Stories written by Stephanie Nieuwoudt

Ramon Daubon: ''Good governance emerges slowly and from below.'' Credit: Marta Roviro

Q&A: How to Break the Cycle of ‘‘Endless Philanthropy''

Dr Ramon E Daubon not only believes in democratising development but takes umbrage at the ‘‘cult of tangible results'' in development assistance.

Its critics want the SABC to give voice to the concerns of the marginalised. Credit:  Rogier van der Weijden

MEDIA-SOUTH AFRICA: Battle Over Future of Public Broadcaster

A powerful coalition of civic organisations is calling for a complete overhaul of the legal framework of the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) to force it to fulfil its public broadcasting mandate.

RIGHTS-AFRICA: Extending Constitutional Justice

Jurisprudence in Africa has improved a lot since the early 1990s, but a lot of work still has to be done to improve justice structures across the continent.

SOUTH AFRICA: Community Gardens Contribute to Food Security

A few years ago 66-year-old grandmother Regina Fhiceka and her family of five ate vegetables only once a week. They would survive on maize and bread the rest of the time - the cheapest food available in the poor township of Philippi, just 15 minutes from the affluent business district of Cape Town.

POLITICS-SOUTH AFRICA: Women's Participation Needs More Than Quotas

The African National Congress (ANC) directive to increase the number of women on South Africa's ruling party's election lists to 50 percent (up from 30 percent) might actually weaken the role of women in local government.

(l-r) Claudia Goes, Christoline Engelbrecht, Anna Skippers, Gwen Snygans, Jessica Mouton and Linda Bantom and some of their children take a breather from their Red Cedar work. Credit: Red Cedar

DEVELOPMENT-SOUTH AFRICA: From A ‘‘Red Bush’’, Opportunity Is Born

Nestled in a valley in the Cederberg region of the Western Cape, South Africa’s southern most province, lies the charming little village of Wupperthal.

Q&A: Major Challenges Will Be Met

When Barbara Hogan replaced South African health minister Manto Tshabalala-Msimang in September, her appointment was praised from all quarters. Hogan, who previously chaired Parliament’s finance portfolio committee, is known as an intellectual who stands up for what she believes in and finding hands-on approaches to solving difficult political issues.

HEALTH-SOUTH AFRICA: New HIV Vaccine Trials Raise Hopes

After two HIV vaccine trials were halted for safety reasons last year, a new trial is set to commence within the next few months in South Africa and the United States. Scientists will test a new vaccine formula produced in South Africa. It will be the first time a HIV vaccine manufactured in a developing country will be trialed in the developed world.

ECONOMY: India, Brazil and South Africa Should Gang Up With China

The India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) formation could have enough clout to stand up to the European Union and the U.S. but it needs the help of emerging superpower China. Alternatively it should align with the BRIC (Brazil-Russia-India-China) group.

AFRICA: Research and Tradition Could Save Environment

Africa risks losing up to 50 percent of its indigenous species over the next century due to global warming.

Ceramic artist Mickey Chonco with one of the artworks he created at the Ardmore Ceramic Studio in KwaZulu-Natal. Credit:  Ardmore Ceramic Studio

TRADE-AFRICA: Art Creating Hope in the Midst of Death and Disease

Zulu artists working at the Ardmore Ceramic Studio in South Africa’s coastal province of KwaZulu Natal have gone from poverty to international acclaim.

ECONOMY-SOUTH AFRICA: Manuel, Mbeki Resignations Welcomed by Some

Minutes after the news broke today that Trevor Manuel, South African minister of finance, resigned from his post, the South African currency lost ground against international currencies, falling 20 cents against the dollar within less than an hour.

Dot Keet: "FTA could open door to EU imports" Credit:  Stanley Kwenda/IPS

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Free Trade Deal Full of Potential – And Danger

The launch of a free trade area (FTA) within the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) has brought the region one step closer to a regional customs union by 2010. But the launch of the FTA at the recent SADC heads of state summit was met with mixed reaction.

Richly embroidered cloth hearts at Heartworks, Cape Town. Credit:  Stephanie Nieuwoudt/IPS

CULTURE-SOUTH AFRICA: Crafts That Steal Hearts All Over the World

It is early on a Monday morning and Margret Woermann is late for her interview with IPS. The owner and creative force behind the Heartworks shops is at a meeting discussing a project with a clothing designer.

SOUTH AFRICA: Measuring the Carbon Footprint of Fruit and Wine

In an effort to stay competitive in a global market where increasing demands are made by consumers for 'green' products, South African fruit and wine farmers have launched an initiative to determine the environmental impact of their industries. The research could challenge the idea that exported products from the developing world have a higher environmental cost.

Strong demand for land for subsistence farming is not yet recognised by government policy in Southern Africa. Credit:  Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies

SOUTHERN AFRICA: Digging for Hope in Land Reform

Through the difficulties facing the land reform process in Zimbabwe, South Africa and Namibia, glimmers of hope are emerging. The challenge now is to seek lessons which enable newly settled farmers to create a livelihood.

TRADE-AFRICA: ‘‘Exports Are the Best Way to Develop’’

Lack of export orientation in the past has caused economic failures in African countries, which is why these countries should focus on exports to build industries.

Eunice Thema is a Monkeybiz beader from Makhaza in the township Khayelitsha. Credit:  Monkeybiz

CULTURE-SOUTH AFRICA: Made in Khayelitsha, Sold in New York

Entering the Monkeybiz shop, one is confronted with hundreds of brightly coloured beaded animals, dolls, place mats and pictures. You find yourself smiling involuntarily.

ENVIRONMENT-SOUTH AFRICA: Western Cape Farmers Expect the Unexpected

The Western Cape region attracts millions of tourists who come to this part of South Africa to enjoy its famous Table Mountain and beaches, and to experience some of the world's best wines and deciduous fruits. But changes in the region's climate could be threatening these industries.

TRADE-AFRICA: Senegal and South Africa Moving Closer?

Senegal’s opposition to United Nations sanctions against Zimbabwe aligns Pres. Abdoulaye Wade’s government with that of South Africa. This should boost the two countries’ bilateral relations, which have seemingly been improving in the wake of a recent bilateral trade treaty.

Infant mortality is down, but sub-Saharan Africa lags behind schedule on health-related MDGs by 2015. Credit: Manoocher Deghati/IRIN

HEALTH-AFRICA: UNICEF Reports Five Million Child Deaths Every Year

When four-year-old Alice Were suddenly developed a fever, her mother Miriam took her to the local medicine woman close to her house in Kangemi, a poor, cramped settlement on the outskirts of the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Two days later, Alice was unconscious. Her frantic mother rushed to hospital with the child in her arms. But it was too late. Alice died of malaria.

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