Richard Davies

How SA is losing its cultural treasures

Valuable South African cultural treasures, including art works, firearms, furniture and archaeological artefacts, are being smuggled out of the country for foreign collectors. According to South African Heritage Resources CEO Phakamani Buthelezi, the value of objects taken ''ranges between R500 to R50 000, even to R100 000''.

DA: Mbeki ‘secretly’ met arms supplier

The Democratic Alliance says it has evidence which suggests President Thabo Mbeki held a secret meeting with French arms manufacturer Thomson-CSF in 1998, when he was chairperson of the ministerial committee in charge of the arms deal.

Govt unveils policy on fishing rights

The government on Monday unveiled its final policy on the allocation of long-term marine fishing rights, despite trade-union calls for a moratorium on issuing it and threats of strike action. The document's release comes after a night in which a group of about 50 trade unionists and fishermen chained themselves to the gates of Parliament.

Parliament hears of tik ‘devastation’

The spiralling use of the drug ''tik'' in South Africa, especially among the youth, came under the spotlight in Parliament on Tuesday, with Minister of Correctional Services Ngconde Balfour vowing to ''break the back'' of those peddling the deadly substance. He also spoke about the issues of prison gangs and overcrowding.

Rural areas’ water quality questionable

Almost two-thirds of South Africa's municipalities cannot say whether the water they supply to consumers meets specified standards, Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry Buyelwa Sonjica told MPs on Wednesday. Director General of Water Affairs and Forestry Mike Muller said the problem is confined to rural areas.

Language issue hijacks education debate

Jeers and cries of disbelief greeted a remark by Minister of Education Naledi Pandor in the National Assembly on Tuesday that the government is not against any language in South Africa. Pandor told MPs the time has come to ''make the learning of an African indigenous language compulsory in our schools''.

Climate change threatens SA

South Africa will pay dearly for global industrialisation and other activities that generate greenhouse gases, a new study revealed on Thursday. A report by the South African National Biodiversity Institute, released in Cape Town, warns that rising temperatures will change the face of the country by 2050.

Govt to start preparing public for climate change

Government is poised to start preparing the public and business sector to deal with climate change, which is expected to have a major impact on South Africa's economy over the next few decades. Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said the effect of climate change on maize production alone would have massive knock-on effects.

Nasa eyes SA sites for new deep space probe

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa) has expressed ''serious interest'' in building two large-dish antennas in South Africa as part of its deep space array network, Deputy Science and Technology Minister Derek Hanekom announced on Friday.

What will Mbeki say?

How to boost South Africa's economic growth and reduce its unemployment rate are just two of the issues opposition parties are hoping to hear President Thabo Mbeki pronounce on in his State of the Nation address on Friday. They would also like clear plans for tackling the country's Aids pandemic, eradicating poverty, improving social service delivery and dealing with Zimbabwe.

Government to classify land owners by race

The South African government on Wednesday confirmed it was considering classifying land owners in South Africa in terms of their race and nationality, but said this was being done purely to help it gauge the pace of land reform and the extent of foreign land ownership.

Quake causes unusual tides on SA E Coast

The KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape coasts have experienced unusual tidal activity and sea currents in the wake of the earthquake that struck south-east Asia at the weekend which sent giant waves across large areas of the Indian Ocean. In the PE area one person is missing, believed drowned, as a result of higher than usual swells

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