20th Mar2017

Wanderlust

by admin

Hi everyone,

We have another great edition this week with many stories from our talented team. Thabisile Miya discusses the nationwide students’ accommodation which has culminated in the rise of movements such as #Shackville and #SouthPointFeesSoRidiculous. Lindokuhle Kolanisi questions whether the post-apartheid political order could be more inclusive of gender and sexuality. Tsholanang Rapoo explains why she believes the recent feud between Remy Ma and Nicki Minaj is not anti-feminist. Molebogeng Mokoka explores the continuous devaluation of the BA degree; is it really worth nothing? Veli Mnisi gives us an in-depth look into how thrift shopping has, culturally and economically, transformed itself. He also gives us an insider’s perspective of Braamfontein’s newest thrift shop- haunt, The Thrift Vintage Shop (T V Shop). We’re also featuring Sandiswa Tshabalala’s poem, titled Black Girl Magic. Finally, Charissa Govender gives us the ultimate traveller’s guide for exploring New York City.

Hope you enjoy what we have to offer. Have a wonderful Human Rights’ Day tomorrow.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

Wanderlust

13th Mar2017

Welcome Everybody

by admin

Hi everyone,

Welcome to the first edition of exPress imPress for 2017. As always, we have a talented team of writers who are sharing their writing with you, our cherished readers. In this week’s edition of the blog, we have six articles that reveal to us our writer’s anxieties, wishes, reflections, passions, and favourite restaurants to haunt. Naledi Khumalo explains why women need to play key roles in their own empowerment. Obvious Nomaele discusses how university life has been different from his initial expectations. Adalizwa Dlova reflects on the often painful changes the accompany growing up. Thabisile Miya presents us with her manifesto of why South Africa’s youth ought to listen to Okmalumkoolkat’s album, Mlazi Milano. Stephanie Schaffrath gives a sneak-peak into her adventures at the lazy seaside town Parternoster. Finally, yours truly tries to understand the looming Sassa social grants crisis. Plenty of reads to entertain, inform, and challenge you.

Enjoy

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2017

2017

13th Mar2017

To Grant or Not to Grant: Inside Sassa’s Grant Crisis

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SASSA Card

 

17 million South Africans currently receive social grants from the South African Social Security Agency (Sassa). Until early this year, Sassa was efficient in its provision of social grants to its beneficiaries. In order to decrease the risk of corruption, Sassa has (until now) enlisted the services of Cash Paymaster Systems (CPS) to pay out some R10 billion to the beneficiaries. It has emerged though, that Sassa’s contract with CPS has not been renewed. This means that, come 01 April, the social grants recipients will not receive their payments.

The Sassa crisis has led to the demonization of the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini. What has emerged is that the looming crisis is the result of Sassa’s reported R1 billion in irregular expenditure and financial payments. The Constitutional Court found that Sassa’s initial contract with CPA/Net1  was irregularly awarded, leading to the gross irregular expenditure during CPA/Net1’s tenure as the provider of social grants. The Constitutional Court, following its initial ruling, refuses to allow Sassa to extend its contract with CPA/Net1. Sassa needs The Constitutional Court to authorize its use of CPS as it has not found any viable alternative service providers. However, on the same day Sassa filed papers requesting for The Constitutional Court to authorize its use of CPS, Sassa drew up papers to for a notice to withdraw application.

Moreover, the South African cabinet has failed to address the social grants payment crisis. The Sassa crisis was not mentioned in the post-Cabinet statement, with Minister in the Presidency Jeff Radebe stating that there had not been enough time to address the matter. Sassa, itself has been plagued by internal difficulties with the current CEO, Thokozani Magwazani, being placed on “sick leave” for twelve days. His, and Bathabile Dlamini’s, notable absence from a meeting between Parliament’s committees on public accounts on 27 February resulted in Themba Godi (chairman on the committee) ending the meeting as there was no one who was able to answer questions about the grant crisis.

Seemingly, the looming crisis does not look to be averted anytime soon. Sassa has only started negotiations with CPS/Net1 on 28 February. Tensions between Dlamini and Godi were apparent at Sassa’s presentation to the social development portfolio committee on 22 February, with Dlamini dominating, leaving no room for Sassa officials to speak. The crisis will affect South Africa’s poorest, resulting in substantial socio-economic crisis. In 1994, the newly-elected South African government stated that its principle interest lay in protecting society’s vulnerable and marginalized. Additionally, the South African Constitution was primarily drafted to protect the rights of all South Africans, who include the poor. South Africa’s high levels of socio-economic inequalities have become more deeply entrenched in the socio-politico-economic order. Sassa was developed in order to address the developmental crisis experienced by South Africa’s poor. The crisis demonstrates that Sassa has failed in its responsibility to South Africa’s poor. The crisis seems to be a more tangible example of how post-apartheid South Africa’s dreams are increasingly not being realized.

17th Oct2016

Goodbye for Now

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goodbye

Hi everybody,

We have approached the end of this year’s edition of exPress imPress. It has been a great year sharing our team’s thoughts and ideas with you- our readers. Mamelodi Marakalala has written a piece on how women ought to follow their own paths and not succumb to societal expectations. The last few weeks have been tough, with the militarization of many South African universities in response to the #FeesMustFall2016 movement. Khwezi passed away, having not received the justice she deserved. As South Africans, we are in the midst of one of the most challenging periods in our country’s history. Our finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, is facing fraud charges and there is increasing proof of state resources being misused. This is enough to make us despondent. In some ways, it would be easier to leave South Africa before our country goes up in flames. However, this is our home. We are facing significant challenges but we cannot give up. Our country has so much potential and we, as South Africans, have the power to change the course of our country’s future.

 

Until next year,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress team

19th Sep2016

Amandla Ngawethu?

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wits-shutdown

Today, Minister of Higher Education, Blade Ndzimande announced next year’s fee hikes for tertiary education. Minister Ndzimande announced that universities would determine the fee hikes themselves- however, the fee hikes may not exceed 8%. Various South African universities, most notably Wits have protested in response the Minister’s announcement.

It seems as though we are on the precipice of another #FeesMustFall movement. But various questions still remain. Our talented writer, Thabisile Miya, addresses these questions by looking at the legacy of last year’s student protests. Considering the changes in South Africa’s political landscape, will we bear witness to a #FeesMustFallReloaded? If so, will these protests result in meaningful transformation in South Africa’s tertiary education sector? These are the questions, that hopefully, will get some clarity in the coming weeks.

Until the next edition,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress Team

08th Aug2016

Mbokodo Leads

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Hi everyone,

Tomorrow marks the 60th of the 1956 women’s  anti-pass laws march to the Union Buildings. 60 years…and still womxn face a lot of challenges in South Africa’s socio-politico-economic landscape. This week’s edition of the blog appreciates the challenges faced by womxn and, yet, how they serve as society’s backbone. Zwelidumile Zweli Ndungane writes on his decision to be a black male feminist. Mamelodi Marakalala discusses the stereotypes that oftentimes constrain womxn from reaching their full potential. Thabisile Miya celebrates womxn’s strength and makes a call for all of us to celebrate the womxn in our lives. I sincerely hope that this Women’s Month has been good on your side. It has certainly been eventful, with, the recent silent protest during Jacob Zuma’s speech at the official announcement of the results of the 2016 local elections. We still have a long way to go but, to paraphrase the late Dr. Maya Angelou, still we rise.

Have a great week.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2016

Remember Khwezi

02nd Aug2016

X Marks the Spot

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Municipal Elections South AfricaHi everyone,

Tomorrow marks the local elections. In this edition, Tessa Hellberg discusses the importance of autonomy and being an Autonomouse during the local elections. There seems to be a lot of apathy amongst many South Africans around the value of voting. Tomorrow, we implore you to vote as this is your way of making a difference to your council’s fortunes. Our democracy, like any other, is not perfect. However, voting is your tool to make a difference within your immediate community.

Remember, your voice counts.

Till next week,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2016

24th Jul2016

Waiting on the World to…

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Pretty BicycleHi everyone,

Welcome to another edition of the exPress imPress blog. As usual, our great writers have provided us with articles to enjoy and mull over. Monde Nqeza writes a literary appreciation of one of Lupe Fiasco’s lastest tracks, “Adoration of the Magi”. Thabisile Miya considers the need for Africans to produce their own narratives in so that, (to paraphrase Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s phrase) we may counter the danger of a single story. Nokuthula Mkwanazi considers the fragile relationship shared between South Africans and other African nationals. Her article gets us to wonder whether we, as South Africans, regard ourselves as too special to be considered as Africans.  Finally, Londell Ramalepe gets us to consider the ethical implications of the recent plagiarism scandal around Melania Trump’s recent Republican National Convention speech.

Hope you enjoy the works of our talented writers.

Until next week,

Sandiswa and the 2016 exPress imPress team.

18th Jul2016

Welcome Back

by admin

Welcome Back

Hi everyone,

It’s been a while since our last edition, but now it is time for us to get back to work. As usual, our great writers have written amazing pieces for your enjoyment. Thabisile Miya has written a poem on how feminism has influenced her and her vision for a future where gender equality is the norm and not the exception. Mamelodi Marakalala discusses why she embraces her blackness in spite of structural racism which has devalued black bodies. 13 July marked the 15th anniversary of Legally Blonde‘s release. Tessa Hellberg marks this special occasion by discussing the movie’s legacy.

Here’s to another great week and have an amazing Mandela Day.

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress team of 2016.

23rd May2016

Goodbye for Now

by admin

 

Goodbye for NowHi everyone,

This week’s edition is our last one for the semester. Since everyone is in exam mode, we just decided to have a small edition including work from our talented team of writers. What is happiness? This is the question Precious Mohale ponders over as she reflects on how a homeless man taught her a lot about what happiness entails. Noluthando Javu writes on the end of a friendship. This is something we can all empathise with. Noluthando’s poem perfectly captures the ambiguous emotions that accompany the end of such a close relationship. We also have an interview with Greg Alexander, a Philosophy honours student who uses Instagram as the means for sharing his photography with his followers. He discusses the importance of Insta-meets, his love for cityscapes, and the story behind his favourite photograph is also included in this week’s edition of the blog.

Hope that everyone has a great exam period and an amazing study break filled with plenty of rest.

Until next semester,

Sandiswa and the exPress imPress Team of 2016

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