Today's Big Stories

Looking back on the Freedom Charter, Live in Kliptown, Long Street security

702's John Robbie Show marks 60 years of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: with today marking 60 years since the drafting of the Freedom Charter in Kliptown, Team John Robbie headed down to Kliptown, Soweto to broadcast out of the Little Rose Center for children. Former ANC Member of Parliament, Professor Ben Turok looked back on the day the Freedom Charter was adopted and his contribution towards this:

It also happens to be my birthday, so I have a double celebration! (On the day the Freedom Charter was adopted) I was about thirty and I was appointed full-time organiser for the Western Cape, so I was working full-time to go around the townships to collect the demands for a call to the Congress of the People. And then I got a letter to my surprise from the National Action Council, asking me to speak on the Economic Clause and I nearly died of fright at the prospect! But I then went down to Kliptown and there were thousands of people and I was called upon to speak, but the night before the Congress of the People, the speakers were summoned to a meeting and we were given a draft of the Freedom Charter. When I looked at the Economic Clause, I was very unhappy with it - I thought it was very moderate; it was sort of liberal flab you know - 'everybody shall have a good time', so I said I'm not happy with it and they said, 'well if you're not happy, re-write it!', which I did, there and then.

Gauteng Transport MEC Vardi reflecting on Freedom Charter as relevant today

Heard on 702's John Robbie Show: Gauteng's Roads and Transport MEC Ismail Vardi is one of Kliptown's very own sons and has written a book on the place he calls home:

Born and bred here. I've written a book on the Congress of the People in the Freedom Charter; it's an historical analysis of the entire campaign over 18 months, starting with the idea that was mooted by Professor ZK Matthews, who was the President of the ANC in the Cape Province then and in December 1953, he raised the idea about a vision for a new South Africa. (The book) is a popular history, the idea is we need to recollect what happened in the past, record that from a non-academic perspective and then popularise it so that future generations understand what happened in the past and the significance of this campaign - this was a momentous event.

Long Street's businesspeople meet with police over security concerns

Heard on CapeTalk's Breakfast with Kieno Kammies: some Long Street business owners recently met with the police sector to speak about security issues that are affecting these businesses. This follows concerns which have been raised about security on Long Street, and how businesses there have to pay for security services provided by a certain security company, even if the businesses use their own security personnel. Owner of Bob's Bar, John Davidson:

No one threatened me but we did go to the police sector meetings from Wednesday and what came from them is that there's no more money available to police Long Street any more than they already do. There are more pressing matters and areas that they need to put more money and police officers towards. So, where do we stand? There is a need to have a private security company - we know this - because there aren't sufficient police to do the job. But it's how the security company go around getting their clients is where we have the issue - we have no problem paying a private security company for the service, but it's how they go and get clients that's the problem.

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