Posts Tagged ‘Alexandra township’

DATE: 29 AUGUST 2011


We as Siyakhona went to the MC Weiler Primary school to screen the rats’ call to action film for 250 learners. We were truly amazed by the way the kids responded to our call for them to join the Siyakhona Initiative to get rid of the rats and pollution in Alexandra.

It was not only to show the film but to hear their views about the project and the film. Mandla from Eco-Solutions was there to tell the kids about the owls and how they will help Alexandra to reduce rat populations. The kids responded by saying:

“We want the owls because it’s good for the environment and they could help.” But there were two sides, others said “Owls are used to practice witchcraft”. Others said they were scared of rats but they would love to be part of the project of introducing owls to their school and a competition to turn waste into wealth by recycling as the environmental class.

They came with the solutions that they are using now, “as learners of MC Weiler we will go around our township and collect waste and recycle.

And they have their three R’s (re-use, reduce and recycle). So we urge the schools that are part of the competition to start looking at the environment differently and tell their peers to.


Shirley Langley


They are big with different kinds of colors. They don’t care about life as long as they get something to eat. You will find them everywhere, but they stay in a township called Alexandra yes I am talking about Rats. Others may take rats and mice and make them their pets but for us people of Alex it’s terrifying to have rats as our pets.

We live, eat, sleep with them. These rats have invaded our beautiful township. mobile public screening in Setshwetla Alexandra

They are seen day & night yet we think it is normal, at first it was 1, 2, 10 but there are millions of rats in Alexandra township. These rats come with their own diseases, but still we sit and keep quiet. I am a citizen journalist of Alex who is very concerned because these rats won’t only give me their disease, but the whole of Alex will suffer.

So we took the rats’ film to Setjwetla one of the informal settlements in our township, trying to hear their views and what can we do about this problem.

The people were very shocked when they heard about the diseases that the rats carry. We consulted with them. This is what they said, “as long we don’t clean after ourselves nothing will be done to get rid of these rats”, the other one said “we as Alexandra citizens, we need to help the municipality and work with them to keep our township clean”.

We do not plead to the government only but to the people as well please let’s keep our yards clean, let’s live in a clean environment, the government is trying to help Alexandra by bringing owls to the township so people I leave you with this question. What do you think about owls in the township of Alex?





Before I blog about this month’s documentary Screening, I’d like to show Hillside Digital’s gratitude to Ms Kgomotso for blessing us with a sophisticated venue. We also want to thank our guests such as Linda Twala , AZAPO, SA HIP HOP , for taking time off their schedules to witness and admire our passion as the Hillside Digital family. I’d like to emphasize my thanks to the Siyakhona crew for bringing the whole event to life. Now that I’ve given thanks, let me get to what this blog is about, The Siyakhona Documentary Screening .

I feel I should elaborate to those who do not have the full scoop on what Siyakhona Hillside Digital is about. The Hillside Digital is a Non-Profitable Organization based in Alexandra Township, with a goal to plant a seed of change within the unattended community. It deals with the obstacles that bash the township against the wall. Hillside Digital goes out to the community and captures the matters, organizes screening events across the township and showcases them to the people it affects, community members . It also helps the worried citizens to come up with solutions as to how they can approach and defeat these problems. And so far, Hillside Digital has done an exceptionally good job to reach out a hand and try help bring these obstacles forth, through the power of video journalism.

So, on the 6th of June 2011 , Hillside Digital organizes a documentary screening, sets up in a well known venue in Alexandra Township (The Basement). The guests’ early arrival portrayed a sense of keenness toward the event and to witness what the Hillside Digital family had to showcase. The success of the event was unexpectedly great; since we had guests’ like Linda Twala who has had Alexandra Township in his hands for many years; he was instrumental in saving our Township and survived the police bombing his home back in the day. The documentary screening commences and goes on as planned. Our first documentary showcases one of the matters that the township faces on a daily bases-rape. It focuses on the young Alexandra citizens that have been victims and have suffered the ill consequences of living with HIV.

Our second documentary is based on Housing and the Alexandra Renewal Project (ARP). We show footage that Hillside Digital has gone out to research, and get feedback on how the people of the township have housing issue. It’s been disclosed that the unhappy citizens have bad experiences with the Housing Projects; they report that their houses are sold to unknown individuals that have paid enormous amounts of money. We then went out to hear what the ARP had to say about the matter, though the citizens are told by an ARP representative that it has nothing to do with the Housing Department selling their homes. Then the screening proceeds to another problem in Alexandra, updating our progress to end the rats crisis and the audience relates very well as they live under the disturbing conditions.  We then show a documentary called “Music Frees My Soul”; it is based on the passion and talent for music in Alexandra Township. We capture the young voices that live and love music; we meet music legends of Alex such as Jika Twala who is a musician and Moses Sibeko who is a producer. They move our concentration from the troubling topics to something the township is capable of-music. The young talent in Alexandra is marvelous though still undiscovered as yet, so Hillside Digital takes initiative to expose it at the screening event. After the Documentary Screening, we allow the citizens to have a voice and come up with solutions as to how we can better the community. They spoke about solutions as to how we could build a sanitarily clean and crime-free township, and luckily the audience really felt the need to stand as one and fight these battles together as a community. And we as Hillside Digital were content to realize that we have given a voice to Alexandra Township and the township has a voice found through  Siyakhona and Hillside Digital.

By Monde Mdelene

On Friday July 2nd my friends and I went to a fan park to watch the game between Ghana and Uruguay. after the game, we went to a friend’s house in Khayelitsha township.

When we are arrived a friend got a phone call and stepped outside, leaving the rest of us inside the house, after some time we noticed he had been gone for a while so I decided to go and check on him. I found him trying to get into the car and noticed that he had been stabbed. A group of boys had stabbed him five times in his back while robbing him of his cellphone.

He was struggling to breath so we rushed to the hospital. The doctors ran X-rays and released him the next morning, telling him to take it slow for a few days until his stitches healed.

My take is that law enforcement should not just be visible in the city centre and more effective in the neighbourhoods, but in the townships as well. [tweetmeme source=”hillsidedigital” only_single=false]

We have been able to create a platform for a united front through media for the people of Alexandra and the Authorities to create change for the better.

It is a significant call to action for the people of Alexandra for social change. The campaign preparations are becoming solid as so far stakeholders are offering greater support. We have been able to create a platform for a united front through media for the people of Alexandra and the Authorities to create change for the better.

Our community screenings this month highlight’s the growing rat pandemic and is instrumental in the success of the campaign to end it. The concept of mobilizing the community through citizen journalism will be an inspiration to raise solutions for many other issues that exist in the community. It is a significant call to action for the people of Alexandra for social change. The campaign preparations are becoming solid as so far stakeholders are offering greater support.

On the 14th August 2010, I was prepared along with my team for the City Municipality in Johannesburg meeting. We made our way to the boardroom, along with Region E Municipal representatives to meet with Regional Municipal heads in health and environmental department directors of all the regions of greater Gauteng, PickitUp and mayoral representation.

It was very clear from the officials across the municipal leaders that the Rats Story has caught their attention and interests. We were there to request partnership and support from the City of Johannesburg in our campaign, in consultation with the people of Alexandra, to clean up the township. Pollution has been identified as the root cause of the rat pandemic plaguing our homes. We screened the Rats Story, which met with shaking of heads, groans and admiration at the quality of our video investigation. It was evidence about our commitment and objective to educate and expose the issue. Our strategy was that we had to listen to what the community had to say about the problem and where the faults were, investigating all sides of the issue. We have been able to unite the community through the story, and at the end of it we aim to achieve a colossal mission.

Amongst logistical challenges that we’ve faced to this point, was the lack of interest from other local non-profit organizations that claim that they have been there and done it, you know what I mean, but we assure a greater impact at the end of the day. As we came to conclusions in the presentation meeting, all regional municipalities were committed to supporting the campaign and us. They were so impressed that they want to implement our plan in all the problem areas of Gauteng. We received complements and advice. So far we are certain that the Campaign will be one the best and most effective to be implemented in Alexandra. Remember the Campaign is on the 1st to the 4th September 2010 and together we can move mountains.

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