Cultural clashes over Owl Box project

The beheading of owls by residents of Alexandra is reportedly a regular occurrence since the second introduction of the Owl Box Project by the City of Johannesburg. The initiative - brought in by the City of Johannesburg three years ago – was introduced into Alex to address a severe rat infestation. With school children also found cutting off the legs of these owls as well, it begs the question – what could be the reasons behind this behavior? Some observers speculate that cultural perceptions of owls being ‘creatures of evil’ could account for this resistance.

A couple of weeks ago on the Midday Report, MMC for Health in the City of Johannesburg, Nonceba Mawele said that before the project was launched, the community was given workshops that familiarized them with the presence and the purpose of the owls that would be placed in the community.

Following reports of resistance by residents in Alex, Xolani Gwala followed up with City of Johannesburg Health Director, Peter Mangani, who refuted claims of mutilation and abuse:

this is new information that we will have to investigate to find out exactly what happened where and then how we would intervene in that situation. Of course we have different beliefs and backgrounds, but the more information we have shared the better the community’s reception of the owls has been

Eco-Solutions – the owl-handling company responsible for the project – support Mangani’s statements, stating that there had been no formal complaints lodged with the SPCA pertaining to this case. MD of Eco-Solutions, Jonathan Haw

The kids in the townships are the ones who are involved in this project, so far the township project has dealt with 83 000 children. We talk about mythology and mythological fears but from my experience in Alex, those kids are more interested in Instagram and Facebook than they are in the mythological fears of their grandparents. These kids raise those owls, feed those owls and release those owls …

On Friday, John Robbie again spoke to EcoSolutions' Jonathan Haw who says that the organization that made the initial claims that the owls in Alexandra were being mutilated and decapitated have not been able to give evidence to that effect

[After investigation] It came to light that they actually didn't have any information, there wasn't a decapitated owl in Alex - it didn't happen. It was all an attempt to discredit the project, and the organizations that were involved.

Read More
10 business tips to boost you through a tough economy

10 business tips to boost you through a tough economy

Business growth specialist, Pavlo Phitidi tracks down previously profiled businesses and advises them on their next level growth.

Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

Zuma lashes out at 101 ANC stalwarts in policy conference opening salvo

President Zuma went 'off script' on Friday when he castigated his detractors saying many denied being on the 101 stalwarts list.

Explore the magic of Madeira at the Caravela Portuguese Festival

Explore the magic of Madeira at the Caravela Portuguese Festival

This weekend, all roads lead to the magical Madeira Day festivities at Montecasino.

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

"Whackhead" Simpson's song about Carl Niehaus was one of Redi's faves

In 2009 Carl Niehaus was forced to step down as ANC national spokesperson after fraud allegations surfaced.

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

"Our interpretation of sleeping around is sleeping around"

A throwback to Floyd Shivambu talking about Helen Zille during his ANCYL days, interrogated by Redi Tlhabi in 2009. #FarewellRedi

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Mr. Tlhabi bids Mrs Tlhabi farewell on her last radio show #FarewellRedi

Brian Tlhabi says his wife, Redi Tlhabi makes him super happy and continues to wish her the best with her future endeavours.

Popular articles
Soulful Sundays Playlist: Sunday 11 June 2017

Soulful Sundays Playlist: Sunday 11 June 2017

Favourites to feed your soul on Sunday.

Opinion:  Bishop Lekganyane is right

Opinion: Bishop Lekganyane is right

Stephen Grootes weighs in on comments made by the Zion Christian Church Bishop at the weekend.

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Getting to know MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Getting to know MP, Dr Makhosi Khoza

Dr Khoza is admired by South Africans for her role in the SABC inquiry as a ANC member of parliament.

How to make your first million

How to make your first million

Warren Ingram discusses his new book in which he shares practical ways for ordinary people to achieve financial freedom.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

The world’s richest doctor (worth R150bn) was born and raised in South Africa

The world’s richest doctor (worth R150bn) was born and raised in South Africa

Patrick Soon-Shiong, son of Chinese immigrants to SA, is the world’s richest doctor and the wealthiest resident of Los Angeles.