Friday 20th Oct 2017

Lonely Planet lo preferisce anche a Dubai e New York - 

Noemi Penna - La Stampa - Foto di Marina Denisova - 

Qual è il quartiere «più cool» del mondo? E' Borgo San Frediano di Firenze, incoronato da Lonely Planet, primo della classifica dei posti da non perdere per chi è alla ricerca di «nuove tendenze». 

Il rione Diladdarno, come si dice a Firenze, ha battuto Seoul, Dubai e persino New York, il cui Sunset Park si è posizionato «solo» settimo. «Abbiamo chiesto ai nostri Lonely Planet Locals di condividere i loro quartieri "da non perdere". Alcuni hanno sviluppato costantemente la loro vocazione, altri sono in rapida trasformazione, ma tutti sono maturi per l'esplorazione», fanno sapere gli esperti della guida più famosa al mondo. 
 
A conquistare di Borgo San Frediano è il suo «fascino di hipster» che si sposa alla sua antica vocazione artigiana, dove «si respira nuova vita» e tutta la sua essenza è racchiusa «nelle sue strette stradine e i piccoli marciapiedi». 
 
«Qui i locali si affollano per provare le pozioni sognate dagli alchimisti di culto». E come immagine per rappresentare al meglio il quartiere hanno scelto il bancone del Mad - Souls and Spirits: «Un piccolo spazio con pareti in mattoni e tubi di rame, probabilmente il miglior cocktail bar in città».  
 
Una menzione inaspettata per una delle zone di Firenze forse meno frequentata dai turisti, casa di antiquari e della cultura fiorentina più autentica. Una «città nella città» in grado di stupire e affascinare per i suoi contrasti e la sua movida, che ha sbaragliato Seongsu-dong di Seoul, il Triangolo di Lisbona e la Business Bay di Dubai. 

 

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Sta per concludersi il soggiorno italiano di Nokubonga Mepeni e Nicholas Mzikayise Ndzuzo - affettuosamente ribattezzati dagli amici Sbosh e Mzi (nella foto con Annalisa Contrafatto prima della partenza) -, fondatori dell'organizzazione Ubunthu-Bethu di Samora Machel a Philippi, che hanno trascorso un mese fra Torino, Milano e Reggio Emilia grazie a un progetto realizzato da Rainbow Media, finanziato con il crowdfunding e reso possibile dal supporto di numerose organizzazioni italiane e del Consolato d'Italia a Cape Town. I due arriveranno nel pomeriggio di giovedì all'aeroporto di Cape Town, dopo essere partiti 21 ore prima da Milano. Trascorreranno questi ultimi giorni italiani a Reggio Emilia. Qui di seguito il comunicato stampa di Rainbow Media.

From South Africa to Italy, and back – a dream came true

Two community leaders from Samora Machel return home after an experience abroad studying social economy and volunteerism. - 

Nokubonga Mepeni and Nicholas Mzikayise Ndzuzo, founding members of Ubuntu-Bethu non-profit oprganisation and based in Samora Machel, Cape Town, will return to the Mother City Thursday afternoon, after a 21 hours long flight from Milan, Italy.

The two young community leaders spent a month in Italy, honing their leadership skills, deepening their understanding of social enterprises and volunteer organisations, and widening their network, thanks to a project named ICLE - International Cultural Leadership Exchange, elaborated by South African NPO, Rainbow Media in collaboration with Agape Centro Ecumenico, the Municipality of Reggio Emilia, Fondazione E35, and the Consulate of Italy in Cape Town.

«For Rainbow Media this project is part of an ongoing collaboration with Ubuntubethu and the community of Samora Machel» - says Annalisa Contrafatto, chairperson of this non-profit organisation. «Nokubonga and Mzi have been the first beneficiaries of this project, and we can already say that this pilot edition was extremely positive; our goal is to consolidate our partnerships with the organisations and institutions that made it possible, so that in future we can have a regular exchange of volunteers between Italy and South Africa».

Traveling abroad is a life-enriching experience. This is an aspiration for many young South Africans, yet for many of them this opportunity remains unaffordable. Through ICLE - International Cultural Leadership Exchange, Rainbow Media aims at offering to young South Africans and Italians committed to the upliftment of their communities the opportunity to take part in this educational experience.

Nokubonga Mepeni and Mzi Ndzuzo illustrate their commitment to improving the lives of others through their involvement in community projects such as local radio station (IQ FM), promoting a community drama group, engaging in after-school activities for local children, and many other activities taking place at the Tsoga Centre.

During their stay in Italy they spent a few days volunteering in Agape, an Ecumenical Centre, where they also took part in a week-long international seminar on the theme of migrations, and had the opportunity to visit – and release an interview to - local community radio, RBE. After that they moved to Turin for a few days, where they visited Freedhome, a shop selling a variety of “made in jail” products – from t-shirts to cookies – and the Ecomori project, which sees a group of refugees figthing food waste in the biggest market in Europe.

The second-last stop of their trip was Reggio Emilia, which offered an extremly rich calendar of meetings and visits to non-profit organisations involved in community development, among which: Centro Sociale Il Carrozzone, Centro Sociale Orologio, Centro Sociale Tasselli, Fondazione Mondinsieme, Reggio Children, MaMiMò – Teatro Piccolo Orologio, RuMORE Web Radio and Perdiqua Onlus, as well as the historic Reggio Africa archive at Istoreco.

Nokubonga and Mzi also stopped briefly in Milan before returning to South Africa.
This is likely to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and definitely a life-enriching experience for them as well as for the Italians who had had the opportunity to meet and exchange experiences with inspirational young foreigners.
The project was made possible thanks to our Italian partners - Agape Centro Ecumenico and Municipality of Reggio Emilia - to the Consulate of Italy in Cape Town, and to a crowdfunding campaign which allowed to cover the travel expenses.

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Andile Mngxitama outside the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24) - 

Andile Mngxitama meriterebbe l'oblio e invece se ne sta parlando fin troppo. E i mezzi d'informazione abboccano, anche perché si vendono più copie o si sommano più clicks quando si può leggere che, secondo questo campione della cultura "l'Africa aveva già l'università quando gli europei ancora correvano nudi, colpendosi vicendevolmente sulla testa con randelli", e che "mangiavano pesce crudo". E ancor più quando lo stesso individuo, forte della sua tradizione culturale multimillenaria, riesce a dire che "anche l'Olocausto non è stato tutto negativo", per motivi che non ci sentiamo neanche di ripetere. Il tutto per mantenere accesa l'attenzione sulla sua guerra contro Helen Zille, colpevole di aver a sua volta detto che non tutta l'eredità del colonialismo sarebbe stata negativa, pensando soprattutto alle opere pubbliche e ai servizi civili ereditati dall'attuale Sudafrica.

A parte il fatto che mangiare pesce crudo vada molto di moda ancora oggi in tutto il mondo, l'unica cosa certa che emerge da questi sproloqui è che l'individuo non ha nè cultura nè educazione e non dovrebbe essere libero di circolare e di seminare zizzania in un paese che ha invece bisogno di riscoprire i valori così bene esemplificati da Nelson Mandela.

Non capisce, il signor Andile Mngxitama, che non rende un buon servizio all'Africa vantandone il primato dell'istruzione universitaria? Si è mai chiesto dove siano i frutti di quella precoce maturità culturale? Non si è accorto delle cose prodotte da quegli europei retrogradi, incolti, nudi e violenti? Si è mai domandato perché anche per scrivere nella sua lingua natia lui debba utilizzare l'alfabeto scaturito dalle teste dure di quegli uomini così propensi a spaccarsi il cranio a vicenda?

Ma a che pro avviare un simile dibattito? E' ovvio che al signor Andile, suprematista alla rovescia, interessa soltanto seminare zizzania, incurante del fatto che il suo connazionale Nelson Mandela sia diventato il personaggio più ammirato e amato nel mondo, anche tra i bianchi, proprio facendo il contrario.

Perché non prova a fare altrettanto? Cominciando, ovviamente, dai 27 anni di prigionia che dovrebbe autoinfliggersi, almeno tacendo?...

Ciro Migliore

Ecco due cronache dedicate la settimana scorsa al nostro eroe.

Africa had varsities 'when white people were still running naked in Europe' - Mngxitama

Tammy Petersen, News24 -

Andile Mngxitama outside the Western Cape High Court. (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Cape Town - Black First Land First leader Andile Mngxitama says he is looking forward to exposing Western Cape Premier Helen Zille as "ill-informed, ignorant, arrogant", and someone who "doesn’t know anything about the history of civilisation". 

"Africans had universities when white people were still running naked in Europe, beating each other with clubs over the head and eating raw fish," an animated Mngxitama said outside the Western Cape High Court on Thursday, following the postponement of its case at the Equality Court regarding Zille's tweets on colonialism. The postponement was to allow complaints lodged with the South African Human Rights Commission and Public Protector to be handled. BLF approached the Public Protector because Zille’s legal representation was being paid for by the Western Cape government.

Mngxitama said this was an abuse of state resources, as Zille was being taken to the Equality Court in her personal capacity, because the tweets came from her private Twitter handle.

Zille’s spokesperson Michael Mpofu said the provincial government was paying for her advocate, as BLF’s complaint had been laid against the Premier of the Western Cape, and not against Zille in her private capacity. He laughed off Mngxitama’s description of Zille as "ill-informed, ignorant and arrogant”.

Mngxitama said he would advise BLF's lawyers to suspend the racism complaint with the SAHRC and the probe by the Public Protector, as it had more faith in the Equality Court to handle their complaint.

"We are very clear - this is about racism. Colonialism is about land theft," he said as a number of BLF supporters stood on the steps of the High Court. "There is no apology that is acceptable, without the acknowledgement of the genocide and land theft against the Khoi and San. She must come out and say that the land belongs to black people. It must be returned."

Returning from a trip to Singapore on March 16, Zille tweeted: "For those claiming legacy of colonialism was ONLY negative, think of our independent judiciary, transport infrastructure, piped water etc."

A second tweet read: "Getting onto an aeroplane now and won't get onto the wi-fi so that I can cut off those who think EVERY aspect of colonial legacy was bad."
Zille apologised and said she was not defending or justifying colonialism, but only highlighting that its consequences were not only negative.
Mngxitama rubbished the argument that there were any positive aspects to colonialism, describing it as the erasure of black people’s achievements and identities.
The matter was postponed to October 9.

SA Jewish Board appalled by Andile Mngxitama holocaust tweet

Jenna Etheridge, News24 - 

Cape Town - The SA Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD) expressed shock on Thursday at a tweet by Black First Land First (BLF) leader Andile Mngxitama claiming that the legacy of the holocaust was not all negative. In an apparent attempt to position himself back in the media spotlight, Mngxitama tweeted around 05:30: "For those claiming the legacy of the holocaust is ONLY negative think about the lampshades and Jewish soap."

The tweet was possibly a reference to Western Cape Premier Helen Zille's controversial tweets earlier in the year when she said the legacy of colonialism was not all negative. Zille subsequently apologised.

The SAJBD said it was appalled by his "crassly offensive, demeaning and hurtful" statement.

"With this ugly, jeering remark, Mngxitama has portrayed not just the deliberate murder of Jewish people but even the supposed reduction of their remains to everyday objects as something to be treated as a joke," said SAJBD president Mary Kluk.

"It is deeply distressing that anyone could so casually and publicly dehumanise an entire people in this way. How much more outrageous it is when emanating from a public figure who heads up a political voice."

Kluk told News24 that she had absolutely no idea why Mngxitama had chosen to target Jewish people.

"I don't know where it would have come from. It was out of the blue. We have no relationship. It could come out of a personal interaction [with someone]."

She said his overt hateful tweet was an attack on the rights to dignity and equality of Jewish South Africans and should be strongly condemned by all citizens.

"Civilised society, and certainly South Africa with its stained history of human rights abuses, has no place for those who condone the merciless massacre of millions of innocent people in the most cruel way."

The SAJBD was considering its options in terms of action to take against him.

The SA Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) became aware of the tweet when News24 phoned on Thursday morning.

SAHRC spokesperson Gail Smith said they would provide comment later in the day.

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by Editor - Southern Cross - 

In South Africa, racism is much like a rotten tooth: it needs treatment but many people are afraid of the dentist and leave the tooth to rot further.

So it is important that the Catholic bishops of South Africa devoted two days in their mid-year plenary session to the subject of racism. By all accounts, it was not an easy discussion. Close to 30 men from different backgrounds and experiences came together, all carrying the baggage of the past and facing the realities of the present from various perspectives.

Old Hurts Revisited at the Plenary
Even as all were united in their condemnation of racism as an affront to God — in whose image we all are made — and in a consensus that racism is a corrosive evil, there could by force be no common understanding of race and racism, because everybody’s experience of it and response to it is different.

Apparently the bishops’ discussion was very honest and emotional. In the course of a candid discourse, old hurts tend to be revisited and festering resentments may be confronted. For the bishops, all this contributed to a greater common understanding.

This is what South Africa needs: a courageous dialogue in which issues of race can be addressed with brutal honesty, with the listeners hearing instead of becoming defensive.

Did Whites Apologise for Apartheid?

There is a perception among many black South Africans — and here we refer to all groups that were discriminated against under apartheid — that their white compatriots have collectively failed to apologise for apartheid. There is merit to that perception.

For most whites, it seems to have sufficed to acquiesce in the transfer of power in 1994, and then let the past stay in the past. The euphoria of the Rainbow Nation and Mandela in a Springbok jersey seemingly persuaded many that no further remedy was necessary.

Clearly, they were wrong. It was not enough to simply agree to what always was a legitimate demand—a democratic dispensation and correction of the socially-engineered imbalances— without a sense of atonement, nor even an acknowledgment that whites are in positions of intergenerational privilege and the black masses impoverished because of apartheid and the colonial regimes that preceded it.

Forgiveness was expected without it having been requested, but bygones couldn’t simply be bygones. South Africa never extracted the rotten teeth of its past.

And racism remains with us today: in open attitudes of white supremacism and “them” vs “us” attitudes, and in little ways, almost imperceptible and often unconsciously perpetrated, such as when the black restaurant patron has to wait for service just a little longer than their white counterparts.

3 Processes in Responding to Racism
The bishops correctly identify three processes by which white South Africans need to respond to the legacy of the past, one from which these compatriots still benefit even if they were born after apartheid.

Acknowledgement of the Reality of Racism
The first step is acknowledgment: listening to the victims of racism and not denying its existence. Along with that, there must be a consciousness that everybody is at times disposed towards some form of latent prejudice. When we are accused of racism or other forms of bigotry, as individuals or collectively, our first response must be introspection and, if necessary, remedy — not defensive denial. And when racism occurs, it and the apologism that always accompanies it must be unambiguously condemned, whether it occurs in public or around the braai, whether physical or verbal.

Apology of Respect
The second step is apology. A blanket apology by a representative of all whites is obviously impossible — there is no such person or body. It is also not necessary for white South Africans to wear the proverbial sackcloth by way of stating their regret at apartheid.

The apology must take the form of giving respect to the sadness and anger of those who suffered under apartheid and the intergenerational effects of it.

The bishops suggest giving those who suffer racism — and that is every black South African — attention by listening to their experiences. That is a good start.

Atonement for Racism in the Past
The third step, atonement, is the most complicated one. It concerns land restitution and other forms of correction and compensation. The bishops are correct that these processes must be resolved to the satisfaction of the victims — but it is not clear who are the legitimate representatives of the victims.

It is fair to say that the African National Congress has bungled the question of land restitution since it assumed power 23 years ago. Now, instead of addressing the issue seriously, it is deployed as a tool of populism and demagoguery, even as a diversion from the kleptocracy of the Zuma government, with dangerously racist undertones by those who apply it.

The rhetoric and actions of the Black Land First movement, the Gupta-driven diversion tank, are designed to ramp up anti-white sentiments. That form of racist conduct is reprehensible.

Anti-White Sentiment Fuels Further Prejudice

Indeed, while it is right to be concerned about white racism, the emergence of militant anti-white reaction and language that intends to feed that prejudice must alarm all South Africans.
At the same time, whites are not innocent victims in this. The accumulation of racist actions by many — often even unconsciously — and a widespread reluctance to contend with the past have created the conditions which bigots now manipulate for political advantage.

The reciprocal hopefulness of 1994 has vanished, and the nation is now at a tipping point. There are dark clouds where once we saw a rainbow.

Racism is a Sin
White South Africans must change, and black South Africans must not let their legitimate grievances turn into blanket prejudice.

Those who preach the evil message of racial supremacy and racial conflict are acting in defiance of God.

Racism is a sin, as the bishops point out. Those who preach the evil message of racial supremacy and racial conflict are acting in defiance of God. With this in mind, and in service to God and our nation, South Africans must hear one another.

Bishop João Rodriguez in his homily to the bishops this month proposes a “fraternal confrontation” by which South Africans of all backgrounds gather and tell their story of racism, in a forum of total honesty and respect.

And the churches are a good place to start that process.

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ExpatCapeTown Newsletter - 

South Africa Immigration: The country's international migration policy is under the spotlight again as a new White Paper on international migration is currently discussed. We have gone through the White Paper and share here our insights as well as additional information provided by local immigration lawyers.
 
South Africa's current immigration policy is set out according to the 1999 White Paper on International Migration and has experienced minor changes and additional regulations over the years, such as the requirement of travelling minors to carry an unabridged birth certificate (implemented in 2015) or amended refugee laws. Now the restructuring of the current immigration policy is on the cards.

Anticipated Changes in the South Africa Immigration Regulations

The following changes are described in the White Paper and are expected to be implemented within the coming years

Introduction of a points-based system: 'Points-based immigration systems are used in many countries to determine qualification for a short-term or a long-term visa. To be in line with the integration of the African Union goals, it is expected that extra points are given to work visa applications from the continent. A points-based system is generally seen as transparent and flexible in response to changing situations and needs’.

Delinking of residency and citizenship: The permanent residence permit will be replaced with a long-term residence visa that is later reviewable and not linked to citizenship anymore. Currently PR holders with 10-year permanent residency qualify for citizenship; and currently the skills of the applicant and the investment amount are considered as much as the length of stay within South Africa before the naturalisation application. In the near future, a citizenship advisory panel will be established who shall consider citizenship applications and send recommendations to the minister. Thus the number of years of stay in South Africa will not be as important as the ‘value-add and security factors associated with the applicant’.

Long-term residence visas will be introduced and will be fast-tracked for applications with critical skills, investments or business interests and this visa will be granted to the entire family. This family-oriented visa will allow family members such as spouses and children to work and study in the country without the need to apply for separate visas.

International students will be granted residence visas if the students are studying already locally subjects in the critical skills areas i.e. those who are studying towards the occupations that are needed in the country and intend to progress into critical-skills-occupations once qualified, so to support the local economy and transfer theirs acquired skills locally.

Introduction of Marriage Clearance Certificates: DHA intends to introduce marriage clearance certificates ‘which will be issued to foreign nationals who intend to enter into spousal relationships with citizens (marriage or life partnerships). This is supplementary to the letter of non-impediments that is currently required as a confirmation that the foreign national is not already married in the country of origin.' 

Refugees only qualify for long term visa once they have lived 10 years in the country and must apply to the Standing Committee for Refugee Affairs (SCRA) for certification to be declared a refugee indefinitely. Further considerations are made, among them the continuation of the non-encampment policy, however the automatic right to work and study will be removed, but in exceptional circumstances this right will be granted to asylum seekers.

Visa-free movement on the continent for all African citizens for up to 90-days visits. Currently only 20% of all African countries offer visa-free travels to citizens of the continent. An introduction of special visas for SADC citizens is to be implemented including work, traders and SME visas. Quotas are considered for this to be established.

Training and transfer of skills: with the recruitment of international migrants it must be ensured that a direct or indirect skills transfer is taking place. If a direct skills transfer is not possible, a special training scheme must be implemented and funds needs to be established to help train locals.

Changes in the Emigration Policy: Mandatory registration of SA citizens who want to emigrate for longer than 3 months (except for tourism purposes) to better understand the spread and profile of expatriates globally. It is also stated that career development and work or exchange programmes for young people should be supported and induction programmes for returning expatriates should be embraced. A continuation of dual citizenship is also mentioned.

South Africa Immigration: Current Visa-Types
The last White Paper on International Migration is deemed not to be effective and modern enough today. A new approach and review of the immigration policy is regarded as highly important as significant economic, legislative and social changes have not sufficiently been taken into consideration since then. The White Paper is also part of the National Development Plan and its Vision 2030 which offers a long-term perspective for the country to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality. South Africa as a major transport, economic and financial hub on the continent is the gate to Africa and as this it is one of the main investment destinations on the continent. Global enterprises set up businesses in South Africa and an internationally flexible workforce is as such growing in importance - not only in South Africa, but globally.
 
South Africa Immigration: The White Paper which was published on 28 July 2017, argues that ‘SA has not yet built consensus at policy, legislative and strategic levels on how to manage international migration for development. As a result national thinking and attitudes to international migration are influenced by an unproductive debate between those who call for stricter immigration controls and those who call for controls to be relaxed. The discourse is in general characterised by strong emotions, stereotypes and contested statistics. What is proposed in the White Paper is that by adopting a managed international migration approach we can work together to achieve common national goals. (…) SA needs to start a conversation on the importance of international migration so that there can be consensus on its contribution to meeting broadly supported national goals. For example, the National Development Plan (NDP) prioritises the acquisition of skills, some of which must be recruited internationally, in order to achieve national priorities such as inclusive economic growth. However, SA has not put in place adequate policy, strategies, institutions and capacity for attracting, recruiting and retaining international migrants with the necessary skills and resources. 

South Africa Immigration: DHA website
The Department of Home Affairs will be re-organised and a Border Management Authority (BMA) will be established. This means that SARS (tax and customs), SAPS (South African police services) as well as other departments such as State Security, Defense, Health etc. all shall be under one umbrella, namely that of the Department of Home Affairs. In the White Paper it is stated ‘that the current international migration policy does not enable South Africa to adequately embrace global opportunities while safeguarding our sovereignty and ensuring public safety and national security’. It is further argued that international migration should be viewed as with a ‘whole state and society’-approach’. Therefore the Department of Home Affairs will be the controlling instance in all these activities and this development will need to be scrutinised and analysed as though it might have many positive sides such as streamlining data flow and data access it obviously will leave room for more corruption, inconsistency and legal gaps.

Should you have queries and need support in regards to South Africa immigration, please check on the South Africa immigration info pages on the DHA website or contact one of trusted immigration agents. Follow the latest DHA updates on twitter: @HomeAffairsS

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