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Review

The origins of the Solidarity Movement can be traced back to June 1902, when the Transvaal Miners’ Association was founded. The establishment of the Movement cannot be ascribed to individual actions alone, but also to the functioning of institutions. The Solidarity Movement comprises 18 institutions, including Solidarity, AfriForum and Solidarity Helping Hand, each of which has an independent and unique focus, filling a specific void in the community.

The Solidarity Movement is guided by two key words, namely calling and institutions. This is why we emphasise the establishment of our own institutions focusing on training, social assistance and other self-help institutions aimed at creating a future for the Afrikaner cultural community and Afrikaans language community within which they can live their calling in freedom, safety and prosperity.

To achieve this vision, there is a strong focus on the Solidarity Movement as ’n modern mutual aid movement of strong self-help organisations.

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Juran van den Heever Winston Churchill said the further you want to see into the future, the further you have to look back into the past. In fact, through a strong network of mutual aid and self-help organisations in cultural, economic, social and political spheres, our ancestors built a future for the next generations. Like our ancestors, like ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, we can start small and build exceptional miracles. Our biggest challenge is to look past Zuma and the current reality to see a new future. Our task is to determine the future that we would like to have. Last year, we launched the #Let’sBuild campaign and it had an incredibly positive impact on people. We want to continue to call on people to build with us this year. Over a period of more than a century, the trade union’s ability to adapt to continuously changing socio-political and economic circumstances and demands has always been its salvation. Help Solidarity to create strong organisations, and actively participate in the shaping of a future in which you will also be able to live freely, safely and prosperously in perpetuity. Solidarity has been building a future since 1902 and it is also celebrating its 115th anniversary this year. We are building the following: Good jobs Solidarity has been protecting its members in the workplace since 1902. We have grown with our members and their needs. That is how the former Mineworkers Union developed into the Solidarity Trade Union. We are building a relationship of trust to ensure that you are not alone in uncertain times.

The most important lesson to be learnt from 200 years of history is that the future is never over. A new future always emerges again.

Training Solidarity regards itself as a builder that has been building a future with enthusiastic members (builders) for the past 115 years. That is why Solidarity is ceaselessly building training institutions and study funds, because training creates possibilities for the future of your job and the jobs of your children.

The present is never permanent and the future is never set in stone. The present is merely the bridge between the past and the future.

Rule of law From as far back as 1902 Solidarity believes that justice must be done in the workplace. That core characteristic has been expanded and today Solidarity achieves many successes in the courts. These successes range from justice in the workplace to the fight against the unfair application of affirmative action.

Our future will be determined by what we do today because only one generation of letting things slide could result in the destruction of everything established by our ancestors.

Increasing independence People have said that a miracle would be needed to bring about a solution for our problems. That is definitely correct. But miracles do not fall from the air. Hard work is needed to bring about a miracle, as is so aptly described by the Afrikaans word “wonderWERK”. One has to work hard to build a miracle – it does not happen by itself. We see the problems but our view isn’t blocked by them because we also see the successes achieved by our community, we make use of opportunities that exist and we create new opportunities. We are establishing increased community federalism. This means that we are working to find solutions in all areas, including education, training, social issues, safety, the environment, the media, language and culture, heritage conservation and history, as well as greater independence at municipal level.

It would be futile to merely sit back and wait for the future because then you would get a future determined for you by other people.

Afrikaans We are permitted to be upset when the right to mother tongue education and the rights of linguistic and cultural communities have to bend the knee before accessibility. However, we cannot leave it at that. It should also be a liberating experience for us because it places Afrikaans back into the hands of the community. For Afrikaans, the apparent end to this era dominated by the state is also the birth of a new era – it is no longer dependent on the state; it is now in the hands of the community.

The only future you can predict is one that you build yourself.

The Solidarity Movement The Solidarity Movement is known for its do-it-yourself institutions that are constantly being established. Each of these institutions focus on fulfilling a specific need in the community, whether it be welfare, civil rights or labour issues. All of these institutions are unique examples of incredible potential that has been unlocked and needs that have been fulfilled. Solidarity started building a Solidarity Movement 16 years ago. The Solidarity Movement consists of 18 institutions, including the Solidarity Trade Union, the civil rights organisation AfriForum, and Solidarity Helping Hand, with a combined membership of 350 000.

When it was their turn, our ancestors did what they had to do, but each generation is responsible for its own time, and now it is our turn.

#Let’sBuild. SMS LET’SBUILD to 34802 (R1).
By Cilleste van Dyk Have you ever felt confused about the relationship between institutions such as the Solidarity Trade Union, AfriForum or Helping Hand? Are they even part of the same organisation, and what exactly is the Solidarity Movement? You are not the only person pondering this puzzle. The Solidarity Movement is an umbrella organisation that includes a number of different institutions. The purpose of the Movement is to assist you in all aspects of your life (work, culture, civil rights, social support, balanced information in the media, etc.) through the functions of the various institutions. The synergy of the Solidarity Movement lies in our people! The institutions that form part of the Solidarity Movement are also separate institutions that grow independently, each in its own sphere; they fulfil their own functions independently of the other institutions, and they are:
  • Solidarity trade union fighting to protect your job;
  • AfriForum taking care of civil rights;
  • Solidarity Helping Hand providing social assistance;
  • Sol-Tech providing high quality artisan training;
  • Akademia, the Solidarity Movement’s tertiary education institution;
  • Solidarity Financial Services (SFS) offering financial advice and products;
  • Maroela Media, an independent digital media company;
  • Kraal Uitgewers, a publisher of books of historical importance and books relevant to current situations;
  • The FAK, responsible for cultural protection and upliftment.
Solidarity The Solidarity Movement was born from the Solidarity trade union and therefore the trade union is considered to be the father of the Movement. Therefore, when people talk about Solidarity, they usually refer to the trade union itself. Solidarity has its roots in the Christian tradition of trade unionism and therefore it has a unique approach to trade unionism that differs from that of Cosatu. The trade union Solidarity’s main task is to provide job security, to improve conditions of employment and to eradicate injustices in the workplace. In addition, the trade union has established the Building Fund that makes it possible to finance institutions such as Akademia, the Campus and Sol-Tech; these institutions consequently provide quality training so that you can be successful in your workplace. Solidarity also has a Legal Fund that is used to fight affirmative action cases on behalf of our members in South African courts. Visit www.solidariteit.co.za for more information. Solidarity Helping Hand Solidarity Helping Hand provides services to the community but with the specific purpose of leading people out of poverty and preventing people from falling into poverty. Helping Hand does not believe in upliftment through grants; it believes in upliftment through education. Therefore, Solidarity Helping Hand focuses on bursaries, career guidance and job placement. Helping Hand also has branch structures nationwide that provide services to the community. Visit www.helpendehand.co.za for more information. AfriForum AfriForum is a civil rights organisation. The main task of AfriForum is to protect the civil rights of its members and their communities. This is done by claiming and protecting rights. It isn’t only done in court but also by establishing structures in communities. Visit www.afriforum.co.za for more information. Sol-Tech Sol-Tech provides training to students in various trades. This institution is registered as an institution for further education and training and is registered with the relevant SETAs. Sol-Tech focuses on training students in scarce and critical skills. Visit www.sol-tech.co.za for more information. Akademia Akademia is a private Afrikaans distance education institution that offers quality higher education qualifications at 30% to 50% cheaper than the rest of the market. At Akademia students can qualify themselves after hours in sought-after careers and make themselves available for good jobs in a growing economy. Visit www.akademia.ac.za for more information. Solidarity Financial Services (SFS) Members of Solidarity receive additional products and services at special prices through Solidarity Financial Services. The main product of the company is short term insurance. A range of other financial products are also offered by the company. The profits of the company are used to fund development projects of the Solidarity Movement. Visit www.solidariteit.co.za/sfd/ for more information. Maroela Media Maroela Media is an Afrikaans digital media company who publishes news and other information free of charge. Maroela is currently the biggest Afrikaans news website with almost 1,3 million readers every month. Maroela Media maintains an active profile on social media, and also produces audio productions for Afrikaans community radio stations. Various projects for the promotion of Afrikaans are also undertaken annually by this media company. Visit www.maroelamedia.co.za to read Maroela Media. Kraal Uitgewers Kraal Uitgewers is a publisher that publishes books on Afrikaner history and on current topics of interest to the Afrikaner. The publisher also publishes books that won’t necessarily be published by other publishers but that Kraal considers to be of value. The goal of the publisher is to present Afrikaner history in a balanced way and to deal with current matters that involve the Afrikaner in a critical, yet positive manner. Visit www.kraaluitgewers.co.za to see which books are available at Kraal.
We at Solidarity make it our business to create hope: We are creating the hope that is needed to lead a free, safe and prosperous life, right here in South Africa. Last year, the Solidarity Movement launched its “Helpmekaar 2020” five-year plan, with training and education as a key component to implement this plan successfully. Solidarity is an organisation based on the principle of mutual assistance (helpmekaar) in terms of which its members help one another to build a future block by building block, as it were. In so doing, we want to create hope and be the carriers of hope in a country in which everyone is concerned about the future. In terms education and training building block in the 2020-plan, the trade union will invest approximately R1 billion in Afrikaans training and education over the next five years. The movement’s education plans span the whole education spectrum, from nursery school level to tertiary education where a fully-fledged private Afrikaans university is in the making. The investment makes provision for feeding schemes for 4 000 nursery school kids at 60 nursery schools countrywide; the provision of 25 000 school bags to grade ones; support to Afrikaans schools; the expansion of the technical college, Sol-Tech; giving support to hundreds of teachers who will be trained through Aros; and the development of Akademia on its way to a world-class, private Afrikaans university. A study fund, that will be R160 million strong by 2020 forms part of the education plan. In 2016, Helping Hand’s Study Fund reached a milestone when interest-free study loans were granted to 1 250 students in one year! Member contributions made it possible for Solidarity to lend support in the form of study assistance to 5 210 students in total during the past five years. Flip Buys often says economic freedom starts with education and training, not only during one’s school years but also after school and during one’s career too. Lifelong learning is one of the most important goals we have to pursue to be truly free, safe and prosperous. In today’s rapidly changing world knowledge and experience become outdated before you know it. That explains why people, who have been successful for years begin to struggle all of a sudden. Stagnation is a career dead end. Therefore, lifelong learning is as important as tertiary training after school is “Economic freedom means different things to different people. However, free market supporters see economic freedom as the freedom to make your own economic decisions, without interference from the state. This view makes a great deal of sense, but only if people’s education and training were good enough so that they can (or may) participate in the free market economy – it’s not a race someone has to win,” he said. In addition, a child's opportunities in life are determined by the quality of his education and training. That is why we need to value a good quality education system and to how our universities are to be managed. Individuals should pay attention to their own lifelong learning. Some examples of where the Solidarity Movement is involved in quality education and training include the following:
  • Solidarity Helping Hand's Study Fund Centre (SFS) has been offering student loans since 2009 to students who want to study after school. These loans are 100% interest free and are highly sought after among parents who cannot afford to let their children study further. More than R120 million in the form of student loans have been paid to deserving Afrikaner children.
  • Solidarity Helping Hand’s School Support Centre (SOS) offers a variety of solutions to teachers, parents and learners who want to ensure they get the most out of their maths education. The Society for Afrikaans Maths Teachers (VAW), one of the teachers’ societies falling under the SOS, offers access to free extra maths classes, online videos as well as exam papers and work sheets for high school and primary school learners. In addition, the brand-new maths app helps you to walk that extra mile.
  • Akademia is currently using a high technology teaching model that brings lecturers and students in study centres across the country together in a virtual study space.
  • Sol-Tech – a private technical training institution.
  • S-Leer – a quality Afrikaans training centre which empowers professional people with CPD points and continued learning.
  • AfriForum Youth is the official youth wing of AfriForum, the civil rights initiative established by Solidarity.
  • Solidarity Helping Hand’s School Bag project aims to make an indispensable contribution to children's lives and to enable indigent grade ones to kick off their school career on an equal footing with their classmates.
  • AfriForum is involved in the Dink of Sink (Think or Sink) debating competition for its a second year running.
  • AfriForum’s SLIM-campaign – Studeer en Leer In jou Moedertaal (Study and learn in your mother tongue) – which encourages people to use and strengthen their mother tongue as language of instruction.
  • In addition, the Solidarity Movement also makes use of the rule of law to protect education, for example, to keep religion in schools. The application to abolish religious practices in schools has been brought before the court and Solidarity, AfriForum and FEDSAS are fighting this court battle.
AfriForum together with the Solidarity Movement has held a Safety summit on 6 May at the Heartfelt Area in Pretoria with the theme: Let’s make our streets safe. The turnout was remarkable. Several experts discussed issues such as the synergies between communities and state institutions, the management of community structures and the role of civil society against crime at the summit.
AfriForum launched its safety strategy, Project Nehemiah at the summit, which will be implemented on a national basis. The project focuses specifically on the impact that communities must have against violence within the legal framework. The inclusive strategy aims to help all communities through a national network of information management and crime prevention. Dr Pieter Groenewald, leader of the Freedom Front Plus, rightly asks how well fighting crime is being applied in South Africa. He argues that the duty to keep the South African citizens safe, according to the Constitution, rests on the shoulders of the South African Police Service. The reality, however, proves the contrary.
Nantes Kelder, head of Investigations at AfriForum, elaborated about AfriForum’s trauma unit in an interview. This unit focuses on the well-being of the victims. Assistance is given in the form of support, taking down statements and the provision of assistance during court proceedings.
We often tend to quote President Paul Kruger who said one should take the good from the past and build the future on it – even in a time when the state tries to convince us that nothing good can be taken from our past. Of course, we know that that is not the full truth. We know that the history of the Afrikaner, here at the southern tip of Africa, is not just one of war, pillage, theft and exploitation. We know, but for how long will we be able to say so if we are no longer going to see to it that our children know it too? It is a priority for the Solidarity Movement to see to it that people continue to know that “Afrikaner” is not a synonym for thief, marauder and murderer. The Solidarity Movement is hard at work to let Afrikaans schools, teachers and communities take ownership of our history. The Federation of Afrikaans Cultural Associations (FAK) initiates various school projects, such as a poster series called the “Oom and Tannie” series that will whet learners’ appetite for the history of the Afrikaners; we organise floating trophies for achievers who excel in the history classroom; we host workshops for history teachers; and a history competition forms part of our annual Afrikaans Schools’ Expo. In addition, the federation has developed the very first internet museum of Afrikaner history. This platform also provides an opportunity for Afrikaner organisations to document their history. The website also offers contributions by a heritage journalist, lesson plans that can be used to complement school curriculums, top history assignments done by learners and a history and sound archive. The federation’s Origins of Afrikaans tour to the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland and France wants to instil pride among the Afrikaans youth and wants to expose learners and students to their Afrikaans roots in Europe. In so doing, we are celebrating both components of our history – the Afrikaner’s European roots and the strong tribe that has developed in Africa from those roots. Every year, AfriForum Youth offers a leadership tour that has a theme inspired by history – and this year’s tour focuses on the Rebellion of 1914. Friedrich von Schiller said history is the judge of the world. The Solidarity Movement has no intention to stand by and watch how our history is captured, misrepresented and then used to judge us by. To help build similar initiatives SMS “LETSBUILD” to 35802 or visit https://solidariteit.co.za/bousaam/.

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What Are We Building?

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