The change is in your pocket

The Big Issue is a socially responsible non-profit organisation that enables willing unemployed and marginalised adults to take responsibility for their own lives through a developmental employment programme.
Issue #218
24 April


*Cover – Springbok rugby captain Jean de Villiers talks to The Big issue * Local hero makes prosthetic hands with 3D printing – for a song * The ‘Born Frees’ – do they care about South Africa’s future? * Papers please! Totally legal foreigners are getting picked up and treated like criminals * Moves to tackle hate crimes against gays


Blending brain and brawn

Jean de Villiers, Springbok and Stormers captain, opens up to The Big Issue about when last he cried, how abuse of women and children appalls him, and his aims to make it to rugby’s next World Cup jamboree in September 2015, despite being an ‘ou man’ at 33.


3D printers make cut price prosthetics

Richard van As of Robohand explains how losing four fingers in a carpentry accident was one motivation in coming up with an affordable prosthetic. Since developing the hand and finger set, he’s taken it to loads of under-privileged children. The Big Issue caught up with him helping children from Thembalethu School for the Disabled in Cape Town.


The Born Frees: Do they care about South Africa’s future?

They were born in 1994, making them the first generation born under the new post–apartheid government. A lot of hot air has been dispensed about the fact that only one third have registered to vote – but research projects show that the youth may be unimpressed by voting, politicians, and lack of accountability, but they are very confident about the future, both for South Africa and themselves. For example, 87% of respondents are proud to be South African and 81% said they would do whatever they could to make South Africa a better place.


Papers Please!

Imagine spending 48 hours in a police holding cell when you’ve committed no crime at all. Yet totally legal foreigners are getting picked up and treated like criminals. And sometimes the Department of Home Affairs just hangs onto your passport, with that critical visa inside, when you’re freed.


Moves to tackle hate crimes against gays

Government has issued a policy document that aims to create a new category for hate crimes. Developed in response to the appalling assaults, sometimes fatal, against lesbians – what’s called “corrective rape” – it also addresses hate crimes against foreigners and hate speech. Some activist have welcomed the move, while others have said a new law alone would not change “hateful attitudes” and vigorous education against prejudice was needed.


Don’t miss

Vuyisa Hermans’ story – At 23, he’s a young vendor on the go. He finished matric in 2011 and is struggling to take the next step up in life. The Big Issue is helping him out in the interim, but he would love to study in the business and marketing field. As he points out, he never got any information about any options that may have been available to him on leaving school. He is inspired by the success of Cynthia Gogotya, a former vendor who is now working for Reach For A Dream and in her second year of social work studies at Unisa.

Unathi Ndiki, our Vendor of the Month, has worked as a welder and a data capturer but has struggled to find full-time employment. The Big Issue helps him out when other work is not there and he’s been with us off and on since 1998. He struggled at first, he says, as selling did not come naturally to him, but says the first friendly face of the day always encourages him to carry on.

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