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Europe eyes the desert sun

Gordon Brown and Nicolas Sarkozy back plan for solar panels in the North African desert, writes Alok Jha.

'SA needs its neighbours'

Let this be a turning point where together we recognise and transcend the limits of citizenship by extending protection to all who live in South Africa.

Renaissance in intensive care

Renaissance Medical Scheme was placed under curatorship last week after a report showed it is insolvent and more than R30million in the red. The industry regulatory authority, the Council for Medical Schemes, applied for the scheme to be put under curatorship to protect its 30 000 beneficiaries.

The poor will inherit the dearth

Queues for petrol on British petrol station forecourts appear to bear scant relation to ongoing killing, rape and mass refugee movements in eastern Congo. The unfolding humanitarian disaster in ungoverned Somalia likewise seems unconnected to Western taxpayers' worries about falling mortgage lending and rising prices.

Short shrift

Nwabisa Ngcukana was back at Johannesburg's Noord Street taxi rank last week, the scene of her assault by taxi drivers. Three weeks before, they stripped and beat her for wearing a miniskirt. Last week, she marched at the head of an army of women. Defiantly dressed in miniskirts, hundreds of women toyi-toyied to the taxi rank.

'Speak to us and not for us'

South Africa does not think of the poor. The poorest of the country are the majority, but we are kept voiceless. The poorest I am talking about are the shack dwellers, the street traders, the street kids, the flat dwellers who can’t afford the rent, and the unemployed from Cape Town to Musina and from Richards Bay to Alexander Bay, writes M’du Hlongwa.

Sharing in cancer care

Elphus Mashile smiles contentedly as he enjoys the sunshine from the stoep of a colonial-style house set in a manicured garden. "I am so happy that I can stay at Keurboom," he says. "I do not know how I would get treatment if I could not come to this place." This is Mashile’s second visit to the Keurboom Interim Home in Belgravia, which provides support and care for patients undergoing treatment for cancer.

Against the flow

Attempts by Johannesburg City Council to sell the Huddle Park wetland in Linksfield, to an empowerment consortium for development before the completion of a thorough environmental impact assessment process may have dire environmental consequences for the residents of Alexandra township.

China's 'new socialism'

Against a background of rising rural unrest, China recently unveiled ambitious plans to help the 800-million people living in the countryside catch up economically with people in the cities. More rural investment, agricultural subsidies and improved social services are the main planks of a policy to create a "new socialist countryside".