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According to Shado, his family has granted him the space he needs and they have resolved their differences. They even phone him to tell him about herbal remedies that were used by his grandfather to cure particular complaints.

Prof. Zungu has made mention of the fact that we now have the power to change the world, but have to remember that we live in a world that also changes us.

(Source: Fairlady , February 2003)

Do you think that Shado has made the right decision? Explain:

Case 3


Parliament was informed yesterday that citizens who qualify for the right to vote will probably in future be able to apply for registration as voters at the age of 16.

The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) clarified the suggestions for the Amendment Act on Electoral Law.

Mr. Frans van der Merwe, a Commissioner for the IEC, on behalf of the Electoral Commission, suggested that the youth should be able to apply for voter registration by age 16 so that all citizens could be encouraged to exercise their right to vote from their early years. The names of prospective voters would still only be published on the voters' role when they reached age 18.

(Source: Die Burger , 3 September 2003)

  • Discuss this development in terms of:
  1. the promotion of democracy

b) changing norms and values

Case 4


The plan do discontinue official school wear mentioned by the Department of Education Parliament (DB, 5/9) is unwise and has driven me to take up my pen.

I doubt whether the department has done any research on the implications of such a decision. I mention but a few:

An immediate dividing line will be drawn between the rich and the poor, due to the fact that the rich are able to buy better and more expensive clothing for their children than the poor.

This will increase the sense of inferiority of the poorer children and could stir up hatred for the rich.

Official school wear, by contributing to a sense of unity among the children, involve pride in the school.

Children are also more careful about their behaviour in public when they are in school uniform.

Probably the most important implication [of any change] will be the effect on the precarious clothing and footwear industries.

WRITERKlein Brak River

(Source: Die Burger, 9 September 2003)

  • Discuss the contents of this letter in terms of changing norms and values and present your own point of view on the issue.

The mass media and changing norms and values, democracy and nation building

Activity 6:

You have probably noticed that all the case studies quoted here have focused on reports or letters in a newspaper. Read the translated excerpt from the editorial comment in Die Burger of 11 September 2003 that is provided below and answer the question that accompany it.


Details of the policy on religion in schools announced recently by Minister Kader Asmal, most certainly will not satisfy everybody. Still, it differs considerably from his initial plans, and is far more in accordance with what the religious objectors would have liked.

However, it illustrates something that is of great importance for the broad politics of the country. It shows that South Africa is a functioning democracy, although there are hitches in some places.

In an established democracy the population voices its dissatisfaction when the government does not act according to their expectations. And because the power of the state is limited –

and the ruling party does not want to estrange the voters – they think twice before forcing an unpopular decision on the people.

Especially when it involves fundamental matters that are of immense importance to people, such as religion.

The answer is to carry out your obligations as a citizen of South Africa by confronting the government where necessary, and also to offer support when deserved. The point is that the democratic process, which does not only include holding elections, continues on its course. In the process the media fulfills an important function. Eventually the citizens must meet their obligations.

In the debate on religion the citizens have done their civic duty. Let it also be said that the same is done in other fields of society.

(Source: Die Burger, 11 September 2003)

a) Do you think it is important for people to read newspapers? Provide at least three reasons in support of your answer. Refer to the comments provided above.

b) Write down two responsibilities that are assigned to you as an individual, on the basis of the comments.


Learning outcomes (LOs)
LO 1
Promotion of Health The learner is able to make informed decisions concerning personal, community and environmental health.
We know this when the learner:
1.1 plans an action in which laws and/or policies for protecting environmental health are applied to address an environmental health issue;
1.2 critically analyses the causes of common diseases in relation to socio-economic and environmental factors;
1.4 indicates that he/she is able to take responsible and informed decisions on personal and environmental safety; and;
1.5 examines a health and safety issue related to violence, and proposes alternatives to violence as well as counter-strategies.
LO 2
Social Development The learner is able to demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to constitutional rights and responsibilities, and to show an understanding of diverse cultures and religions.
We know this when the learner:
2.1 discusses the violation of human rights and plans counter strategies;
2.2 explains how democratic processes can be employed to deal with local problems;
2.3 discusses how he / she would promote nation building in different contexts;
2.4 critically evaluates changes in cultural norms and values in terms of personal and community issues; and
2.5 is able to discuss the contributions made to social development by organisations from within different religions.
LO 5
Orientation with Regard to the World of Work The learner will be able to make informed decisions about further study and career choices.
We know this when the learner:
5.1 identifies and discusses career and study choices and their corresponding requirements;
5.2 investigates career and study opportunities related to own interests and abilities.

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Source:  OpenStax, Life orientation grade 8. OpenStax CNX. Sep 12, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11048/1.1
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