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rugby under-20 championship

    Junior Boks jet off to world championships

    Fresh from a series victory over Argentina, the Junior Springbok squad are on their way to Italy for the World Rugby Under-20 Championship. "The boys are rearing to go and we have a great team spirit," says coach Dawie Theron ahead of the three-week long tournament.

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    More South Africans have access to services

    Living conditions in South Africa have improved over the past 12 years, according to the General Household Services. More households have access to improved sanitation flush or pit toilets piped water and electricity, says Statistics South Africa.

  • Volkswagen factory workers volkswagen, worker, production line, factory

    GDP growth slows, jobless numbers up

    Gross domestic product growth slowed in the first quarter of the year, according to Statistics South Africa. Contributors to the increase included mining, finance and business services sectors. It also said the unemployment rate rose to 26.4% from 24.3% in the last quarter of 2014.

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    South Africa plans for mass urban migration

    Almost 80% of the country's people will live in its cities and towns by 2050. A framework is being drawn up to contain this growth, to build "liveable, safe, efficient cities that are socially integrated, economically inclusive places where residents participate actively in urban life".

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    Rural South Africa to get free wi-fi

    Project Isizwe is rolling out wi-fi in deeply rural Eastern Cape. In its pilot project, it will bring wi- fi to Ingwe College's Mount Frere and Lusikisiki campuses. The plan is to offer free connectivity on campus and for surrounding communities. Deployment begins in mid-June.

  • Hiking through South Africa's uniquely beautiful fynbos

    Healing in South Africa's fynbos soil

    A researcher at Stellenbosch University has discovered lantibiotics in fynbos soil. They have the same function as strong antibiotics and work to kill disease-causing bacteria, including Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. They could be an alternative to traditional treatments.

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Township swop shop to recycle waste into daily necessities

A little gift can go a long way to changing someone's life, as has been demonstrated time and again by Mama Asnath Teffo, the founder of Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng in the township of Olievenhoutbosch.

Meaning "little gifts of home" in Setswana, Dimphonyana Tsa Lapeng has helped hundreds of children and their families in the township, just outside of Midrand in Gauteng, by giving them the care and support they needed after the loss of their parents, or because of poverty.

Fourteen years ago Asnath, or Mama-Assie as she is affectionately known by the community, moved from nearby Noordwyk to Olievenhoutbosch with her family, bringing her passion for improving the lives of others closely in tow.

When she arrived in Olievenhoutbosch the area was dominated by shacks and other informal housing, before the RDP houses that dominate the landscape today were built. Here she became aware of the need to intervene and help those around her who were struggling because of the circumstances they found themselves in.

Knowing she couldn't battle all of life's misfortunes she prioritised the care of destitute women and children, taking orphaned or abandoned youngsters into her home to raise among her own children.

Mama-Assie has invested countless hours of her time and a huge amount of her resources in the improvement of the lives of those around her. She has put a particular focus on the young people having to grow up facing challenging situations such as child-headed homes.


As part of Diphonyana's attempts to provide for the basic needs of the Olievenhoutbosch community, they are currently setting up a recycle swop shop which, as the name suggests, will combine recycling with helping people get their day-to-day necessities.

The project is planned as a three-pronged tool to fight poverty and help the community. It will help clear litter and waste from the environment while providing people with their daily needs, all the time fostering self-help, independence and dignity.

The idea is for people to collect recyclable waste such as tins, bottles and plastic products, and bring it to the swop shop. In exchange they will be given a ticket valued according to the amount of sorted materials they have collected.

The tickets would then be redeemed at the organisation's shop for essential products such as toiletries, food and clothing, depending on what has been donated to Dimphonyana by members of the public sympathetic to the cause.

An example of the valuation system is as follows: 5 points for a loaf of bread, or 35 points for a standard food parcel containing mealie meal, bread, tea bags, cooking oil, soya mince and other basic cooking necessities.

If all goes to plan, this innovative approach to tackling poverty while cleaning up the township will kick off on 1 June this year.


Another smart environment-friendly idea is the Dimphonyana

Mobile clinic to help township residents

mobile-clinic---thumbA mobile clinic for Joburg's destitute northern townships is just one legacy of the sixth and latest Cape Town to Cairo roadshow, an annual event by Philips and its partners focusing on health and well-being in Africa.

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