Marijuana is illegal in South Africa, but the country is a step closer to legalizing it for medicinal purposes. The South African government plans to soon publish proposed guidelines for production of cannabis, known locally as dagga. “This is a major breakthrough and fantastic news for freedom of choice,” said Narend Singh, MP for the Inkatha Freedom Party. The hemp industry is interested in legalizing the strain of cannabis used for hemp. SA imports $76 million worth of hemp products a year, Singh said. There’s also a case due to be heard in the Constitutional Court calling for full legalization including for recreational use.
Health: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 8:53 am
A combination of native African armyworms and Fall armyworms from the Americas are ravaging staple crops in southern Africa. Uncontrolled, they have the potential to cause food shortages. Damage to maize is likely to have the biggest impact because it’s the main staple food crop. The Fall armyworm destroys the cob itself. In parts of their native range in the Americas, genetically-modified Bt maize is grown to combat the Fall armyworm. This may be an option for South Africa and other countries where GM crops are already grown. But many parts of Africa do not allow or welcome GM varieties.
Julia Austin, 5:40 pm
Plastic surgery can be expensive and risky. The best surgeons charge more. So how do those searching for a little nip-tuck reduce the cost without adding risk? Some travel to South Africa, where the exchange rate is good and many of the country’s surgeons are top notch. South Africa has seen a significant increase in black men and women opting for cosmetic procedures in the last decade or so. Black women prefer buttock augmentations, breast reductions, lip reductions and nip-tuck procedures. White women prefer nose jobs and liposuction, according to a South African plastic surgeon.
Dana Sanchez, 5:05 pm
The Asian strain of Zika responsible for the outbreak in Brazil and the U.S. has not been reported on the African mainland. Cape Verde has reported nine cases of the Asian strain. It’s not known if exposure to the African strain gives protection against the Asian strain. A $54.2 million grant in 2016 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is funding a candidate Zika virus vaccine now in its first phase of trials
Dana Sanchez, 5:26 pm
South Africans supported Semenya overwhelmingly on social media with the hashtag #handsoffcaster during the Rio Olympics. She experienced open hostility and protests from other runners who said the race was unfair because they were competing against a man. Semenya was born without ovaries. Instead she has internal testes and testosterone levels three times higher than most women. “If I was a woman 800-meter runner right now, I’d be looking to change careers,” a sports scientist said. SA is the only African country where same-sex marriage is legal.
Kurt Davis Jr., 7:57 am AFKI Original
In cities from Victoria Island in Lagos, Nigeria to Maputo, Mozambique, gym memberships can be above $100 per month. Africans are paying higher fees than in more mature markets. Zumba classes are abundant, yoga is everywhere, and biking and running are an ever-growing trend in Africa. Putting cash into the facilities for these types of activities is lucrative. Scalability is still a concern but branding across borders and within regions is necessary for growth.
Dana Sanchez, 4:10 pm
Around 60% of all products in South African stores are halal certified. Despite Muslims forming 1.5% percent of the population, this huge percentage of halal products is due to the large quantity of exports sent north in the continent, much of which is Muslim. South African traders make up about half of Africa’s fast-moving consumer goods sector, and 35 percent of these traders are Muslim. SA has helped other African countries set up halal certification including Zambia, Namibia, Botswana and Mozambique.
Dana Sanchez, 12:01 am
Tanzania, Rwanda and Malawi have a permissive approach to drone regulations, helping make them attractive places for trials. Madagascar has also tested drones to reduce the time it takes to transport life-saving supplies in areas where roads are impassable or transport infrastructure is nonexistent. How useful are drones for carrying out human welfare tasks? The work is still too new and the data too thin to know. One study said humanitarian cargoes are often much heavier than a drone can handle.
Peter Pedroncelli, 4:25 am AFKI Original
The South African private healthcare industry is among the best in the world, with quality care available through a selection of private healthcare giants that operate hospitals, clinics and medical facilities across the globe. The South African private healthcare industry is dominated by three major companies: Mediclinic International, Netcare Limited and Life Healthcare. With that in mind, we take a look at 12 things you may not know about South Africa’s three private healthcare giants.
Betting On Poorer Africans, Soros-Backed Leapfrog Raising $800M For Investments, Eyes Kenyan InsurersBy Dana Sanchez, 9:50 am
LeapFrog Investments is betting on poorer Africans, or “emerging consumers” because they outnumber the continent’s middle class about four to one. Kenya’s new regulations will create buyout opportunities. Nigeria’s huge population and Ghana’s more sophisticated consumers make those markets attractive too. “We’re looking at payment companies because it’s becoming a popular tool that just offers much cheaper ways of doing business” across the continent, a LeapFrog partner said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:39 pm
There is a gap for hospital services in Africa and property investors can benefit from this with healthcare real estate investment trusts, an expert says. A REIT is a company that owns, and in most cases operates, income-producing real estate. Large hospital owners like Netcare or Life Healthcare in South Africa could sell hospitals to a property manager who runs a healthcare REIT. The REIT would then lease them back. REITs provide investors with a liquid stake in real estate, special tax considerations and typically high-dividend yields. In more mature markets, healthcare REITs are often popular investments.
- Real Estate