South Africa's once notorious Robben Island penal colony risks ghost-town status as its last residents trickle off in search of creature comforts on the mainland. The population of penguins, seals and feral cats far outnumbers the 112 human inhabitants of the present day heritage site -- mostly former prison warders and their families.
South African crane operator Zoliswa Gila rises high above the pervasive chauvinistic view that her job should be reserved for members of the male sex. ''Most people think I am crazy to do the job I am doing, saying it's only for men,'' the 31-year-old said at Green Point in Cape Town where she is helping build a 68 000-seater stadium.
Legsaan Levember can only pray for better days as he huddles with 12 family members in a roadside tent, another victim of South Africa's spiralling housing backlog. The family uses a plastic sheet to extend their tiny tent, which perches precariously on the slope of a small dune and is regularly blown away by Cape Town's relentless south-easterly winds.
<a href="http://www.mg.co.za/specialreport.aspx?area=zuma_report"><img src="http://www.mg.co.za/ContentImages/243078/zuma.jpg" align=left border=0></a>Some call it brainless, others inappropriate in the post-apartheid era but Jacob Zuma, the new leader of the African National Congress, is in no mood to stop singing his signature <i>Umshini Wami</i>. "If you erase the songs, you erase the record of history," said Zuma of the anthem.
Investors will closely eye the African National Congress's election conference next week, fearing a victorious Jacob Zuma would chart a leftist course. Maarten-Jan Bakkum, an economist at ABN Amro Asset Management, said the thought of Zuma governing Africa's economic powerhouse left many investors uneasy.
Oscar Pistorius, the self-described ''fastest thing on no legs'', retains both his sense of humour and confidence when he mulls the possibility that his Olympics dream could be about to be shattered. ''It has been my dream to run with the able-bodied and in the Olympics,'' the South African double amputee tells Agence France-Presse.
The first Soccer World Cup to be held in Africa can be the glue which binds a continent too often riven by conflict, according to the man in charge of organising the world's most popular sporting event. Danny Jordaan said the 2010 tournament was a perfect opportunity to showcase Africa and banish negative stereotypes.
Arthur Magerman can still vividly remember the summer's morning half a century ago when he joined thousands of fellow township residents on the long walk to work in a protest seen as the first major salvo in the battle against South Africa's apartheid regime.
The Springboks were accused on Thursday of blowing the chance of spreading rugby among South Africa's black population by scrapping plans to include the biggest township on a World Cup victory parade. SA Rugby, already under fire over the lack of black players in the Springbok team, said it had had to strike Soweto off its list of venues because of time constraints.
The youngsters assembled at Soweto's Jabulani soccer grounds for an after-school training session are united in their reply when asked to name their hero: ''Habana. He's the man!'' As the Springboks prepare for Saturday's World Cup final, a sport that was traditionally seen as a ''white man's game'' is slowly but surely gaining interest among South Africa's black majority.
Three doors down from the old home of anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela, make-up artists apply the finishing touches to the presenters of Soweto TV as they prepare to host a daily debate. ''Welcome to Dlala Ngeringas [Fun Debate],'' says Zuko Xabanisa as the cameras start rolling in the classroom-turned-studio.
Soweto, the vast township that was synonymous with neglect and revolt during apartheid, will become home to one of South Africa's largest shopping malls this week when one of the country's original black entrepreneurs fulfils a three-decade long dream.