SA Library Week 2010

National Library Week coincides with the 192th celebration of the National Library of SA’s Cape Town Campus establishment. The then South African Library’s origins date back to 20 March 1818, as the first South African public library in South Africa. Lord Charles Somerset, Governor of the Cape Colony, issued a proclamation launching the South African Public Library. Somerset stipulated that a wine tax would be levied “to place the means of knowledge within the reach of the youth of this remote corner of the Globe, and bring within their reach what the most eloquent of ancient writers has considered to be one of the first blessings of life, ‘Home Education.”

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Call for ‘social wealth’ photos

An organisation that aims to encourage and support indigenous photographers from the developing world is widening its network. Majority World wants to ensure that the lives of those in areas commonly associated with suffering and poverty are captured by photographers who may be able to offer fresh angles, sometimes missing in the images shown on … Read more

!Khwa ttu: the way of the San

Richard Holmes

“Eleven years ago, this was a run-down cattle farm,” Michael Daiber tells me as we wander across the quiet courtyard at !Khwa ttu, the bright summer sunshine bouncing off freshly whitewashed walls. From the hilltop, the blue waters of the West Coast sparkle a few kilometres away, while the flat top of Table Mountain is just visible through the distant heat haze.

The scars of farming are still visible in the fields below, but today there’s a different crop being sown in this 850ha Western Cape nature reserve, with ecotourism providing new opportunities for one of South Africa’s most marginalised communities.

!Khwa ttu aims to open visitors’ eyes to the world of the San Bushmen, one of Africa’s oldest peoples. But this is no theme park. The emphasis is on a “tangible journey into history facilitated by the people themselves”, celebrating San culture and creating opportunities for the community.

!Khwa ttu has its beginnings in 1998, when the Working Group of Indigenous Minorities in Southern Africa partnered with the South African San Institute to create a tourism and training project for San people from across Southern Africa. Then in 1999 Swiss anthropologist Irene Staehelin joined the initiative, setting up the Ubuntu Foundation and buying the farm that became !Khwa ttu. Today, the project is an award-winning partnership jointly owned by the San people and Ubuntu.

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Ridge City: Mariannridge Community Development Organisation

Ridge City (formerly called Transformation Mariannridge) is a community development organisation in Mariannridge which was started in January 2007 by Jake Pieterse, Emily Griffits and Liz Marillier. It is based in the same building as Mariann Co- ordinating Committee (MCC), another community development organisation and the Mariannridge library.

Focus of Ridge City
The focus of Ridge City is economic, social, spiritual transformation and enterprise and business development in Mariannridge and surrounding areas such as KwaDabeka

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TRIBUTE TO FATIMA MEER: Champion of the underclass

Dr Fatima Meer died last Friday, at the age of 82, following a stroke she suffered two weeks ago. Her death brings to a close a remarkable life: a courageous, selfless, independent-minded scholar-activist, never afraid to speak out and always ready to act on her words. Her legacy, however, is bound to carry on through … Read more

IsumaTV: Indigenous community media and online activism

Since I first heard of what folks were calling a ‘YouTube for indigenous media’ in early 2008, the word about IsumaTV has been spreading: in its first nine months the site registered almost 4 million hits. Since its birth, the internet portal for global Indigenous media has been reaching out and making a significant contribution … Read more