Features

Features

National minimum wage debate

KATHERINE ATKINSON

South Africa’s national minimum wage (NMW) will soon increase from R11 per hour to R20 per hour, which equates to R3500 per month. The NMW was meant to be implemented on 1 May, but there is a delay since the bill is currently with the labour department for revision, says Mail and Guardian.

The new NMW is intended to improve living conditions of the working class. However, a worker needs to earn at least R26 per hour to break the cycle of poverty for themselves and their dependents, says Mail and Guardian. Several federations are pushing for an NMW of R26 per hour, or R4750 per month, but they believe that the new NMW is a step in the right direction. These include federations such as the Federation of Unions of South Africa (Fedusa), the Congress of South Africa Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the National Council of Trade Unions (Nactu). Fedusa stated that they are “keenly aware that a R3500 a month minimum wage is less than an ideal living wage but will certainly lift an estimated 4.5 million workers currently earning below that amount out of abject poverty,” says Fin24.

Read more: National minimum wage debate

The recognition of Muslim marriages in SA

 

INGE BEUKES

South Africa has once again been confronted with the historical battle for the legal recognition of Muslim marriages. The Women’s Legal Centre (WLC) has launched an application in the Western Cape High Court to take the President of South Africa and executive respondents to court for the lack of a legislative framework governing Muslim marriages in South Africa. According to WLC, their basis for this action lies in the fact that non-recognition has far-reaching implications and consequences for women in Muslim marriages, as they do not have the protection offered to women in civil marriages. The application is in the name of public interest and seeks relief for women in Muslim marriages, and the children born of such marriages as well as legal protection upon the dissolution of the marriage.

Read more: The recognition of Muslim marriages in SA

Aandklas Open Mic Night celebrates 3rd anniversary

Ricardo Teixeira

Aandklas, a place that is the epitome of rock ‘n roll, celebrated the third anniversary of their open mic night on Sunday 13 May. Since it started, Open Mic Night has been a platform for many aspiring musicians to get stage experience and necessary exposure. In a series of interviews, Perdeby spoke with the organiser and acts at the event.

The idea for Open Mic Night came in early 2015 when Aandklas owner Rudi Oosthuizen, and open mic night founder and manager Christo “Baas” De Beer watched Francois Van Coke perform at Aandklas during one of his first solo performances. After which Oosthuizen said to De Beer, “I wish we had something like this every day.” A week later De Beer approached Oosthuizen with the possibility of running an open mic night, because at the time there weren’t any open mic nights in Pretoria. For the first few months, the two co-managed the weekly event, until Oosthuizen gave complete control to De Beer. “He[Oosthuizen] said to me, ‘You know what, take it, run with it.’ So basically, it’s all thanks to Rudi, he made it all possible.”

Open mic nights like these play and important role for anyone hoping to build a career in the South African music industry. De Beer explained, “Musicians need a stage. No one is willing to give a musician a stage, unless he’s got stage experience, which he can’t get without a stage. Which is kinda f***ed up.” Acts that perform well at open mic night are given opening slots for other acts when possible, giving them more exposure and experience. One of the popular acts at Open Mic Nights, Zebra, was given an opening slot for a Jack Parrow performance, two weeks after their first open mic night. De Beer said that he has approached a few of the acts and brought them into his company, Activation Media, to help book them for other performances. When asked about acts that perform badly, De Beer defended them, saying “Some of them improve a lot. I’ll be honest, we get guys here that are not musicians and they want to try it out, but I believe [we should] give everyone an opportunity.” De Beer recalled a memorable performance, one he deemed the epitome of Open Mic Night, when a performer who had never been on stage before stepped on the Open Mic Night stage. “He had friends in the crowd who didn’t know he owned a guitar,” De Beer said, “and he blew minds. I honestly wish I could remember who the f*** he was.”

Read more: Aandklas Open Mic Night celebrates 3rd anniversary

Five Guys notes and summaries: an interview with a first-year Executive Director

By Alison Massey

Perdeby recently interviewed JC Steyn, the Executive Director of a company called “Five Guys Notes and Summaries” that he and a group of friends started earlier this year. The business guarantees top-quality study notes and has seen a lot of growth in the few months since its inception. Steyn explains how this came to be and what the company’s plan for the future is.

 

Where did you get the idea for your business?
With the original team we started out as five people who just happened to meet each other throughout orientation week, and by the end of orientation week we sat together and had a conversation where we said “let’s try to do really, really well at our studies” and then someone came up with the idea to all put our notes together, and then I said ‘let’s sell that’. The whole business concept actually started with my girlfriend who bought a set of medicine notes off one of those flyers on the noticeboards for like R300 and it was terrible. I mean, I’m sure all the content was there but it was so jumbled and terribly formatted that if you had to study for a test you wouldn’t be able to pick out the work that was important. Nothing was labelled, nothing was clear, [there were] inconsistent fonts throughout the whole thing, it was terrible. And it was just an email so she [JC’s girlfriend] could then theoretically take that email and send it to everyone else and ef­fectively stop the sales for this girl who had made the notes. So, for us it was just so important that our notes were really good, easy to use and that people could say “I need to revise this one topic” and open up the notes, find it on the index and go straight there and just revise it. For students, by students, in a way that we would understand.

 

How does your business work?
The way it works is that the business functions as a partnership. So, there’s the senior partners which are myself as the executive director, since I founded the company and I’m sort of the leader of the partners, [and] four other senior partners, two of them are founding members. Then below us [… ]we’ve got compilers (people who basi­cally help adapt the notes to our format); we’ve got independent creators who are people who take subjects that we don’t have and they do those notes for us for a percentage […] Something that’s new is what we’re calling the “faculty teams” which are made up of four creators and a faculty representative, so for example if we wanted to expand into the engineering faculty we would have one faculty rep from that faculty who would attend the partners meetings with us, talk to us a bit and basically raise the interests and concerns of his specific faculty and then he would also function as the leader of his team. So, they would duplicate what we are doing in their own faculty and then report back to us and then in that way we can spread our brand across the university.

Read more: Five Guys notes and summaries: an interview with a first-year Executive Director

The male birth control pill

Alison Massey

For decades, women have had the option of taking oral contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. According to a 2012 report by the US Centre for Disease Control, of the 62% of women of reproductive age in the US who used contraception, 28% of these used a contraceptive pill. This means that roughly 10.6 million women in the US relied on this method in 2012. There are other types of hormonal contraceptives that women can use to interrupt their menstrual cycle, including the hormonal patch or injection. Until now, the only contraceptive used by men has been the condom and vasectomy. Mpho Motiang of UP’s Centre for Sexualities, Aids and Gender (CSA&G) says that condoms and “coitus interruptus” (pulling out) are the most common methods of birth control, but with current strides in the production of a new male contraceptive pill there may soon be a new option.

According to the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), there are different types of birth control pills for women, which either stop women from ovulating or create a mucus plug to stop sperm reaching the egg. These pills all use artificial hormones (mainly oestrogen and progesterone), which stops many women from wanting to take them due to fears of the pill interfering with their naturally produced hormones. There are many possible side effects to the pill and the NHS says these may include acne, tender breasts, migraines, lowered sex drive, nausea and vomiting, mood changes and other symptoms. The pill will also not work if you forget to take it (every day at around the same time), if you are on antibiotics or certain other medication or if you have either vomited or experienced diarrhoea within a few hours of taking it. Still, many women like that it does not interrupt sex and that, in many cases, it helps regulate their menstrual cycle and reduce period pains. Motiang says that “many women opt for ‘the pill’ after weighing up what they need to get out of using the pill but some people don’t like the side effects and thus pursue alternatives”.

Read more: The male birth control pill

Flip Through Perdeby

Video Gallery