Nelson Mandela has died. He inspired and led the struggle for freedom and against the oppression of apartheid. GroundUp interviewed Zackie Achmat about Mandela. In the 2000s, Achmat led the struggle for life-saving medicines for people with HIV.
News: In the middle of a drought, small scale subsistence farmers on the outskirts of Paballelo in the Northern Cape are facing a bill of R1.3 million for water.
News: GroundUp met with a group of young hip-hop and spaza music makers. The group complain that they have been at it for three years, but don’t get any support from local businesses and government.
Activist Beat: This week we report on a petition to impeach the President, norms and standards for schools, TAC's march in Limpopo and the Cape Town Informal Settlements Coalition.
News: On 24 November, 17-year-old Musa Batyi was found at Better Life, Philippi, in a pool of blood. He had been stabbed once. He was in excruciating pain and losing blood. A short while later he died.
Opinion: Frightening memories of the 16-year-long civil war have reignited in the minds of Mozambicans as tensions between RENAMO and FRELIMO reach a new high.
Opinion: While there are significant unmet health needs in many parts of South Africa, they are particularly acute in historically disadvantaged rural areas.
News: At a mass meeting on 28 November 2013, academics and activists from dozens of organisations, social movements, and local citizen groups from eight provinces came together as Awethu!.
Opinion: One element lacking in the current debates about what is going on in Cosatu is any sense of recent history. Because there is nothing really new in the current spate of political bloodletting, in the bitterness and the backstabbing.
Book extract: Nthikeng Mohlele first came to national attention with his debut novel, "The Scent of Bliss" (Kwela, 2008). His new novel, "Small Things", published earlier this year (2013), will not disappoint his admirers.
News: South Africa’s anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment programme is often hailed as one of the most important public health successes. It is the world’s largest ARV programme, with over two million patients initiated on treatment. But it has serious problems: many patients often go without medicines because of stockouts.
News: On 14 December, the Desmond Tutu Foundation will host a beauty pageant called Mr and Miss Gay Ekasi in Salt River. Most participants will be from Khayelitsha and other Cape Town townships. Does the popularity of events like these mean it is becoming easier to be gay or lesbian in Cape Town’s largest township?
News: The hardships and inconsistencies of the South African refugee system are illustrated by what has happened to Zimbabwean asylum seekers who work on a farm near Vanwyksdorp, a tiny rural town in the Western Cape, more than four hours drive from Cape Town, that is only served by gravel roads.
Activist Beat: This week we have reports from Corruption Watch, Equal Education and SWEAT.
Featured interview: Minister of Basic Education, Angie Motshekga, is expected to adopt minimum norms and standards for school infrastructure at the end of this week.
News: Over 15,000 people were diagnosed with drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) in South Africa last year. The risk of death for people with ordinary treatable TB is high. But it is much higher for patients whose illness cannot be treated using the standard TB medicines.
Opinion: Untested nonsense medicines and adverts to buy them are prolific. But after years of chaos in the alternative medicine market, it seems the Department of Health (DOH) is intent on fixing the mess.