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FOOD: African wheat - balancing consumer and farmer demands
15 October 2012 (IRIN ), Whether Africa can scale-up wheat production to meet growing demand will depend on governments’ support of local producers. A key test is whether they are willing to take on wheat import subsidies, which keep bread prices low and urban consumers happy, said experts at a recent five-day conference on African wheat production.
SOUTH AFRICA: Straight talk with Fareed Abdullah, head of the South African AIDS council
11 October 2012 (IRIN ), Tasked with leading the South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) through its most ambitious and far-reaching reform yet, Fareed Abdullah has his work cut out for him.
SOUTH AFRICA: Anti-migrant sentiment increasing
10 October 2012 (IRIN ), Distrust of foreigners has increased in South Africa in the four years since a wave of xenophobic violence swept the country. Some 67 percent of South Africans say they do not trust foreigners at all, compared to 60 percent in 2008, survey findings released this week revealed.
SOUTH AFRICA: Revamped AIDS council makes its debut
9 October 2012 (IRIN ), After a troubled past, a revamped South African National AIDS Council (SANAC) was recently unveiled, coinciding with the announcement that the country has achieved universal access to HIV treatment. South Africa must now ramp-up prevention, new SANAC CEO Fareed Abdullah said.
SOUTH AFRICA: Shack living goes green
8 October 2012 (IRIN ), The Plaatjie family - like more than a million households in South Africa - lives in an informal settlement. But unlike most such households, the Plaatjies’ shack is warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it has an independent electricity supply as well as an alarm system.
Dealing with sexual abuse in prison
5 October 2012 (IRIN ), “Here is the mess,” the warder said when he shoved Michael Adams* into an overcrowded cell in Allandale Prison, near South Africa’s Cape Town, 10 years ago. That first night, Adams was raped by two men, and he was repeatedly assaulted during much of his time behind bars.
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.
CLIMATE CHANGE: New urgency to rethink dam projects
26 September 2012 (IRIN ), The massive hydropower dams built on the Zambezi River, the largest river system in Southern Africa, not only supply power to major economies in the region but also help mitigate annual floods. But as electricity demands grow and rising global temperatures affect rainfall patterns, the dams will be unable to meet energy needs or control floods, warns a new study.
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.

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