Two more cycad species have become extinct in the past two years, data from the South African National Biodiversity Institute showed on Wednesday. This means at least three, and possibly more, of these fascinating plant species have been lost to South Africa, said John Donaldson, director of research at the institute.
Pharmacists across the country are introducing a range of new charges now that they are limited in the prices they can ask for drugs, players in the industry said on Monday. ''We can charge for any service. Everything that you do for the patient, the patient must pay for,'' said a pharmacist in Pretoria North. ''This is very sad.''
The timing and manner of National Director of Public Prosecutions Bulelani Ngcuka's resignation speak of political pressure, not just a personal desire to move on, political analysts agreed on Monday. ''I am sure it is a pressurised resignation. He must be exhausted,'' said political analyst Nic Boraine.
Employment has not grown over the last 20 years in South Africa, and in fact there were net job losses, research from the SA Reserve Bank showed on Tuesday. In an article in the Reserve Bank's new publication Labour Market Frontiers Thami Hlekiso said non-agricultural formal employment dropped from 5,1-million in 1980 to 4,7-million in 2001.
Eric Khumalo first opened a bank account when he got a job as a field assistant at the Hluhluwe Umfolozi Park in KwaZulu-Natal. Khumalo goes to the bank once a month, withdraws his entire salary, and returns to the park with his spending money. He is the type of low-risk client that banks are seeking to exempt from the stringent identification requirements of the Financial Intelligence Centre Act.
The cost of medicines has already dropped by 16,4% since the beginning of May, an analyst told industry representatives in Johannesburg on Wednesday. ''Sure, there's chaos at the moment but it's going to be worth it in the end. It is clearly of benefit to the consumer,'' said David Boyce, a health-care analyst.
Banking institutions are struggling to conform with the new regulations that they identify and verify all their clients by June 30, but experts believe it is unlikely and believe the procedures they are following are fundamentally flawed. ''It is an enormous task, we are talking about roundabout 18-million accounts,'' said Claire Gebhardt-Mann, spokesperson for the SA Banking Council.
The leader of the Democratic Alliance, Tony Leon, was unperturbed by reporters' questions about the apparent success of the Independent Democrats in the preliminary election results released on Thursday. ''If they [the ID] were expecting to be the official opposition, they won't get that,'' he said.
The Constitutional Court began hearings on Tuesday into three cases challenging the customary law of inheritance. There were many frowns in evidence as advocates thrashed out the issues which could affect the lives of thousands of women and children living under customary law.
Ever since we were asked to throw away our aerosol cans in the 1980s the public has been bombarded with ominous warnings about the consequences of human-induced climate change. ''At a global level we know that the world is warmer now than it has been for the past 1 000 years'', said Bob Scholes, chief research fellow at the CSIR.