Attention Social Groups

Attention Social Groups, you are invited to participate in ‘Merging our lives with those of Soweto people, takes you to the ‘other face of the Moon’.

Passport to Soweto your guide to Soweto
Passport to Soweto your guide to Soweto

The President, executive and members of the Social Clubs of South Africa, thank you for the ‘invitation’ to address your club, thank you for giving me an opportunity to present details of our initiative.

We believe, that through Economically Empowering the Orlando East community via tourism, we will bring changes to our country.

I use the description ‘tourism’, with great reservation, tour, is to visit places, it is not what we are promoting, we are promoting something much deeper, but the word is symbolic of what the visitor may understand, as our direction.

While drafting the Passport to Soweto, I was taken through a personal development process, the elders in the community, giving me an understanding of Ubuntu.

Following hours of interaction, I accept that Ubuntu is only possible, where two-way sharing takes place, within a common bond, in their case, the Township and Rural communities, and any charity that I give, is not Ubuntu.

How would we describe the ‘sharing’ that takes place, within Rotary Club Members, Roundtable Members, and other Social Clubs, where members give first consideration to supporting a service provider, who is part of the Club?

In my opinion, the sharing within these club members, is Ubuntu, it is the identical principle of the Ubuntu in the Township and Village groups, taking place in a group with a common bond.

Our aim should be to find a ‘process’, that will allow groups from different social levels, in which the individuals of the groups are in the state of Ubuntu, to intersect for brief periods, resulting in the birth of a new bond, in which the two groups are able to find Ubuntu, two-way sharing, in this new bond.

Merging of Ubuntu Groups
Merging of Ubuntu Groups

I am a Tour Operator, an author, a social activist, a white South African, born in 1947, lived through the Apartheid era, not sure whether I am a product of Apartheid, or Apartheid is a product of me, who does not worship Nelson Mandela or de Klerk, as the saviours of our black people, thanks to their failure to bring economic freedom to the people, the still disadvantaged people.

Even though the Passport to Soweto focus is Soweto, the most important topic that drives me, is the 1913 Native Land Act.

In 2013, as our Government was spending millions on commemorating the 1913 Native Land Act, I needed to find out who we were as a nation before 1913, and how we got, from 1913 to where we are today.

3 months of Google searching and I find no more than the history that I had been taught over the years, nothing that spoke to me, nothing answering my questions.

Then, one night I hear a voice,

“Cedric, keep doing what you are doing, but start looking at our history through the eyes of a black leader.”

It is 2 am, I get out of bed and start Googling, starting with Chief Hintsa of the Gcaleka, Chief of the senior branch of the Great House of King Phalo, shot in the back of the head, May 12, 1835.

I had on file, four or five versions of the shooting, all claiming that he had been asked to return 25 000 head of cattle, and in an effort to hide the stolen cattle he fled, resulting in the shooting.

I questioned why Hintsa was in discussion with the English, he would not have become involved in discussion, had he just stolen 25 000 head of cattle, he would not have fled to hide 25 000 head of cattle, it is not what a powerful, astute, leader would have done.

I link the murder of Chief Hintsa to the emancipation of the Mfengu, two days later, sixty miles away, and as I follow the trail, so within a few weeks, I become of the opinion, that the English Coloniser did ‘steal everything’ from my black brothers.

If it was not for what the Coloniser did, the black groups would be the wealth of South Africa today, the Townships would not exist, black poverty would not exist.

For the first time, I realise ‘Economic Segregation’ is the prime evil, not racism and Apartheid.

It takes a few years for me to author ‘Consider the Verdict’, where the poverty group charges the wealth of the world, for ‘Grand Theft Economy’.

I equate the damage done to our people with the holocaust,  and ask, is it equal to, is it lesser than, or greater than.

My understanding, much of it gleaned off the ANC archive material, Sol Plaatje’s writings, their struggle, their application to the Crown, objecting to the 1913 Native Land Act, clouds the 1994 achievements of the ANC in my mindset, through their failure to address the land issue, the ANC origins, what their predecessors fought for.

My mindset has moved into a new status, somewhere in between, somewhere above, and looking in the mirror, I discover that I am a racist, I understand that it is impossible to heal a cultivated mindset, I have only reached the status of ‘racist in recovery’. Like the alcoholic, I will need to attend the forums that will maintain my recovery status.

With an open mind, the ‘forums’ show me, the South Africa I had missed.

********

As we discover the South Africa that we missed, we received our ‘Passport to Soweto’, with our entry stamp, 13 years after we first visited Soweto.

The guide book details a number of issues that we were always aware of, but never understood. Issues that we discussed during interaction, issues where the details remained hidden, till our minds were free to receive them.

Walter Sisulu becomes our focal point, one of the political struggle leaders. He however remains outside of the Orlando East heritage, as every enquiry leads me to his home in Orlando West, his ‘only’ Soweto home.

Then one day, I am directed to John Mahapa, somewhere on No. 13, when I find Mahapa, I find Walter Sisulu’s Orlando East home, and Sisulu becomes the central magnet, for the Passport to Soweto heritage.

John Mahapa lives in the Walter Sisulu Orlando East home, and Mahapa, sentenced to 7 years on Robben Island, takes me on a journey from ‘Boy Scout to Freedom Fighter’.

His Comrade, Victor Nkabinde, sentenced to 20 years on Robben Island in 1963, serving every day of the 20 years, released on August 22, 1983.

Sadly Victor passed away a few days back, Saturday, August 19, 2017, I cried.

Prior to 1955, the black struggle in Africa, centred around the Academic, the graduates of Fort Hare.

At this stage, the children in the Orlando Secondary School, working at the Drum magazine, rolling and packing Drum magazines for distributing, reading the magazine, become exposed to Kenyatta, Nyerere, Nkrumah, Lumumba, all fighting for freedom from the Coloniser, these children realise that they need to fight for their dignity and freedom, from the Coloniser.

These children are possibly the first youth, that were self-politicised, who took to their fight for dignity and freedom, without elder direction.

These freedom fighters, ANCYL members in 1955, take us through the conflict within the ANC, as the conflict over the Freedom Charter, causes a split within the ANC, the introduction to the Freedom Charter, “South Africa belongs to all the people who live in it, both black and white…”  results in the formation of the ‘Africanists’, and then, the formation of the PAC, April 6, 1959.

In my opinion, the youth who followed the PAC, caused the system to fear and isolate Robert Sobukwe.

*****

Thanks to Walter and Albertina Sisulu’s “In our Lifetime’ manuscript, we introduce the heritage of

James Sofasonke Mpanza, who Walter Sisulu credits for an ingenious approach to the housing development in Soweto.

The Mdingi brothers, great-grandsons of Chief Hintsa, murdered by the English on May 12, 1835. One of the great-grandsons, Chief Jonginthaba, is respected as the ‘Soweto Father’ of Nelson Mandela.

The Mase family, cousins to Walter Sisulu, who introduced Nelson Mandela to Evelyn Mase, her sister Kate’s family, now living in the ‘other Mandela House’.

All these heritage topics, energetically questioned and debated, as we walk the streets of Orlando East.

Visit Soweto with Cedric, has become one of the popular walks, as he defends his ‘mindset’, needing to answer for his understanding of our hidden history.

 

******

On Tuesday, August 15, 2017, I collect a family of 4 from the airport, we arrange to meet our guide near the DOCC, and Aunty Patricia, staunch ANC Woman’s League Veteran, Heritage Value Site 1, notices my car, and presents herself to the visitors. The guide has no option but to follow.

On August 19, 2017, we receive the following email;

 

On August 14, 2017, two visitors from the USA spent the day walking the streets of Soweto and Kliptown with me, exposed to the youth, all the negativity that the Township youth talk about, poverty, no jobs, drugs, crime, every person for themselves.

Over lunch at the Nancefield hostel, Carl and Norma asked me why, with all the frustration, all the animosity that resides in our country, the failure of our Government to address the youth problems, we do not see more aggression towards me, a representative of the white people.

My answer was glib, it slipped off my tongue, like it had since 2009,

“Many of the still disadvantaged black people, when in their comfort zone, are happy, are accepting, it is only when faced with a challenge, that they will move into the anger zone. My fear is that this inner frustration and animosity towards poverty, will be triggered, when the conflict in the ANC escalates.”

“The political turmoil will trigger chaos, when the politicians fight for the control of the country wealth, when it spills into the street, the youth, in the name of poverty, will harvest where possible”

*******

Carl and Norma are surprised that I continue with my positive attitude towards the future of our country, around every corner the negativity, the political uncertainty, the youth that are not at school, the lack of jobs, the cries of poverty.

I smile, and summarise for them, just what drives me;

“The still disadvantaged community, angry by what they see as State Capture, or rather, what they hear about State Capture, what they see as stolen funds that should have contributed to their improved living conditions, have no motivation to do anything, they are waiting.”

“Yet I believe they will positively respond, they will start to take part productively, all we need to do, is to get South African whites, South African elites, to walk the streets with them, and they will feel that the new South Africa has reached them. The Passport to Soweto will lead the Ubuntu Food Chain Economic Development.”

******

As I summarise this presentation, a summary written maybe ten times during the past few weeks, I have difficulty in expressing my inner feelings, here in the realms of the social elite, I need to be careful what I say, so here goes.

In the Townships and Rural Villages, they know that I visited with Eugene Terre’Blanche, attended his funeral, and was outside court on the first day of the trial.

They have questioned my visit, and my actions, I answer honestly.

They know that I have visited Orania on four occasions, taking International Tourists on two occasions.

We discuss white poverty, we visited three white ‘squatter camps’, their assessment of what they see, is interesting.

In the suburbs, even my Afrikaans, family do not want to hear me discuss these issues.

 

*******

Social Clubs of South Africa, we invite you to be the Pioneers that will lead the South Africans into a next stage of our countries economic freedom.

The Great Trek, contributed to bringing the people of our Northern Provinces, to where we are today, we have walked an arduous journey since 1835; for our still disadvantaged communities, their journey has been even more arduous, and their arduous journey continues today, 23 years into our New Democracy.

The time has arrived for us ‘advantaged communities’, to take an even Greater Trek, guided by the Passport to Soweto, visit Orlando East, walking the streets, trekking, merging our culture and experiences with the peoples’, giving birth to a new bond, allowing the youth to benefit from us, to feel that the ‘trek’ to economic freedom, is no longer isolated from them,

***********

Social Clubs of South Africa, we would love to address your members as a speaker, should you wish, I will send you a .pdf version of Passport to Soweto, and rather than you members listening to me, repeat the above, they may prepare questions that they requires answers for.

Cedric and Nettie de la Harpe

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Why should you buy this guide to Orlando Heritage

Why should you buy this guide to Orlando Heritage
Why should you buy this guide to Orlando Heritage

Why should you buy this guide to Orlando Heritage?

TOWNSHIP ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT – seeks partners:

Cedric has long been a critic of the lack of economic transformation in South Africa, the western capitalist in control of the wealth, and although we all believe that change should take place, we are not finding a speedy solution.

Then, when through Passport to Soweto and the Ubuntu Food Chain, we believe that we have found, what will be the start of the solution, our initial invitation to participate, lacks the punch that the invitation should carry to our invited partners, it avoids the conflict area that we, as a country face.

Passport to Soweto will leave the media, local radio and TV stations, to carry the details of these conflicts, suffice to say that we are drifting further apart, and this drifting apart, is not solely a Black & White issue, it resides in our differences around the economy of the country, who owns it, and who has access to it. The present conflict involving the deaths in KwaZulu-Natal, stimulated by the politicians, fighting for positions that bring them access to the distribution of wealth, can be felt in interactions taking place, in both the suburbs and the Townships.

Ubuntu, is the buzz word that tells the world that South Africa is a sharing and caring nation. If we were a sharing and caring nation, the present political conflict would not be taking place, the call for radical economical policy changes would not be heard, the call for land appropriation without compensation would not take place, the call for nationalising the mines and the banks would not be taking place.

No developing country can be a ‘sharing’ country, while, in business and government, it is every man for himself, the struggle for economic freedom, is a struggle by the individual for the individual, price collusion and tender fraud the norm, where personal enrichment, in accepted.

The sharing that should take place, should not be limited to a charity.

Charity is not sharing, in some circles, it seen as repairing some of the damage done during the past, in other circles, it seen as part of the mechanism to control the poverty groups, making them believe that they should quietly wait, till a job is created for them, till a food parcel reaches them.

Our Heritage Value Sites, form the nucleus of the Orlando East Township Economic Development, where the community have accepted the responsibility, to develop the entire community, under the banner of the Ubuntu For Chain, starting with the Tourism sector, allowing both South African and International visitors, to become partners who would be proud of their contribution.

Off the basis of Walter Sisulu, as the ‘central magnet’ that binds the Heritage Value Sites, the hidden heritage, James Sofasonke Mpanza, Nelson Mandela’s first wife, Evelyn’s family, the other Mandela House, the Mdingi family, direct descendants of Chief Hintsa, June 16, 1976 student participants, young 1959 PAC veterans, from Boy Scout to Freedom Fighter in a few short years, sentenced to Robben Island, John for 7 years, Victor for 20 years, both on Robben Island before Nelson Mandala arrived, a teacher teaching ‘Geskidenis’ (history in Afrikaans) in 1956, her life in exile, or others, just life in Soweto, bringing our life and history alive, your Passport to Soweto, will unite our Heritage Values.

These Heritage Value Site families, invite you to visit them at home, prepared with the introduction they have provided through the Passport to Soweto, allowing interacting with one another, in exchange for your R 30, while allowing them to learn and develop, from your heritage.

This interaction, will bring our Country great benefits, and the Heritage Value Site families, say a ‘big thanks’ to you, who have shown them respect, and joined them in pioneering the transfer of a piece of our economy, into the hands of the black still disadvantaged community.

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Comments

Comments are invited from the Passport to Soweto holder, Taste of Africa visitors by Ubuntu Food Chain participants,  in order to allow us to develop our Heritage Value, and and the tourism economy of Orlando East:

Passport to Soweto your guide to Soweto
Passport to Soweto your guide to Soweto

As an introduction to this comments page, we add an email we received on August 19, 2017:

Thanks to you again Cedric,

It will be difficult to forget our last day in South Africa as it gave us the possibility to see the other face of the moon. Particularly give our thanks to our wonderful guide who made it possible for us to walk Soweto’s streets as we would have never imagined doing on our own. 

It has been wonderful speaking with Patricia and listening to the story of her difficult life. Please give her the photos I have sent you and tell her that we will never forget her hospitality …it is something we are not used to in our country.

Merging our life with those of Soweto people, even if for a few hours, was the most powerful memory of this marvellous country of strong contradictions.  

We wish all the best to everyone we had the opportunity to meet

Nada, Carlo, Giulia, Andrea

I am African through Ubuntu

I am African through Ubuntu

Interacting with the Heritage Value Site families, wakes Cedric up to UBUNTU, and that he is African;

Passport to Soweto, your guide to Orlando Heritage
Passport to Soweto, your guide to Orlando Heritage

Believing I was ‘Africanist’, I registered for the WWPAC 2016 convention, and when the meeting opened, the colour of my skin attracted objection, and I was removed from the meeting.

For the past year, I accepted that I could never be an African, not with the colour of my skin, thanks to the minority rights protection, that my colour carries.

Then, I find myself in a group with a common bond, no longer the white superior who is the director, we are all sharing ideas, we are all sharing with the community, knowing that we will all benefit.

Having entered a common bond, where Ubuntu resides, today I know I am African,  committed to the Ubuntu bond.

South Africans will all claim to be part of Ubuntu, therefore, we are all African, sorry to disappoint you.

We live our lives, in a world where the academic, the politician, ‘identifies’ the values embodied in our cultural heritage. Based on their identified values, our lives and our future is  decided.

Is there a difference between Social Cohesion and Ubuntu?

“SOCIAL COHESION”: a group is said to be in a state of cohesion when its members, possess bonds, linking them to one another, and to the group as a whole. 

Ubuntu is a Nguni term meaning “humanity”. It is often also translated as “humanity towards others”, Ubuntu is the state of sharing, that takes place within a group, who have a common bond, the sharing that takes place in this common bond, takes place within a group, where sharing is mutual, where sharing takes place in two directions.

Culturally, an African will always provide the visitor with tea and something to eat, even a place to sleep if necessary, whether you are a stranger, irrespective of your origins. This is a culture developed though the need to move distances, through difficult terrain and often on foot, allowing the host, the comfort that they will be provided the same reception, when they are travelling.

I am of the opinion that this is not necessarily Ubuntu, as it is also provided for strange whites, where very little else is shared with the whites under the Ubuntu banner, if anything, the majority of blacks, have an expectance of receiving something from the whites.

This two directional sharing, Ubuntu, mainly takes place in an informal economy, where sharing is essential, in order to survive. Driving Ubuntu is the hawker / informal traders, who operate a ‘price collusion’ system, where the profit margin is restricted, to a level, where the average hawker, can live a sustainable life.

This ‘restricted’ profit margin, is the form of sharing with the buyer of the products, allowing them the ability to share some of their meagre income, with their ‘street’ / village community.

Social Cohesion, takes place at many levels of our society, where a common bond and sharing takes place, very seldom does this sharing take place across the boundary of the ‘bond’.

Social Cohesion / Ubuntu exists, in many disguises in the world; social clubs, sports clubs, schools, churches, Rotary Clubs, Masonic Lodges, you name it, it exists.

The fact that Ubuntu is part of most of our lives, based on a defined ‘bond’, may sound crazy, so I use an example of the ‘Old School Tie’, the other economic extreme, to substantiate this comparison.

Old School Tie: the way in which people who have been to the same expensive private school, help each other to find good jobs, and the old school tie still has enormous power in such companies: 

The ‘Old School Tie’ group, would never survive, if it was not based on a mutual two way sharing process.

The Old School Tie ‘Ubuntu’ system, also has great difficult in sharing outside of their bond, as it would cause the collapse of the system, enough for the group to fear.

How do we bring together, the sustainable informal economy, who do not have the ability to share financially with the formal economy, and the ‘Old School Tie’ group, who even have difficulty to share with another ‘Tie’?

As South Africans who strive for achieving Social Cohesion, it can be achieved, not through the process of donating to a Charity, and claiming that Ubuntu is alive and well.

Social Cohesion can be achieved, by accepting that we all reside in some ‘Ubuntu Club environment that bonds our group, and separates our group, mainly through a class structure, from the groups below us, and we make an effort to develop a mutual bond with the ‘informal communities’, where we ‘share’ what the informal group has, in return for input from our formal ‘Ubuntu Club’, that will not necessarily cause our ‘bond’ to collapse.

Critical to the success of Social Cohesion, is the ‘Old School Tie’ group, in developing the mutual bond, receives from the informal, all their heritage, their thoughts and skills, and returns to the informal, the cultivated values that the ‘Old School Tie’ group has accumulated, in the interests of developing a mutual bond, towards stimulating the ‘informal economy’.

Cedric de la Harpe

July 17, 2017

Heritage Value Site 6

Heritage Value Site 6, Victor Nkabinde, sentenced to 20 years on Robben Island, this is an extract in Passport to Soweto, linking John Mahapa, HVS2:

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The youth were very aware of the signing of the Freedom Charter in 1955, the woman’s anti-Pass protest in 1956, with this in the back of their minds, they worked at the Drum, rolling and reading the magazines.

Saturday, November 1, 1958,

The ANC (Transvaal Province) Conference, held at Orlando Communal Hall, Soweto, will be remembered for the anger that threatened violence.

The Freedom Charter, or rather the Kliptown Charter as it was known in 1959, was heatedly discussed, and he famously said;

“We should think of cooperation with other races, when we have come into our own”.

Mangaliso Robert Sobukwe asked what had happened to the 1949 Nation Building Programme. He could not get answers.

Instead, word leaked that a truckload of weapons was on its way to the conference venue. The Africanists were to be dealt with physically.

Led by Sobukwe, the Africanists withdrew from the conference on November 1, 1958.

I feel a few twinges of discomfort, yet the way they describe their young lives, their introduction to the Africanist struggle, their joining the PAC on April 6, 1959, impresses me, makes me think back to when I was 19 years-old, but I keep those thoughts to myself.

Their first campaign that they are tasked with, is the ‘Status Campaign’, and I listen to the instructions by the PAC executive to the youth, I listen to them describing their hurt, their need to achieve the status of human, being called by their name, not the diminutive, boy or girl, not John or Mary, but treated with the respect that a human deserves.

I was guilty of this concept behaviour that did not treat my black brothers and sisters as humans, that used the diminutive.

After the anti-pass campaign, March 21, 1960, John, who protested at the Orlando Police Station, is sentenced to 3 years, they refuse to pay the fine. Then Sobukwe decides that they can’t waste their time in prison, and funds are obtained from outside South Africa to pat their fines and they are released.

When released, they have a meeting in Orlando East, where the leaders call for volunteers to be trained in Tanzania, suddenly they realise that they were now faced with the ‘real thing’, not one of the boys raised their hand, journalist Sofie Tema raised her hand and taunted them, then a few hands followed.

John volunteers for Military training in 1960, I am enthralled by his movements in and out of the Country, then, when arriving back in Johannesburg he is convicted and sentenced to Robben Island for seven years, in 1963.

Victor, receives explosive training in Lesotho, he is also arrested in 1963, sentenced for 20 years, and he serves every day of the 20 years on Robben Island.

Following 13 years of interaction in the Townships, the uMlungu walks into the 1955 to 1963 heritage of the PAC members, members who served many years on Robben Island, thanks to the fear that the Security Police had for the PAC.

I am welcomed into their family homes, and I ask myself, ‘just how did this happen’?

Few people in our country, have the level of dignity and respect that these families have, if they have achieved any freedom, it is the freedom of their humanity.

I leave their homes, if any animosity existed in these homes, it was only the animosity that I had for myself , while listening to these dignified men.

Yet as we talk, as we greet, hug one another, smile, it is these gentlemen, and their family, a wife who waited twenty years, that have provided me, another stage of my healing.

Suddenly, the visit to John Mahapa, allows the pieces of the puzzle to fall into place, no longer is this guide just a “Passport to Soweto”, it has become a “Passport to Our Heritage”.

 

Heritage Value

Passport to Soweto
Passport to Soweto

Heritage Value:      

The values embodied in cultural heritage are identified in order to assess significance, prioritise resources, and inform conservation decision-making. It is recognised that values may compete and change over time, and that heritage may have different meanings for different stakeholders.

We live our lives, in a world where the academic, the politician, ‘identifies’ the values embodied in our cultural heritage.  Based on their identified values, our lives and our future is  decided.

We all have our own personal heritage values, both good and bad, Cedric comes with the Apartheid negative heritage value baggage, and he has some very positive heritage values.

The motivation for the Passport to Soweto, fades into insignificance, when he comes face to face with two of the 1959 youth that joined the PAC, for the first time he understands why the Apartheid system feared the PAC, the struggle was no longer driven by the academic, it was now the children who had developed their own desire for restoring their dignity, and achieving their freedom.

John, sentenced to 3 years for the March 1960 anti-pass protest, then 7 years to Robben Island. Victor, sentenced to Robben Island, for twenty years in 1963, serves every day of the twenty years.

The ‘one settler, one bullet’ group, interacts with the white who had sons in military service, ‘patrolling’ the Township.

This sharing of our individual heritage values, brings a brotherhood that normally takes years to achieve.

Cedric

Social Cohesion

Social Cohesion, the concept that the Government and Corporate world has spent millions on, in an effort to bring the various heritage groups together.

Twenty-three years into our New Democracy, has South Africa succeeded?

Cedric’s ‘Kaalvoet Theory’ defines Social Cohesion as follows:

“SOCIAL COHESION”: a group is said to be in a state of cohesion when its members, possess bonds, linking them to one another, and to the group as a whole. 

Hidden in this definition, penned in 2014, following ten years of regular interaction and participation in the Townships and Rural Villages for ten years, was an acknowledgement that, Cedric was unsure as to whether he had achieved ‘Social Cohesion’, with other groups.

Thanks to ‘Passport to Soweto’, designed as a Township Economic Development ‘through tourism’ partnership, Cedric, a seventy year-old white, during the sharing of mutual heritage, all his good, all his bad, discovers what he describes as ‘Heritage Value’, bringing an excitement to both parties, a bond of brotherhood, as Passport to Soweto, is the basis off which the Heritage Value Sites, and their neighbours will contribute, in return for a R 30 per person contribution, the bond that brings ‘Social Cohesion’ is in place, a bond that will develop Township Economy, through experiencing the magic of Africa, while sharing their mutual heritage, all the good, and all the bad, we will laugh, we will tingle, and a few tears will be shed, we will achieve ‘brotherhood’ the level above ‘Social Cohesion’.

Cedric

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Passport to Kliptown lunch at Nancefield Hostel

Passport to Kliptown lunch at Nancefield Hostel, our favourite lunch venue, presented as part of thePassport to Kliptown, while allowing the Passport to Soweto holders, to use the directions provided on this webpage, to enjoy this lunch time option, as part of the Orlando East visit.

NANCEFIELD HOSTEL:

Approach from Orlando East;

Leaving the Junk Shop, continue walking down Rathebe Road, the Donaldson Hall has many activities, if you are in Orlando East on a Sunday, you will  be welcome to stop and join the Church service for as long as you wish.

Continue past the Library on the Left, cross at the pedestrian crossing, carefully, and turn left, move past the front of the SAPS Orlando Offices.

When you get to the next corner, at the Orlando Police Station, you will be able to board the Rea Vaya T3 back to Johannesburg, if you wish, an option for a further R 15, would be to take the Rea Vaya one stop the Boom Town station, at the cost of R 15, this will save you a walk, but not necessarily time. 

Down the road to the left, are small market places, servicing the rail commuters, a peak would be of great interest.

Across the road, is the Sasol Petrol Station, where you will find a ATM, water, snacks, and a toilet.

Continue along Mooki Street, the Boom Town Rea Vaya Station is up ahead.

As you walk along the side walk, you will have sight of Orlando west, on your right, just across the highway.

In order to access transport to the Nancefield Hostel for lunch, my favourite eating spot, you follow this instruction.

Walk  past the Boom-Town Rea Vaya bus station to the T-Junction, turn right, cross the rail line, down the steep incline, and at the traffic light, cross to your left, onto a small traffic island.

Note; 

If moving direct to Orlando West, it is possible to board the F4 Rea Vaya bus at Boom Town station, and this will drop you on a few spots on Vilakazi Street, as an optional R 15.

On this traffic Island, you are now wishing to take a local shared taxi to Nancefield Hostel. See the Orlando West Map on page 32, showing this position.

When you see a taxi approaching, your required hand-sign is to point your index finger down, this is a sign for a ‘local distance’, and most taxis that are not full will stop.

In the position where you are, the taxi travelling along this route, can only pass the Nancefield Hostel.

When you get into the taxi, you may advise the driver that you are heading for the Nancefield Hostel.

The present rate is R 8, but for purposes of this exercise, we budget for R 10.

*** When you get into the taxi, you pass the money, forward, or if you are in the seat just behind the drivers to his passenger alongside him.

The payment system in the taxi is a great experience.

The taxi will pass through a traffic circle, and as you approach the next traffic circle, the buildings on your left, are the Nancefield Hostel.

100m from the traffic circle, announce to the driver that you wish to get off at the circle.

Take the sidewalk to your left, and feel the energy of Africa, as you approach the Nancefield eating house,   shown on the map as Muthwa Butchery. (Walk from the Taxi Drop Area, along the arrow)

Nancefield Hostel Muthwa Butchery part of Soweto responsible adventure visit
Nancefield Hostel Muthwa Butchery

Approach from Lakeview Rea Vaya bus station.

Using the T3 or T2 bus alight at the Lakeview bus station, on  the corner of Klipspruit Valley Road, and Chris Hani, you may catch the C2 bus, or alternatively catch the F 10 bus, and alight at Kenny’s Brick and Tile, opposite the entrance to the Maponya Mall.

We suggest that you consider the Sun Valley visit first, and then, on your return from Sun Valley, pass through Maponya Mall, to the Nancefield Hostel.

Soweto Responsible Adventure Visit Nancefield Hostel
Nancefield Hostel via Maponya Mall

The Nancefield Hostel, one of eleven such hostels built in the 1950s, to accommodate migrant male workers in the Johannesburg area.

There was one female hostel, situated between Orlando West and Meadowlands.

Prior to 1994, 3 000 males were accommodated in this Hostel, that stretches on both sides of the road. Today, family groups are accommodated, and we believe the occupants total 13 000.

From 1988 to 1992, the hostels were used by the system, to destabilise the local community, Zulu’s of the IFP group, attacked non-Zulus in the area. This was all part of the black-on-black violence, which some would claim was backed by the National Party, and targeted the youth of the PAC and other Black Consciousness groups.

Today, many non-Zulu’s would still keep away from the hostels.

Very few Zulus in the Hostel area, are able to speak English, part of the Colonisers suppression. I believe the English, used Welsh speaking people, to learn the Zulu language, and off that basis, the employers language skills were developed. In Kwa-Zulu Natal, all Employers, White and Indian, speak a form of Zulu, restricting the rural Zulu from needing to speak English.

The hostel buildings, are divided into four sleeping rooms, of different sizes, a communal kitchen / living area, and toilets.

The hostel conditions are in terrible condition, the occupants wanting the family units upgraded, and the Government, has intention to upgrade, but the end product, particularly in relation to cost, is far from reaching consensus.

Muthwa Butchery:

Muthwa runs a very successful business, feeding hundreds per day, behind the stoves you will find a selection of cooked meat, from head meat to the innards, heart, liver, kidney, and pieces that I have never been exposed to.

In the shop, they will have a beef stew, sometimes chicken, served with pap, (their traditional porridge) and you can buy a tomato and onion relish on the side.

If you have the time, the shop  sells various cuts of beef, including heart, liver, and sausage/wors, that you can braai yourself. Buy this with a small helping of pap, and tomato relish.

Soweto Responsible Adventure Visit v
Nancefield Hostel, enjoy the braai

If you wish to turn this visit into a ***** adventure, move to the cooking pots, located to the far-right of the store, where the cows head is a popular dish, predominantly for the males, and other ‘affal’ dishes are prepared. Should you select one of these dishes, your selection will be noticed and appreciated by the local patrons.

Your meal seldom costs more than R 25 per plate.

Soweto Responsible Adventure Visit Nancefield Hostel, enjoy the braai
Nancefield Hostel, enjoy the braai

Beers are available to buy, both in the Muthwa shop, and also in the little store, run by the Sithole brothers. It is worth a walk though the passage, past the toilets, through the gap, to have a look at life in the Hostel.

The Sithole brothers are the first door on the right, marked with a X on the picture, their little business can do with your support if buying drinks

These boys, twins, father died when they were 15 years old, they remained alone, continued their schooling and the business, and today they are still operating, and achieving.

Ask permission from the Sithole brothers to have a look at their accommodation area, giving you insight into living spaces, without invading on the other occupants privacy.

Do not venture deeper into the hostel area.

Comfort Information: 

When braai-ing, you will receive your meal in a polystyrene plate, look after it, you will need to eat out of the plate.

There is normally an employee at the fire, who would either braai your meet, ‘well done’, or assist you if you would prefer to braai.

This is Africa, and they cater for groups of people, eating from one communal plate, using your fingers.

Should you have an issue, please ask the shop for a spoon.

Between the kitchen area, and the eating area, there is a sink, where you can wash your hands.

When you have cooked your meat, there will be a knife around, attached to an anchor of sorts, where you cut the meat into chunk size portions,

The salt will be in a plastic bottle, also anchored, so pour a little into your hand, and set on a corner of the meat plate. When washing your hands, if you require a cloth, please ask one of the ladies working there.

This is your closest that you will get to Africa, while in South Africa.

*******

Leaving Mutwa, en route to Sun Valley or Kliptown:

Return via Maponya Mall, wither board the bus to Lakeview, or, walk across to Kenny’s Brick & Tile, and board the F10 to Pimville Mall.

Leaving Mutwa, returning to Orlando;

Avoiding the use of the local taxi?

Should you wish to avoid the use of the local taxi, you would need to return via Maponya Mall, but we would recommend the use of the taxi, it will be quicker, and the stretch of road, fairly safe with the taxi.

Use of the taxi:

This is the recommended transfer, and allows you to end the Sun Valley and Kliptown visit with the magic experience at Muthwa’s Butchery.

When ready to leave Muthwa, walk back to the Klipspruit Valley Road, cross at the pedestrian crossing, careful of the mixture of busses and taxis, move slightly to the right, ‘taxi return on the map’ and using the index finger pointing down, recruit a taxi driver to stop for you.

Ask him to drop you at the Orlando West traffic light, pay your fare, and call ‘robot’, when you are approx 100 m away. When alighting here, you amy either turn left to Orlando East, or, if Nancefield was your last stop, turn right, cross the highway, and proceed to the Boom Town Rea Vaya Bus station.

Enjoy Africa, with Passport to Kliptown / Passport to Soweto,

Any questions?

Soweto tour

Passport to Soweto, passport to Economic Development
Passport to Soweto, passport to Economic Development

Soweto tour passport to Soweto, guides you safely into Orlando East, using the Rea Vaya bus system, and its integration with the Guatrain.

As a holder of the Passport to Soweto, your transport cost from Park Station / Melville Johannesburg, is approx  R 30 per person, return, and a further R 150 per person, is a direct contribution to the community members, an investment in the economic development of the Orlando East area.

For R 180 per person, no experience can beat this visit, and you will treasure your Passport to Soweto, for ever.

Soweto tour Passport to Soweto;

When alighting in Orlando East, your map will direct you to your first stop. Already the Passport to Soweto will give you insight into the history and involvement of the persons and sections that you will be passing.

This allows you the comfort of being part of the community, and able to interact with the locals around their heritage, and maybe, your link to this heritage.

We introduce 5 stops in Orlando East, covering James Sofasonka Mpanza, Ethel & Vuka Tshabalala family of Ephraim Tshabalala, Chief Hintsa, and his descendants, the Mdingi family, Nelson Mandela, Evelyn Mandela and her family, a high density shack development under the matriarch, Gogo Ndebele, and lunch with Vontjie at Baza Baza.

Winnie House, the Tutu home, the Mandela Museum, is not covered in detail, but the Passport to Soweto, gives direction to the tourist site, and carries a summary of my understanding of the Hector Pieterson Museum, and June 16, 1976 protest.

Nettie and I believe, that this passport will be used regularly, as you return to enjoy the energy of the people, and in so doing, move our Social Cohesion into a positive direction.

You are invited to be a pioneer in this tourism section, aimed at economic development, once we have a few thousand people moving through these areas, the pioneer and trekker in our heritage, will be celebrated.

As a registered Passport to Soweto holder, you will receive our personal support, from the preparation stage, through to the end of your trek.

Like climbing Kilimanjaro, getting to the summit is an achievement, but the hike, and overnight stops, will remain for you for ever.

Join us;

Cedric and Nettie de la Harpe

The other Nelson Mandela house.

The other Nelson Mandela House, many locals believe it, many don’t agree, why don’t you visit and do your one research.

According to Mike and Ema, Nelson Mandela first lived with his cousin, also of the Madiba clan, in Crown Mines, where cousin Robert Mosongulu Mugudlwa was a clerk.

The two cousins married two sisters, from the Engcobo area, their heritage the amaQwathi clan, Nelson Mandela marred Evelyn, her sister Kate, mother to Ema, married Robert Mosongulu Mugudlwa, and close to this heritage, was the brother Sam Mase, who first lived in 5818.

Sam, a devout Christian, had a close friendship with his cousin, Walter Sisulu, with whom he went to school.

In 1928, Sisulu moved to Johannesburg, later to be joined there by Sam, who soon became politicised, and encouraged Sisulu to read left-wing literature and join the ANC.

In 1939, Evelyn joined her brother and cousin, to train as a nurse in the city’s non-European hospital at Hillbrow, fulfilling the wishes of her late mother.

There, she befriended Walter’s girlfriend Albertina, whom he had met in 1941, and whom he would marry in 1944.

The archives will tell conflicting stories about religion and politics, and how these two issues allegedly caused Evelyn to split from Nelson Mandela, yet, still remaining very much part of the Sisulu family.

Following the divorce, ‘who divorced who’ I am never sure, Sam Mase relocated to Engcobo, and his home, 5818, was available to his sister Evelyn and her children to continue with their lives.

Nelson Mandela was often seen visiting the children, and maybe why he has been linked to this house.

Please visit and allow your own understanding to be challenged.