Surika Van Schalkwyk

The nation’s unsung heroes

Grandmothers are often left to raise unwanted kids. Surika van Schalkwyk looks at the struggles they face.

Tiger launches new biodegradable plastic

But not everyone is impressed with this eco-friendly gesture, writes Surika van Schalkwyk.

Conditions remain dire in xenophobia camps

More than a month after xenophobic attacks shook Gauteng, feelings of desperation worsen among thousands of foreigners housed at temporary shelters.

‘We don’t trust the South African government’

Refugees from some countries are not seeking repatriation, having fled conflict at home.

Eskom behind ‘diesel use soaring’

Diesel use in South Africa, driven by home generators and the trucking of coal to Eskom power stations

Fuel the burn

As the sixth price rise of the year sent fuel heading towards R10 a litre this week -- amid predictions it could reach R11 by year-end -- there are few signs that South African motorists are making serious adjustments to the end of cheap fuel.

Farmers hobbled by high input costs

Food prices are expected to rise rapidly in the next year because farmers are planting less as input costs escalate.

Increase in abandoned babies

Welfare workers are picking up an alarming increase in the number of abandoned babies, seeing in it the effects of growing economic distress -- and particularly rocketing food prices. Johannesburg Child Welfare Services, an NGO, says at least 19 babies were abandoned in Johannesburg in May alone.

Cold comfort for displaced foreigners

It's freezing cold under a grey sky. Discarded pictures from a child's colouring book swirl in the wind. A whistle blows and hundreds of people camping at the Jeppe police station scramble to form an unruly queue in front of huge, silver cooking pots. Supper is served; today it's soup.

‘Shelters’, not camps, for foreigners

The Department of Home Affairs said on Wednesday it planned to establish shelters for foreigners who have fled xenophobic attacks over the last two weeks. The BBC reported on Wednesday that seven ''refugee camps'' would be set up. By Monday night there were an estimated 17 000 displaced foreigners left in Johannesburg.

‘I saw my friend being killed in front of me’

''Regina Chinyandi (21), of Zimbabwe, arrived at the Alexandra police station on Monday with her one-day-old baby, Prince, wrapped in a napkin. Upon her return home from the hospital after giving birth, she had found her shack in ruins and all her friends from the township missing.'' Surika van Schalkwyk speaks to refugees at Gauteng police stations.

‘Two bulls cannot rule in one kraal’

Ronnie Kasrils, Minister of Intelligence, said on Tuesday that "we are not just seeing spontaneous xenophobic attacks". "There are many social issues at the root of the problem, but we have reason to believe that there are many other organisations involved in sparking the attacks. We are currently analysing the situation."

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