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SOUTH AFRICA: Smells like a bargain - money-saving biogas
26 September 2012 (IRIN ), With the number of people in Africa’s urban centres expected to grow rapidly in the next few decades, municipal waste and its disposal could pose a variety of logistical and public health challenges. Now, researchers at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, are examining how to convert organic waste into biogas, which would alleviate disposal problems and help poor residents, particularly those in informal settlements, save on energy costs.
AFRICA: Religious leaders rally for environmental conservation
25 September 2012 (IRIN ), Faced with environmental degradation that threatens the livelihoods of many people in Africa, a group of 50 religious leaders met in Nairobi earlier this month and pledged to take concrete steps to mitigate the effects of climate change.
SOUTH AFRICA: Business as usual after Marikana mine violence?
20 September 2012 (IRIN ), Five weeks after the Marikana mine massacre in South Africa’s North West Province claimed the lives of 34 protesting workers and shocked the world, the strike that prompted the violence has been declared over. But the incident has morphed into a symbol of the growing chasm between those in the government, the mining companies, and the unions leaders on the one hand and mineworkers on the other, say the local community in Marikana, a platinum mining town northwest of Johannesburg.
SOUTH AFRICA: Child migrants illegally imprisoned
19 September 2012 (IRIN ), By the age of 16, Auguy Bingi* had lost a father and a brother to the conflict in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), so he did not argue when his mother sent him to join his uncle in Malawi.
HEALTH: Global South leads the way towards universal healthcare coverage
11 September 2012 (IRIN ), An increasing number of developing countries are introducing universal healthcare coverage - and creating new models to do it - according to research published in The Lancet. Lessons learned from countries like Ghana, India and Rwanda are already shaping the way countries like South Africa are beginning to pilot their own bids for universal coverage.
SOUTH AFRICA: Mthetho Tshemese, “All you hear about are the deaths, the injuries, the botched circumcisions"
11 September 2012 (IRIN ), Mthetho Tshemese is a psychologist from South Africa’s Eastern Cape Province, the traditional homeland of the country’s Xhosa community, in which traditional circumcision marks a boy’s transition to manhood. Tshemese is also a featured author in a new book about HIV and gender, (Un)covering Men, in which he writes about this traditional, and controversial, initiation.
SOUTHERN AFRICA: Increasing hostility towards Chinese traders
7 September 2012 (IRIN ), In the last decade, Asian migrants have fanned out through southern Africa, opening shops in small towns and rural backwaters. While consumers in countries facing increasing economic hardships have come to depend on their low prices, local shop owners complain they are being forced out of business, pressuring governments to introduce restrictions on foreign traders.
SOUTH AFRICA: The (re)making of men
7 September 2012 (IRIN ), Manhood might be hard to define but South African media make it even harder, according to editors of a new book, who argue that negative coverage of men is doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to HIV. Now they are looking to rewrite masculinity in a country that ranks among the most gender inequitable in the world.
FOOD: Another strain of deadly wheat fungus in South Africa
3 September 2012 (IRIN ), As the world’s supply of staple grains grows tight, scientists are learning about the discovery in South Africa of yet another deadly variant of Ug99 stem rust, a virulent fungal disease that can devastate wheat crops within weeks.
SOUTH AFRICA: Liz Gatley, “You can actually have an influence, make a difference”
19 August 2012 (IRIN ), In South Africa’s Zithulele Village, the local hospital services 130,000 people - but operates without enough health workers.

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