her to scarvish for every morsel of book based on stories she could find.

Saying the first book that she read was Ann Frank. She urged people to love to read because through reading they will be able to engage and understand any particular field. She went on to boomerang the understanding that reading forms the foundation of knowledge in every field. She echoed the sentiments that through reading young people will be able to increase their vocabulary and their thinking.

Nkagadimeng went as far as being militant saying young people need to rally behind one another in a effort to bring the price of data down taking the time to remind the youths that anything that they need is online more particularly jobs. Adding to the fray the question where is the hash tag Data prices must fall#?. Saying Data prices in South Africa are too high and need to be lowered for the benefit of all. Further saying this has been achieved in Nigeria, Kenya and South Africa must follow suit.

She went on to echo that we must use Social Media platforms in a manner that will benefit our lives for the better ensuring that they voice their concerns about issues that affect them so as to bring a sense of justice to the many issues that they are coming across.

She drew a line in the sand and asked the youth. What will they do to ensure that they take their fight to the next level saying now that the youth of 1976 fought for their right to study their own mother tongue and English?

She asked and said what are their fight for ? What are we going to do? That even her in the media fraternity as a Radio DJ she has the mandate to inform, entertain and educate people about pertinent issues that are relevant and affect them on a broader scale of every day.

She went further to reverberate her plight asking people to continue to read ensuring that they help Government. She gave an illustration of how the presence of many Nigerians around the Country is due to the instability in that nation because of issues of poverty, conflict and a lack of opportunity this will result in many young South Africans not being able to find jobs in their own country.

She importantly went on to say that it is important that we tell our stories this go in a long way so as to ensure that wrong narratives and perceptions are laid bare. She further went on to activate young people today are fortunate to cast their vote ensuring that they make their voices heard adding that they must never take that for granted.

Because in other African Countries there is war and people cannot voice themselves from privileged positions like how South Africans are. She went on to explain the role of communication practitioners that only facilitate the impartation of content that the public or the youth bring.

She made it clear that they do not bring about the content which is the subject they want to talk about on Social Media but young people do.

Shirley introduced Mr. M. Mulibana who presented on people with disabilities. He started off his talk about how people with disabilities are marginalised; side tracked particularly in rural areas and this social ill is further compounded by issues of poverty.

He went on to say that there is this culturally embedded thinking that persists in the minds of parents that if they educate a person with disabilities he/she is doing the child a favour whereas It a Constitutional Obligation.

He defined disability as the long term suffering of people from mental, physical, emotional and sensory impedance. He went on to say that people with disabilities issues are not well documented and much of the challenges that they face is in isolation leading to a lack of knowledge of them. He urged the youth to come on board by assisting in researching about their issues in their Doctoral Studies to add their betterment of their lives.

He went on to urge the youth not to partake in risky, reckless behaviour because this will lead them to being disabled. He gave a scenario of the killings that happened in 1976 that also lead to people being disabled in some way or another. He further made a call to the youths that they must have a positive self identity which will mushroom into a positive self esteem.

The speaker of the day was Mr. Tlou Tefu from the South African Council on Alcoholism & Drug Dependency spoke about the effects that drugs have on a person’s well being and what his organisation under the umbrella branch of the local sphere of Government.

He started his talk by defining the excessive use of drugs defining addiction as Brain diseases that disrupts the normal working of the brain. The effects have chronic implications that can leave a person overly reliant on drugs for the rest of their life and it cannot be healed but only be treated.

He went on to give the understating that people who continue to use substances in a disorderly manner are committed to changing their lives but unfortunaly others spend their lives trying to do this and leading to relapses and a continued battle. He explained that there are people who are committed to their recovery in the sense that they try to rehabilitate their lives back to Society.

He on to say that people who use substances excessively are very hard to make understand preferred life on the streets some even coming from well off households. We normally see them loitering on street corners, on park benches and street pavements sleeping with dirty clothes in boxes covered with plastic sheets for blankets.

He went on further to say that people who use substances excessively need Societal Support and instead of being looked down upon. He went a step further to say that in treating or helping these people relapses are part of recovery and people’s thrash hold to phase the drug out of their bodies is different. He concluded his talk by urging young people to be influenced by their peers who use these substances in excess.