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Female anti-poaching unit in South Africa gets UN award
28 September 2015 - A mostly female anti-poaching unit from South Africa has won a top environmental award at the United Nations. Two members of the Black Mamba group received the U.N. accolade on behalf of their unit in New York on Sunday. They were among several individuals and organizations that were given the Champions of the Earth prize. (more)

South Africa says no to genetically modified potatoes
16 September 2015 - A decision has been made by the Minister of Agriculture, Water Affairs and Fisheries and an Appeal Board to reject the commercialisation of genetically modified (GM) potatoes in South Africa. The GM potatoes, also known as 'SpuntaG2', were genetically engineered to produce a toxin to kill the potato tuber moth. Ex-ante studies carried out by the project itself, found that the GM technology would be of no benefit to either small or large scale farmers, as it was rather a 'solution in search of a problem'. (more)

Mostly female anti-poaching unit from South Africa wins top UN environmental prize
8 September 2015 - The Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit, a South African ranger group consisting mostly of women, has been named as one of the winners of the top United Nations environmental prize. By bestowing its Champions of the Earth award to the Black Mambas, in the Inspiration and Action category, the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) is recognizing the 'rapid and impressive impact' the unit has made in combatting poaching and the courage required to accomplish this task, the agency said in a news release issued yesterday. (more)

South Africa: Five new female SARChI Chairs announced at University of Cape Town
1 September 2015 - Five prominent female researchers at University of Cape Town (UCT) have been awarded South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) Chairs in their respective fields as part of the Department of Science and Technology and National Research Foundation initiative to promote women in research. UCT was delighted that all five of its applicants were succesful. Prior to this announcement, UCT was home to 34 SARChI Chairs, of which nine were women (just more than a quarter). That proportion has now risen by almost 10 per cent to 14 out of 39 (over a third). (more)

South Africa: Drug dens turned to veggie gardens
28 July 2015 - Paul Talliard knows just how devastating drug addiction can be. Based on his own experience, Mr Talliard decided to form an NGO known as 'Hands of Honour'. The programme focuses on addressing the challenge of unemployment, drug addiction, and crime. As Paul explains: 'We transform derelict buildings which are havens for drug addicts and criminals into safe, attractive public spaces. It is amazing to see a former drug den acting as a vegetable garden to feed the community.' (more)

South Africans celebrate International Nelson Mandela Day
18 July 2015 - South Africans honored the 67 years of former President Nelson Mandela's service to the country with 67 minutes of charity and community action around the country on his birthday Saturday. (more)

South Africa: Charity wins Saville Foundation Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education
29 May 2015 - UK-based charity Teach A Man To Fish has announced Imagine Scholar as the Winner of the 2014 Saville Foundation Pan-African Awards for Entrepreneurship in Education. Imagine Scholar is a highly intensive youth development programme in the disadvantaged Nkomazi region of South Africa. The competition has awarded organizations from 38 different countries with a total of $50,000 in prizes. The competition was established to reward organizations in Africa that are taking an innovative, entrepreneurial, and sustainable approach to education. Over 500 different organizations from across the continent took part in the competition. (more)

BMW, Nissan to expand green cars plug-in network in South Africa
25 May 2015 - The South African units of BMW and Nissan will build a national grid for electric and hybrid cars to expand sales of vehicles that could reduce pollution in Africa's top auto market. The firms said although South Africa is experiencing severe power supply shortages, their plans would not be affected. (more)

South Africa: Charity music festival unites KZN Schools
20 May 2015 - The Durban City Hall will play host to a charity music festival, The KZN Schools' Music Festival, on Monday, 22 June 2015. The event will showcase the talents of KwaZulu-Natal's youth and will bring together students from across the province. Made possible by The Wealth Corporation, the evening promises to be a celebration that seeks to showcase the talent and unite the youth of KZN. (more)

South African children's reading project wins Lindgren Prize
31 March 2015 - The South African alternative education project PRAESA has been awarded this year's Astrid Lindgren Prize for children's literature for innovative ways of encouraging reading and literature among children and youth. The annual award, worth 5 million Swedish kronor ($580,000), is named after Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren, creator of the Pippi Longstocking book series. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

David Lynch Foundation honours the Communiversity of South Africa with its first global 'EnterPrize' Award
16 December 2015 - The Communiversity of South Africa has been selected as the first social enterprise worldwide to receive the David Lynch Foundation (DLF) ''EnterPrize'' Award. The award honors innovative institutions which are helping to fulfill DLF's mission by offering Transcendental Meditation (TM) to at-risk populations to help eliminate the negative effects of trauma and toxic stress while improving cognitive abilities and developing self-sufficiency. The Communiversity, located in Cape Town, is a cutting-edge, community-based, effective, low-cost enterprise providing unemployed and unemployable young people with life-changing learning experiences to enable them to successfully enter the workplace, start their own businesses or continue further education to pursue a career. (more)

South Africa: New Maharishi Vastu home near Johannesburg
13 August 2015 - A new home was recently completed near Johannesburg, South Africa, which was designed and built according to principles of Maharishi Vastu architecture. Photos of the beautiful building are featured on the website and in an album on the organization's page on Facebook. (more)

Maharishi Invincibility Institute graduates succeed in South African job market
26 July 2015 - Of the second class of graduates from Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, 97 per cent have found employment. Companies employing the graduates praise their hard work, commitment, initiative, and solution-driven nature, said Taddy Blecher, founder and co-director of the Institute. Maharishi Invincibility Institute is a nonprofit organization established in 2007 and is affiliated with Maharishi University of Management in Iowa, USA. (more)

South Africa: Top global software company helps fund Maharishi Institute students
5 May 2015 - Students at Maharishi Institute in South Africa, which partners with Maharishi University of Management in the USA, will now have their education supported in part by SAP South Africa, a subsidiary of the world's largest business software company. Maharishi Institute was selected by SAP South Africa because it 'provides not only access to an effective education but also provides the relevant life-skills and ethos that assist in transforming previously disadvantaged graduates to market-ready accomplished individuals'. (more)

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 in 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)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

South African farmers face losses as drought worsens
12 November 2015 - Six of South Africa's nine provinces have been hit by drought, with three provinces declared disaster areas. Water restrictions have taken effect in the capital, Pretoria, and Johannesburg, where two hospitals had to halt surgeries and dialysis treatment for a day as some suburbs were left without water, according to South African media. An estimated 2.7 million households, about 18 percent of the population, have been affected by the drought, according to the water ministry. (more)

South Africa eyes Brazil and Argentina for likely GMO maize imports: official
13 May 2015 - South Africa could import maize from Brazil and Argentina, fellow producers of genetically modified maize, to boost local supplies curbed by drought, a senior government official said on Wednesday. He said the exact amount of imports would still need to be determined, although this season's crop was the lowest in eight years due to dry weather conditions in key maize growing areas in Africa's top producer of genetically modified crops. (more)

South Africa: Park staff arrested for poaching
22 September 2014 - A ranger and two other employees of South Africa's parks service were arrested on suspicion of rhino poaching in the country's flagship wildlife reserve, the agency said Monday. Kruger park lies in the northeast part of South Africa and is nearly 20,000 square kilometres (8,000 square miles), almost the size of small countries such as Israel and El Salvador. Home to most of the world's rhinos, South Africa is struggling to stem a surge in rhino poaching in recent years as demand for rhino horn rises in some parts of Asia, including China and Viet Nam. (more)

South Africa's murder rate goes up
19 September 2014 - South Africa recorded about 17,000 murders in the year ending in March, reflecting a 5 per cent increase over the previous year, police said Friday. While South Africa's murder rate has shown an overall decline in the past decade, analysts said the annual crime statistics show that violence is one of the most serious problems facing the country. The main opposition party, the Democratic Alliance, said the latest data shows that an average of 47 murders happen daily in South Africa and likened the rate of killing to that of a country at war. (more)

Heavy health toll of South Africa's coal-fired power plants
8 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)


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