#LiveWire Langaville residents demand electricity

Despite the scorching sun and the heat, Masses of community members of Langaville in Kwathema, Ekurhuleni marched to the Customer Care Centre offices during the early hours in the morning to delivery a memorandum pertaining electricity blocking within the area.

"I have been living without electricity for more than nine months now because this problem started in May last year. We use prepaid but when you go to buy units, they tell you that you have been blocked from the system. You can't even buy enough meat and other things since we don't have electricity", said One of the residents, Meshack Thabatha (67)

When the community consulted with Eskom, they were allegedly informed that Ekurhuleni Municipality has an overdue debt

." Why should we suffer just because the Municipality has failed to settle its debts. I have received letters saying that Iowe electricity but when you go to pay the money they don't even have receipts as a proofthat you have paid. All we that we want is for them to do the unblocking", said another community member,  Johannes Molefe (86)

Leader and organiser, Sibusiso Hadebe sincerely thankedpeople who showed positive response about the introduction of Grassroot. " This application is one of the convenient ways to call up our meetings, Weare going to show it to the others especially the elderly ", said Radebe.

The memorandum was received and signed by the CCC Manger, Lorraine Mokgatle. " We have received the memorandum and we promise to provide feedback within seven days", said Mokgatle. 

#LiveWire "We want land" - Freedom Park Residents

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Just a day before South Africa celebrates Human Rights Day in 2017,  angry residents from Freedom Park informal settlement converged outsideChief Albert Luthuli House in Johannesburgin the early of the morning to deliver a memorandum of demands.

Chanting song and raising placards in the air with slogans "We want Our Land".

According to the organizer and member of Freedom Park Back Dwellers Association, Thabang Makhele,the main purposeof the march is to fight for the rights.

" We are tired of all the broken promises because ANC got over 12 000 votes from us in the previous elections but things are still the same in Freedom Park.  We don''t have sufficient land to build and some people are forced to share and become tenants,"

Makhele went further to explain that as the community they had to come up with a solution.

" There is a huge vacant space in our area and we saw it as an opportunity to take it over. We know that President Jacob Zuma said people should be given their land. On the 24th of this month we are taking our land and we don't want any disruptions from JMPD and the public order police ".

Nozipho Magengelele (88) " Im renting a shack with my 10 grandchildren and we all depend on my pension.  I would like the government to build us a proper house before I die", lamented Magengelele.

Simon Nkosi ( 56) " My RDP house was approved last year but when you go to their offices they always tell to come back next week or that their system is not working.  I'm renting in a back yard and I pay R400 every month",  he said.

The memorandum was received by Babylon Xakethwa, who is the manager at Luthuli House. 

" We have received the memorandum and we will make sure to give it to the right people who will be able to handle the matter ", said Xakethwa.

 

Story by Esau Dlamini

Thabang Makhele reading out the memorandum.

Thabang Makhele reading out the memorandum.

Babylon Xeketwana of the ANC receiving the memorandum.

Babylon Xeketwana of the ANC receiving the memorandum.

#LiveWire Community Relocated in Kliptown

" I have eight children and we are all crammed in a one roomed corrugated iron shack. The government has failed me because I have been waiting for my RDP house for more than 10 years ". These are the words of the 60 year old Phindile Sangweni from Kliptown, one of the old townships andinformal settlement in Soweto.

This comes after some of the residents were  recently relocated to the newly builtRDP houses in extension eleven. According to Sangweni, her application was approved earlier this year. " I was very happy when I received a letter from the housing departmentsaying that my house had beenfinally approved,".

However, when Sangweni went to fetchthe keys she was told her name is still on the waiting list. " I went to the officials and some lady had an attitude and refused to her my problem. I think they have favouritism because other people did receive their houses,"

Sipho Tyatyi who is a community leader said that they had 44 houses. " We have managed to move 24 people at this momentwill take another 20 tomorrow morning. We had a meeting with those who are complaining and they were told that the should wait because our focus is still at Angola. Kliptown has two demarcations which are Ward 17 and 19," said Tyantyi.'

Another resident ,Thadelise Tholo (64) was very excited and happy to be relocated" I very happy because a lot is going to change. We are going to be able to live like normal people with proper sanitation. 

First quarter of 2017

Most businesses have recuperation re-integration phases upon returning from December holidays, but at Grassroot we hit the ground running upon entering 2017.

Ambassador workshop, Polokwane

We held a workshop with our ambassadors from Polokwane. The aims of this workshop were twofold, to uncover what real change was being derived from the use of our app on the ground and to examine our Polokwane ambassadors, similar to our Gauteng ambassadors; are community focused individuals who are passionate about finding innovative ways to further exacerbate their communities.

Grassroot ambassadors in Gauteng

The Gauteng ambassadorship program has grown to now include Kliptown, Soweto and Orange Farm, south of Johannesburg with the arrival of 4 new Grassroot ambassadors that come from community organizations within those areas.

 

 

 

 

Code for Africa #innovateAFRICA seed funding

Code For Africa has named 22 digital watchdog projects as recipients of $1-million in seed-funding and technology support as part of its #innovateAFRICA initiative. We are proud to announce that "LiveWire" by Grassroot Nation is on of those recipients.

 

20 000 users on Grassroot

On 15 February 2017, Grassroot exceeded the 20 000 user mark, double the number of users that were on the platform in October last year.

 

Getting ready for next year: Schools in Limpopo

For the last six months, as use has been growing in and around Johannesburg, we've also been putting down roots in a very different context -- in the rural areas in and around Polokwane in Limpopo. This has been the work of Charles Malebana, an activist with Basic Education for All, who has been working to expand the use of the app in schools in the area.

Basic education in Limpopo struggles with limited resources, exacerbated by a provincial Department of Education that has gone through repeated scandals and failed to deliver on basics from textbooks to sanitation. In dealing with these challenges, better school governance is critical--to keep a watchful eye on resources, make inclusive decisions with scarce resources, and include teachers and parents in decision making.

That's where, we hope, Grassroot will provide support. Charles has been talking to school governing boards (SGBs) at almost a dozen schools in the area, and three of them have now taken up the Grassroot tools. In one school in particular, both a parent and an SGB member have volunteered to be Grassroot Ambassadors. The SGB has set up Grassroot groups for its subcommittees, as well as separate teacher and parent groups. Since the school year has ended, these have now just been set up, but the school intends to deploy them from January onward to galvanise participation. One of our focuses in 2017 will be exactly this -- the use of Grassroot in schools -- and so it's exciting to see these seeds sown in Limpopo. We'll hopefully have news of its impact and results in the new year.