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The Oppidan Press Edition 2 2014

The Oppidan Press Edition 2 2014

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Published by The Oppidan Press
Edition 2 of The Oppidan Press, 2014
Edition 2 of The Oppidan Press, 2014

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Published by: The Oppidan Press on May 12, 2014
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The Oppidan Press
Edition 2, 11 March 2014Page 11Page 2Page 9
Poaching in perspectiveElectronic sports on the riseSilent Protest open for all
Rugby fest at Rhodes12
News Features
2 Te Oppidan Press 11 March 2014
Te departure o ormer Student Anti-Harassment Officer and key organiser o the Silent Protest Larissa Klazinga, who was argu-ably one o the most vocal gender activism voices on campus, has called into question the presence o other visible activism projects at Rhodes. Tis year’s organiser o the Silent Protest, Kim Barker, explained that “one area o concern has been the silence o Gender Action Project (GAP) on campus this year as a key and consistent student organisation dealing with these issues.” Students concerned about the avenues available to them in terms o harassment will not, however, go wanting. Acting Deputy Dean o Students Colleen Vassiliou will be the go-to person or incidences o gender-related harassment, and two psychologists at the Counselling Centre have also been contracted to help. A more concrete plan or harassment management is still in the pipeline. A main ear surrounding Klazinga’s exit rom the university is that the annual Silent Protest will not go orward as usual. Te protest, which deals with issues o rape and sexual violence, has become an important date on the university calendar in recent years. As the organiser o the first Silent Protest, the event came to be seen as a key component o Klazinga’s work at the University. “Initially it was a bit uncertain last year because the University originally placed the event on the calendar or this year on condition that students organise it,” explained Barker, addressing these ears. “At the Gender Imbizo the University was lobbied and resolutions were made, particu-larly that the University would offer its support to the event and have a staff member dedicated to its organisation.” Barker will head a committee o students, staff members and interested individuals at Rhodes who will assist in organising the event as well as in discussing the issues that accompany its organisation. A significant difference between this year’s protest and those o previous years is the time o the year at which it takes place. While most previous protests took place in either March or April, this year’s has been rescheduled or August.Tis was mainly due to the various holidays alling in April creating difficulty in securing the Cathedral as a venue. A positive symbolic result has been that the protest will take place at the start o National Women’s Month. However, this does not limit it to women. “We have taken the step to making all categories o participation open to both men and women,” Barker stated. “Sexual violence against women takes place on a massive scale, but we would be creating more silences i we ignore the reality o sexual violence against men in a orum like this.” Te August date would allow or more time to deliberate on these issues o inclusivity and attracting male voices to an event that, since its inception, has seen participation rom mainly emale students. Fur-ther plans or this year include opening up participation and encouraging input rom staff members, with the official support o the University. “Support staff have ofen participated in the past, although in very small numbers,” added Barker. With this year’s event secured on the calendar, Barker pointed to a new discussion being raised concerning the portolio under which the protest alls. Currently under the administration o the Dean o Students Office, one resolution rom the last Gender Imbizo suggested that the Silent Protest should all under the ransormation and Institutional Culture Directorate instead. “Tis would make it part o effecting change in the institution as a whole,” she explained. Barker stressed the need or active participation in both the Silent Protest and other gender activism projects on campus. “We need to start asking ourselves what isn’t okay,” she said. “Ofen there are these knee-jerk responses to stories o brutal rapes, calling or women to protect themselves and to root out the ew evil people committing these crimes. Tat kind o rhetoric avoids discussing the real issues that are present.” Tis year’s emphasis on dialogue and inclusivity in the organisation o the protest will, Barker hopes, continue and build on the work Klazinga did in her time at Rhodes.
Inclusivity the goal of Silent Protest 2014
Tarryn de Kock PoliticsThandi Bombi and Chelsea Haith
Te 2014 academic year began in anger as students united to pro-test against a lack o unding. As many marched through the streets chanting their demands, the Rhodes University Student Representative Council (SRC) ought a quieter bat-tle. In collaboration with the Rhodes University Financial Aid Office, the University managed to help more than 100 Rhodes students in need o financial assistance.
Te South Arican Students’ Con-gress (SASCO) organized countrywide protests or students who could not be unded by the National Student Financial Aid Services (NSFAS). Tese protests resulted in student injuries and criminal records.Closer to home, students rom lo-cal institution o higher learning the Eastcape Midlands College (EMC) were lef homeless afer being evicted by landlords afer a lack o unding lef them unable to pay their rent. Te NSFAS reductions in bursary amounts threatened to orce landlords to permanently evict the students. Tis resulted in the College campuses across the Eastern Cape closing and students being sent home afer a week o protests against the reductions. According to Colonel Monray Nel o Grahamstown SAPS, the College will reopen on 11 March afer a discussion on 10 March between students, parents, landlords and the College’s management. However, the EMC management was careul to point out that there could be no solutions because there was not enough unding rom the government - there could only be compromises. On our campus however, SRC liaison officer Eric Oei elt that students did not need to resort to striking to have their demands met. Tis comes afer a post on the Rhodes Conessions Facebook page that complained about the SRC’s lack o interest in student affairs. “A lot o students are not aware o what the SRC does and their power,” commented Oei.He went on to explain that the SRC President Bradley Bense and Vice-President Victor Mauku arrived in the first week o January and were working hard in the interest o the students in need o financial aid.According to financial aid adminis-trator at Rhodes Luyanda Bheyile R4 million was requested directly rom the Director General o Higher Educa-tion on 24 January to help prospective students financially. “Although NSFAS increases its und-ing annually, the money is not enough because there has been an increase in demand or financial aid,” ex-plained Bheyile. “o date we could not accommodate 65 prospective students and 61 already existing students.” Bheyile went on to say that financial aid was not awarded to repeating first- and second-year students rom 2013, but was rather reserved or third-years and above. He also pointed out that there are always reasons or why someone is not getting financial aid and that both sides o the story should be explored.Mutsa Mambo, a PhD student in Environmental Biotechnology, said that while she is happy that more than 100 students could continue their studies, the SRC should not be praised or something that they are meant to be doing anyway. “Rhodes is small enough or the SRC to have more o an impact than they already have,” she said.Mambo went on to say that the SRC should represent the entire student body, including oreign nationals. “Tey should be taking financial issues up with the governing body and representing oreign nationals as well as South Aricans. oo many people got excluded because o the Minimun Initial Payment clearance deadline.”
NSFAS bursary reductions cause countrywide unrest
EMC students protested after a lack of funding resulted in them being unable to pay their rent. Photo: CHELSEA HAITH
News Features
11 March 2014 Te Oppidan Press 3
Lining up to march for lions in captivity
Eastside & Westside: Grahamstown water woes wage on
Emily Corke
Te water crisis at Rhodes University last year cast a national spotlight on Grahamstown’s perpetual water troubles. Unortunately, what was not brought to the ore was the act that this has been an unending problem or many people or several years. While ‘Grahamstown West’, which includes the RU campus, has had many o these issues addressed, the water crisis in Grahamstown East continues to affect thousands.
At the Grahamstown Residents Association (GRA) Annual General Meeting on 5 March, Grahamstown City Engineer Emmanuel My-alato was invited to report on the current water situation. While he could confidently report that plans have been put in place to fix the crisis, he said that the municipality was ar rom solving the problem. “Until we have enough storage or water and enough pumps working at 100%, the crisis is not over,” said Myalato. “Te time or planning is over, now is the time or implementation.”Te planning Myalato mentions is the five-year contract that Makana Municipality has signed with quasi-state body, Amatola Water. Tis contract was the result o a presidential intervention last year, when the majority o Rhodes University had been without water or 16 days. Despite the act that most areas in Grahams-town West have elt improvements in the water supply and pressure - which Myalato said was thanks to Amatola Water- the situation in Gra-hamstown East has barely improved. Chairperson o the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) Ayanda Kota said, “I you are well off and you have been living in the town then you will not be hit as hard as i you are liv-ing in the township.”Kota said that because people in Grahamstown East have been without a consistent water supply or years. Tey have been orced to improvise to keep their homes hygienic and healthy. Some residents have to get up beore dawn just to find water or their amilies. Kota said that the crisis began when the quality o water in Grahamstown was declared undrinkable. Babies were reported to have died in 2009 because o the quality o water, although no investigation ever took place. Residents were also reported to have died in fires in 2011 because there was no water or the community to use to save them. “I you go to the toilet, it’s not even that you have the flushing system anymore. You have to use the bucket system - that’s how bad it is,” Kota added.Such problems with the quality and availabil-ity o the water supply still persist in most areas in Grahamstown East. Water, when it does come out the taps, had been reported to be a green or white colour. Although the water is no longer green, people are still complaining o getting sick rom the water - especially in the Joza area. DA Ward Councillor Les Reynolds said that there has been no improvement in most areas. “Tere is not enough water to come into town and to service the absolute growth in Graham-stown East. Joza is very poor when it comes to water supply,” said Reynolds. Other than the growth o Grahamstown East, according to B&B manager Sally Price-Smith, a lot o municipal bungling could have been avoided by consistent structural maintenance. Te municipality, including Myalato, have ofen blamed the aging inrastructure as the source o the problem. Ward 12 Councillor Brian Fargher said, “We have said time and time again: it is not aging in-rastructure that is the problem but maintenance and planning.”Price-Smith reported that when she visited one o the worst-affected water treatment sta-tions - James Kleynhans Water reatment Works - there were Pick ‘n Pay ans cooling the motors. In other cases, the equipment has been lef to gather dirt and sludge. Fargher reported an instance where proes-sional divers were brought in rom Port Eliza-beth to clean the equipment. It took them three days to remove the sludge. In some cases, there is a complete lack o know-how. According to doctoral candidate at the Institute or Water Research at Rhodes Uni- versity Jai Clifford-Holmes, the last complete set o plans or the city were drawn up in the 1970s. Consequentially, the current municipal staff are unable to read the maps or fix the valves. Myalato added that the controlling systems that manage water control and supply have been lef unmaintained and broken. Additionally, the geography o Grahamstown causes a lot o difficulty when it comes to water distribution to the entire town. In brie, the water flows past the areas in Grahamstown East to service Grahamstown West and then back up to Grahamstown East. By the time the water returns to those areas at the end o the chain, there is not enough pressure or the water to reach Grahamstown East.“Let me be brutally honest, we are lucky that the olk in Grahamstown East have been so tolerant, because they know that their water is going past them into Grahamstown West,” said Reynolds. “When Rhodes had that crisis last year, they virtually switched off all the water to Grahamstown East to try and satisy the students.”Reynolds went on to say that C.M. Vellem Primary School and a number o others have not had water or two years.“Te kids go to the loo on the periphery o the playground because the tanks that should be filled up on a daily basis by the municipality are not,” said Reynolds, “We don’t know how those people battle or water.” Reynolds continued to state that Makana Municipality is lucky to have avoided a cholera outbreak in Grahamstown East and warned that the municipality has to be careul.Tere are plans or a new pump to be installed to fix the water supply or Grahamstown East but the poor water quality is arguably due to the act that the people who operate the water treat-ment works are not doing their jobs properly. Te bulk o the unding comes rom the Department o Water Affairs and various par-ties, including a R75 million rescue package administered by the Eastern Cape Development Corporation. Fargher said Amatola Water has taken control o almost every aspect thus ar as the water supply in Makana Municipality is cur-rently in crisis. Reynolds stated that Makana Municipality has no money, which has serious consequences in terms o the time it takes or the plans Amatola Water and Makana have made to be implement-ed. Tese plans include: expensive inrastructure replacement, the building o reservoirs in order to accommodate the growth o Grahamstown East and general maintenance control upgrades, using new technology and communications. According to Myalato, Amatola Water has also been contracted to manage water alloca-tion, water treatment, water management and to acilitate training or the operating municipal staff. Peter Ellis rom MBB Consultants has been contracted to regulate water pressure and con-servation and to help manage the usage o water. Myalato sounded confident when he reported that Makana Municipality has given a commit-ment to the annual National Arts Festival and Sciest Arica that they can go ahead and host these big events in Grahamstown, despite the unending water crisis.
Mikaela Erskog Environment
he opportunity to pet lion cubs draws large international crowds, but ew tourists real-ise that these cubs are either products o severe inbreeding or smuggled rom neighbouring countries. Even ewer people are aware that most cub petting is just a means to externalise the costs o rearing adult lions or recreational hunting.
Te Campaign Against Canned Hunting (CACH) is a South Arican organisation that is fighting to close down what many regard as an inhu-mane economic practice. Due to the poor awareness surrounding this issue, they will be hosting the Global March or Lions on 15 March, 2014 and Rho-des students are invited to participate. Te breeding o lions in captivity or use in tourist and canned hunting industries is a huge problem in South Arica as it is directly contributing to the eradication o natural lions and their genetic integrity. According to inormational website cannedlion.org, there are more lions armed in captiv-ity (8000) than there are lef in their natural habitat (ewer than 4000) in South Arica, and there are only 20 000 natural lions lef in Arica as a whole. Co-ounder o CACH and cann-edlion.org Chris Mercer explains that canned hunting entails the ‘hunting’ o animals that are born and bred in small, confined spaces that barely at-tempt to resemble their natural habitat. Mercer explained how lions develop “captivity depression” - a mental and physical lethargy that is caused by permanent confinement to spaces ar too small or any wild animal, let alone the king o the wild. “Tey aren’t ree to express normal behavior in small confined enclosures. Tey are simply bred to die,” remarked International Animal Rescue Foun-dation (IARF) activist and Rhodes second-year student Emma Tomp-son.Te breeding process not only a-cilitates discomort or the lion but the means by which they are bred is actu-ally destroying the lion species. “You then get crossbreeding or inbreeding that produces what Americans call ‘junk lions’ – ones with compromised genetics,” Mercer elaborated. Te genetic integrity o the animal is lost as inbred animals ofen have recurring health problems, severe deormities and evident disabilities. Tis results in the need to re-intro-duce ‘resh blood’ into the gene pool to counteract the effects o inbreeding - by capturing ree lions and smuggling them rom other Arican countries into South Arica to re-invigorate the canned hunting industry. More problems arise because o this: “As the lions in the wild decrease rom smuggling operations,” explained Tompson, “the more we occupy their area and their natural habitat decreas-es. Tat means then that inbreeding is more likely to occur [in the wild too]. Tis causes massive physiological and behavioral problems between natural prides and decreases their numbers. Eventually, this may lead to stagnation and sterility.Tis Saturday, the Global March or Lions will be happening in over 40 cities in 18 countries in an attempt to challenge the industry and call or a ban on canned hunting in South Arica. Tompson agrees that this will be a necessary step, arguing that i it is legal to breed lions, it allows or a lot o grey areas and illegalities. Te event is also aimed at creating enough global awareness to stop the international demands that uel the arming o lions. “We want to build an international constituency [and] to use that constituency to close the industry down at the other end,” said Mercer.However, Mercer argues that it is not enough to just ban the practice. He believes that the most viable solutions to this problem are to educate tourists so that they do not indulge in cub pet-ting and to educate volunteers not to patronise any acility that rears lions. He also hopes to persuade the Euro-pean Union to ban any imports related to this industry and to get the United States Fish and Wildlie Services to put lions on the endangered species list. Most importantly, Tompson and ellow IARF activist Kestral Raik both stressed the importance o educating people in a way that promotes critical thinking and engaging with social is-sues. “I you have the capacity to think about it, maybe you should as it’s the only way to sustainably combat these problems,” commented Tompson. “Lion poaching and canned hunting is South Arica’s biggest shame,” Raik continued, stating that the awareness surrounding canned lion hunting is not only low but being actively denied. Tompson described an example o the complete suppression o the cause’s inormation. “A little while ago, at O. R. ambo International Airport, they had advertisements up that had an image o President Zuma, a lion and a gun to its head, and it said ‘Only Zuma can stop this’. Tese were taken down immediately.” Tompson and Raik both agreed that part o the problem acing the dwindling number o lions in South Arica is the lack o correct inorma-tion and awareness available to the public. Te Global March or Lions is an attempt to change this. Join the march to raise awareness o this brutal industry and its problematic consequences. I the lion is worthy enough to grace our fify rand note, it surely deserves to live a healthy and ree lie.
Lions that are in captivity often develop depression and severe lethargy. Photo: WWW.CANNEDLION.ORG

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