Weekend

Spent the weekend transcribing audio from my interviews in preparation for the week ahead.

One more interview to go. Then video footage to be completed this week.

However there is still the scent of protest looming in the wits air. After Fridays sit down with Professor Habib, we cannot come back on Monday and find that the institution has ignored the demands laid in front of them. I’m afraid when we return on Monday Fridays long night of occupying Solomon’s house with the executive committee will all be for nothing.

What will we do then? We can abandon the struggle. Will the tension escalate?

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Protest day 2

WITS UNIVERSITY IS SHUTDOWN

Since yesterday, the student body has been peacefully protesting the current suggested registration fee increase of 10.5%.

An increase of 10.5% will mean that the registration fee for next year is R9900.

THAT IS A LOT OF MONEY.

Today I grabbed a camera to document the momentous occasion that is the protest.
Spent the whole day running around with students.

We were threatened to be shot at 10 am by the University and the Police IMG_8858

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regardless we still managed to occupy the streets and attempt to be heard

Photographs

New app Phambili is making taxi travel less stressful for commuters. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

New app Phambili is making taxi travel less stressful for commuters. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

The first few days of Spring in one moment captured by the relationships in nature, Johannesburg. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

The first few days of Spring in one moment captured by the relationships in nature, Johannesburg. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Kogelberg Nature Reserve Hiking Trail show the relationship between the sea and the mountains. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Kogelberg Nature Reserve Hiking Trail show the relationship between the sea and the mountains. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Wine Not - Pop Up Bar in Kramerville Johannesburg is a wine festival that sells and celebrates good wine with a live band and good food. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Wine Not – Pop Up Bar in Kramerville Johannesburg is a wine festival that sells and celebrates good wine with a live band and good food. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

The #WineNot festival in Sandton Johannesburg shared how to pair good whines with good food. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

The #WineNot festival in Sandton Johannesburg shared how to pair good whines with good food. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Township street vendor in Emoyeni township tell the story of informal settlements in the community. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Township street vendor in Emoyeni township tell the story of informal settlements in the community. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

 The Oudebosch Cabins are a self-catering eco-cabins in the heart of Cape Towns Mountains. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

The Oudebosch Cabins are a self-catering eco-cabins in the heart of Cape Towns Mountains. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Grabouw settlement in Cape Town. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Grabouw settlement in Cape Town. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Oakmoor Section in Tembis is a dusty community that still fall between the poor and the very poor. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Oakmoor Section in Tembisa is a dusty community that still fall between the poor and the very poor. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

Videos

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We asked Witsies everyday general knowledge questions… well, at least we thought they were.

 

Wits SRC elections PYA candidates tell us why they think they deserve our votes.

 

Leka is a Witsie who is still studding and working and has decided to follow his passion for fashion and is now an abassador for Busani and tailor made suit company that offers affordable suits for young professionals

 

A glimpse into one of the most anticipated and exciting annual Sexpo exhibition.

App minuses minibus stress

FRONT SEAT FOR DUMMIES: New app Phambili is making taxi travel less stressful for commuters. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

FRONT SEAT FOR DUMMIES: New app Phambili is making taxi travel less stressful for commuters. Photo: Thembisile Dzonzi

If you’ve ever been in a Johannesburg taxi, you would know how daunting the task is of sitting in front and counting the fare. Even with advanced arithmetic skills, calculating change for 15 people can be daunting.

The rule is commuters who sit in front are tasked with calculating the fare for the rest of the passengers. Now, thanks to a new app called Phambili, the front seat pressure is off.
Phambili is giving the taxi industry a much needed digital face lift and making the travel experience less stressful for commuters.

Phambili allows the user to enter the taxi fare for the trip. The app then adds the number of people that have paid and the amount they have paid. Using the details provided, Phambili calculates the change and tells the user how much the driver’s money will be in total.

The app has also recently been improved with a multiple calculation platform that allows it to calculate for trips with two fares.

According to logistics company Afta Robot, the South African minibus taxi industry is serviced by more than 300,000 vehicles transporting more than 14-million daily passengers.

Phambili is also a building a database of routes and their costs.

Access the app on their website www. phambili.co.za.

You can also take their “return change challenge” to see how the app works.

Privilege of youth is wasted on the young

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Director: Sibs Shongwe-La Mer

Featuring: Sibs Shongwe-La Mer, Bonko Cosmo Khoza, Colleen Balchin, Kamegolo Moloi, Emma Tollman, Kelly Bates.

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When a newly democratic country in 1994 imagined its future youth, was today’s young people what it had in mind? The Nelson Mandela generation never imagined it would produce delinquents who don’t hold themselves accountable.

The truth is, today’s youngsters are lost children of this legacy – lost in their own privilege and are unaware of the way that their actions affects the way that South Africa operates on a wider scale.

Necktie Youth tells the story of a youth that is wasting away their lives because they are desperate need for escapism, running from reality when reality is all that they have. Necktie Youth is in many ways an authentic description of the state of a troubled youth.

It shows the supposed depth of the people who live their lives in a bubble, drowning in themselves, not knowing themselves and those around them.

They are of the mind-set that they are far removed from the world but blind to the fact that their actions have consequences.

Let’s assume that Necktie youth is some sort of wake-up call. A cinematic expression of the very overt demise of the irresponsible youth. But why should they take responsibility for being here? Why shouldn’t they live their lives far removed for the chaos of the concrete jungle?

In an idealistic way, it’s easy to want to see Necktie Youth as a film about social commentary, telling the story from the other side of the high-rise Sandton fences. But social commentary aside, all this film really does is represent the elite 1% of Johannesburg’s youth.

Despite the great cinematic elements of this Necktie Youth, it’s nothing more than a disgusting illustration of the state of decay the youth of Johannesburg have become. Between the drugs, vomiting, sexual violence and death, the film makes you want to hate these little delusional brats!

In addition, don’t expect to see black women throughout the film. Necktie Youth basically failed to represent a whole demographic of people, but oh well.

Roundtable Discussion: Draft Community Broadcasting Support Scheme

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Various members of the broadcasting community gathered at Constitutional Hill to discuss the Department of Communications draft proposal for the Community Broadcasting Support Scheme.

The discussion was set to gather public opinion in order to diversify views and unpack some of the issues detailed in the draft proposal.

The proposal states the department’s intentions to provide support for community television and radio stations through various avenues.

Members from the National Association of Broadcasters, National Community Radio Forum, SOS: Support Public Broadcasting Coalition, and representatives from the community radio and community television sectors expressed their concerns and delight with the recommendations set out in the document.

One of the issues raised in terms of the draft was that some of the drafts proposed were ambiguous and needed clarification.

One of the largest concerns was with regards to the funding distribution policy. Representatives from the radio industry found that they were getting too little, whereas, community TV broadcasters argued that the industry has been side-lined for far too long and the proposed funding distribution ratio of 70% for television and 30% for radio, was the redress the industry needs.

The representatives highlighted these as what they though where the good aspects of the draft: The document fleshes the issues within the government that need to be addressed and resolved.

 

The panel agreed that the draft should be commended for the following:

  1. They welcomed the South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO) assistance that was acknowledged in the document
  2. An emphasis on the need for independent research was pointed out; the Broadcasting Research Council was recommended as a potential source to undertake the task.
  3. Governance has been the most challenging for the sector

 

What was problematic?

  1. Powers of the minister
  2. There is a need for subsidies from the Digital Radio Mondiale (DRM) and (Digital Audio Broadcasting+) DAB+ for signal distribution
  3. There is nothing in the proposal for self-providing stations
  4. The Budget allocation of 70%: 30% needs to be addressed and be “fair”. There are also concerns about what 30% of the pie means in monetary value.
  5. The draft does not provide a timeline for implementation of the support scheme.
  6. Government needs to generate more ad spend and advertising in the industry.
  7. Particularly in radio, it is problematic that the number of stations who are licenced is large. A moratorium on issuing licences is needed.
  8. There needs to be a closer definition of the term “community”. The scheme must distinguish between public and community.
  9. The draft states that there will be only support for Community Television that isn’t on pay-tv. Will they continue to receive funding?
  10. In terms of government spend on content (e.g., documentaries and dramas), what will happen when the content supported by the scheme goes to the pay-tv platform?
  11. The policy must make it easy to apply for funding
  12. The Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) is not spending enough on the media
  13. For community radio, 30% funding will not actually help
  14. The document is unclear about helping self-providing stations with transmission, start-up costs, and distribution.
  15. What does, “if funding is available” mean

A draft proposal for the advancement of community radio and television sector was issued by the Department of Communication in June. The draft states the department’s intentions to support the community broadcast industry. The public has been given until 30 September 2015 to provide comment and submissions.

A powerful local tale of a reluctant hero

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Local short film Umkhungo (The Gift), which was made in 2010, is back in the spotlight after being named Short of the Week on video-sharing website Vimeo this month.

Written and directed by UCT and AFDA graduate Matthew Jankes, the short is an excellent piece of film making that presents a heartfelt story of two characters from different worlds coming together in the chaos of the Johannesburg concrete jungle.

Young Themba (Sivuyisiwe Mtshaka) is orphaned when his parents are murdered, but Themba is not just any boy; he has superpowers he cannot control.

he comes across disillusioned Johannesburg street thug Mthunzi (Israel Makoe) who reluctantly comes to care for him.

The boy and the thug form an unexpected relationship, which not only helps the thug deal with the demons of his past, but teaches the boy to accept his powers rather as a gift than a curse.

Set in the heart of Hillbrow, this film combines a great narrative with a mix of thriller and fantasy/sci-fi. It also delivers powerful performances from a cast of talented actors such as the ever impressive Israel Makoe and young talent Sivuyisiwe Mtshaka.

The 30-minute film is in many ways gripping and emotional, leaving the viewer with so much to think about throughout. By the end one can’t help but find themselves wondering what will happen next for the young boy on the run.

On a grant budget and a pocket full of talent, this SAFTA award winning screenplay is surely the best thing since District 9. It is no wonder the film has won a number of awards and has been shown worldwide. It’s a definite must see.

 

 

DoC proposes Community Broadcasting support scheme

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The Minister of Communication issued a draft proposal for the implementation of the Draft Community Broadcasting Support Scheme on 1 July 2015. The scheme is aimed at facilitating funding opportunites in the community broadcasting sector.

Since 1998 the Department of Communications(DoC) has been managing the Community Radio Support Programme (CRSP). While the support started as purely infrastructural, it later grew to include content production, signal distribution subsidies and capacity building.

According to the Draft Community Broadcasting Support Scheme, the DoC now finds that its broadcasting support initiatives should branch further by implementing assistance to the community television sector.

With this in mind, the draft Community Broadcasting Support Scheme outlines that at the heart of the support scheme is the need to create an environment where community broadcasters and their communities are empowered and provided with resources. This in turn will help sustain community stations in order to contribute to socio-economic development and job creation.

According to the Department, the aim of the Draft Community Broadcasting Support Scheme is not only to reshape and digitise the broadcasting sector in South Africa, but to also prepare the community media sector for the future and making it fit for the times and community it serves.

Although the draft acknowledges that in the past many barriers prohibited disadvantaged communities from establishing their own community broadcasting systems as they didn’t have access to resources, expertise and skills.

The draft proposal states the following as the requirements for applicants

Assessment Criteria

It is proposed that projects be evaluated on the basis of the following criteria:

(1) General Criteria: How the projects advance the objectives of the Support Scheme, and in particularly, the objectives of developing community broadcasting?

(2) Innovation: Does the project represent in innovation in the community broadcasting sector?

(3) Community Partnership: Does the project engender partnerships with other community organizations?

(4) Ethos of community broadcasting: Does this project preserve the ethos of community broadcasting in terms of community access, participation, empowerment, skills development?

The document further adds that unless stated otherwise stated in the preceding paragraph, this scheme does not cover the following:

(a) Activities not related to broadcast

(b) Direct financial support

(c) The purchase of premises

(d) Internet broadcasting services

(e) Special events licences

(f) Projects not complying with licence conditions nor corporate governance

(g) Commercial projects, including stations carried on pay -platform

(h) Technical briefs submitted as part of any licensing process

(i) Advertising and promotion material

(j) Registrations, travel, or accommodations associated with attending conferences

(k) Expenses incurred in preparing this application

(I) Auditing fees, legal fees, or fines

(m) Recoverable taxes, tuitions, or related fees

(n) Interest fees on late payments

(o) Rental fees of the station’s own studios

(p) News & current affairs and entertainment programmes

The Department expects to draw funding for the scheme from Parliamentary appropriation, grants and donations. It further states that the budgeting process will take into account the different needs of both community radio and and TV. While a dedicated Community Broadcasting Support Unit will be set up to ensure capacity and management responsibilities are met; which will further carry out other activities including sector mobilization and stakeholder consultation research into the issues confronting the sector.

The Draft Community Broadcasting Support Scheme will distribute funding on a proposed 70%:30% ration respectively. According to the document the rational for the proposed ratio is due to the “high cost differential between television and radio, it is quite appropriate that a transparent funding ratio be put in place to ensure equitable distribution of the funds. This is motivated by the level of community radio and its financial requirements on one hand and the urgent need to develop community television on the other.” However the ratio will be reviewed by the Cabinet after 5 years after of approval.

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A deadline of 30 September 2015 was given for public comment and submissions.

Kevin Goss-Ross’ brings the bizarre

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Thinkhouse, the youth communications agency, launched the first instalment of its “Thinkhouse X Series” with a collaboration by South African born photographer Kevin Goss-Ross.

You might remember Goss-Ross from his series of Festival portraits of all those white people at OppiKoppi in 2013.

This time around, as part of ‘Thinkhouse X Kevin Goss-Ross’, Goss-Ross showcased a collection of photographs that were taken in varied and unusual places to create a juxtaposition of the normal and the surreal – from iconic barbers and butchers of Dublin, to the lakes and deserts of South Africa.

The Dublin based freelance photographer is known for his collection of photographs of humans, inspired by youth culture and the glimpses of fleeting truths hidden between the chaos of wild times and moments of reflection.

Through the series Goss-Ross will be taking over the Thinkhouse social media networks to share the process behind his work.

 

 

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