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South Africa: Woolworths to reduce number of GM modified products by 50 per cent
16 September 2014 - Retail giant Woolworths has announced plans to reduce the current number of products containing ingredients derived from genetically modified (GM) crop sources in private label foods by 50 per cent over the next year. (more)

South Africa's energy-efficient buildings are good investments
15 September 2014 - Energy-efficient commercial buildings in South Africa deliver better returns for their owners, and as a result are better investments, according to a new study conducted by Investment Property Databank (IPD) and the Green Building Council of SA (GBCSA). The research results for last year show that energy efficient buildings had greater occupancy levels, generated higher net incomes a square metre and delivered higher net income growth compared with less efficient buildings. (more)

232.08-carat white diamond found in South Africa
9 September 2014 - Petra Diamonds has found a 232.08-carat white diamond at its Cullinan mine in South Africa, which four analysts predict could fetch between $10 million to $16 million. The Cullinan mine is famed for the largest rough gem diamond ever recovered, the 3,106 carat Cullinan Diamond found in 1905, which was cut into stones that are part of Britain's Crown Jewels. The recent find is Petra's largest white diamond since it unearthed the 507-carat Cullinan Heritage in 2009 from the same mine. That rough white diamond was given a 'flawless' clarity grade. (more)

South Africa Q3 business confidence rises to 46 points: RMB/BER
9 September 2014 - South Africa's quarterly business confidence index increased by five index points to 46 in the third quarter of the year, indicating some satisfaction about business conditions in Africa's largest economy. 'The third quarter increase in the RMB/BER BCI points to a further improvement in economic growth where the second half of the year should be better than the first,' said Ettienne le Roux, an economist at Rand Merchant Bank. (more)

South Africa: Webhelp SA wins global award
9 September 2014 - Webhelp SA has been named the winner of the Contact Centre Management Group's (CCMG) Award's 'Best Outsourcing Partnership 2014'. The award is in recognition of Webhelp SA's partnership with EE, the United Kingdom's largest mobile network operator. The awards are held annually and are scheduled for Europe in 2015. (more)

Gold for South Africa at the world rowing championship
5 September 2014 - Olympic gold medalists James Thompson and John Smith made rowing history on Saturday as they set a new world record at the World Rowing Championships in Amsterdam. Thompson and Smith are two of the Awesome Foursome that won Olympic gold at the London 2012 Olympics. The pair narrowly qualified for the race, and the commentators remarked that they 'had to battle through from last place at 1000 metres' in the semi-finals. (more)

Cape Town unveils South Africa's first 'green' taxi rank
25 August 2014 - The City of Cape Town has unveiled the first 'green' transport facility in South Africa that generates its own electricity, enabling it to operate off the electricity grid. Furthermore, all the water used at this facility, besides drinking water, is provided for through rooftop rainwater harvesting and recycling. The Wallacedene taxi rank is the first public transport facility in the country to be regarded as a 'green' building from its very foundation to the rooftop. (more)

South Africa: Cape Town's pop-up store for the homeless goes global
21 August 2014 - Looking out from their advertising agency balcony onto the main street, a pair of Cape Town advertising creatives has changed the way people give and receive for humanitarian reasons worldwide. The copywriter and art director team of Kayli Levitan and Maxmillian Pazak say they were simply looking for a way to bring together the 'haves and have-nots' who fill the streets around their workplace area every day. With support from their ad agency, and partnering with the nearby headquarters of the Haven Night Shelter, Cape Town's largest network of homeless shelters, the team have fine-tuned a concept aimed at changing the process of giving and receiving. The idea is simple, and yet uniquely ingenious, and it has gone viral, and has captured the imagination of people worldwide. (more)

South Africa: Jinko Solar opens R80 million factory in Cape Town
6 August 2014 - The New York Stock Exchange-listed Chinese company Jinko Solar, the fourth-largest solar PV manufacturer in the world, unveiled an R80-million solar photovoltaic (PV) module manufacturing plant in Cape Town, South Africa on Tuesday. The factory -- the company's first outside of China -- will produce up to 1,300 solar panels a day, translating to 120 megawatts (MW) in solar power generating capacity per year. (more)

South African village becomes test for 'mini-grid'
5 August 2014 - A South African village has become the first in the world to be powered by fuel cells, companies behind the project said on Tuesday, in a new scheme which could help remote areas of the continent access electricity for the first time. 'What we have here is a world first,' said Chris Griffith, chief executive of Anglo American Platinum, which is partnering with Canadian-listed Ballard Power Systems in piloting the project. 'Fuel cell mini-grid technology is a cost-competitive alternative to grid electrification in these remote areas and could accelerate access to electricity,' Amplats said. (more)


Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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Transforming destinies: The story of Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa - special event at Maharishi University of Management
27 June 2014 - Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa is the subject of a special colloquium Friday, 27 June at Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. The event is titled 'Transforming Destinies: The Amazing Story of Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa'. The evening features a presentation by Dr Taddy Blecher, Co-Director of Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa. Dr Blecher, who has been in the forefront of developing Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa for many years, will speak on how this award-winning approach to education is transforming the lives of South Africa's at-risk youth--and transforming the destiny of the whole country. (more)

Consciousness-Based Education bringing new opportunities to students in South African schools
1 May 2014 - Continuing his recent tour of Consciousness-Based Education institutions in South Africa, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management in the USA, visited schools in Durban and Capetown that have adopted the programme. Dr Morris, an international authority on Consciousness-Based Education, had previously visited Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg. As is the case in most of the Consciousness-Based Education schools in Africa, he commented, the students come from the poorest families and neighbourhoods. And as in all Consciousness-Based Education schools around the world, students begin to flourish both within themselves and as a group and become 'shining stars' at their school. (more)

South Africa: Maharishi Institute, a bright star of Consciousness-Based Education
1 May 2014 - Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, a sister institution to Maharishi University of Management in the USA, offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Management. After a recent visit, Dr Bevan Morris, President of Maharishi University of Management, reported that all 500 students practise Transcendental Meditation, crediting it with many improvements in their lives--including reduced stress and tension, more happiness, better health, and increased creativity and intellectual capacity. Many reported higher academic achievements that they themselves found astonishing, and their confidence had grown to the point they felt they could achieve great things. The students love and support each other, Dr Morris said, and all their successes are a great example of how Consciousness-Based Education transforms lives. (more)

South Africa: Advances in Consciousness-Based Education
30 March 2014 - The Album of Events page of Global Good News is currently featuring a series of photos about Consciousness-Based Education in South Africa. Under the direction of Dr Taddy Blecher and Dr Richard Peycke, Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg has grown and is flourishing, offering Consciousness-Based Education to several hundred students. When the Institute was established about six years ago, its administrators were inspired by the success of the programmes developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of Consciousness-Based Education, to develop leaders and create peace and harmony for the nation. (more)

South Africa: Study shows achievement of Maharishi University of Management students
6 March 2014 - A case study recently published by adjunct professor Mohan Gurubatham shows the progress of Maharishi University of Management's corporate MBA students at Neotel in South Africa. Appearing inĀ Procedia: Social and Behavioral Sciences, the paper illustrates how Dr Gurubatham's approach of active learning combined with practice of the Transcendental Meditation technique helps students develop higher order thinking skills. 'These higher order thinking skills blended with technology are deemed paramount by ministries of education,' Dr Gurubatham said. (more)

Maharishi Institute of South Africa: 'Nothing short of spectacular' results for students, communities
26 February 2014 - One bright light in South Africa is Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, which serves students who normally would not receive a higher education. 'In 95 per cent of the cases, our students are the first in their family to attend college,' says Dr. Taddy Blecher, one of the Institute's founders, who was a 2005 World Economic Forum 'Young Global Leader of the World' recipient. 'It's literally night and day what happens in their lives and the lives of their families after they receive a Consciousness-Based education,' he says. 'Our graduates can earn enough money in two years to buy and build a house with water and electricity, and over time can support their extended families. It's a source of tremendous pride for someone with no hope for the future to become someone who is highly respected in their community.' (more)

South Africa: At Maharishi Institute, students can earn BA from Maharishi University of Management, USA
20 December 2013 - About two years after Maharishi Institute was established in Johannesburg, South Africa, the opportunity arose to offer a degree programme from Maharishi University of Management in the USA, one of the flagship institutions for Consciousness-Based Education in the world. Students can enrol in the Institute to earn a BA degree in Management from MUM. The great value of this partnership is that it not only offers students a higher degree in business from an accredited American university, but also that the degree programme is offered in terms of the holistic Consciousness-Based Education approach. (more)

South Africa: Maharishi Institute offers sustainability programme at Ezemvelo Nature Reserve
20 December 2013 - Ezemvelo Nature Reserve, one of South Africa's premier nature areas, is a 4,000-hectare expanse located about two hours from Johannesburg. It is home to many animals, including zebra, giraffe, impala, and springbok, and to 280 bird species. Donated recently to Maharishi Institute, Ezemvelo has become the venue for a programme in sustainability now offered by the Institute at this rural campus. (more)

Traveling the world, a 'social entrepreneur' educating the disadvantaged
10 July 2013 - Since graduating from college Annie Blecher has worked in San Francisco, Beijing, and now Johannesburg. Starting in 2008 the Maharishi University of Management alumna has been helping educate thousands of disadvantaged youth as director of business development at South Africa's Maharishi Institute--where she learned about social entrepreneurship, which is about 'making a difference sustainably', she says. 'Until poor children have access to equal opportunities in education that can change their lives, we won't have true equality here,' she says. 'Consciousness-Based Education is the tool we're using to make it happen.' (more)

South Africa: Students participate in Maharishi University of Management degree programmes via distance education
12 December 2012 - Sixty-two students in South Africa are now participating in Maharishi University of Management undergraduate and graduate degree programmes through distance education. Students at Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg and at Neotel, a South African telecommunications company, are connecting via videoconferencing to classes taught by MUM faculty. (more)


Flops
Short Summaries of Top Stories


Heavy health toll of South Africa's coal-fired power plants
14 September 2014 - South Africa's dependence on coal to generate 85 per cent of its electricity is taking a substantial toll on human health, according to environmental groups. A recent report from Greenpeace estimates that up to 2,700 premature deaths are caused every year by air pollution emissions from the country's 16 coal-fired power plants. Greenpeace released the report in the wake of an application by Eskom, South Africa's public power utility, to postpone compliance with new minimum emissions standards aimed at reducing the damaging health impacts of air pollution. The new standards are particularly vital for the country's north-eastern Mpumalanga Province where 12 coal-fired power plants are clustered on the western high-altitude side of the province known as the Highveld. The power stations pump out sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter at levels that are often more than double than those recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). As a result, levels of air pollution in Mpumalanga's Highveld are the highest in the country and among the highest in the world, according to news reports. (more)

South Africa: Water everywhere -- except to drink
8 August 2014 - The Cape Peninsula, which is almost surrounded by the sea, could face dire water shortages in the next seven to 10 years and authorities are considering pumping water from the ocean to ensure the population will have something to drink. The City of Cape Town is considering a range of options to secure the precious resource, including water reclamation and seawater desalination, which could add pressure on South Africa's already strained electricity grid. Energy is the largest single expense for desalination plants, accounting for as much as half of the costs of making seawater suitable for human consumption. South Africa is a water-scarce country -- even where there is plenty of water available it often cannot be used because of pollution such as acid mine drainage and E. coli contamination from leaking sewage. (more)

Women join gangs in South Africa
11 June 2014 - Up to 60 per cent of serious violent crime on the Cape Peninsula may be gang-related -- a main contributing factor to Cape Town's reputation as South Africa's deadliest city. Based on a study in 2012 by Mexican research group Seguridad, Justicia y Paz, it is the 34th most lethal city in the world -- with a murder rate of 46.15 per 100,000 people. That violence is concentrated in the Cape Flats, 30-minutes from Cape Town's, wealthy, cosmopolitan, city centre. Often referred to as 'apartheid's dumping ground', much of the Cape Flats were populated from the 1950s through the forcible relocation of non-white communities from central Cape Town to its low-lying periphery. Hanover Park is one in a patchwork of still neglected and poor 'Flats' communities where gangsterism -- and with it violence and drug dealing -- is part of everyday life. City authorities estimate there are between 100 to 120 gangs in Western Cape Province, with membership ranging from 80,000 to 100,000. How many are women is unknown (more)

South Africa loses first elephant to poachers in a decade
16 May 2014 - South Africa suffered its first elephant poaching incident in 10 years this week at the country's largest game reserve, the South African National Parks (SANParks) said on Friday. An elephant bull was 'purposefully shot for its tusks' by four suspected poachers at the Kruger National Park in the eastern Mpumalanga province, SANParks said in a statement. Elephant poaching has been a problem in the rest of Africa while poaching in South Africa has been largely confined to rhinos, with more than 1,000 rhinos killed for their horns last year. 'If we compare the situation in Africa our concentration has been on rhinos. We need to now refocus our attention,' SANParks spokesman Reynold Thakuli said. (more)

South Africa's inequalities strain foundations of 'Rainbow Nation'
25 April 2014 - South Africa celebrates 20 years since the end of white-minority rule on Sunday as a more integrated society, albeit with racial tensions still bubbling beneath the surface. Angry blacks still crammed in badly serviced townships have clashed with police during often violent protests, while some whites feel they are being unfairly punished through state policies aimed at correcting the imbalances of apartheid. As South Africa braces for elections on 7 May, there is widespread discontent directed at the ANC, the liberation party that many believe has failed to achieve the equality Mandela and his comrades fought for. A census in 2011 showed that white South Africans still remain in control of Africa's most advanced economy, with incomes for white households nearly six times above those of black families who constitute 80 per cent of the population. A report by South Africa's Institute of Race Relations (IRR) last year showed that poverty among blacks was at 42 per cent on average, against just one percent for whites. White males still occupy more of the chief executive positions in the country's biggest companies. Critics say the ANC is responsible for failing to improve the lot of blacks due to rampant corruption in its ranks, with legislation like the Broad-based Black Economic Empowerment only benefiting a small clique with ties to the ruling party. Lack of access to good education has also left many blacks ill-equipped to compete against their white and Asian counterparts on the job market. (more)

Thieves steal rhino horns in South Africa
22 April 2014 - In a nighttime theft, robbers broke into a South African provincial parks office with a 24-hour security service and used a machine tool called a grinder to break into a safe holding a stockpile of rhino horn worth a fortune on the illegal market in parts of Asia. The weekend heist in the northeastern city of Nelspruit was a blow to efforts to curb the clandestine trade in rhino horn, which has surged in recent years despite an increase in funding for anti-poaching efforts in South Africa, home to the majority of the world's rhinos. On Tuesday, forensic investigators from the police analyzed the crime scene at the Mpumalanga Tourism and Parks Agency, and officials were exploring the theory that it was an inside job. South Africa lost a record 1,004 of the animals to poachers in 2013, and the government said last week that 294 rhinos have been poached so far this year. At the current rate, the toll for 2014 could exceed that of last year, and conservationists warn that a 'tipping point' could come in 2016 when rhino deaths exceed births and the population goes into decline. Well over half of South Africa's poached rhinos are killed in Kruger National Park, a vast wildlife reserve near Nelspruit where a ranger force backed by some South African military units daily struggles to curb armed intruders, many of whom cross from neighbouring Mozambique and hunt rhinos before scooting back across the border. (more)

More than 1,000 rhinos poached in South Africa last year - Government
17 January 2014 - More than 1,000 rhinos were poached for their horns in South Africa in 2013, a record number and an increase of over 50 percent from the previous year, the country's department of environmental affairs said on Friday. Rhino hunting is driven by soaring demand in newly affluent Asian countries such as Vietnam and China, where the animal's horns are prized as a key ingredient in traditional medicine. Rhino horn has a street value of more than $65,000 a kg in Asia, conservation groups say, making it more valuable than platinum, gold, or cocaine. The data is sure to ring conservation alarm bells about a downward population spiral in a country that is home to almost all of Africa and the world's rhinos, and it may bring renewed pressure on the government to do something to halt the slayings. In 2013, 1,004 of the massive animals were illegally killed in South Africa, compared with 668 the previous year and 448 in 2011. Most of the killings are taking place in South Africa's flagship Kruger National Park, which lost 606 rhinos last year and 425 in 2012. (more)

South African commission accuses police of lying
19 September 2013 - South African police lied, withheld documents, and apparently doctored other papers during a government-appointed investigation of the police killings of 34 striking miners last year, a state panel said Thursday. The revelation by the Marikana Commission of Inquiry is bound to heighten concerns about the police force which is struggling to stem high crime rates, and points to wider concerns among some South Africans who believe the nation has not lived up to the high expectations that prevailed when all-race elections were held for the first time in 1994 to end white minority rule. The commission said it had to search computer hard drives of officers to discover documents about the August 2012 shootings that shocked South Africa and recalled the worst excesses of white-led apartheid rule, when mass killings such as those at Sharpeville in 1960 and Soweto in 1976 helped shape a protest movement forged through loss. The police version of events of the shootings 'is in material respects not the truth,' said the commission after studying the newly obtained documents. (more)

South Africa closes 16 schools amid gang violence
15 August 2013 - Education officials in a province in South Africa closed 16 schools, affecting 12,000 students, Thursday in an impoverished area near Cape Town because of a spike in gang violence that has left teachers too afraid to go to work. Western Cape Premier Helen Zille on Wednesday called for the army to be deployed to the area, an idea that a police spokesman opposed. South Africa's police services have increased their presence in the area recently, said spokeswoman for the Western Cape Education Ministry, Bronagh Casey. However the violence is still affecting schools in the area. A caretaker at one of the schools died after being shot weeks ago, and a stray bullet from gang violence hit a primary school around that time as well, Casey said. (more)

South Africa mines still volatile
15 August 2013 - A year after South Africa's worst post-apartheid labour incident awoke the world to the potential for unrest in the country's mines, the industry still suffers from worker poverty, pay disputes, shrinking profits and a violent union feud. At Lonmin's Marikana mine where 34 striking platinum workers were shot dead by police on 16 August, 2012 in killings that shocked South Africa and the world, memorial services are planned for Friday by politicians, unions, and civic leaders. As a government inquiry set up to establish responsibility for the killings drags on with no end in sight, in the hard-scrabble miners' shanty settlements that surround the Marikana shafts, there are little visible signs of change. Children still play in mounds of rubbish beside tin-roofed shacks, and jobless men dig trenches to divert rivulets of raw sewage away from homes. With the shadow of the Marikana deaths still hanging over them, mining companies and fractious workers' unions have squared off in another round of bitter bargaining over wages -- their respective positions on salary hikes still miles apart. (more)

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