Riebeek College Girl’s teacher Jayde Panayiotou RIP

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Jayde Panayiotou and husband Christopher PanayiotouSouth Africa was rocked by another murder case in April 2015, two years after Reeva Steemkamp was murdered.

It was a heart-wrenching day at Riebeek College Girl’s High School in Uitenhage on Wednesday following news that the body of much loved teacher, Jayde Panayiotou, had been found.

Teachers and students alike had been praying for her safe return since hearing about her disappearance outside her home at Stellen Glen residential complex in Deacon Road, Kabega Park on Tuesday morning.

Panayiotou, 28, had been waiting outside her complex to get a lift with a fellow teacher and friend, but when the friend arrived, Panayiotou was missing. It triggered a massive manhunt for her that ended in tragedy on Wednesday when her body was found.

Teaching ‘was her passion’ school principal, Marilyn Woods, described Panayiotou as a loving soul who had a passion for teaching.

“Jayde was something special. I taught her when she was a little girl at Riebeek and she’s been teaching here since 2008. Jayde was a special person. For her teaching was not a job, teaching was a calling and her passion,” she said.

Panayiotou was a Grade 7 class teacher, and also taught life orientation from Grades 4 to 7.

Woods said pupils and teachers alike had been hard hit by the news of Panayiotou’s disappearance and the news of her death.

“When we heard about her abduction yesterday [Tuesday], I called the teachers in, as well as the senior girls, and told them what had happened and that we needed to keep faith and have hope that Jayde would be brought back safely,” she said.

Woods said she had also asked the teachers to dedicate the last 20 minutes of the day to praying for Panayiotou’s safe return.

“I told them they’re going to put their heads on their desks, think positive thoughts and imagine her coming back to us and hopefully those positive thoughts would give her strength. We were all sad but we were calm,” she said.

Close friends sent home

Woods said after she had been informed that police had found Panayiotou’s body behind the KwaNobuhle township on the outskirts of Uitenhage, she had told the staff, before revealing the sad news to the rest of the school.

Woods said some staff, who were close personal friends with Panayiotou, had been sent home.

“We called an assembly, which was attended by two representatives from the Uitenhage School Districts, both of whom are psychiatrists, as well as two ministers,” she said.

Woods said the pupils had been heartbroken at the news. She said staff and some of the senior girls had walked around during break to console them.

“We decided to keep the school running as per normal, so that we could provide the necessary support for the children, she said.

Free Nursing Training by Mediclinic

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Application Closing Date: 31 January 2015

Mediclinic NurseReference Number: 20150601-3: Mediclinic will pay for your Registration fees, Accommodation, Meals and book allowance as you study to become a NURSE

Main Requirement: Grade 12/ Matric
Click the THIS link to get application details

NB: Guys please share this information with those who are writing Grade 12 and those with Grade 12 but do not have money to go to University.

source: My RSA Jobs

Service Delivery Protests continue in Uitenhage

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Rioters in Uitenhage disrupting access to certain areas by barricading roads with fires. They are protesting over service delivery and want houses of their own to live in. Roads shown in this video include: Corner of Cannon Street and Middle Street (Kabah), Kamesh Road close to Blikkiesdorp and Kamesh Road in the Thomas Gamble area.

Thanks to Rostin van Heerdan for providing the footage. This does seem to be a continuation of what started in 2013 here:

November 15 – Uitenhage community members claim police used live ammunition to disperse protesters on Thursday. At least one person has been taken to hospital with what’s believed to be gunshot wounds in both legs.

Finishing Last: The Red Lantern

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Raise the Red LanternThe original title of this blog by marketing wunderkind Seth Godin made me remember the book and subsequent 1991 film by Zhang Yimou. This message is clearly directed at parents and teachers who often ignore follow the carrot and stick method to discipline and have no clue about perseverance.

My own persistence even when I may be perceived as finishing last comes from my uncle Andrew Arries, who turned 87 years recently in Uitenhage. Even at this age he has never stopped giving more than he receives, helping to raise my sisters children, helping to look after my mother’s house, and also taking care of his own needs from cooking, to cleaning to shopping.

Two weeks ago his 2nd brother died. He has one brother and sister remaining, and may yet be standing when I look at his energy levels and love for life. He was like my grandfather and father rolled into one.

…. from the Seth Godin blog ….

At the grueling Iditarod, there’s a prize for the musher who finishes last: The Red Lantern.

Failing to finish earns you nothing, of course. But for the one who sticks it out, who arrives hours late, there’s the respect that comes from finding the strength to make it, even when all seems helpless.

Most parents (and most bosses) agree that this sort of dedication is a huge asset in life. And yet, as we head back for another year of school, I can’t help but notice that schools do nothing at all to encourage it.

The coach of the soccer team doesn’t reward the players who try the hardest, push themselves or put in the hours. He rewards the best players, by playing them.

The director of the school play puts the same kids in leading roles year after year. After all, the reasoning goes, we need to have tryouts and reward the best performers, just like they do in real life.

But school isn’t real life. School is about learning how to succeed in real life.

Natural talent is rewarded early and often. As Malcolm Gladwell has pointed out, most of the players in the NHL have birthdays in a three month window, because when you’re 8 years old, being six months older is a huge advantage. Those kids, the skaters with good astrological signs, or possibly those performers with the genetic singing advantage–those are the kids that get the coaching and the applause and the playing time. Unearned advantages, multiplied.

If we’re serious about building the habits of success, tracking is precisely the wrong approach. Talent (born with or born without) is not your fault, is not a choice, is not something we ought to give you much credit or blame for.

How do we celebrate the Red Lantern winners instead?

Is South Africa’s public service too large or ineffective?

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Government Civil ServantsFRIGHTENING! Government statistics – MIND Boggling: Government statistics

Silly questions receive unbelievable answers.

We have 34 ministers, 33 deputy ministers, 159 directors general, 642 deputy director generals, 2 501 chief directors and 7 782 directors. This information was supplied in Parliament to Mr Mulder by Minister Lindiwe Sisulu.

Mr Mulder replied that 40 years ago there were 18 ministers, 6 deputy ministers and 18 directors general.

In the first quarter of 2013 more than 44 000 public servants have been appointed, bring the number of public servants to 3.07 million, or 22.6% of the total labour force of South Africa.

The Auditor General had noted during a recent audit that our large public service spent nationally on consultants during 2008 and 2011 R102 billion, namely R33.5 billion by national departments and R68.5 billion by provincial departments.

Without including gross corruption, waste and incompetence, watch for a financial implosion if the smaller private sector cannot continue to carry this ever-increasing public service disaster.

The above is 2013 info.

Nice to know where your tax rand is going!

Survey: Unemployment remains Uitenhage’s biggest challenge

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Uitenhage Business HubIn a recently online survey, 57% of respondents agreed Uitenhage’s biggest challenge remains unemployment. With Youth unemployment approaching 50%1 in the Nelson Mandela Bay Metro according to 2011 Census data, two entrepreneurs have decided to launch the Uitenhage Business Hub on Monday, 2 September 2013.

Many students after graduating with a degree or diploma relocate to Gauteng or Cape Town to find employment and opportunities that is not available in Nelson Mandela Bay Metro,” says Elaine Camoetie, co-founder of Uitenhage Business Hub. “Most of those who leave Uitenhage never return and therefore economic growth is either flat or declining in real terms.”

Over the last 10 years there’s been a growing resentment among the people of Uitenhage after the merger with Port Elizabeth and Despatch into the Mandela Bay Municipality. Most people cannot articulate their frustration because they feel economic development and job creation is skewed towards Port Elizabeth. Despatch, an even smaller town and neighbour to Uitenhage, probably gets the shortest end of the stick, let alone black townships like Kwa-Nobuhle.

The combined population of Kwa-Nobuhle township and Uitenhage is about 200,000 from estimates based on the Census data. The biggest employers are Volkswagen SA, Goodyear and mostly factories providing products to the motor manufacturing industry.

“High unemployment among the youth is likely to reinforce apathy, increase crime, teenage pregnancy, drug & alcohol abuse,” according to Ramon Thomas, an entrepreneur who relocated back to Uitenhage after 15 years in Johannesburg. “Entrepreneurship teaches you to take responsibility for creating your own future, your own opportunities, before expecting anything in return.”

The Uitenhage Business Hub co-founded by Elaine Camoetie, Yusuf Moses and Ramon Thomas has mission to create 20,000 jobs the next 20 years. The Hub will provides shared office space, Internet access, and will launch large scale Learnership programmes from the mICT SETA in 2014.

Informal partnerships exists with Raizcorp, the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA), CommunityLED, and the Media Workshop.

Thomas confirms, “with only 28 respondents it is not statistically valid to rely conclusively on the online survey, and a follow-up study is planned among the community via cellphones before 2014.”


Media Contacts

  • Elaine Camoetie: mobile 078 002 6918 email e@uitenhage.org.za
  • Ramon Thomas: mobile 081 4399 555 email r@uitenhage.org.za

Shared Office Space For Small Business in Uitenhage

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Entrepreneurs, move your home-based business to the best location in Uitenhage.  We offer a complete business support and ongoing training, as well as help with securing funding. Don’t miss out on the daily interaction and collaboration with other business people.

We have found an brilliant building that’s centrally located with plenty of space. So we are recruiting small business owners or non-profit to share this space with us at the new Uitenhage Business Hub. So if you are looking for affordable office space to move your business from your house, here’s two packages on offer at present:

GOLD PACKAGE @ R1,000 per month

  • Your own desk, chair
  • Daily use of your own PC with training
  • Access to Printer, Copier & Scanner with 5 pages per day included
  • Telkom line with 100 minutes FREE per month to landlines including 0861
  • Receptionist who’ll take messages and do follow-ups
  • Unlimited, uncapped wireless ADSL Internet
  • Access to our shared PO Box in Uitenhage post office, collected twice a week
  • Access to data projector for presentations
  • Free unlimited coffee for you and your clients
  • Hours 8am to 5pm Monday to Friday

SILVER PACKAGE @ R500 per month

  • Your own desk, chair
  • Access to Printer, Copier & Scanner with 5 pages per day included
  • Receptionist who’ll take messages
  • Unlimited, uncapped wireless ADSL Internet
  • Access to our shared PO Box in Uitenhage post office, collected twice a week
  • Access to data projector for presentations
  • Hours 8am to 4pm Monday to Friday

– update, Feb 2015: We closed down our shared office space!

Strike closes traffic deparment offices

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Traffic Department UitenhageThree traffic department offices in the Nelson Mandela Bay metro were closed on Wednesday because of strike action, a municipal official said.

Municipal spokesman Mthubanzi Mniki said the offices in Korsten, Sidwell and Uitenhage were affected. He said preliminary information suggested about 30 staff members were striking because of salary gradings.

“The management is currently in consultation with the striking employees to bring the situation to normality. For now, we cannot confirm when the offices will re-open.”

People who had appointments on Thursday were advised to keep their documentation as proof when re-scheduling. The municipality apologised for the inconvenience.

source: IOL / SAPA

Portraits of artists as young activists

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PAINTED on a skateboard is an unlikely place to find the face of Miriam Makeba. But that, says Cape Town artist, Khayalethu Witbooi, is the whole point of the artwork, which is to be shipped to Bremerhaven in Germany shortly as part of the Young Visions In Motion group exhibition curated by entrepreneur, photographer and skateboarder Kent Lingeveldt.

Using his signature combination of stencilling and oil painting to illustrate how he feels about the late Grammy Award-winning singer, Witbooi calls the piece “Che Makeba”.

It shows her wearing a trademark Che Guevara beret and singing, not into a microphone, but a hand grenade. The unlikely locale of the image and the militant trimmings are deliberate.

“Miriam Makeba was not only a diva,” Witbooi says. “She was an activist who did much more for this country than many of us are aware. She told the world where SA was, who we were and what we were going through. That’s what I want to celebrate with this work.

“I also want to remind people how manipulated the history of this country can be. Because of the way we’re fed our news — mostly through popular media — too many of us remember the singer only for her music. But she was an important activist. We have to look beyond the way history is presented. Often it focuses only on certain points. It’s important that we don’t forget about critical people and things that contributed to where we are now. And by sharing this message on a skateboard, I hope it reaches a wider audience than it might otherwise.”

Witbooi — who began working as a full-time visual artist only three years ago, and has already been part of two other group shows and held his first solo exhibition, New Dog, Old Tricks at the Worldart gallery in Cape Town in March — uses an edgy, urban technique to express what he sees and cares about.

The area behind Makeba’s head, for example, resembles the wall of the old corner shops found in places such as Woodstock or Salt River where, says Witbooi, “freedom of expression is more obvious than in more formal areas like the centre of Cape Town”. The wall is layered with paint, then floral wallpaper. Graffiti followed. Stickers were applied and pulled off. Posters too. Street artists sprayed their tags and advertisers attached their logos.

“I want to give the feeling that you’re not looking at a painting, but that you’re seeing something that is between reality and ideas. It should be something you can easily relate to and make you wonder how it all got there. I want viewers to think about the many different people — some mature artists, some immature artists and some not artists at all — who used this wall or, in my other works, garage door, corrugated iron and tiles in a public toilet, as a canvas. They used the same space to say different things, to develop a language and to tell a history.”

But, while the Che Makeba skateboard celebrates the singer’s contributions as an activist and warns us against accepting history at face value, another of Witbooi’s paintings, this time a large spray-and-oil on canvas, entitled Sold Out, tells a more sinister story of democracy in the balance.

In this case, the artist transformed the canvas into a sheet of rusty corrugated iron. Again, graffiti artists have left their mark, someone has imitated Andy Warhol and others have scribbled. A notice advertising “safe abortions” and a Jacob Zuma campaign poster have been pasted on the iron and then partially torn off.

Most recently applied are the stencilled images of a couple of Stormtroopers (à la Star Wars) and a parachute, and paintings of a man on his knees, a tyre and an Independent Electoral Commission voting box in a petrol can.

Witbooi created Sold Out after seeing video footage of police dragging Mozambican taxi driver Mido Macia behind their van earlier this year. The parachute represents the invasion of the masked Stormtroopers — that is, the ambiguous keepers of the peace, the police. The tyre is Macia. “I felt the dark side of our democracy when I learnt about the taxi driver and a stronger sense than ever that things are not going right. It seemed the police were sending a message saying, ‘This is what we do to you if you mess with us’. We voted for this democracy but it can turn against us. I didn’t want to be too obvious in the painting or make it a depressing piece, but I also believe that as an artist I have a responsibility to express this reality.”

Witbooi’s work is extraordinarily measured, both in process and content. He is precise about how he creates it and what it says, and is determined to draw viewers in and challenge their perceptions of what is real and what is not.

“One of the greatest compliments I received was when the curator of a major corporate collection said he didn’t believe that one of my images was painted. He thought it was a real poster that I’d stuck on the canvas. That’s the kind of reaction I like.”

But it is not just his work that is measured: Witbooi’s decision to become a full-time artist was also a methodical and deliberate process. While he has always been confident about his talent — “It’s genetic. My father and grandfather could also recreate the world visually” — it was only when he was retrenched by the Pretoria architectural firm where he worked as an architectural illustrator for five years, that he began the process of becoming a full-time artist.

“In a sense, being retrenched was a blessing. It was a good job and it seemed irresponsible for me to leave it of my own accord. But when the recession came and I was let go, I remembered an article I had read about Ayanda Mabulu and the Good Hope Art Studio programme.

“I knew Ayanda because we had lived in the same place when I was in Cape Town previously. So I decided to return to the Western Cape and look him up.”

Mabulu was gracious. He and fellow artist Loyiso Mkize invited Witbooi to accompany them on visits to Cape Town galleries to show them their art. Although he had none of his own to show yet, Witbooi was encouraged by the experience and briefly went to his place of birth, Uitenhage’s Kwanobuhle township, to consider his options and “find my voice”. By the time he returned to Cape Town a few months later, he was ready to take the step and, having found a residency at the Good Hope Art Studio at the old castle, set to work. Charl Bezuidenhout of Worldart gallery was the first to sell his work.

In December 2011, Witbooi was awarded an artist’s residency at Greatmore Studios in Woodstock, where he says he is enjoying growing as an artist.

“I want to continue to share relevant things I care about. Many of these issues reference SA but actually, they are universal.

“And that’s important for me. I don’t want to box myself in as an African artist. The only things that restrict me are my visual limitations. And those are unlimited.”