Grand Inga Dam is a titanic hydroelectric project on the Congo River with an enormous electric grid that would start from Inga Falls extending physically, and taking its ramifications with it, from South Africa to Egypt. Started in the 70s, this project has become an obsession for the Congo and a gold mine for foreign investors. Its plans will include the rehabilitation of the Inga 1 and 2 dams, as well as constructing Inga 3 and 4.
A mother elephant waits for her calf as the rest of the herd moves ahead. The young elephant needs to keep up but isn’t strong enough. Their instinct is to follow the herd; without it neither will survive. She makes a heart-wrenching decision and leaves her new born behind. Left alone to fend for himself, his days are numbered and he will mostly likely perish at the hands of drought and hunger. This is life in the wild, in times like these you can smell death as it wafts over Wild at Tuli game reserve.
Have you ever read the back of food labels and noticed the words: ‘Might be genetically modified’? No? Well you’re not alone. That’s how most South Africans would respond. But the reality is that many foods are genetically modified because South Africa is the world’s eighth largest GMO producer.
It’s 42 degrees outside. I’m standing in the back of a pickup truck with eight other girls, ducking from stray branches as we rocket along a bumpy dirt path leading back to the lodge. Sometimes we look back to check on the horse in the trailer we’re hauling. Yep, still dead.
More than four decades ago Walter Mangold was an average Capetonian who had a knack for taking care of sick or injured birds that he came across in his local area. Word quickly spread and he was soon dubbed the ‘Bird Man’, with people constantly handing in injured birds to him to care for. His undeniable passion to help wildlife evolved, and in the mid 1970s he opened World of Birds in Hout Bay, a sanctuary where he housed and cared for his hundreds of injured birds and small mammals, giving them hope for a healthier and safe life. Today, World of Birds is the largest bird park in Africa and is home to more than 3,000 animals that range from squawking macaws to cheeky monkeys.
‘Loadshedding’ is a term that South Africans have begrudgingly added to their everyday vocabulary, with it becoming the norm for the electricity supply to be shut off in regularised blackouts. While the parastatal Eskom has assured that it is taking its own actions to resolve the energy shortages that make loadshedding necessary, it might be the work of individuals that prove to be most helpful.
On the East Coast of South Africa, nestled between the hills and surrounded by pristine beaches, a conflict rages on between the local Pondoland people, an Australian mining company, Mineral Commodities (MRC) and its subsidiary in South Africa, Transworld Energy and Mineral Resources (TEM). MRC along with TEM are interested in the area for its abundant titanium supply. The dispute has been ongoing since July 2008, when the Director General granted TEM mining rights for the Kwanyana Block of the Xolobeni tenement area.
There is a word that demands wider usage: Speciesism. Australian philosopher Peter Singer emphasises that ‘Speciesists allow the interests of their own species to override the greater interests of members of other species.’ Most of us in our ‘enlightened’, post-modern state recoil at anything remotely resembling sexist or racist language or conduct. So what will it take for us to equally recoil at anything remotely speciesist? What will it take to make that bold, imaginative leap?
South Africa, the second biggest economy on the African continent, is now struggling to meet the electricity demand. Eskom, the state-owned utility which supplies 95% of the country’s electricity, is having problems with its coal-fired plants due to a lack of maintenance and delays in new power plant constructions.
On Sunday, 1 March, the magnificent mountain range which makes the Cape Town peninsula so famous was shimmering with fire that looked like glowing lava. The fire started above Boyes Drive in the early morning. Authorities estimate that roughly 5,000 hectares have been affected.