Burning Issue

THE VOICE OF THE CAPE  |  Podcast , ±58 min episodes every 1 week, 6 days  | 
The content echoes the name of the show – a platform that creates discussion around issues of religion, legal, consumer related, news and human interest stories. Hosted by seasoned photo-journalist and writer Yazeed Kamaldien who has a passion for community news, the 2 hour discussion show is interactive with the lines open for people to voice their opinions while the experts answer the questions.

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Combatting Cape Town's housing crisis

Twenty-six years after apartheid, Cape Town remains deeply divided along race and class lines. It’s clear that state-subsidised housing has done little to redress spatial apartheid, with housing delivery failing to keep pace with the considerable backlog. This has led to a housing crisis, in terms of which hundreds of thousands of poor and working-class families have been forced to live in peripheral townships, backyard shacks and informal settlements. These poor living conditions, coupled with high rates of unemployment, trap the poor and working class in a cycle of poverty.

In light of this, a group of civil society organizations and academics have urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to immediately release three large, well-located and vacant military sites in Cape Town for the development of low-income housing.

In his address to the nation on 20 April, President Cyril Ramaphosa in fact said: “There can be no greater injustice than a society where some live in comfort and plenty, while others struggle at the margins to survive with little or nothing at all.”

Nowhere is this injustice clearer than in access to land and housing. So why is the state not using well-located urban land which it owns to house people in this time of crisis? Is this feasible…if not, why not?

That’s our Burning Issue tonight.

On the line this evening is:
-Adi Kumar, executive director at the Development Action Group
-Charlton Ziervogel from the Community Organisation Resource Centre
-Later on, we have human settlements MEC Tertius Simmers
-As well as Councillor Malusi Booi, Mayco Member for Human Settlements at the City of Cape Town

Unfortunately, we had attempted to reach the Department of Public Works and Human Settlements, but they did not respond to our request

Are good, critical teachers under threat?

The year 2020 has certainly been a challenging year for the education system, but most importantly for educators and learners as they grappled with the onset of the covid19 pandemic and its disruptions to learning. At the peak of the pandemic, several principals took a bold stand against the opening of schools during the hard lockdown – with some of them holding daily pickets objecting to this decision. One of them was the principal of Heathfield High, Mr Wesley Neumann, who faces disciplinary charges from the Western Cape Education Department. There’s been loads of support for Mr Neumann from the school community and from several other schools in Cape Town. Mr Neumann will in fact appear before the WCED this week for his disciplinary hearing, after an attempt to halt it at the labour court.

Mr Neumann’s story brings to the fore questions concerning the role of the teacher in society and there is concern that good teachers are being demoralized by a bureaucratic education system. Are good, critical teachers under threat?

That’s our Burning Issue tonight.

Joining us instudio is:

-Patrick Schuster from the C-19 People’s Coalition ECD and Basic Education Working Group
-Ashley Visagie from Bottom Up, an NPO that promotes active citizenship and participatory democracy
-former South Peninsula high school principal Brian Isaacs
-Online is Allan Liebenberg, the spokesperson for the Action Committee at Heathfield high school
-TO PLACE ON RECORD: we have invited the WCED to join us, but because of the disciplinary hearing this week, they cannot speak to the media

Gatesville traders object to relocation

So a few weeks ago, a meeting was held with informal traders and formal business operators in Gatesville in Athlone, to discuss the City’s plan to reduce the risk of Covid-19 infections as the festive season nears. The meeting came after a letter had been sent, notifying them that the area had been identified as a Covid-19 hot spot.

At this meeting, shop owners and traders were informed of the exact details of the intervention plans by the City. But as we approach the busy season, it seems many traders are not happy with the plans.

Tonight we speak to some traders. Joining us instudio is:

-Naeem Frances of the Gatesville informal Traders Association
-Ubaidullah Safi, Gatesville trader
-‎Joining us via phone will be Gadija Petersen, Gatesville informal Traders Association chairperson
-Later in the show, we get a response from Mayco member for Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Management, Alderman Grant Twigg
-And we chat to Advocate Rod Solomons
Talking points:
-Covid19 is a reality and the president has cautioned against a second wave. Understandably, the city wants to mitigate against this. What are your concerns with this process?

Global umrah: adjusting to the new normal

Earlier last month, Saudi Arabia launched a plan for gradual resumption of the Umrah after suspension of around seven months due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Saudi Press Agency is reporting that nearly 2 million pilgrims have now registered to perform Umrah in Saudi Arabia via a smartphone app in one month.

Countries are subject to continuous evaluation by the Saudi Center for Disease prevention and Control and the Health Ministry as part of the government’s approved standards and protocols.

What does this mean for South Africa? This evening, we discuss all the in’s and out’s of the new umrah regulations.

In-studio, we have Sedick Steenkamp, chairperson of the recently merged South African Muslim Travel Operators Association

Unpacking the D6 local spatial development framework

Public consultation on a Local Spatial Development Framework for District Six has been underway with claimants and the City of Cape Town. The purpose of this plan is to formulate a vision and related policy guidelines and intervention projects for the area.

However, questions have been raised by the D6 Beneficiary and Redevelopment Trust on why an existing 2012 with the City, province and national government which outlines the development of the area is being ignored.

In the show tonight, we unpack what this framework is all about, why it is being criticized and how future residents will be affected. Later on in the show, we get update on the current District Six court case.

On the show this evening, we have
-Instudio Dr Fauzie Basardien, interim co-chair of the D6 Working Committee
-Karen Breytenbach, the committee’s media spokesperson
-Online is Nigel Titus, Manager for District Planning within the Urban Planning and Design Department at the City of Cape Town
-Zubeida Samsodien from the D6 Reference Group
-And Nicki Vant Riet from the D6 Working Committee

#MeToo movement: Empowering or harmful?

Cape Town has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse within the Muslim community, as highlighted in a video which has gone viral on social media. Since then, more women have come out with their experiences of the alleged abuse.

Is this the start of a local #MeToo movement? Have victims of abuse become so frustrated with the justice system that they have to resort to outing their abusers in public. And what are the social, legal and even religious implications?

On the show this evening, we have:
-Associate Professor of Public Law, Wahieda Ameen
-Jameelah Omar, a senior lecturer in Public Law at UCT
-Nuraan Osman, director of Ihata shelter for women and children
-Islamic scholar Shaykh Fakruddien Uwaisi

#MeToo movement: Empowering or harmful?

Cape Town has been rocked by allegations of sexual abuse within the Muslim community, as highlighted in a video which has gone viral on social media. Since then, more women have come out with their experiences of the alleged abuse.

Is this the start of a local #MeToo movement? Have victims of abuse become so frustrated with the justice system that they have to resort to outing their abusers in public. And what are the social, legal and even religious implications?

On the show this evening, we have:
-Associate Professor of Public Law, Wahieda Ameen
-Jameelah Omar, a senior lecturer in Public Law at UCT
-Nuraan Osman, director of Ihata shelter for women and children
-Islamic scholar Shaykh Fakruddien Uwaisi

City lowers its water tariff: How does this affect you

Cape Town’s water tariffs have been a contentious issue. In a few short years, we have gone from the worst drought to face our city and a potential ‘Day Zero’, to our dams being almost 100 percent full. And civic organizations have called on the City of Cape Town to reassess the water tariff structure.

Well this afternoon we heard that the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee made a decision to lift water restrictions in Cape Town and to move to the lowest tariff, from 1 November 2020. The tariff has already been approved by Council as part of the set of tariffs for the City’s 2020/21 budget.

In tonight’s show, we unpack this further.
Online we have:
-Lesley Ashton, Greater Cape Town Civic Alliance
-Sandra Dickson, founder of Stop COCT
-Alderman Xanthea Limberg, Mayco member for water and waste
-Brett Herron from the Good Party
-And Janine Myburgh from the Cape Chamber of Commerce

Can South Africa afford a nationwide strike?

South Africans have been warned by trade unions in the country to expect services including transport, schooling, and government departments to be shut down from tomorrow.

In a historic show of unity, the two biggest labour federations in the country - the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Federation of Trade Unions (Saftu) - who collectively represent close to three million workers, will be embarking on a national strike against corruption and unemployment.

While Cosatu’s protest action and stay-away would take place tomorrow only, Saftu leaders unveiled a programme of mass action that would last until the end of November.

At a time when 2,2 million jobs were lost during the second quarter of this year, largely due to the covid19 pandemic, what impact will this strike have? And is it too little to late?

Welcome to Burning Issue this evening:

In the show tonight, we chat to:
-Cosatu provincial secretary Melvin De Bruyn
-Shaheed Mahomed from the Social Workers Revolutionary Party
-Mametlwe Sebei from the C-19 People’s Coalition
-And lastly, chief Economist at Efficient Group, Dawie Roodt

The murder of Lt. Col Charl Kinnear and why a shift in the police force is needed?

Endemic corruption in the country’s law enforcement agencies has cost South African society dearly. On Friday, we lost one of the country’s top detectives - Lieutenant Colonel Charl Kinnear, a commander in the police’s Anti Gang Unit.

Lieutenant Colonel was brutally gunned down outside his home in Bishop Lavis in what appears to have been a well-orchestrated hit. He had been investigating several cases linked to known underworld figures, and despite this, had no police protection.

In the wake of this tragic murder, questions are being asked about the extent of police corruption and the criminal underworld’s tentacles in the police force. Is a shift needed in the police service? Why should SAPS further strengthen anti-corruption and integrity structures and measures? And how does this corruption affect communities dealing with the daily trauma of crime and violence?

That's what we hope to unpack in Burning Issue this evening:

On the panel are:
-crime activist Hanif Loonat
-crime activist Rashaad Carlson
-Graham Lindhorst, chairperson of the Bishop Lavis CPF
-Peter Ntsime from the South African Policing Union,
-Transnational crime expert Julian Rademeyer

Police brutality in SA: Why we need accountability?

The killing of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julies outside his home in Eldorado Park on August 26, allegedly by a police officer, has provoked nationwide anger and condemnation. Not only was the teenager unarmed, he also had Down syndrome.

The South African Police Service says Nathaniel was killed during a confrontation between police officers and gang members. But eyewitness have a different account and say the boy had gone to a shop to buy food and that there was no gang shooting or violent activity at the time he was shot.

A male and female police officer appeared in court yesterday and now face charges of premeditated murder, defeating the ends of justice, discharging a firearm in a public space and unlawful possession of ammunition. Whether they will be brought to book, we will have to wait and see.

But Nathaniel's senseless death has again placed police brutality in the national spotlight.

A few months ago, South Africans were shocked by the brutal murder of Collins Khosa, who was beaten to death in his Alexandra home by SANDF members, during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Last month, a rubber bullet killed nine-year-old Leo Williams from St Helena bay. Leo was sitting inside his uncle's house watching TV when he was hit in the head as police clashed with protesters outside.

Just recently, eight-year-old Clarence Solomons lost his life during a protest over a house demolition, after being hit by a stray bullet law enforcement.

At the weekend, we saw a gender-based violence protest in the Cape Town CBD descend into chaos when police used excessive force on protestors.

Why are we seeing a rise in police brutality? Have communities lost their trust in the police? Why is achieving justice for victims of police violence difficult? And what is the interlinkage between racial injustice and police brutality towards people of colour?
Those are some of the burning questions we ask in Burning Issue tonight.

Complaints against the athaan: What’s at stake?

The athaan – the call to prayer – has become a topic of conversation again this week, following complaints about the athaan at the Leewen Street masjid in Bo Kaap. The imam at the masjid said law enforcement officers investigated the complaint on Friday – said to be the third such complaint in Bo-Kaap over the past two months, a first in the history of Bo-Kaap.

Last year, this became a contentious issue after a complaint was levelled to the City of Cape Town over the athaan at Zeenatul Islam masjid in District Six.

Just recently, a resident from Isipingo Beach launched an application in the Durban High Court in which he scathingly criticised Islam and asked the court to stop the Adhan nationally and to shut down a local madressa which he says has infringed upon his right to dignity.

Why are these complaints emerging and what is at stake?

Our guests this evening are Osman Shabodien, chairperson of the Bo Kaap Civic and Ratepayers Association and Sandy Schuter, chairperson of the Strandfontein CPF. Later on in the show, we chat to the City of Cape Town, a Bo Kaap heritage activist, and the SA Human Rights Commission.

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