March 2011

Visit the archives.

A State of Deep Crisis in South Africa's Local Government

Picture credit: jit bag Dale T. McKinley - Local government in South Africa, like many of our country’s mining operations, is in deep trouble. The slow but sure exhaustion of mineral-bearing seams, the insufficient and crumbling underground infrastructure and the exploitative extraction-at-all-costs mentality that so negatively characterises our mining sector can all be (metaphorically) applied to that level of government which resides at the coalface of our democracy. The resultant and ongoing crisis, for both, has long been in...

Fracking Up the Karoo

Picture credit: dcrud.blogspot.com Glenn Ashton - The potential presence of natural gas deep beneath the surface of the Karoo has triggered a national hullabaloo. It is not the gas itself that is controversial; it is the proposed method of liberating it in commercially viable quantities, which has everybody up in arms. If you asked most South Africans around the Xmas table last year what fracking was, you would probably have been met with blank stares. Now, because of applications by Shell Exploration, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell, for...

James Bond Cross Dresses to Support International Women's Day

Video It is 2011 and a man is still more likely to earn more money than a woman, even while doing the same job. Every year 70 million girls are deprived of getting an education and a staggering 60 million are sexually assaulted on their way to school. In support of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, which took place on 8 March 2011, James Bond star, Daniel Craig, dresses up as a woman in this short film that will be screened in cinemas and streamed online to highlight persistent...

International Women's Day: Celebrating the Quiet Heroines

Picture credit: Guebara Charlene Houston - Since 1994 the making of history in South Africa has increasingly shifted from the academy into the public domain. Many histories are being produced through biographies and autobiographies. These histories offer an opportunity to find out more about our past and what meaning the past has for our future.   There are countless versions of history yet to emerge, each of these revealing different perspectives, questioning our beliefs and building our knowledge. Each adding pieces to the...

Is Fracking for Gas in the Karoo Safe? Watch the Extended Trailer of the Documentary, Gasland

Video When filmmaker Josh Fox was offered a hundred thousand dollars to lease his land for natural gas drilling, he embarked on a cross-country journey across the US to find out more about the practice of hydraulic fracturing. He discovered communities devastated by fracking. Fox documented his findings in the Oscar nominated documentary Gasland, which also won the Special Jury Prize for Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival. It's been reported that the industry aggressively attacked the...

Mugabe's Tunisia Day Will Come

Picture credit: US Navy and transworldforum.org Imraan Buccus - People's power has arrived in Africa and, as some have recently argued, it's not just Africa north of the Sahara in which the democratic spirit is stirring. The thrilling political earthquake that began in Tunisia, exploded into Egypt and then rippled out to Libya is set to leave lasting changes in its wake. Its too early to say exactly what those changes will be but one thing is for sure – this is the greatest moment in the global struggle for human freedom since 1989 when the Soviet...