SA's 'Westernised' calendar questioned

2012-06-14 22:51

Bloemfontein - South Africa’s "Westernised" calendar does not please everyone, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) heard on Thursday.

"We cannot as Africans live [according to] a Westernised calendar. We must get our own, such as the Chinese, who have their own," a member of the public told a CRL hearing in Bloemfontein.

The meeting was to hear input on the revision of public holidays in South Africa.

The CRL commission would sit in Bethlehem on Friday.

Representatives of various religions and cultural communities attended the workshop at the Bram Fischer building in Bloemfontein.

Delegates said the Christmas and New Year public holidays only benefited Christians, and had been written into law through the Public Holidays Act.

"They [Christians] stay at home and relax. They do not lose money," said a delegate.

The commission heard that followers of other religions had to take leave for their own religious holidays.

Members of the Basotho, Khoi-Khoi and Khoi-San said they would also like to have national days on South Africa's calendar.

CRL chief executive officer Pheagane Moreroa said many delegates were not comfortable with a calendar being imposed on them. He said the idea was not to have 365 public holidays for the country.

"We cannot allow that everything becomes a public holiday, because we would never work, but this is about minority rights and their rights must be protected."

Moreroa said the commission was trying to help minority religious groups.

"Remember we are trying to build a nation, we are trying to create social coherence and we are trying to create peace."

Moreroa sought to assure the gathering that the commission was looking for results, so the rights of minority religious groups could be recognised.

  • fdalana - 2012-06-14 23:12

    i wonder why we africans love playing catch-up.seems like we only think of doing something just because others have done it. It doesn't seem as though humans originated in africa.

  • Ken Jay May - 2012-06-14 23:21

    Is this a Banana Republic or what?

      Keith - 2012-06-15 05:07

      When is Banana Day?

      husaberg.twostroke - 2012-09-24 18:48

      Ken jay May you are funny. I had a good laugh about your comment.

  • Allen - 2012-06-14 23:27

    "just like China" In a few short years China will own South Africa and public holidays "Just like China" will become a moot point.

  • stfaith.esau - 2012-06-14 23:30

    New year's day has never been a christain holiday!Ascension day has already been removed by this present regime and removing the other holy days will not prevent us from observing them.

      Emile - 2012-06-14 23:45

      well said. removing those days from the public holiday calender should not stop true believers from their observance

      Jo - 2012-06-15 07:27

      @emile.vanrayner.7 - I agree, if you look at the other religions, they don't have any religious holidays on our calendar and yet they are observing their religions religiously. The problem is that there are so many different religions and all have auspicious days. If we were to observe them all, we would be all sitting at home or at work earning fat overtime. Do we really want that if we are trying to build our economies during crisis times?

  • Geronimo - 2012-06-14 23:42

    West is best.

  • Roland Slater - 2012-06-14 23:51

    Is this an April Fools article???

      Stirrer - 2012-06-15 09:30

      Could be, the Western calendar has them confused anyway. Has anyone noticed the irony of the committee meeting in Bethlehem to discuss cancelling Christmas?

      Penny - 2012-06-15 09:43

      roflmao @Stirrer! Fantastic. Gr8 stuff. Very clever. You made my day.

      mark.scheepers.773 - 2012-06-26 19:25

      This is SA, Aprils Fools day is everyday. While we are deciding on the Holidays can't we do something about the National Anthem as well.

  • George Bennie - 2012-06-15 00:16

    I actually think this is important - of we truly are democratic we should celebrate every Christian holiday, every muslin holiday etc - you can work if you don't believe. But it's a matter of respect.

      nick.jong.9 - 2012-06-15 02:34

      Or we can do the opposite - have no religious holidays, only state holidays like Freedom Day, Heritage Day, etc. Then tag onto that a few holidays that make sense due to international economic circumstances, such as New Years and perhaps just Christmas day.

  • oscar.mayindi - 2012-06-15 01:05

    God is good all the time, changes or not changes, but He is still God.

      fredster.mania.5 - 2012-06-15 07:19

      Whoop WHoop!!!!!!

  • millionwatts1 - 2012-06-15 01:46

    Let's have every Monday off while we discuss this as one nation until we agree.

      frank.c.cruz.98 - 2012-06-15 05:39

      Hahahahaaaa... I might as well join u Millionwatt! I guess these people don't have better things to attend to. The universal calendar has been in existence centuries ago! Why now? Can someone pls tell them to focus on better things that will move this great nation forward instead of destabilizing it and making people to loose focus?

  • theunis.botha.96 - 2012-06-15 02:14

    If it were not for "Westerners" and their calendar,Africa would still be counting moons.Funny how tpoics or issues like this must always be addressed under one or other heading of blame.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-06-15 09:49

      "Traditional holdidays challenged' , seeing as these holidays have become a tradition throughout South Africa even if you don't neccessarily share in the religious dogma , these dates have cyclical tradition for all. The heading is terrible ,the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities (CRL) should know better than placing this under the 'western' title to garner public empathy to create something for the sake of being anti-western . Just say we'd like recognition of important dates to minority groups and means to establish this , however no dates , no reasons , nothing other than anti-western validation and moaning because they have to take paid leave . In my book you going to need to come up with some better arguements.

  • Hadebe - 2012-06-15 02:55

    There we go again, will u just shut up n give us water.

      debbie.t.campbell - 2012-06-15 15:24

      with a bit of whisky and ice in thank you LOL

  • vernon.samuel.7 - 2012-06-15 05:21

    The economy dictates that Christmas and New Year should be holidays. These are pretty much universal. Why not scrap the rest and increase workers' annual leave by about 5 days per annum? Then ALL religious, social and political holidays can be observed and different groups be given the option to apply for leave? Surely this does not have to turn into another nation-dividing, blood-spitting, fist-clenching, vain-popping exercise?

  • Muffin_man_can - 2012-06-15 05:34

    Should every public holiday be about your struggle then? You are overdoing it! Please keep Good Friday and Christmas, take the rest.

  • Adam - 2012-06-15 05:47

    I bet you these morons dont complain when they are entitled to double pay or time and a half for working on those public holidays, or perhaps they only want more public holidays in order to get more money out of their employers? I suggest that the very stupid law that a public holiday that falls on a Sunday, moves to the Monday, be scrapped!! It will save businesses and the economy Millions!!

      Achmad - 2012-06-15 08:21

      Adam, why do feel the need to denegrate people that express their views? They are entitled to them. You can agree to disagree, but there is no need to attack people personally. It is sad that debate is no longer an option in South Africa.

  • frank.c.cruz.98 - 2012-06-15 05:47

    Hahahahaaaa... I might as well join u! I guess these people don't have better things to attend to. The universal calendar has been in existence centuries ago! Why now? Can someone pls tell them to focus on better things that will move this great nation forward instead of destabilizing it and making people loose focus on more important and pressing issues? This is just a distraction. Why not ask for 300 public holidays and 65 or 66 working days?

      Keith - 2012-06-15 06:23

      No, my suggestion below is better.

  • frank.c.cruz.98 - 2012-06-15 06:10

    They can remove or scrap christian's holidays which has universally been in existence even before their forefathers were born. But we are still going to observe them whether they like it or not! Yes! Our God is good all the time!

  • tebogo.maja.77 - 2012-06-15 06:13

    It sounds more like trying to destroy what we have in place, if we change the calender how many holidays do we have to put in to satisfy everyone?....... You will end up with too many holidays and no work done = loss of money= loss of jobs.

  • Keith - 2012-06-15 06:21

    I agree totally that the westernised calendar was foisted upon us by a devilish colonial trick. The answer to the whole thing is to have our own Africanised calendar. First, there must be 460 days in the year, with 23 months of 20 days each. Weeks are to be 5 days long, with NO MONDAYS and 2 FRIDAYS Employers must understand that we disadvantaged people must also be allowed to have one month holiday per year so that we can recuperate from our disadvantages.

      Elizabeth Venter - 2012-06-15 07:46

      i hope you are being sarcastic???

      Achmad - 2012-06-15 08:25

      Keith - Silly comment. The public holiday debate is important to ensuring that everyone in South Africa has a place. The idea of adding comments to an article is to invite discussion or reasoned debate. Your missive does not add to the debate, it merely displays your crassness.

      hein.huyser - 2012-06-15 08:27

      Yep, and have 40hr days. This westernised 24hr thing never worked for Africa anyway. Always slow and late, except. . .

      Keith - 2012-06-15 10:41

      Achmad, Zaatheist & I are not Christian, and those holidays do not bother us, except when we have to pay time & a half wages. If a holiday has no significance then ignore it. If you must observe your own holiday you have no right to impose it on me.

  • vincent.vinsaint - 2012-06-15 06:24

    Interesting. Taking place in my hometown.. I will attend but, mostly am interested in the resolution. Zuma shuffle this nonsense pls. Ppl want jobs, morons want more holidays.

  • Chumscrubber1 - 2012-06-15 06:32

    Shame .... yawn.

  • shemara.mazzolini - 2012-06-15 06:33

    Keep New Year's day, in crease annual leave. Everyone applys for the days they want to observe. Far more economic power! There ..... Debate settled morons

      Ze Don - 2012-06-15 07:57

      That makes perfect sense!

  • Bzeng - 2012-06-15 06:38

    Not against the calender we use anyw it doesnt realli affect me bt almst evrythn in S.A is foreign,

  • Ian - 2012-06-15 06:39

    We have got to such a position now that NO shops stay closed on public holidays anyway. Let us go back to the days when it was compulsory for businesses to close. Shop workers get no benefit from holidays.

      Keith - 2012-06-15 08:15

      Let us rather go back to the days of my youth when we all worked a five and a half day week.

  • paddy.carolan.35 - 2012-06-15 06:51

    While they waste time creating a new calendar, they should consider dumping everything that those awful Westeners came up with. Let's do away with trains, planes and motor cars as well. Just dumping aircraft will save us the wasted R210-million spent on the two head honchos. The money can then be spent on a two year imbizo to determine how many holidays each of our nine national indegenous language groups will be entitled to. Keep the minutes in the form of rock painting - we cant have anyone using a Westernised pen or PC to record it all, can we?

      Keith - 2012-06-15 08:17

      Aren't we dumping money as well, it is also a foreign concept.

      debbie.t.campbell - 2012-06-15 15:29

      LOL this is funny...rock painting hiehie

  • Andriette - 2012-06-15 06:54

    Christianity originated in the Middle East, and spread through the world from there. New Years is also not a Christian holiday. I wonder if any of these delegates complaining are Christian. Clearly not. Get your facts right.

  • gert.grobler.94 - 2012-06-15 07:02

    Ah we can see the good times coming---you will be able to celebrate the death of all your forefathers--365 days a year. SA the holiday camp of the world.---- ha ha ---or why don't they scrap all these old holidays and dedicate a holiday for each recognised language group in SA?

  • pws69 - 2012-06-15 07:03

    It is a percentages game. In each country with a predominance of of religion, that religion enjoys preference. As an example, if I was in Saudi, I would not have a Christian public holiday. I would need to take leave to celebrate Christmas. Sounds like this department are just trying to justify their ridiculous salaries.

  • Fanie - 2012-06-15 07:06

    This is inline with other idiotic thinnhgs the cANCer are busy with most famously "This ligtning - where does it come from?"

  • Henk - 2012-06-15 07:13

    Ja my chinese baas.....

  • Phelamanga - 2012-06-15 07:17

    We can always start with 27 April 1994 as year dot and start counting the years from there, That would make us in 18 Year of Our Freedom. The advantage of this is that we will not be able to blame apartheid, colonialism, imperialism or any other -ism for our ineptocracy. We will only have ourselves to blame. Freedom day should be taken every 5 years and that will be to vote. The only other holiday we will need is Madiba's birthday to remind us about what happened in the first 5 years of Our Liberation. For religious holiday, people may take them on full pay according to their beliefs. The rest of the year should be devoted to working.

      Keith - 2012-06-15 08:19

      What is 'work'?

  • pastorjakes - 2012-06-15 07:17

    What amazes me is that according the the country's census, 79% of South Africans claim to be Christian

      gert.grobler.94 - 2012-06-15 09:38

      At schools the teachers must apply for a day off for ascension day if they are Christian. No one checks up on that and the black headmasters have no control of it (white headmasters do their jobs and checks) and then all take the day off even if they are muslem. Those that are stupid enough to come to work on that day must look after all the learners of other teachers and these dedicated teachers end up not being able to teach their classes and they are basically herding kids that day and being responsible for accidents and sexual trespassing by learners etc. Basically it proved that separate holidays don't work.

  • jack.kukard - 2012-06-15 07:27

    Without the Westerners they would still be living in mud huts and riding donkey carts....and shooting for food with bows and arrows...

      yuri.buccaneer - 2012-06-15 13:51

      Easy life don't you think? Imagine living life without having to worry about, bills, recession, etolls, CRIME etc etc. \r\nWithout having to worry about what the anc is gonna do next.

  • Sagin - 2012-06-15 07:29

    why dont we revert to the calender the blacks were using when we first arrived here? O' silly me they could not even count let alone come up with a calender.

      tugwana.gwalagwala - 2012-06-15 11:42

      Who are the blacks? Do you have to reduce it this to race? You are welcome to join the anc.

      yuri.buccaneer - 2012-06-15 13:46

      When you first arrived here? Mate how old are you?

  • Hugh - 2012-06-15 07:33

    Tell you what lets all have a holiday. Well would that make any difference in government circles because they never seem to be at their desks? Bloody idoits wasting time over holidays when there are more important issues at stake.

  • WigzellRM - 2012-06-15 07:41

    Then they shouldn't be using other western things like cars and TVs etc

  • Charmain - 2012-06-15 07:44

    Keith everyday is Banana Day for these things they don't know any better I am sure if they read this they would want one,

      marion.friedenthal - 2012-06-15 11:25

      @charmain.nel.7 - feel sorry for your daughters and grandchildren having such a racist for a role model.

  • ro.jhb.1 - 2012-06-15 07:48

    Possibly we should also leave the vehicle, the cell phone and other westernised things at home and develop our own. Some people are just so thick

  • Hannes Truter - 2012-06-15 07:51

    Good idea to start your africanised calendar with a national crime benefit day...

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-06-15 07:52

    But aren't us Africans on AFRICAN TIME already? You know, the one where we sit under a tree and drink beer, whilst we watch the women and children tend our fields?

  • Sidney Gilroy - 2012-06-15 07:55

    You see, we did all that 10 000 years ago. The wheel. Fire. Art. Maths. Etc. You okes should catch up, it's nice here with all the Western WaBenzi and E-iPad.

  • ztoefy - 2012-06-15 08:04

    This will never work. We cannot accomodate every religion. Just look at islam, their calendar goes according to the moon which means Eid is on a different date every year. If it is such a big problem then just remove all the religious holidays so that if you want to celebrate them then you take it from your anual leave.

  • Rory Marx - 2012-06-15 08:05

    i think its unfair for me as a white christian that i must work on christmas day when my muslim boss gets to take his religious holidays and we are in the retail business!public holidays shops should stay closed as we as a nation need to spend time with our families!sometimes it costs the stores more to stay open as they are not busy and the overhead cosys like elictricity and wages is more !i think public holidays should be reviewed as a whole for all religions and cultures

  • henkvdwatt - 2012-06-15 08:11

    "Remember we are trying to build a nation, we are trying to create social coherence and we are trying to create peace." -- hahaha but on the other hand you want to remove all westerners what is next time, because Africa got its own time.

  • Freckled - 2012-06-15 08:18

    Let everyone work when they want to. No Christian has forced general stores to be closed on Christmas because Christians want to relax. Do as you please. You have been doing it all the time in anycase.

  • lucille.moukarzel - 2012-06-15 08:38

    I don't understand why they can't debate something that actually matters, like education which is in shambles or job creation. No matter what religion you are you are entitled to practice and observe your holy days but should they be public holidays probably not and as for an African calender when has anything African ever worked I think 18 years of "democracy" would say no but sure we can adopt an African calender if you get rid of all your cars and western technology first and go back to living the African way. You can't have it both ways you want to be African but you don't want to let go of Western ideas.

  • Jennifer - 2012-06-15 08:41

    how about a Mayan calendar Highly appropriate for the present regime I think ...

      marion.friedenthal - 2012-06-15 11:28

      According to my 16-year-old we won't be enjoying any public holidays after December this year. :-)))

  • marion.friedenthal - 2012-06-15 11:03

    They can take Christmas and Easter holidays as far as I am concerned. They already took Ascension Day. No public holiday overflowing with food, pressies and chocolate determine my spirituality or my Christianity. Already way too many public holidays and when one adds those to annual leave, sick leave, familial leave, study leave, strike 'leave' etc., the majority of people don't even work for half the year anyway. Remind me of a bunch of children fighting over a handful of sweets.

  • jmareletse - 2012-06-15 13:15

    Zuma is nt a Christian...dats y dis is debated. What's next??? Zumas Day!!!!

  • debbie.t.campbell - 2012-06-15 15:19

    for heaven sake, just do away with all public holidays then!!! Looks to me like everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and have a public holiday because is mos lekker in SA...just declare a public holiday. And then shops dont even close but business must pay their workers double time...nice man

  • Hannes Truter - 2012-06-15 15:54

    National Spear Day...