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Africa's biggest supermarket chain is betting on solar power
21 April 2021 - Despite South Africa averaging more than 2,500 hours of sunshine a year, solar energy generates less than 1 percent of its electricity. By contrast, the UK produces 4 percent of its electricity from solar, with considerably less sunshine. South African supermarket Shoprite sees a missed opportunity. The chain is the continent's largest food retailer, with ... more than 2,000 stores across 14 countries. It wants renewable energy to fuel a quarter of its operations in the next five years. Shoprite is not the only company with a base in South Africa looking to develop its off-grid capabilities. (more)

Ocean-based opportunities and environmental education for the youth of South Africa with new alliance
10 December 2020 - Sentinel Ocean Alliance founded by Frank Solomon in 2017 to create ocean-based opportunities and environmental education for the youth of South Africa, is pleased to announce the partnership with Parley for the Oceans for the opening of a new Parley Ocean School. 'We started with the Waves for Change program here in Hout Bay,' said Solomon. 'It started off with a few kids, and now we have 5 or 6 permanent employees, and a couple of hundred kids a week kids doing the program.' Parley Ocean School takes an immersive approach to environmental education with the goal of inspiring marine conservation and empowering its next generation of leaders: Ocean Guardians. Parley Ocean School youth programs simplify complex marine threats through engaging materials developed with a global network of educators. (more)

South Africa: The Garden Route joins the Good News movement with new eRadio station
31 August 2020 - The Garden Route District Municipality is a district municipality located in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. It is is now home to a new eRadio station that hopes to add to the Good News movement that is growing around the world. Overwhelmed by all the bad news and bad music featured in the mainstream media, especially during the global pandemic, Eon Engelbrecht decided to set up an online radio station that focuses on the bright side of life, much like that Monty Python song. Privately owned eRadio will broadcast music-driven programs and will feature regular contributors from all over South Africa and the world. The station is available 24/7 and accessible on the official website (more)

South Africa: Urban gardens take root in Johannesburg
26 April 2020 - Johannesburg is turning from a city known for crime and rapid urbanization to one where urban farmers grow food to feed families and neighbors. (more)

An army of hungry ducks keeps this historic South African vineyard pest-free
25 March 2020 - For nearly four decades, South Africa's Vergenoegd Low Wine Estate has been deploying a daily parade of waterfowl more than 1,200 strong to keep their snail and insect population in check, Ulrike Lemmin-Woolfrey reports for Atlas Obscura. The approach helps remove snails and bugs from the establishment, which opened in 1696, without the need for harsh chemicals that could damage the environment. 'We try to keep a pesticide-free farm by using the ducks,' Denzil Matthys, Vergenoegd's duck caretaker, told NPR's Sarah Birnbaum in 2016. 'They help us not to use poison on the farm.' (more)

The South African plant fighting climate change
5 February 2020 - In South Africa, there used to be a thicket the size of Cyprus that could suck up the equivalent of three times the US's annual carbon emissions. Portulacaria afra, a succulent shrub, more commonly known as spekboom, has small, round leaves and is indigenous to the area. This humble, hardy, semi-desert plant has the potential to alter both the weather, by bringing rain, and the climate, by absorbing carbon dioxide. (more)

South Africa's rooibos tea industry to pay KhoiSan people
1 November 2019 - The industry behind the herbal tea rooibos has agreed to pay a percentage of the money that is made to the indigenous people who used the plant before production was industrialized. South Africa's KhoiSan people will now receive 1.5 percent of the value farmers get when they sell to the tea processor. This could amount to roughly $650,000 a year. The lawyer representing the San people told the BBC the industry-wide agreement is a 'world first'. (more)

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)

Success of Maharishi's Programmes
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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 enters strict lockdown to combat 'extremely serious' impact of Delta variant
28 June 2021 - South Africa has entered at least two weeks of strict lockdown to combat a devastating third wave of Covid-19 linked to the more transmissible Delta variant. The country is experiencing a massive surge in infections, President Cyril Ramaphosa said as he announced the new wide-ranging lockdown during a nationwide address on Sunday [27 June]. (more)

Hit by power shortages, South Africa's economy in recession
3 March 2020 - Widespread power cuts are blamed for pushing South Africa's economy, the continent's most industrialized, into recession, according to official statistics released Tuesday [3 March]. (more)

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)


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