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In parched South Africa, water-storing football fields give drought the boot
1 May 2019 - Football [soccer] fields installed at schools in South Africa can store and filter rainwater and teachers have noticed improvements in health and class attendance of pupils. Dutch engineers visiting South Africa during the 2010 FIFA World Cup noticed two things: South Africans' love for football and the country's water scarcity. That led to the GreenSource initiative, funded mainly by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and since then nine fields have been installed across the country ... The fields can store and clean up to 17 million litres of rainwater annually, or nearly 2,000 litres per hour, while children use them to play football. (more)

Earth Matters: A younger generation pushes South Africa's solar power revolution
22 April 2019 - A major energy crisis has affected millions of peoples' livelihoods in South Africa. But the energy shortages are also spurring a new generation of entrepreneurs, as renewable energy is increasingly being seen as the answer to the problem. (more)

Invasive trees targeted by new South Africa anti-drought fund
16 November 2018 - Big business is backing a South African fund to eradicate invasive trees around Cape Town and yield billions of liters of water as the city emerges from its worst drought in a century, officials said on Friday (16 November). Alien species, such as eucalyptus trees which are largely native to Australia, are thirstier than indigenous vegetation and draw more groundwater through their roots. Preliminary studies estimate 1.8 billion liters of water is lost each year due to alien plants on one aquifer north of Cape Town. (more)

South Africa successfully delivers electricity with the solar microgrid project
8 November 2018 - South Africa's power state-owned utility, Eskom has announced to have successfully delivered electricity from a solar microgrid demonstration project that was developed and tested over a period of 16 months. Eskom, launched its ground-breaking pilot solar-powered microgrid at Wilhelmina Farm, Ficksburg in the Free State. The plant harnesses solar energy and converts it to a peak of 32 kilowatt electrical energy via solar photovoltaic panels and power inverters. (more)

Shoprite to pay South African customers for reusing plastic bags
23 October 2018 - Shoprite Holdings, South Africa's biggest supermarket chain, said on Tuesday (23 October) it would pay customers for reusing its newly introduced recyclable bag as it joined domestic rivals in efforts to curb plastic pollution. (more)

How South Africa built one of the world's most advanced telescopes
6 August 2018 - A telescope built in South Africa is revealing new details about the Milky Way. The telescope is made up of 64 satellite dishes that are connected across five miles in a semi-arid and sparsely populated area of South Africa, where signal interference is minimal. 'It's the clearest view ever made of the center of our galaxy,' chief scientist Fernando Camilo said of images produced by the MeerKAT radio telescope. (more)

South Africa's MeerKAT to help unlock mysteries of universe
13 July 2018 - A scientific mega-project to unlock cosmic conundrums from dark energy to detecting extraterrestrial life was given a boost on Friday (13 July), when the 64-dish MeerKAT radio telescope was inaugurated in the remote South African town of Carnarvon. ... MeerKAT will be incorporated into the complex Square Kilometre Array (SKA) instrument, which when fully operational in the late 2020s would be the world's biggest and most powerful radio telescope. (more)

South Africa's unlikely ultramarathoner helps others cross the finish line
6 July 2018 - It was half past five on a winter morning, the sky above still an inky black, when the starting gun popped. All at once, 19,058 people surged forward toward the starting line of the world's largest ultramarathon. ... But as the minutes ticked by, the people pouring across the start line of the Comrades Marathon looked less and less like stereotypical ultramarathoners. (more)

South African activists awarded Goldman Environmental Prize for stopping nuclear power deal
24 April 2018 - Liz McDaid and Makoma Lekalakala have been awarded the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize for their role in stopping a controversial nuclear deal between South Africa and Russia. Now they are urging other women to step up and fight against injustice. 'I think it's like when you come up against bullies, at a certain point, you actually say enough is enough,' Ms McDaid said. (more)

South Africa's Absa PMI rises above 50-mark in February
1 March 2018 - South Africa's seasonally adjusted Absa Purchasing Managers' Index rose in February to its best reading in nearly a year as companies anticipated activity would be boosted by the improved outlook for the local economy, a survey showed on Thursday (1 March). The 50-mark separates contraction from expansion, and it is the first since May 2017 that the index breached the point. (more)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
Short Summaries of Top Stories

New study shows Transcendental Meditation reduces PTSD in South African college students
7 March 2019 - A very high percentage of young people in South Africa suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression. A college that offers the Transcendental Meditation technique to its students found this approach helped reduce their symptoms. A study published last month in Psychological Reports showed that after 3.5 months of practising Transcendental Meditation, most of the 34 students at Maharishi Institute - all initially diagnosed with PTSD - went below clinical thresholds as measured by standard assessments. They also experienced relief from depression. A comparison group from the University of Johannesburg suffering from PTSD and depression received no treatment and continued to show no change in their symptoms throughout the study. This is the first study of its kind to show how Transcendental Meditation can reduce PTSD in college students. (more)

South Africa: How TM is helping Hannah Robertson, age 14, train for the 2020 Olympics
13 February 2019 - Young champion swimmer Hannah Robertson, in Johannesburg, says Transcendental Meditation 'helps a lot with stress and helps you stay focused and concentrated' for races and her training - and also in school: 'My grades have gone up.' Her coach, Dean Price, High Performance Manager of Swimming South Africa (the country's aquatics governing body), also values the technique. 'The biggest thing in coaching is to be level-headed and clear-thinking, so you make informed decisions and are not clouded by emotions. I think TM puts you in such a positive framework, so you naturally are seeing [athletes'] positive qualities and reminding them of that. . . . You can't believe how powerful TM is in transforming people. . . . It puts you in that space where you can do these incredible performances.' (more)

South Africa's Communiversity students practise TM to reduce stress, unfold their full potential
24 September 2018 - Over three million young South Africans are NEET: 'Not in education, employment or training', and two million haven't completed Grade 12. The Communiversity of South Africa offers an innovative curriculum in a rigorous four-month academic and experiential programme. It has successfully placed 85%-90% of its graduates into colleges in work-relevant fields such as IT, engineering, construction, tourism, and business administration. The Transcendental Meditation programme - to unfold the full potential of the student, increase learning ability and focus, and reduce stress - is a foundational part of the school's success. Many graduates are reported to be academic achievers who are goal-oriented and behaviorally mature students and become significant, positive leaders. (more)

Jennifer Lopez' best stress handling technique
22 May 2018 - Recent Longevity cover girl Jennifer Lopez is a powerhouse in every right - being an actress, musical superstar and business mogul. However, the stress of multitasking can get to anyone - regardless of how famous and fabulous you are. In order to prevent feeling overwhelmed as her plate continues to fill up, Jennifer Lopez turns to Transcendental Meditation. This type of meditation has become the most popular form of meditation around the world and for good reason. '20 minutes a day in the morning and at night. It was necessary,' she stated. (more)

South Africa: 58 Maharishi Institute students to graduate with MUM degrees
19 May 2017 - Maharishi Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently held graduation ceremonies for 58 students earning bachelor's degrees in business from Maharishi University of Management in the USA - bringing the total number of MUM degrees awarded to MI students to 235. Students at MI enrol in MUM courses during their third and fourth years of undergraduate work, receiving live lectures from MUM faculty via the Internet. 'We are deeply grateful to the wonderful and dedicated faculty of MUM,' said Taddy Blecher, CEO of Maharishi Institute. 'They have given our students knowledge for a lifetime of success, through the profound system of Consciousness-Based Education.' (more)

South Africa: Maharishi Invincibility Institute students create the Maharishi Effect in Johannesburg
1 December 2016 - The number of students practising an advanced programme of Transcendental Meditation at Maharishi Invincibility Institute in Johannesburg, South Africa has exceeded the threshold predicted to improve the quality of life in the city. Recently 170 students took a course to learn the Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme, and now more than 315 are practising these peace-creating technologies of consciousness together daily. That is the number determined by scientists that will create the Maharishi Effect of increased positive social trends in Johannesburg, which has a population of just under 4.5 million. Published research in other major cities has found that when this threshold formula is reached, a measurable effect of increased coherence and decreased social stress and violence is produced. Maharishi Institute CEO Taddy Blecher credits this Maharishi Effect with reducing the crime rate in Johannesburg, which recent public data has shown is no longer in the top 50 crime-ridden cities in the world. (more)

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)

Short Summaries of Top Stories

South Africa's listeria outbreak is largest on record: WHO
5 March 2018 - The South Africa listeria outbreak that has killed 180 people since January is the largest ever recorded globally, the World Health Organization said on Monday (5 March). (more)

Drought inflicts mounting losses to crops in South Africa's Western Cape
1 March 2018 - A severe drought afflicting South Africa's Western Cape province is expected to cut agricultural output by 20 percent this year, decimating the wheat crop and reducing apple, grape, and pear exports to Europe, officials said on Thursday (1 March). Cape Town itself faces 'Day Zero' on July 9 when its taps could run dry. (more)

South Africa declares drought a national disaster
13 February 2018 - South Africa has declared a national disaster over the drought afflicting southern and western regions including Cape Town, though the city pushed back its 'Day Zero', the day the city's taps will run dry. The flow of running water in the port city of 4 million has been affected by a wider pattern of climate change seen around the country including the Western Cape, where Cape Town is located, the Northern Cape, and Eastern Cape provinces. (more)

South Africa: Dams that supply Cape Town fall further as water crisis looms
7 February 2018 - ater levels at dams supplying South Africa's Cape Town fell further this week, data showed on Wednesday (7 February), the latest sign of a deepening crisis that could soon see taps in the tourist hub run dry by May. (more)

South Africa's water crisis spreads from Cape Town
31 January 2018 - Cape Town is running out of water and low dam levels in the emerald-green highlands of Lesotho are raising alarm bells in South Africa's industrial heartland around Johannesburg, which has so far avoided the shortages hitting other regions. The tourist hub of Cape Town may run dry in April and across South Africa water supplies have yet to recover from an El Nino-triggered drought two years ago, heralding potential water shortages that could hit industrial and agricultural output. (more)

South Africa declares Western Cape province a drought disaster area
22 May 2017 - Western Cape premier Helen Zille declared the province a disaster area on Monday and urged residents to manage their water supplies more efficiently as the South African region tries to cope with what she described as the 'worst drought since 1904'. South Africa remains in the grip of a drought that is not expected to ease soon... The Western Cape, known for the port city of Cape Town set beneath Table Mountain...does not have enough water tankers to supply residents despite recent heavy rains. (more)

Deadly election season for South Africa's candidates
2 August 2016 - South Africa's municipal election season has been deadly for candidates and party activists, with more than 12 killed ahead of Wednesday's vote. One motivation behind the killings is the chance of a steady job as a councillor in a country where more than 25 percent of people are unemployed, said Gareth Newham, head of the governance, crime, and justice division of the local Institute for Security Studies. 'These are people who go from literally being unemployed to suddenly being able to afford a much better lifestyle. So there is intense competition for those positions,' Newham said. The posts also come with the chance to control local resources and patronage. (more)

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)


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