Monday, October 31, 2011

Not Much Changed in Soshanguve, But Residents Content

Sthembiso Sithole

Earlier this year these people built shacks illegally,
they still don't have land a few months on.
Earlier this year we covered a story about Soshanguve residents who said they had been waiting for government housing for close to 20 years and had decided to occupy land illegally so they could build their own shacks. We visited those residents recently to find out if there had been an improvement in their aim to access adequate housing or at least get land allocation to build shacks. Many say they are happy for now as their pleas seem to have been heard.

“Finally we managed to get a stand given to us by the councilor, Marutula. Anytime soon we will be build houses,” said group chairperson, Matshona Matjeke.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Doctors Say She Won't Live Beyond 13 - But She Manages to Joke About it

Alice Mminele

12-year old Ontlametse from Hebron, Pretoria, lives with Progeria. Greek word meaning “prematurely old”. This is an extremely rare condition that affects 1 in about 80 million new-borns in the world. The scientific name for this condition is Hutchinson Gilford Progeria syndrome, which was discovered in 1886 by Jonathan Hutchinson and Hastings Gilford.

This disease normally begins to appear at about 18 to 24 months of age. This, however, was not the case for Ontlametse as her family found out what was wrong with her when she was 10. Doctors were dismissing her condition as bad skin rash while classmates and teachers mocked her, saying she was HIV positive.

Another Super Car That Will Break Proposed Speed Limits

Bruce Mbingeleli

The Lexus LFA is safe, fast and elegant.
Some drive the cars they drive because of speed, there are those who buy them because of comfort and
others it’s the style that matters most. When I recently visited the Johannesburg International Motor Show (JIMS) recently I found a car that combines all this, ensuring that one’s driving experience in it is a memorable – even if it’s just for a few minutes as many can probably not afford it.

The team promoting the Lexus LFA say its advantage is high performance while managing to achieve optimal fuel economy and low emission. The car is equipped with a naturally aspirated 40-valveDOHC 4.8 litre V10 engine which kicks out an assembled 412Kw. It manages to deliver at 8700rpm, its maximum torque output being 480Nm arriving at 6800rpm, 90 percent of which is available from 3700rpm. In short this car is super-fast and reaches a high speed at a very short time.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Whatever the Agenda, Malema's Cause is Relevant

Lindokuhle Mnisi

Throughout 2011 the leader of the African National Congress Youth League (ANCYL), Julius Malema, has been making headlines for all the wrong reasons in South Africa’s media industry and the reporting on him has been pretty negative. Event he views by some intellectuals have not been flattering ones and some of those who often comment on him think he desperately seeks media attention and wants to be seen as a champion for the poor when South Africa’s history books are re-written in future. He is also undergoing a disciplinary hearing at the ANC and there are those who think he clashes with leadership, especially President Jacob Zuma.

But lately Malema has impressed me much. He has been criticised for bringing the topic of nationalisation to South Africa’s many discussion tables. He may not be the right person to talk about this, but someone had to as millions of South Africans live in dire poverty while a small minority enjoys the wealth that comes from resources such as platinum, gold and diamonds that our beautiful nation has.

Lions Have to Work Hard to Escape a Shark Attack for Currie Cup Final

Musa Nombona

It’s been 12 years since the Lions have won the Currie Cup and at this stage all the odds seem to be against the lads from Johannesburg. While experience is not on their side of their players like Spingboks’ Du Plesis brothers, the ”Beast” and Alberts are back for the Shark camp in Durban for the game tomorrow.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Southern African Spring on the Way

Sibusiso Banda

There are many countries in Africa where government rule with an iron fist and probably, in some, it’s just a matter of time before there is a Tunisia moment or even worse – a Libya moment. Workers in Swaziland often take to the street to fight for a basic living wage and this year universities had to shut down in that country as lecturers were being paid just transport money while King Mswati III continues to live a lavish lifestyle. It has become apparent that the country is in trouble as South Africa had to give a loan to Swaziland after being refused by the international Monetary Fund for its refusal to implement fiscal reforms.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Part 2: Democracy and the Scramble for Libya's Oil & Economy

Sthembiso Sithole

 Muammar Gaddafi's killing after his over 40-years of rule has been met by celebration in Libya and abroad, but this was just the first phase of change as the second phase with the west probably stepping in more is beginning today. It's still unclear how the anti-Gaddafi forces, who were descibed by the media as disorganised at first, received so many weapons to carry out such a large scale operation, but that's all in the past now - the ones that helped them can celebrate, but I'm certain they won't be resting as they'll be working hard to ensure their interests are well looked after.

Australia Cruises to RWC third place

Musa Nombona

An unbalanced match saw Australia get an easy win over Wales during the 2011 Rugby World Cup third place play off at Eden Park, New Zealand.

The match saw the two sides give a mediocre yet aggressive match. Although this was a consolation prize for the Aussies, the Welsh did not back down as both teams  scored two tries. Australian tries came from inside centre Berrick Barnes and No 8 Ben McCalman.

Australia’s inside centre Berick Barnes and eighth man Ben McCalman both scored conversions  while winger Shane Williams and fullback Leigh Halfpenny scored for the Welsh.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dealing With Stomach Politics in Britain

Siphumelele Zondi

My worry when I left South Africa for Britain was the having to battle the cold weather when I trek down to the bus station every morning, but the cold hasn’t been that bad and I guess it’s because I was partly prepared for it. What I wasn’t prepared for was the bad British food. What they parade around as good food in this country includes pies – found in many eateries, soggy fish and chips – which are really popular as shops selling them are found on just about every street corner and hamburgers – now there isn’t a shortage of those.

The lack of a good menu in this country has even led to the adoption of the Indian Chicken Tikka Masala as “true British food”. Those that added it to the list justify its inclusion by its popularity in this country’s restaurants. As I write this piece I am in a pub that has decided to have Thursdays at its curry nights. The night being dedicated to the Indian dish has resulted in a 50 minute wait for food.

Hayatou's Ousting Needed for a Cleaner CAF

Willie Nemarimela

African football fans short-changed by current CAF leadership.
In North Africa and the Middle East there have been protest marches, which have led to violent clashes in parts, to oust dictators who have been in power for two decades or more and there are news reports that fighting in Libya has led to the death of Muammar Qaddafi. I think it’s time Cairo had another round of protests – this time outside the headquarters of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) as Issa Hayatou is leading this organisation with an iron fist and doesn’t want to step down despite being in power since 1978. Just like many who rule for a long period of time he's had to avoid much criticism.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Transport Minister will struggle with the McLaren MP4-12c reaching 100 km/h in 3.3 second

Robert Mabusela 

The McLaren MP4-12c featured at the Johannesburg International Motor Show produces an impressive 441kW achieving 0-100km/h in 3,3 seconds - which could mean breaking the law pretty fast as Transport Minister, Sibusiso Ndebele, wants to set the speed limit at 100.

The rear engined lightweight McLaren is promised to be the 'first genuine no compromise sports car' according to McLaren brochures at the Johannesburg International Motor Show last week.
With the given 0-100km/h figures the McLaren team is just being modest.  The MP4-12c deserves to be called a super car. 200 km/h is reached in 9.8 seconds or 8.9 if your car is fitted with Corsa tyres which will play an essential role in reaching the top speed of 330km/h a bit faster.
Super car manufacturers are using their gym memberships to make sure that weight shedding is at the top of their workout programme. Unnecessary weight is lost as excessive weight hinders the achievement of maximum performance.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Rural Nquthu Struggles with Few Resources

Sthembiso Sithole

Schools have been built in Nquthu, but this doesn not mean
the community has access to other resources and information.
Growing up in Soweto I have come to understand that community meetings are taken seriously. These would often be held in the evenings or on weekends when people are back from work. At times they turn ugly if
the authorities don't listen to community leaders like it happened in the township's Chiawelo section when it turned violent earlier this year. Community members burnt down a section of a former councillor's house as she was blamed for high electricity tariffs.

During the recent September school and university holidays I visited the village of Nquthu in deep rural KwaZulu-Natal and much to my surprise the community here doesn't participate in meetings that can build them. I attended one meeting to discuss electricity tariffs and less than half the community was there.

Friday, October 14, 2011

"Those that put you in power didn’t put you there because you are beautiful" - Malema

Tshepo Tshabalala

“I came here after being told that our event was cancelled because the management didn’t approve. As I was entering it was headlines on Metro FM (saying) that ‘Malema was stopped from coming to Wits’, but I was entering the campus at that time.”

ANC Youth League president Julius Malema was addressing an over-crowed, stuffy lecture hall full of students at the University of the Witwatersrand on Friday afternoon.

He was scheduled to talk at the Oliver Tambo Memorial Lecture about “Economic freedom in our lifetime”, but ended up directing the majority of his speech to the university's newly elected Student Representative Council (SRC). The student council was inaugurated by vice-chancellor Loyiso Nongxa on Monday.
“The responsibility of this SRC is to protect your rights, not to smile with management. Their responsibility is not to come to you and explain why management cannot implement your demand.”

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Journ Student Gives Power Talk in Rural High Schools

Sthembiso Sithole

Matric pupils had many questions for Mbatha when he visited their schools.

During the one week September holidays second year journalism student, Bhekinkosi Mbatha visited schools in his rural community of Nquthu in KwaZulu-Natal to educate high school pupils about the option of
university. Mbatha also informed the students about government loans that can enable them to study beyond high school.

“It is crucial that we continue with our studies. Universities are not meant for whites or for
those who come from advantaged families only,” Mbatha told the pupils.

His audience of 200 was predominatly made up of matric pupils from Muziwephahla and Khethukuthula High

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Lazy South Africans Would Make You Believe It's Better Abroad

Siphumelele Zondi

While standing on a queue to get into the fourth place I was visiting on my night of venue hopping in London which started in upmarket neighbourhoods, including visiting friends at a London School of Economics residence ending up in a reggae club in Brixton, I met a South African who couldn’t stop talking about how difficult things often are for him in SA which led to him leaving. The chap went on to tell me how he struggled to get visas enabling him to explore Europe and North America until he “fought” to get a Portuguese passport as his grandmother originated from there. He was going on about how useless the South African passport is.

I then responded by naming the various countries I have been to with nothing else but the South African passport. His response was to tell me that it’s because I am black and he is white. Now at this stage I was confused why Europeans and Americans would discriminate against white South Africans and favour those with the chocolate skin tone. After saying this he told me how unfair the South African government is towards white people – again I became confused as visas to European countries are not issued by the South African government.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mother & Daughter Tale of Human Trafficking Within South Africa

Shakira Masethe

Often township girls leave home for days without telling their parents where they are going and don’t realize the repercussions of their actions and at times black parents accept this behavior and never alert authorities when it happens. This was the case with Portia who at 17-years-old in 2008 left home for what her mother thought was her usual search of a good time.

Portia would normally leave on Fridays and not return until the weekend was over and on this particular day she had been in an argument with her mother, Mapule. This was normal behavior in this home and Mapule had accepted that her teenage daughter would sleep wherever she wanted on weekends and would always return to her Mamelodi home when the good time had ended and all the adults she’d party with would be returning to work on Monday But on a certain weekend Portia never came back home as usual.

Mapule then went to the police who sent out a search party for her daughter and there were no clues of what had happened to her. “The longer it took to find her, the less interested the police seemed in assisting me further because every lead led to a dead end,” explains Mapule.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Asylum Seekers Say Celebration Makes Them Feel Welcome

Paseka Menyau
Many in the western world would like to paint Africa as a continent of civil wars, famine and much conflict and instability, but what they should also know is that this is a place where one can find absolute warmth and kindness and that should be more important that the few conflicts in just a few regions of this amazing land.
People who originate from other regions of Africa came together on Heritage Day in Johannesburg to celebrate the warmth of the countries they come from. The theme of the event that took place in the Marice Freeman Recreation Centre Theatre was “We are all Africans, we are all one”.