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Wed, 18 Oct 2017
Deputy Minister Mahambehlala inspires learners to aim high

Communications Deputy Minister Tandi Mahambehlala has urged learners at Masiyile High School in Khayelitsha to aim for the stars in the upcoming National Senior Certificate examinations and not let circumstances get in the way of their success.

The Deputy Minister said this when she visited the school in the Western Cape on Tuesday to hand over sanitary towels to girl learners.

“We are coming here today 12 days before the matriculants write their exams.

“This is one of the schools that has produced great learners with distinctions in matric in previous years. Now our responsibility here, as legislatures, is to ensure that we strengthen the work that the teachers are doing in different schools,” she said.

The Deputy Minister’s visit comes at a time when several fundraising initiatives from various sectors of society are underway to ensure that a girl child, especially those from schools in poor communities, receive sanitary products to ensure that they are not absent from school.

When she arrived at the school, the Deputy Minister addressed learners, encouraged them to work hard and do well in the upcoming exams, before handing out sanitary towels to girl learners who appeared to be jubilant.

She also promised that she would give top performing grade 12 learners smart mobile devices – from iPods, iPads to laptops.

The Deputy Minister said sanitary towels were important in helping a girl child to stay in school.

“Now today we are specifically here to give a girl child a sanitary towel because a sanitary towel for us as government [means] dignity and it is a necessity. We have discovered that some of the girls stay away from school when they are [on their period].

“It is either because they don’t have a sanitary towel or they just don’t want to be embarrassed to come to school in that situation.”

The Deputy Minister said it was important for government to ensure that it provides for the disadvantaged, particularly poor communities.

“This is one of the schools that were engulfed with criminal elements and gangsterism at some point. If we come here more often and encourage these learners – boys and girls – they will see the meaning of education that as a young person, [he or she is] the future of the country.”

She said the learners must get to a point where they realise that they need to educate themselves to “ensure that [they] acquire education at some time because education is very important for all South Africans.”

The Deputy Minister also told learners to never stop learning and studying to broaden their horizons. She told learners that while she had ministerial duties, she continues to study towards her Master’s Degree at the University of the Western Cape.

She said she identified with some circumstances that surround them in Khayelitsha because she grew up in the nearby Philippi township under the care of her poor mother, who was a domestic worker. She said that didn’t stop her from achieving what she set out to achieve.

After the handover of the sanitary towels, several girl learners expressed their gratitude.

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Tue, 17 Oct 2017
Ramaphosa to meet Indian business in Durban

The SA Muslim Network will on Sunday host a discussion with Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in Durban to iron out issues affecting South Africa and the Indian community.

The organisation said it extended an invitation to all presidential candidates and Ramaphosa was the first to accept. Chairperson Faisal Suliman said issues affecting the country including crime, health and unemployment would be discussed.

“Beyond this, we hope to look at issues affecting the broader Indian community such as the recent talk that BEE policies might be changed. We want to know how these changes will impact on us.”

Zooming into the Muslim community, Suliman said the organisation needed clarity from ANC leadership about its policies on Palestine, Rohingya and other humanitarian issues. He said they also needed clarity on terrorism issues linked to Islamic State.

“We believe that for a long time a false front had been portrayed by people who were trying to create instability within the Muslim community. It is important that we engage with our leaders and to raise issues that we have.”

The discussion is at 4pm at Durban University of Technology’s Mansfield Hall, Gate 8, Steve Biko Campus.


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Fri, 13 Oct 2017
Cape Town takes the prize as South Africa’s healthiest city

Statistics show that South Africans now spend more money on beer than on vegetables and fruit combined.

Durbanites eat the least sugar and salt while Cape Town and Johannesburg residents are better at stocking up on fruit and vegetables.

This is among the findings of the Discovery Vitality ObeCity Index 2017‚ released on Wednesday‚ which presents the latest insights on weight status as measured by Body Mass Index and waist circumference and food purchasing behaviour of nearly half a million Vitality members in Johannesburg‚ Pretoria‚ Cape Town‚ Durban‚ Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.

Cape Town scores best with 53.5% of Capetonians having a normal weight status.

Johannesburg and Durban came in at second and third with 52% and 51.8%‚ respectively.

Port Elizabeth and Bloemfontein have the worst weight status‚ with 48.8% of residents having a healthy weight status in both cities.

“While there are some positive trends‚ we still have a lot to do to combat obesity‚” the index’s authors said in a statement‚ noting the increased risk of heart disease‚ type 2 diabetes‚ certain cancers and premature death.

“Our data shows that being obese increases healthcare costs by as much as R4‚400 per person per year.

“It’s no surprise that we find ourselves in this situation as our eating habits have changed for the worse in recent decades. In fact‚ statistics show that South Africans now spend more money on beer than on vegetables and fruit combined. We are increasingly foregoing whole‚ fresh foods in favour of energy-dense processed foods and sugary soft drinks. This is compounded by the fact that we’re exercising less with more sedentary lifestyles.”

In South Africa‚ sales of ready-made meals‚ snack bars and instant noodles increased by 40% between 2005 and 2010‚ Vitality said‚ adding fast food consumption continues to grow‚ negatively impacting our weight.

“We have a long way to go to reach a healthy weight status as a nation. South Africans in general consume insufficient portions of vegetables and fruit and too much sugar and salt.”

Cape Town purchased the most portions of fruit and vegetables compared to other cities‚ followed by Johannesburg and Bloemfontein. Port Elizabeth and Durban purchased the least portions of fruit and vegetables.

Durban purchased 34% less fruit and vegetables compared to Cape Town‚ the winning city.

“We see a positive relationship between weight status and fruit and vegetable purchasing‚” said Discovery.

South Africans overall are eating only three servings of fruit and veg (230g) a day instead of the recommended five servings (400g)‚ the index stated.

Durbanites purchased the least amount of salt compared to other cities‚ with second and third place being held by residents in Port Elizabeth and Pretoria‚ respectively. Johannesburg and Cape Town purchased the most amount of salt. The data shows Durban residents purchased just over a quarter less salt‚ than Johannesburg‚ the city with the highest amount of salt purchased.

Durban also had the lowest average number of teaspoons of sugar purchased compared to other cities‚ followed by Port Elizabeth and Pretoria‚ with Cape Town and Bloemfontein purchasing the most amount of sugar. Bloemfontein purchased 40% more sugar than [...]

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