Ubudoda Abukhulelwa – Male Circumcision

Investigative report by Lilian Magari & Noxolo Mafu

In 2013 some 70 initiates died and a further 567 were hospitalized as a result of botched traditional circumcisions in the Eastern Cape. The practice of traditional male circumcision serves as a rite of passage in the Xhosa culture as young boy’s transition to young men. However, in the Eastern Cape there has been much media coverage of illegal circumcision schools, serve health complications and even death, as a result of traditional circumcision. The introduction of the Medical Male circumcision drive launched by the Department of Health, has offered an alternative to this practice. Within this is Eastern Cape these two approaches are seen to be in conflict.

Ubudoda Abukulelwa, seeks to find out whether the government initiated Medical Male Circumcision program (MMC) will prove redundant in the Eastern Cape. The documentary seeks to find out what it means to be a man in contemporary South Africa. The intention of the film is to also fuel discussion and challenge the stereotypical narratives regarding male circumcision.

Below The Bread Line

Investigative report by Jason Randall & Dumisa Lengwati.

Unemployment within the South African context is a complex and diverse social issue with no simple solutions. Nowhere is this more visibly evident than in the Eastern Cape, with its pervasive rural and agricultural legacy. Despite the presence of a higher educational institution such as Rhodes University, as well as elite private schools, the problems of unemployment and poverty still persist in Grahamstown and the Makana municipality. While there are many organisational strategies to provide employment, this type of temporary employment is limited and does not provide a stable income or a sense of financial security. This has created a large demand for employment within Grahamstown’s informal sector.

Below the Breadline explores if Makana Municipality’s legislation is doing enough to alleviate the social issues of unemployment and poverty in Grahamstown?

The Silence

Investigative report by Natalie Austin & Taryn Isaac

In 2013, a student from Rhodes University wrote an article revealing a silenced reality.
This piece expressed by Siyanda Centwa, was based on his experiences transitioning from Grahamstown East to Rhodes campus. “Not a Place for Peasants”, an article in the series for Grocott’s Mail, “Tales of a Divided City”, highlighted issues of social stratification. As fourth year television students of Rhodes University, we used Centwa’s article as a platform to investigate the concept of a silence on class experiences in tertiary institutions.

This film project began as an investigation of general class experiences by Rhodes students. The university is considered to mainly be a middle class space, in which students who come from other backgrounds feel an initial sense of marginalization. This contrast of experiences and acceptance led to a variety of social outcomes. These came in the form of bullying, isolation, or attempts to conform to a middle class standard. Centwa relayed some of his experiences in the article which were captured in his film interview.
We approached students and experts on campus concerning their personal perceptions on the existence class divisions that have not been acknowledged and subsequently resulting in “a silence”. Not everyone shared the same sentiments of this claim, but many discussed the sociological challenges of such a diverse community at the institution. This was observed in many interviews and group discussions held during the production of the documentary film.

I won’t change my vote

Investigative report by Robyn Wertheim and Megan Flemmit.

South Africa held the fifth democratic elections in May this year. This election saw newly formed parties such as the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and Agang enter the race as potential alternatives to the African National Congress (ANC).

Running up to elections an increasing number of comments appeared on social media platforms which reduced the ANC voter and the ANC itself to stupidity. Many of these comments stated that if people, who live in impoverished conditions, continued to vote for the ANC, they only had themselves to blame for the conditions that they find themselves in. The film “I won’t change my vote” is a response to these comments. It is also a response to what seems to be a general lack of understanding that individuals in South Africa have about why people continue to vote for the ANC.
The film briefly speaks about the misconception people have regarding stupidity within the ANC. Mckaiser states that there are more intellectuals within the ANC than what there are in the DA. He says that one of the advantages of being such an enormous political party is that the ANC contains both intellectuals and fools.

By looking at these different aspects of voting the film shows how voting is done within a complex psychological framework. Taking this into consideration it is then not too difficult to see that ANC voters can be as rational as people who vote differently. We should because of this extend the same courtesy to people who vote for different political parties.

Tik in Grahamstown

Report by Deneesha Pillay and Cindy Archillies – Dangerous Minds Productions.

In the last four years, Tik (methamphetamine) has become a serious problem for Grahamstown. The drug makes its users forget their challenges of poverty and unemployment but leads to jail, institutions or death. Tik abuse in Grahamstown is prevalent amongst scholars and students and thenaffects their loved ones and the wider community.
Police Spokesperson, Captain Mali Govender, sees Tik and Tik related crimes as a matter of grave concern in the area. Clinical psychologist Scott Wood explains the effects of the drug on the individual and what makes the drug so popular. A DA councillor states that Tik abuse is not exclusive to townships but is a community-wide issue .A former Tik user and dealer speaks about his experiences as an addict and why he thinks the problem will not go away in the near future.

The Water Hole

Investigative report by Amaal Salie and Katja Schreiber

This is an investigative documentary which tries to examine the heart of Grahamstown’s on-going water crisis.
You open the tap. A guttural, gurgling sound escapes. You wait for the splutter of water in vain; the tap stays dry. No water.
In Grahamstown, this is an all too a familiar story. Frequent water outages have become the norm, yet with no less scorn or frustration than Eskom’s power cuts. With access to water being not only a right but a lifeline, the myriad problems and unsatisfactory service is both unconstitutional and inhumane.
This investigative piece explores the many questions surrounding the town’s unsatisfactory water service. Water experts and local residents give a holistic overview and explanation of the far-reaching water problems

Book Apartheid

Investigative report by Debbie Potgieter, Palesa Mashigo and Robyn Perros

This 10minute documentary investigates why only 0.5% of all books are accessible to the 800,000 visually impaired persons in South Africa due to copyright laws. The absence of these resources means that visually impaired persons face fewer educational and employment opportunities and higher illiteracy rates — making them one of the countries’ most economically and socially disadvantaged groups. The World Information Property Organization (WIPO) hosts a discussion to remove the strict copyright barriers that help create what is being called the “book famine” or “book apartheid.” We exammine how a bureaucratically burdensome treaty would do nothing to help end the book famine; but if a workable treaty were agreed upon, a new chapter would be opened for the inclusion of blind and print disabled people in our society.

Mud School Crisis – a decade of broken promises

Investigative report by Tassyn Munro, Jack Kaminski & Kirsten Allnutt

In 2004, former president Thabo Mbeki made a promise to eradicate all mud schools in the Eastern Cape, saying that “by the end of [2004], we shall ensure that there is no learner learning under a tree, [or in a] mud school.” But almost a decade later, such a promise is yet to be fulfilled. A team of Rhodes Journalism School TV students set out to investigate the reasons behind the delay in the eradication process, and whether Motshekga’s latest promise of 2015 will not merely be another broken commitment.
The investigation takes place primarily in two districts of the Transkei, namely Dutywa and Libode. These two districts have been effected differently by the eradication process, with Libode being more prioritised than Dutywa. As the investigation uncovers various reasons for the delay in progress, such as road works, contractors, material shortages and mismanagement of funds, the department of education is attempting to fast-track the eradication process through a programme known as the Accelerated Schools Infrastructure Development Initiative (ASIDI).
Report by Tassyn Munro, Jack Kaminski & Kirsten Allnutt

The Capacity to Endure

Investigative report by Minette van der Walt and Raphaela Linders

Zwelendinga and New Rest are informal settlements nestled in a milkwood Forest on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape. Residents of these settlements have been living in poor conditions for more than 40 years. Everyday they face tough issues with sanitation, water access and lack of proper housing. After service protests by the community, the local municipality has started to provide standard RDP houses to the communities. However it was soon discovered that these are not a viable option due to the informal settlements location within the milkwood forest. Minette van der Walt and Raphaela Linders went to investigate a proposed solution; sustainable development. The proposed plan is to build a prototype sandbag house as an alternative to the standard RDP houses.

The community’s reaction to the film and an update on the unfolding story are posted at http://youtu.be/ahBXcpTyZkY and http://youtu.be/RdkrHEWXQcM

Proceed with Caution

Investigative documentary by Martin Bleazard, Kelley Wake and Justin Archer.

The Eastern Cape has some of the deadliest roads in South Africa. More people die on the road from Mthatha and East London annually than any other road in South Africa and yet surprisingly the Eastern Cape statistics show that is has the 6th lowest rating of policing on the roads. We set off to investigate what solutions the government is implementing and what impact these roads have on people that use them like farmers and paramedics

On the Move – the horrors of hitch-hiking

Production by Charmian Africa, Sungeni Chithambo & Enathi Mqokeli

This investigative story explores the tragic murder of Lelona Fufu, a Rhodes graduate who was killed in Port Elizabeth when hiking to her graduation ceremony in Grahamstown. The piece thus looks into the culture of hitch-hiking and the different issues involving it in the Eastern Cape. The story comprises of four components, the Fufu hike gone wrong, public opinion about hitch-hiking, a case study about a grade 8 pupil who hitch-hikes home after school and experts also give more insight into the issue.

Beneath the Surface

By Thomas Mills, Gabi Zietsman and Christopher Tucker.
Investigative documentary 10min

Commercial shark fishing is one of the least publicized industries in South Africa. Experts, restaurant owners and retailers say that shark meat is a viable food source but regulations and policy is in disarray;. This documentary shows that this industry exists and has to be regulated to be susatainable. We travel along the Eastern Cape coastline to a St Francis Bay factory that processes shark and sells it. We meet shark conservationists to hear what the industry could do for tourism and environmental impact and a restaurant owner who serves shark on his menu.
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by Candice Ford, Tarryn Ross, Rosanna Scott.
10min investigative documentary

This 10 minute investigative piece explores a big issue of a marginalised minority in South Africa – the tertiary education of intellectually challenged people. A variety of case studies highlight the experiences of different families with government grants and the inefficiencies with obtaining them. Where can families send their child to be looked after or continue education once they turn eighteen? What is government’s role?