The lack of economic opportunities in small rural and farming towns around the country is driving up social ills. Most of these towns rely on a single industry, typically farming. Unemployment is high and too many children pregnant. Alcohol abuse is reportedly spiking because there are more bottle stores in town than factories or bookshops.
A group of dissatisfied government college lecturers last Friday demonstrated in front of the Port Elizabeth High Court demanding better salaries and improved working conditions.
Thousands took to the streets of Port Elizabeth calling for President Zuma to step down
A school in the Eastern Cape that provides special education to intellectually disabled children is facing a myriad of challenges. The school has an acute shortage of teachers, overcrowding and a critical shortage of special teaching guides.
Luthando Luvuyo Special School in Port Elizabeth. It has been plagued by staff shortages and overcrowding in its classes. The school is also in need of more classrooms. To compound the school’s predicament, next to it is Sharpeville informal settlement.
The recent announcement by the government that the national minimum wage should be set at R3,500 a month has not settled well with some employees, including their labour organisations.
The contentious issue of the national minimum wage has been a subject of debate for many years the government, employers and labour unions. Labour unions feel that R3,500 is just a drop in an ocean in light of the current socio-economic situation plaguing the country.
Hundreds of workers of Spar retail shops in Port Elizabeth embarked on a strike accusing their employer of gross violation of employment rules and regulations. The agitated workers thronged outside the main gate where they protested while armed police kept a close watch.
Hate crimes are not yet recognized as unique crimes under South African law and there are no reliable figures about the extent of the problem in the country. Although South Africa is one of the few countries that recognises same-sex marriages, hate crimes are still prevalent.
Recent studies show that homophobia is still a major problem. A 2013 study by the Pew Research Center found that up to 61 per cent of South Africans believe society should not accept homosexuality.
After weeks of protests and putting pressure on university management, students from poor families and workers at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University were victorious. The university council released a statement saying that they have resolved to commit the university to ending outsourcing of service workers. The council also pledged debt relief for students.
Trainee nurses at Port Elizabeth’s Lilitha campus spent three weeks locked out of the college protesting against a new protocol that required them to wear their uniforms when attending lectures.
The nurses, who are based at Lilitha’s sub-campus at Dora Nginza hospital, felt that the college was overstepping its mandate as this was not part of the agreement they had signed when they enrolled for their nursing programme.