Life is difficult for the villagers of Hole in the Wall
where crops failed disastrously this year with torrential downpours bringing rainfall of over double the normal annual average, and there is heightening drama over the woman "headman" who has to all intents and purposes usurped power in the area and has her opposition effectively tied-up and confounded by restraining orders.
The late Headman, Mzoxolo Mdedeleni, passed away in 2003 leaving no legal heir. His estranged wife of several years, Nowinas (who apparently left him of her own accord and had been living with another man in Johannesburg), was asked at the funeral by elders whether she had any legitimate son by the late headman; and she is reported to have said that she had only 3 daughters by the man. However, she later returned from Johannesburg with 3 boys whom she is now claiming are Mdedeleni's sons. The local community believe the boys bear no resemblance to the Headman, and that they are "from the bush", so to speak - and insist on having DNA tests to settle the issue. In any event, the local community want Mdedeleni's half-brother (Madikude, of the same royal bloodline) to rule instead; but arguments against her were met with restraining orders... and arrests when the restraining orders were inevitably broken. Two sub-headmen from the district (one of whom is the sub-headman nominally in control of the village and lands at Hole in the Wall itself) and two of their advisors have been out on bail of R1,000 each since August 2006 - and have appeared at the High Court in Umtata several times for remandments.
The deputy minister of education, Enver Surty discussed the real challenges a digitally-supplemented education at primary and secondary level faces in South Africa. Approximately 30 percent of schools currently use computers for teaching and learning, with only 2 percent of those schools actually connected to the Internet. The Gauteng province is at the forefront to enable schools to engage in the digital age, but still faces a severe lack of infrastructure. The reality in South Africa is that most schools need to construct solid buildings before they can even consider putting ICT infrastructure in, hence the need for an integrated development strategy. The government has mandated that by 2013 no child will leave a government school in South Africa without basic computer literacy; and there is obviously a long road ahead.
The terrestrial environment of the Wild Coast is commonly divided into two broad areas. South of Port St Johns lies a gently undulating coastline, interspersed with rocky points, and is more densely populated with highly popular holiday destinations and homes right to the shoreline. Vegetation types most predominant in this area include the Transkei Coastal belt grasslands and scarp forests.
1856 was a bad year for the Xhosa nation of the Wild Coast.
Their lands had been taken by the British, drought had withered their crops, and their prized cattle were dwindling under a mysterious disease.
The people were facing a hard winter when hope came in the shape of a young girl called Nongqawuse, the niece of a prophet. Nongqawuse claimed that the spirits of the ancestors had spoken to her from a pool in the Gxara River.
A billion people live in India -- one of every six on the planet. Half of them are illiterate. Only one in four has access to adequate sanitation. Some 350 million Indians live on less than a dollar a day. Yet India is also home to some of the world's most advanced high-technology firms, and New Delhi is Silicon Valley East.
Several years ago, a computer scientist, Dr. Sugata Mitra, had an idea. What would happen if he could provide poor children with free, unlimited access to computers and the Internet? Mitra launched what came to be known as the hole in the wall experiment. FRONTLINE/World producer Rory O'Connor first encountered Dr. Mitra and his experiment while directing a film on global poverty.
UniNet and Ilizwi Telecommunications (ITel) recently concluded a deal that will see the rollout of a broadband network in the Eastern Cape. ITel is a licenced "Under Serviced Area Licencee" (USAL) for the OR Tambo district, which includes the towns of Umtata, Mqanduli, Libode, Tsolo, Qumbu, Ngqeleni, Tabankulu, Port St Johns, Lusikisiki, Flagstaff and Bizana.
Andile Nontso, director of Itel, says plans include the deployment of a wireless access network to deliver fixed and mobile voice and data services throughout the district. The first phase of this project is expected to be complete before July next year. UniNet will jointly operate the network with Itel for an initial five-year contract period.
There was a near riot up at the signboarded ploughfield last Saturday and heated discussion on and off during the week when everyone wasn’t at home while the "khamkham" blew over with buckets of rain. (We had about 150 mils in 3 days.)