Archive for the ‘General’ Category

MEDIA 101: AIP’s Louise Vale induct Gauteng Premier David Makhura about community print media.

MEDIA 101: AIP’s Louise Vale induct Gauteng
Premier David Makhura about community print media.

The Association of Inde¬pendent Publishers under the tutelage of Executive Director, Louise Vale re¬cently held a conference for Gauteng-based publishers under the theme “Bridging The Local Information Di¬vide” where value and im¬portance of media diversity became the order of the day.

Giving a keynote address, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura emphasised that by reporting on is-sues close to the hearts and minds of community members, grass root me¬dia has become a trusted partner in advancing com¬munity development.

“You are providing an important platform for community members to deliberate on and shape their own future.

Many of you have built intimate relationships with your readership and the communities you serve.

You have become their num¬ber one and trusted source of local news and information,” said Makhura.

This conference took place when all indications are that print media readership con¬tinues to decline especially among the upper-to-middle-classes in South Africa and also at a time when a national debate is raging in the coun¬try about the extent to which the media has transformed as well as the extent of the di¬versity of our media.

“Readiness to report on sto¬ries considered as insignifi¬cant or not news worthy by the main-stream media has cemented your place as an important alternative voice that enriches our media land¬scape.

You are our partner as we strive towards the target we have set for ourselves in the National Development Plan of ensuring 100% access to reliable information by 2030.

To us independent grass roots media is the life blood of our democracy. It is also a key feature of the informa¬tion age we find ourselves in,” Makhura expressed.

According to the South Af¬rican Audit of Circulation, of the 29 commercial newspapers we have in the country, only a hand-full are written in lan¬guages other than English.

In addition most of those writ¬ten in languages other than English are regionally based.

Makhura said, “We are en¬couraged that no less than 87 AIP member publications pub¬lish in indigenous languages or publish in a combination of an indigenous as well as English or Afrikaans.”

Equally and as pointed out in 2013 by the Print and Digital Media Transformation Task Team, the media industry has failed to transform itself suf¬ficiently according to Broad Based Black Economic Em¬powerment guidelines, particu¬larly in the areas of ownership, management and control as well as skills development and employment equity.

“On this important occasion we wish to make a commitment that as part of our programme to revitalize township economies – where we are transforming our townships into sustainable nodes of economic activity as well as vibrant cultural and intellectual spaces, we will strengthen sup¬port to township based publica¬tions and media outlets.

We will also continue to en¬courage provincial departments and government agencies to in¬vest a substantial amount of their advertising spend on grassroots independent publications.

All of this is part of our on-going commitment to deepening media diversity and pluralism.
We look forward to working with you as we make our me¬dia more reflective of the many views and perspectives that make up our society,” Makhura concluded.

Established in 2004, with over 250 members nationally the AIP is an organisation for advancing the interests of the independent grassroots print media sector in South Africa. 70% of publica¬tions are black owned with 20% owned by women.


Residents in Vereeniging have been assured that there is no reason to panic following a fuel leak in the area, Gauteng Co-operative Gov¬ernance and Traditional Affairs MEC Jacob Mamabolo said.

On June 30, fire and rescue ser¬vices received complaints of a “heavy fuel odour” in the Vereeniging CBD, and an investiga¬tion found that petrol and gas fumes were coming from a main sewer network in the area, Mamabolo said in a statement.

There fire and rescue depart¬ment together with energy and chemical company Sasol conducted tests on Tuesday to ascertain the severity of the pollution.
“I want to assure the com¬munity that all measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the residents and that con¬tingency plans are in place to avert any possible dangerous scenario,” the MEC said.

The filing station where the fumes were coming from has underground tanks with a 65 000 litres of petrol capacity, 37 000 litres of diesel and 440 litres of LPG.

The filing station had been asked to provide to provide its pressure test certificate to ascertain if that might not be the source of the leak, Mamabolo said.

The owner indicated that he would conduct a second pressure test.

“Fire and rescue is cur¬rently awaiting the certifi¬cate, with the purpose of determining the leakage.
Should the findings con¬firm the leakage, it will be expected for the owner to correct the leakage imme¬diately,” he said.

Contingency plans have been put in place.

This includes having the Vereeniging fire station on 24-hour standby and mak¬ing sure there is sufficient fire fighting foam at all three fire stations in the Emfuleni local municipality.

Vanderbijlpark and Evaton fire sta¬tions would provide additional back¬up, while Midvaal, Lesedi and City of Johannesburg municipalities prom¬ised to assist if needed.

There would also be continuous in¬spection of the sewer system and af¬fected manholes would be regularly opened for natural ventilation. If this did not work mechanical ventilation would be used.

Mamabolo said the contingency plan was enough to deal with the antici¬pated situation.

FATAL - Passerby's looks on as emergency officials tries to resuscitate what's left of the destitute souls.

FATAL – Passerby’s looks on as emergency officials tries to resuscitate what’s left of the destitute souls.

Two people were killed when a taxi lost control and collided with a market stall near Union street taxi rank in Vereeniging.

It is alleged that a queue marshal lost control of the vehicle and collided with a market stall, hitting a man and woman in the process.

The actual cause of the incident is unknown; however local authorities were on scene to investigate the incident further.


Having attended #communitymediaengagement hosted by Freedom of Expression Institute with fellow newshounds yesterday, I was left wondering about the importance of training (be it formal or informal) and what impact it has in the media industry irrespective of the medium.

We reside in a country where tertiary training is too costly, some of us may be forgiven for not having those privileges hence the constant need to fake qualifications when the need arise.

However, how vital it is for one to be fully equipped and be referred to as Editor-In-Chief?

Perhaps, one can argue that I can simply research how the industry works and take it from there; but the again does this mean I can do research on medicine upon completion be qualified to open a pharmacy?

A wise man once said, “Grammatical error in a news article is unforgivable, because such mistakes makes you wonder what else is wrong.” This quote involves sub-editing which then requires training.

Locally, we always brag about how ‘rich’ formerly Vaal Triangle (now Sedibeng region) is whenever it suits us but in reality what is it that is rich?

Most publications (inclusive The Official View News) and radio stations have a tendency that if their content does not comprises of Emfuleni Local Municipality and Sedibeng District Municipality therefore it is not complete, what is this message portraying to the masses outside the region? That there is nothing other than the municipalities’ worth reading about over here?

Training will teach you that there is a difference in aligning your entity by being a bridge between the community and government instead of letting it to be a mouth-piece (and serving as a PR-exercise).

And once again training will teach you that Vaal on its own has hard-hitting news that are breaking every now and then, there are issues of community interest other than municipalities and this include social cohesion, gender-based violence towards LGBTI’s, HPV vaccination to our beloved siblings to name just a few.

I pity budding media personnel who fork out +/-R20K in tuition fees just to be exploited but then again how will you know a journalist worth if;

a) You’ve never been on-field to source news yourself;

b) You’ve never encountered hostile protesters for a news article;

c) You’ve never faced men in blue ordering deletion of pictures off camera unless face arrest;

d) And most importantly you have no idea what terms like libel, plagiarism, scribe, propaganda mean.

The bottom line is training is crucial and tutors one not to compromise on quality for quantity!!!!!

RIGHT OF PASSAGE: Those who were once boys now men following successful initiation. Picture by Sifiso Jimta.

RIGHT OF PASSAGE: Those who were once boys now men following successful initiation. Picture by Sifiso Jimta.

By Sifiso Jimta

SEBOKENG – Jubilation and tears of joy written on the faces of parents as graduates who recently came from the local initiation school return home safe.

As woman ululated, men broke in traditional Sesotho songs celebrating the circumcision of their sons as they took a leap from childhood to manhood.

It was a month back when these young males left their homes bravely with the idea of becoming men now it is all a dream come true. Residents of Sebokeng came in their large numbers to observe the ritual, woman joined by neighbours and other relatives screamed the names of their sons as they showcase and define themselves in a manner they were taught, the crowd unable to contain their joy while these your men walked bare foot, donning decorated blankets and animal skin covered with red clay.

The return of the initiates was a relief for other parents, Nomalanga Mokoena said, “We always hear stories about initiates dying in the camps not knowing what went wrong; I am just relieved to see all of the initiates back home safe and sound.”

Mixed emotions prevailed as some members of the society were not happy with return of the initiates claiming they bring controversy in the community and barricaded roads when they accompany each other home.

Edited by Reginald Nhlapo

FROM LEFT: SABC’s first black female TV news anchor Alyce Chavunduka and Sydney Matlhaku the first black chief subeditor in South Africa.

FROM LEFT: SABC’s first black female TV news anchor Alyce Chavunduka and Sydney Matlhaku the first black chief subeditor in South Africa.

* Former Sowetan senior editor Sydney Matlhaku died on Saturday from a pulmonary embolism. He fell and broke a femur in his right leg on Christmas Day, and had been in Flora Clinic in Florida, Johannesburg, until he was discharged on Saturday. His death occurred on the same day he was discharged.

Born on August 10 1940 Matlhaku was the first black chief subeditor in South Africa. Having worked for The World newspaper and also held senior technical and editorial management positions at The Post and Sowetan until his retirement.

* The SABC’s first black female TV news anchor Alyce Chavunduka has died at the age of 46. The TV and radio personality passed away at the weekend after she collapsed on New Year’s Eve at her Johannesburg home. She was found unconscious and rushed to hospital where she spent a week in coma before her death on the weekend.

Chavunduka was a news presenter on the national broadcaster’s main channel, then called TV1, she also featured on Talk Radio 702 and 94.7 Highveld Stereo.

May their souls rest in peace as they spare us a space in heaven’s newsroom!



30-year old Mahlomola Yende from Tshepong, De Deur learned the hard way that crime does not pay when he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment by Sebokeng Magistrate Court for crimes he committed earlier this year.

According to Sebokeng SAPS spokesperson, W/O Mzimkhulu Mthimkhulu, “The convicted robber approached the victim who was selling; he then drew a firearm and pointed the victim before demanding money.

The victim took few steps backward and while doing that another male came on his right side with a firearm pointed at the victim’s head. They took the undisclosed amount of money and ran away. The police were notified and case docked was registered.”

On June 29 Yende was arrested and charged with armed robbery. The investigation went till 19 November where he was sentenced and declared unfit to possess the firearm and ammunition.