- Lesley Stones
Artist Arlene Amaler-Raviv is exhibiting at the South African Jewish Museum. The exhibition, which is unofficially a retrospective of her work, is an exquisite journey into the soul of one of the country’s most compassionate artists. But don’t be fooled – her critical eye doesn’t miss much, either. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Animal Farm at the Market Theatre is so fabulous that even the word fabulous barely does it justice. Playwright Neil Coppen has woven in some wicked local references quite brilliantly, leaving the audience in stitches as the animals discuss the wayward activities of the pigs gorging themselves on the profits of revolution and proving even more oppressive masters than the Nats, sorry, the farmer, that they overthrew. By LESLEY STONES.
Judge Fikile Mokgohloa’s recent decision in the Durban High Court has confirmed shack dwellers’ certainty that the state’s habitual use of legal loopholes to evict land occupiers from their homes is unconstitutional. What’s more, his decision has finally shown up the courts as sharing responsibility for allowing these evictions to go on unchecked. By DANEEL KNOETZE for GROUNDUP.
South Africa has a youth unemployment crisis. Statistics suggest the problem has worsened since 2008, leaving more than 5-million people between the ages of 15 and 34 neither employed nor receiving education or training. In the first of a two-part series, SIBONISO MNCUBE puts a face and a voice to their struggle.
The Imagined Land is the tale of an elderly writer stricken with brain cancer and her daughter who has always come second to her writing. A wordy play, it follows the themes of class and guilt and plenty of intelligent verbal sparring that keeps the tension topped up as the characters explore their pasts and their futures. By LESLEY STONES.
Imagine being 22-years-old and still stuck in primary school simply because no local high school can accommodate your physical disability. This is the fate of Makhosi Ndabambi. More than 500,000 disabled South African children have no access to any schooling, despite the constitutional guarantee of their right to education, because schools are only built for the abled. By FATHIMA SIMJEE for HEALTH-E NEWS.
Even for those who believe Oscar Pistorius should have received a much longer sentence for the killing of Reeva Steenkamp, the sudden decision to review his parole two days before his advertised release date has raised some eyebrows. The justice minister’s actions may be within the strict letter of the law, but the whole scenario poses some difficult questions. By REBECCA DAVIS.
Foul-mouthed and ever funny John Vlismas is one of seven comics who present their own government line-up in the Mass Hysteria comedy show now on at Montecasino, before heading to Cape Town. The annual event aims to deliver comedy that’s as funny as the ludicrous antics of our politicians, and the Joburg line-up does it brilliantly. There’s not a weak link in the chain. By LESLEY STONES.
Throughout history, human beings have killed wild animals to defend, avenge, profit or feed themselves. They still do. But there are a few who kill for another reason: pleasure. Why the pain and death of a beautiful creature gives them gratification is puzzling – perhaps they had father issues as teenagers – but there are more important questions that need answers. DON PINNOCK tries to sort out the truth from the rhetoric.
South Africa met Chaeli Mycroft as a determined little girl with cerebral palsy, desperate to raise enough money for a motorised wheelchair. Just over a decade later, she’s gearing up for her 21st birthday, which she plans to celebrate as the first female quadriplegic to scale Kilimanjaro. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Much like solar farms use mirrors to concentrate sunlight onto solar cells, large white butterflies use their wings to direct sunlight onto their bodies before flight. Butterfly wings are both highly reflective and are far lighter than solar panels. A group of researchers from the University of Exeter got to thinking: what if we could mimic butterfly wings to create super lightweight solar concentrators? By ANDREA TEAGLE.
Last week, 14-year-old Klara Göttert jumped to her death from Northgate Mall in what is believed to have been a suicide. Just months ago, a 16-year-old boy’s body was found hanging from a tree at St Stithians College in Bryanston. South Africa’s suicide rates are among the highest in the world, and our teens are particularly at risk. MARELISE VAN DER MERWE took a look at the problem.
Some half-a-million children living with disabilities have been shut out of South Africa’s education system, Human Rights Watch says in a report released today. Although the government claims it has achieved success in the United Nations Millennium Development Goal of providing all children with access to primary schools by 2015, the reality is a far cry from that. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
Despite growing nyaope addiction, only one public health treatment centre in South Africa offers Opioid Substitution Therapy (OST), which gives a medical helping hand to opioid drug addicts who are trying to kick their habit. Instead, addicts are expected to go ‘cold turkey’ and many relapse from sheer pain. By KYLA HERRMANNSEN for HEALTH-E NEWS.
The boom of black urban comedy is the healthiest thing to have happened to South Africa’s entertainment scene, driven by figures like Kedibone Mulaudzi, founder of the Soweto Comedy Festival, and the other older comics plugging away week after week, year after year. The groundwork they have laid has made comedy an actual career choice and an aspirational goal, and the result showed in the multicultural melee the Savanna Comics’ Choice Awards celebrated at the weekend. By LESLEY STONES.
A Pretoria pastor who has been ‘blessing’ his congregants by making them eat ants, rats, snakes and even grass has sparked a call for religions to be regulated by the Culture, Rights and Linguistic Communities Commission. Chairwoman Thoko Xaluva said she would propose regulation to stop people like ‘snake pastor’ Penuel Mnguni of the End of Times Disciples Ministries. The SPCA has also laid charges against the self-proclaimed prophet. But is regulating the religious sector really the way to deal with wayward pastors and can the sector actually be regulated? By RUSSELL POLLITT.
Internationally renowned broadcaster and writer Kenan Malik was in town this week to deliver the University of Cape Town’s annual TB Davie Memorial Lecture. Malik warns that free speech is under threat – but not necessarily in the ways we fear most, like government censorship or Charlie Hebdo bombings. By REBECCA DAVIS.
It's been an interesting week in the interface between politics and the media, with many questions raised about the role, and agenda, of the media. It started with a column by the editor-in-chief of The New Age and ANN7, Moegsien Williams. That sparked a response from Yours Truly, which in turn elicited a slightly annoyed missive from Lumko Mtimde. At the same time, the editor of The Citizen newspaper, Steven Motale, wrote a long piece in his newspaper, in which he said he wanted to publicly apologise to President Jacob Zuma for accepting the media message that Zuma was corrupt. The timing of all of this led to the more conspiratorial among us to mutter darkly. Whether deliberate or not, none of this should not go unchallenged. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
The nuclear energy sector future looks to be in dire straits. Most of the current new builds are in China but in 2014, China paid $9-billion for nuclear while spending $83-billion on wind and solar. French nuclear company Areva, once the standard bearer for nuclear, is now technically bankrupt. Most telling is the fact that no Generation III reactors (the ones South Africa is apparently looking to procure) have come into service in the past 20 years due to continued delays. So what is the attraction? By DIRK DE VOS.
For generations fishermen from Hangberg have flouted regulations to earn a living from the sea, evading legislative and structural barriers to basic equality that have been in place for more than a century. But while poaching offers a form of income, it carries great risk: poachers must avoid patrols by working in rough conditions or at night, often using poor equipment with little or no safety gear and the results are too often fatal. By KIMON DE GREEF for GROUNDUP.
If you want to save elephants, don’t legalise the international trade in ivory. That’s the message of a major research paper published to coincide with World Elephant Day on August 12. The paper, by South African Institute of International Affairs researcher Ross Harvey, says that instead carefully targeted demand-reduction programmes in Asian consumer countries need to be ramped up and poaching prevention strategies in elephant range states in Africa improved, followed by a ban on all domestic ivory trading. By ANDREAS WILSON-SPÄTH.
On Sunday the editor-in-chief of The New Age and ANN7, Moegsien Williams, wrote an opinion piece in the City Press newspaper, stating that "the media acts like the unelected opposition". Coming from someone in the media, during a time when once again people who should know better, like Zweli Mkhize, are calling for "patriotic journalism", he is clearly trying to influence the debate on how the media operates. Williams goes further, in suggesting that media organisations should "contribute to the country's growth and development". He makes some interesting points. The problem is, these points, and his assumptions, are mostly just plain wrong. By STEPHEN GROOTES.
Despite the current hype about Women’s Month, no one is more likely to be hungry than the women of this country. Women tend to be up to 30% poorer than men, while women-headed households are between 38% and more than 100% poorer than households headed by men, according to the 2008 National Income Dynamics Study. By LAURA LOPEZ GONZALEZ for HEALTH-E NEWS.
A few weeks ago, Daily Maverick reported on the increased attention that Early Childhood Development (ECD) was receiving in South Africa. This is not limited to the work of NGOs and the government, however. Education has been moving into the mobile sphere for some years. Recently, ECD started taking steps into this area too. By MARELISE VAN DER MERWE.
New research suggests things are getting worse for South Africa’s declining wild lion population as the trophy hunting industry is boosting the Asian trade in lion bones. Tiger wine, made using powdered bones, is a much sought after elixir in Asia but tiger numbers are in acute decline and lion bones are now filling the gap, with a sharp increase in lion products in the markets of Vietnam, China and especially Laos. By ADAM CRUISE.
Just 30 years ago using terms like “sexist”, “patriarchal”, “misogynist” or “feminist” in a mainstream newspaper report or column on the status of women in South Africa would have been met with derision and insult, perhaps even the charge that one might be a “hairy-armpited, man-hating, lesbian, feminist” or even worse, “an academic”. Today these terms roll off our tongues as easily as “revolution”, “dyke” and “cisgender”. At least that's one tiny bit of progress. By MARIANNE THAMM.