• Save the Athlone Cultural Hub and the CWD building at 146 Lawrence rd, Athlone
    In the days of apartheid, when many turned their backs on activists, the Catholic Church provided refuge, provided a source of comfort to the families of Coline Williams and Robert Waterwich. The youth from UDF's Wesco (Western Cape Student Congress) met regularly at the CWD premises, as did YCW (Young Christian Workers) and several other youth and community organizations. Activists on the run from the apartheid state were given refuge. It is now a space for the working class to engage in cultural activities such as music, art, yoga, the study of history and the history of Table Mountain. The CWD Executive wants to close the building. It is already a community that has few spaces for Culture. It should remain a living cultural space and heritage site. Please sign and share this petition. In addition, for over 50 years the CWD projects operated from this centre and elsewhere. Tens of thousands of people were assisted. There were social workers; there was training for Early Childhood Development. There was a sewing project that brought together refugees with local workers. It housed the science laboratory of the legendary St Columba's school. The residence for the teachers was housed upstairs on site. Over the past three years the then Arts and Culture manager, Andre Marais has managed to build up the Athlone Cultural Hub. Under his stewardship the Western Province Mountain Club is now housed in the building. They take youth of the area up Table Mountain and give talks about the history of the mountain. The Academy of Music has their administrative office on the premises. A jazz band, with local artist Trudy Rushin, have their practice sessions on site. The Revolutionary Yoga group operates at the Hub. There is also a dance club. There is a library of 30 000 classics and 10 000 movies. There have been several cultural activities held. There have been several education schools run by UCT Summer School. There is a corner for volunteers to read children stories. A memory garden has been started for Coline Williams and Robert Waterwich, who were killed in the struggle against apartheid. Robert was a former student of St Columba's and he would have used the laboratory. On the 13th February 2019 three rooms were renamed after the Trojan Horse 3. The library has been named after Shaun Magmoed. The section where the social workers used to operate, in front, has been named after Michael Miranda, while the upstairs section which used to be the dormitory of the teachers and lately was the section that housed the ECD, was named after Jonathan Claasen. Retired teachers are prepared to run free maths and science classes on site. A local resident is prepared to offer free carpentry classes. There is a strong case for the building to be declared a living heritage site, especially now that a funder has stepped forward that has offered to cover running costs, including that of Cultural Hub manager. Help us keep the building open.
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  • #HandsOffVenezuela! #TrumpHandsOffVenezuela
    President of Venezuela Nicolas Maduro was democratically voted into power and now US imperialism under Donald Trump and his allies in the European Union and Britain want regime change and are orchestrating a coup together with the support of the rich in Venezuela. After talking on the phone with US Vice President Mike Pence, President Maduro’s opponent Juan Guiado declared himself interim president. Soon after US President Donald Trump came out in support of Juan Guiado as interim president and Canada, the EU and right-wing, nationalist governments in South America known as the Lima-Group (Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Columbia and Paraguay) were all very quick to declare their support for Guiado. Juan Guiado wasn’t democratically elected and it’s clear he is being propped up by right-wing governments and the West as a leader sympathetic to their right-wing, nationalist and capitalist ideologies and oil and gold interests. Besides wanting to own/control Venezuela’s oil and gold reserves, US imperialism cannot allow alternatives that promote the interests of the people to exist, especially not in its so-called backyard! For years now they have been blockading Venezuela and creating a crisis by blocking food and medicine imports. This has been part of their plan to destabilize the country, agitate the people into pushing for regime change and ousting Maduro’s leftist government. US President Trump’s recent speech calling on Venezuela’s military to back Juan Guiado as President is a clear attempt to escalate the situation in Venezuela. The West’s support of Guiado and meddling in the country is only leading to more violence and escalation. If enough of us come together, we can pressure the US embassy and consulate in South Africa to condemn Trump's actions against Venezuelan sovereignty and support the Venezuelan's right to constitutionally and democratically elect their leaders without foreign and Western intervention. Support the people of Venezuela in their struggle for sovereignty, to determine their own future, to build the society they want to live in and to have a government of their choice. Many around the world are joining the struggle to resist the US & EU’s attempt to overthrow the democratically elected government of Venezuela. Hence the Red Cross and UN agencies are not supporting the US sanctions and boycott of Venezuela. Defend the Right of Venezuela to Determine Its Destiny! Say Hands OFF Venezuela! Sign the petition #HandsOffVenezuela For more information on the campaign and International Solidarity initiatives in South Africa contact the Venezuela’s Solidarity Committee in South Africa: Contact: 011 336 9190 Email: info@khanyacollege.org.za
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  • Tell Min. of Finance Tito Mboweni to increase Corporate Income Tax
    With Mzansi’s economy struggling, rising fuel prices and the VAT increase- the poor of Mzansi are in crisis. But despite this, government is trying to cut more public spending on things like healthcare, housing and social grants which are meant to give important economic relief to the poor [1]. We, the people, already shouldered the tax burden when VAT was increased last year. It is big business’ turn to pay their fare share. Tell Finance Minister Tito Mboweni, he must increase Corporate Income Tax for the tax-dodging and greedy rich and start prioritizing economic relief for the people. We welcome the announcement that sanitary pads, white bread flour and cake flour will be VAT free. With VAT at 15%- the burden of fixing the economy is still on the shoulders of the poor. But the gap between the rich and poor in Mzansi is one of the largest in the world. Mzansi is a country where the top 10% control 90-95% of the wealth [2]. It is unjust that Treasury keeps proposing solutions to the ongoing economic crisis by increasing the tax burden on the majority, especially poor Black women especially whilst 89% of companies in SA don’t pay Corporate Income Tax [3] and R965 billion leaves the continent in illicit financial flows every year. [4] Mzansi is dominated by greedy multinational companies. We the people essentially subsidize corporates. Government cutting public expenditure on things like healthcare, housing and social grants which give financial relief to an already struggling poor is not the solution to our struggling economy. Tell government and Treasury to tax the mega-rich instead by increasing the Corporate Income Tax. [1] The 2018 mid-term budget speech in a nutshell, Staff Writer for Business Tech October 2018 [2] 10 Percent Of South Africans Own 90 Percent Of The Country's Wealth, Staff Reporter for The Huffington Post July 2018 [3] Corporates not ‘tax compliant’. Baldwin Ndaba and African News Agency for The Mercury 22 Aug 2018
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  • Tell Minister of Justice to ban public displays of the Apartheid flag
    The apartheid regime flag is a legacy of apartheid. It is a tool used by people who call themselves South Africans under the democratic constitution of this country. It is a constant reminder of the criminal and unjust acts of our country's past. It is a symbol of oppression and it should be banned from being displayed in public. This will help prevent those who still have it from terrorizing Black people.
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  • Tell Heineken to stop abusing labour broker workers in South Africa
    (For those who are Dutch speakers there is a translation of the below text into Dutch at the end of the English text) A total of 55 workers were recently dismissed from the Heineken brewery in Sedibeng, South Africa. The workers were employed through labour brokers to do jobs such as sorting and packing. Some have been earning less than R4500 per month and they all earn only 20-25% of what their co-workers who are directly employed by Heineken earn. These workers have been working under, what they call ‘slavery conditions’. Gladys Thaane who worked at Heineken brewery in Sedibeng for 9 years before being dismissed says, “They keep us in a state of being unsure and anxious all the time by moving us from labour broker to labour broker. I worked under five different labour brokers while doing the same job of packing and sorting for Heineken. This is their way of keeping us away from decent wages and rights. For us women it is so bad. We suffer from long periods (menstruation), back pains and breast problems but we cannot say anything because we are not sure we’ll have a job the next day. The managers even target us for sexual harassment. Now when we claim our rights they chase us away.“ The workers were accused of participating in an ‘illegal gathering’ and ‘breaking labour laws’ by the labour brokers who employed them. This despite the fact that there is no concept of an ‘illegal gathering’ in South Africa’s laws. The workers took part in a legal protest in their time off against someone other than their official employer which means there was no way they broke labour laws. The workers were part of a group that visited Heineken’s head office in South Africa and tried to meet with the company. These workers were victimized for simply fighting for their basic rights. This hardheaded response of Heineken is consistent with how it reacted to all efforts of the labour broker workers to improve their conditions and claim their rights over the last few years. The company only acknowledged the workers and their struggles when there was public pressure on Heineken to treat its workers fairly. We demand that Heineken immediately rehire these workers with permanent employment and living wages. Bij de Zuid Afrikaanse Heineken brouwerij in Sedibeng zijn onlangs in totaal 55 werknemers onslagen. Zij waren in dienst als uitzendkrachten en verrichtten taken als flessen sorteren en kratten vullen. Sommigen verdienden minder dan 300 euro per maand. Uitzendkrachten verdienen slechts 20% tot 25% van wat werknemers verdienen die direct bij Heineken in dienstverband zijn. "Mijn naam is Gladys Thaane. Ik werk al 9 jaar bij Heineken Sedibeng en het is al 9 jaar een worsteling. We zijn constant bezorgd en onzeker op het werk omdat we van uitzendbureau naar uitzendbureau worden geschoven. Ik heb voor 5 verschillende uitzendbureaus gewerkt terwijl ik dezelfde baan had: flessen sorteren en kratten vullen voor Heineken. Dit is hun manier om ons weg te houden van degelijke betaling en onze rechten. Voor ons vrouwen is de situatie heel slecht. We lijden aan erge menstruatieklachten, rugpijn en borst problemen, maar we kunnen niets zeggen omdat we niet zeker weten of we de volgende dag nog een baan hebben. Vrouwen zijn zelfs het doelwit van sexuele intimidatie door managers. Wanneer we voor onze rechten opkomen, worden we weggejaagd. Maar we gaan niet weg. Help ons alstublieft om gerechtigheid te krijgen door deze petitie te tekenen." De ontslagen werknemers worden door de uitzendbureaus beschuldigd van ‘illegale samenkomst’ en het ‘overtreden van arbeidswetten’. In de Zuid Afrikaanse wet bestaat echter geen concept als ‘illegale samenkomst’. Daarnaast namen de werknemers feitelijk deel aan een legale bijeenkomst, in hun eigen tijd, bij een bedrijf dat officieel niet hun werkgever is. Dit betekend dat de uitzendkrachten niet in een positie waren om arbeidswetten te overtreden. De ontslagen werknemers zijn onderdeel van een groep die het hoofdkantoor van Heineken in Zuid Afrika bezochten in een poging een ontmoeting met het bedrijf te bewerkstelligen. De deur van het Heineken kantoor bleef echter dicht. Deze koppige reactie van Heineken is consistent met eerdere reacties van de multinational in de afgelopen jaren op de pogingen van de uitzendkrachten om hun situatie te verbeteren en hun rechten op te eisen. Slechts wanneer er publieke druk is uitgeoefend heeft het bedrijf gereageerd op de werknemers. Uw handtekening is van groot belang om Heineken te dwingen de, volgens de uitzendkrachten, “slavernij omstandigheden” aan te pakken. Eis dat de onterecht ontslagen uitzendkrachten direct hun baan terugkrijgen, permament bij Heineken in dienst komen en fatsoenlijke lonen betaald krijgen!
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  • Protect our private info! Implement SA’s privacy law!
    Every day, ordinary South Africans get calls and messages from private companies that want our money, or political parties that want our votes, or banks that want us to take out loans. But how did they get our information? There is a powerful privacy law called the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPI) which is meant to protect every person’s personal info from being traded, misused or stolen [1]. The POPI Act is meant to be enforced by a new privacy watchdog called the Information Regulator (headed by Adv Pansy Tlakula), which can investigate companies or departments that misuse your personal info. But six years after being signed, this privacy law isn’t fully in force. After years of bureaucratic delays, the Info Regulator is still not operational. The law will not come into full force until the Info Regulator has enough staff and resources to fulfill its watchdog mandate. While these delays continue, millions of South Africans’ personal info have been exposed through ‘data breaches’ by private companies and government agencies [2]. We need the watchdog up and running to investigate and act against companies and departments which misuse our private info. This is especially urgent as South Africa heads to 2019 elections, given the growing risk of personal info being used for electoral interference [3]. We call on the Information Regulator and Parliament, Treasury to act now: get the watchdog fully staffed and operational, and get the POPI law in force! _________________________ [1] Read more: What you need to know about the POPI law, at https://r2k.org.za/popi-guide [2] “Five massive data breaches affecting South Africans,” Fin24, 19 June 2018: https://www.fin24.com/Companies/ICT/five-massive-data-breaches-affecting-south-africans-20180619-2 [3] “How Trump consultants exploited the Facebook data of millions,” 17 March 2018: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/17/us/politics/cambridge-analytica-trump-campaign.html Note from R2K: View the Amandla.mobi privacy policy at http://awethu.amandla.mobi/privacy_policy It includes a commitment that your personal information will not be provided to any third parties, including us. All signatories to this petition have the right not to receive further updates about this campaign or any others.
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  • Gender Wage Gap: Banyana Banyana must get equal pay!
    South African women earn 27% less than men [2]. Our country already faces so many gendered social and economical issues and the gender pay gap also contributes to these issues. Our national women’s soccer team Banyana Banyana is just one example of women who work hard, yet they still remain underpaid and underfunded compared to Bafana Bafana (national men’s soccer team). If the argument has been that men work harder than women and “deserve” a higher pay, then without a doubt our women’s team have proven themselves to have worked harder than the men, but the willingness to increase their salaries still remains low. Earning an equal salary should not be about one’s gender, it should be about the fact that people do the same work in the same industry, and therefore should be paid the same. The time is now - SAFA must take action and pay the women what they deserve. References: [1] Jordaan calls for help to boost Banyana salaries amid outcry, Matshelane Mamabolo for IOL, 30 November 2018 [2] Do South African women earn 27% less than men?, Gopolang Makau for Africa Check, 27 September 2017
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  • Help stop funding cuts to health, increase the Sugary Drinks Tax to 20%
    Companies like Coca-Cola have been allowed to sell a product that drives type 2 diabetes [1] and they have specifically targeted poor communities who have the least access to quality health services [2]. We all know that many of our schools and spaza shops are covered with Coca-Cola adverts, and for decades many of us didn’t know the truth about sugar in cold drinks, and now many people have family members who are too sick to work. While Coca-Cola makes millions, the queues at our clinics grow longer. In 2017 there were over 100,000 new diabetes cases in the public sector alone [3]. There’s hope though. Thanks to public pressure a Sugary Drinks Tax was introduced earlier this year, but our work isn’t done yet. Because of companies like Coca-Cola, the tax was watered down to almost half of what Wits academics have said it needs to be: 20% [4]. 89% of private companies were found not to be paying taxes properly in 2017 [5], yet every day we have to bear the high costs of the VAT hike, and yet there isn’t enough for government funding for health and education. Because of private companies not paying taxes properly, Treasury has cut R350 million from our health budget since the February budget and now [6] [7]. We need much more money for our health budget, not less. Between now and February, Treasury may make big decisions about our budget and taxes. We know that wealthy companies and individuals will be fighting against taxes on themselves and their products, but if enough of us come together, we could send a clear message to Treasury that we want a strong sugary drinks tax of 20% announced in February 2019 budget speech. We stopped Coca-Cola’s attempts to scrap the Sugary Drinks Tax last year, and now more than ever, we need a strong taxes on products that can be deadly to our health, products like sugary drinks, cigarettes and alcohol. A 20% sugary drinks tax could fill the R350 million hole in our health budget, and prevent more people from consuming sugary drinks which drive diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, liver and kidney damage, and some cancers. [1] Decreasing the Burden of Type 2 Diabetes in South Africa: The Impact of Taxing Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Mercy Manyema, J. Lennert Veerman, Lumbwe Chola, Aviva Tugendhaft, Demetre Labadarios, Karen Hofman Published: November 17, 2015 [2] Big business - and people - grow fat on sweetened drinks. Lynley Donnelly for Mail & Guardian 1 June 2016 [3] Junk food, junk status cause skyrocketing medical costs. Amy Green for Health-e News 24 April 2017 [4] Sugar tax could save South Africa billions in diabetes costs. Thabo Molelekwa 29 April 2016 Health24 [5] Corporates ‘not tax compliant’. Baldwin Ndaba for The Mercury, 22 Aug 2018. [6] http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/national%20budget/2018/review/FullBR.pdf [7] http://www.treasury.gov.za/documents/mtbps/2018/mtbps/FullMTBPS.pdf
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  • Tell Pres. Ramaphosa to force Health Minister Motsoaledi to take back xenophobic statements.
    Mzansi is in a crisis- hatred and violence against immigrants is still a big problem in South Africa. Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi has made claims about undocumented immigrants flooding South Africa and overburdening our health system without any evidence or proof. This irresponsible lie is part of government’s propaganda war on Afrikans and their children living in Mzansi. But we can bring this xenophobic propaganda war to an end. Today is International Children’s Day and if enough of us come together and flood Pres. Ramaphosa’s inbox, we can force him to commit to protecting all Afrikan children and tell the Health Minister to take back his statements and apologize. The Health Minister, without any evidence or proof, said “[when immigrants] get admitted in large numbers, they cause overcrowding, infection control starts failing” [1]. But this isn’t the first time government have tried to trick us. In 2015 former Gauteng Health MEC Qedani Mahlangu said 9/10 patients in hospital and clinics were immigrants and blamed them for the health system not working and was unable to back-up their claims [2]. "Home Affairs in 2017 said it 384 000 people coming into the country from Zimbabwe, but only 27 000 can be accounted for. That tells you there is a huge problem," said DA Gauteng Premier Candidate Solly Msimanga. [3] But only 2.2 million people, less than 4% of SA’s population, are immigrants [4]. Clearly this is misinformation. In the lead up to the election it appears political leaders and political parties are trying to distract, divide and trick us with lies and misleading information and shift the blame for their failures onto immigrants. Nelson Mandela University researcher Savo Heleta writes “Why would politicians choose to face the rightful anger of millions of poor and hopeless South Africans when they can revert to anti-immigrant rhetoric and shift blame to those who have no voice?” [5] We won’t fall for it. We demand the truth. Force Pres. Ramaphosa to tell the Health Minister to retract his statements and apologize by signing this petition. It appears that some political parties are trying to focus our attention on immigrants instead of their own failings. This could be part of their larger strategy to try secure more votes for their party in the lead up to the 2019 elections. If we don’t keep holding government, political leaders and political parties accountable they will only double-down on their efforts to divide us and keep us from the truth by scapegoating immigrants for their failures. We have a choice, either we stand by and watch as government wage propaganda war against our fellow Afrikans or we come together and stand with those who, just like us, are looking for better opportunities for themselves and their children. As amandla.mobi members and a greater Afrikan community we can tell this story and ensure our government protects and gives equal opportunities and access to ALL Afrikans. Force government to tell Aaron Motsoaledi to take back his statements and make protecting all Afrikans a priority by joining the campaign and signing the petition. [1] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-11-20-00-immigrant-blame-game-motsoaledi-remarks-immigrants-strain-on-health-system [2] https://bhekisisa.org/article/2018-11-20-00-immigrant-blame-game-motsoaledi-remarks-immigrants-strain-on-health-system [3] https://www.enca.com/news/das-stance-illegal-migrants-could-fuel-xenophobia [4] https://africacheck.org/reports/do-5-million-immigrants-live-in-s-africa-the-new-york-times-inflates-number/ [5] https://africasacountry.com/2018/08/xenophobia-trumps-ubuntu-in-south-african-politics
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  • Tell Pres. Ramaphosa to give pensioners a 13th cheque in December
    The majority of pensioners in South Africa when they worked did not earn enough to support their families and save for their retirement. When they reached retirement age, their only option was to go onto the state old-age pension. The massive levels of unemployment together with the VAT hike, and massive hikes in food, transport and electricity has put enormous pressure on their pensions. Pensions, like wages, bring income into the home. The old-age grant is R1 700 a month which supports entire families making it a poverty-level grant. December and January are very long months for the 3.5 millions pensioners on this grant. They have to stretch R1 700 to pay for school uniforms, school fees, stationery and lunches for their grandchildren starting school in January. Even though pensioners try and put money aside by sacrificing their own needs during the year because of the increased financial pressure and deepening unemployment crisis; pensioners will have to go into deeper levels of debt to support their families. Pensioners are very worried that the extent of the debt will push them into ever deeper levels of poverty. Pensioners feel that a 13th cheque in December will help them absorb some of the pressures of these extra expenses over the December and January period and allow families to be in a better position come January and the New School year. Already Pensioners travelled to Parliament and spoke to MPs about their demands [1] [2]. With the State of the Nation Address tonight, Government is deciding how they will allocate the budget. If enough of us come together we can support the Pensioners' call for economic justice and dignity and ensure the 13th cheque is announced at SONA and included in the 2019 budget. [1] Gogos Call for better pension, Nokuthula khanyile for News24, 31 October 2018. [2] https://www.power987.co.za/news/mtbps-gogos-wants-christmas-bonus-from-tito-mboweni/
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  • Last day to stop Home Affairs xenophobic attack on our African children
    In the same week Health Minister Motsoaledi blamed our fellow Africans for the state of our health system, Home Affairs have quietly proposed new regulations to the Births and Deaths Registration Act to stop certain children born in Mzansi from receiving a birth certificate. Read the draft regulations here: http://pmg-assets.s3-website-eu-west-1.amazonaws.com/181012draftreg-registrationofbirthsdeaths.pdf Organisations such as Lawyers for Human Rights, Centre for Child Law, the Scalabrini Centre and the UCT Refugee Law Clinic sounded the alarm on Wednesday: http://www.lhr.org.za/news/2018/home-affairs-discontinue-birth-certificates-foreign-children
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  • Tell our political parties, if they want our vote, we the people must be able to fire them
    Right now, political parties are fighting for votes in 2019, the same parties who will fight for our votes in 2021’s local government election. Year on year we experience service delivery issues and a lack of change, even though all political parties promise this is a priority. But it doesn’t have to be this way. If we could change the law so that we the people could fire our ward councillors, our leaders would be more accountable. If enough of us come together, we could use the 2019 general election to make this an election issue all political parties want to commit to. We could force political parties to commit to changing the law before 2021’s local government election. No matter who you vote for, or whether you vote, if we send a clear message to our political parties that we won’t vote for anyone who won’t commit to letting us fire them before their 5 years are up. Democracy is more than just elections, it’s about holding our leaders to account every day. Together let’s send a message that we won’t vote for a party unless they commit to letting us vote them out.
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