City dwellers are bearing the brunt of extreme temperatures. Thanks to a phenomenon that makes urban areas hotter than their surroundings, cities such as Pretoria are as much as 6°C hotter than they could be.
Layered on top of the hottest months ever recorded, this means cities are killing their inhabitants.
The heat comes from decades of poor planning. Since the 1950s, the global focus of city infrastructure planning has been on cars, and on getting as many people as possible into tall buildings. In South Africa’s six big cities, this means tarmac crisscrossing what used to be fields and bushveld, big cement slabs providing parking for the cars they bring in, and high-rise apartment and office blocks sucking in their occupants. This both creates and traps heat, which leads to an urban heat island. This effect is worse at night, with cities storing heat – like an oven.
Consequently, during the summer of 2015-2016 temperature records have tumbled in these cities, with the midday heat going into the high 30s and low 40s. read more…
Never in his wildest dreams did the owner of the company that put up the “Zuma must fall” banner in Cape Town think it would lead to a violent fracas.
Speaking to building resident Sizwe Mogale in a telephone conversation which was later posted on SoundCloud on Sunday, Brent Dyssell, the managing director of Independent Outdoor Media, said the banner would not have been allowed otherwise.
In the 34-minute conversation with Mogale, who had blasted the company on social media after the video was put up, Dyssell said the banner was sponsored by a concerned private initiative and was meant to stimulate debate.
South Africa’s headline consumer inflation rose to 5.2 percent year-on-year in December, compared with 4.8 percent in November in line with expectations, data from Statistics South Africa showed on Wednesday.
On a month-on-month basis, prices rose 0.3 percent compared with an increase of 0.1 percent in the previous month. read more….
MTN confirmed on Monday it was fined $5.2 billion by the Nigerian regulator for failing to disconnect subscribers with unregistered and incomplete SIM cards at its division in South Africa.
Shares in MTN were down more than 10 percent after the fine was announced. They were down 14.25 percent at 166.99 rand by 1428 GMT.
Africa’s largest mobile operator said in a statement that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) imposed the fine on MTN Nigeria and said it related to the timing of the disconnection of 5.1 million subscribers in August and September.
“MTN Nigeria is currently in discussions with the NCC to resolve the matter in recognition of the circumstances that prevailed with regard to these subscribers,” the company said. Read more…
As Chinese grew wealthier while their economy raced ahead, dairy farmers more than 9 600km away in verdant New Zealand felt like they’d won the lottery.
They were getting record prices for their milk and it seemed there was no slaking China’s thirst for premium New Zealand infant formula, especially after a tainted milk powder scandal made Chinese shoppers wary of local brands.
Now, it’s as if farmers have discovered the lottery ticket wasn’t valid. A world milk glut and a decline in Chinese demand for imported dairy products have sent prices down by 50 percent. Many farmers are borrowing to stay afloat and rural suicides have increased. Read more…
Lack of resources and a boundary issue may be among the reasons why a fire managed to cause R100-million worth of damage on several plots next to the Vaal River on Sunday.
The fire broke out when a gas bottle allegedly exploded and it quickly spread to about 24 houses.
But the Metsimaholo fire department was hard pressed to battle the flames, seeing that they only have one working fire truck from Boksburg.
It looks like a bomb exploded in the middle of the holiday resort.
Charred trees, mangled parts of boats, vehicles and even jet skis are seen smouldering in the ashes of what once were R4 million luxury homes. Read more….