South Africa: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 12:10 am
Immigrant communities in South Africa have been reporting an upsurge of xenophobic violence for weeks, raising fears that anti-foreigner sentiment could spark a recurrence of attacks that claimed 67 lives in 2008 and 2015. Residents have complained on social media that foreigners are selling drugs and forcing South African girls into prostitution. A demonstration is planned on Feb. 24 to protest against the presence of Nigerians, Pakistanis and Zimbabweans.
Karen Elowitt, 1:01 am
Africa’s vast landscapes beckon, but sometimes the roads themselves are the attraction. Angola’s Serra da Leba Pass is a favorite with cyclists. The most challenging part of the 6,053-foot climb is a one-mile section with 7 hairpin turns — one of the famous hairpinned roads in the world. Located 20 miles west of the city of Lubango on the road to Namibe, the road crosses three different climate zones. There’s little room for error on this road, which offers not much guard-rail protection and has been the site of many fatalities. You might want to give it a miss on a windy day.
Dana Sanchez, 11:07 am AFKI Original
South African media giant Naspers is launching its 18-month-old internet TV service ShowMax in Poland. It plans to provide hyper-local content and original productions rather than trying to compete with expensive shows designed to appeal to audiences worldwide. It’s competing with the much older, bigger, more established U.S. firm Netflix, which launched in 1998. Netflix is also commissioning original content, but it has an overseas problem, one commentator said. “It just doesn’t have the amount of local content that some of the (streaming and pay TV) competitors have.”
Peter Pedroncelli, 3:57 am
German motor racer Nico Rosberg was recognised ahead of South African sprinter Wayde van Niekerk this week in a tight contest for the Breakthrough of the Year award at the Laureus World Sport Awards in Monaco. Pundits and fans of sport are divided regarding whether Rosberg deserved to win it over the other nominees, but the fastest man of all time, Usain Bolt, is in no doubt as to who the recipient should have been.
Dana Sanchez, 2:10 pm
The South African rand lost almost half its value against the U.S. dollar over the past five years as the country struggled through economic crisis. Zuma welcomed the investigation, saying the government is prepared to act against distorted financial markets “to protect our country’s economy.” He said the financial sector needs new players to diversify, and the government plans to establish a state bank. South Africa’s competition watchdog recommends fines of 10% of banks’ annual in-country turnover.
Staff, 8:01 am
Traveling in the spirit of ubuntu can mean trying local African beers, wine and spirits instead of international brands, says scientist and travel expert Louise de Waal. It means you’re supporting the local economy and reducing your carbon footprint. Most African countries have their own beer brands — Tusker in Kenya, Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Windhoek & Tafel in Namibia, and Kuche Kuche in Malawi. Try South African amarula liqueur, Malawi gin or Tanzanian Konyagi. Craft breweries are on the rise in SA, with labels like Jack Black, Darling Brew, Porcupine Quill, and Smack Republic.
Dana Sanchez, 4:16 pm
The world’s largest furniture and homeware store, Ikea, has collaborated with some of the best designers in seven sub-Sahran African countries to curate its first African collection in what is described as an effort to “democratize design.” Ikea says it wants to tap into the “creative explosion” happening across the continent. The furniture and homeware collection will focus on “modern rituals and the importance they play in the home.” The collection probably won’t be accessible in the African cities that inspired it. Ikea’s only African outlets are in Morocco and Egypt.
Staff, 1:02 pm
It may be surprising to learn that North Korea has long fostered diplomatic, economic and military relations with various African countries. These relations have thrived even after widespread international condemnation following its first nuclear test in 2006. An Africa pivot may be the only option left for the country as China -— its traditional ally — increasingly distances itself. Following North Korea’s sixth nuclear test over the weekend, the U.N. warned members to “redouble efforts” to enforce existing sanctions.
Dana Sanchez, 12:25 pm AFKI Original
Since the Iranian Revolution in 1979, some members of the international community including the U.S. have accused Iran’s government of sponsoring terrorism. South Africa is not one of the accusers. On the contrary, South Africa is expanding trade and defense commitments with the Islamic republic, with plans to expand tourism ties between the two countries. A potential loss of tourists to the U.S. from Muslim-majority countries could be South Africa’s gain as President Donald Trump attempts a travel ban and threatens to tear up the Iran nuclear deal.
Mongabay, 9:25 am
There’s a mistaken belief that Africa is a continent of empty, freely available land open for development. Companies investing in land in Africa feel they can cut a deal with the government, raze the land, and create vast plantations. “No land is unclaimed,” a stakeholder said. “Uprooting communities without their consent from their lands and traditional livelihoods creates conflicts and social unrest.” Most disputes involving private investments in Africa – 63 percent – relate to local people being displaced off their land. These disputes affect sugarcane and palm oil production, mining for gold, diamonds and coal, and green energy to harvest wind and solar power.
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