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Racism on social media on the rise, as anti-racism App launches
15 March 2018, 3:43 PM

Social media engagement on platforms like Twitter has seen a rise in racist rhetoric around the Land Expropriation debate in South Africa, this, according to Social Media expert and ROI Africa Managing Director, Tonya Khoury.

Khoury was speaking at the Launch of Zirra – Zimele Racism Reporting App, launched by the Kathrada Foundation in Auckland Park, Johannesburg on Thursday.

Listen to Tonya Khoury below:

In recent times South Africa has seen many incidents of racism on social media, from Penny Sparrow, Judge Mabel Jansen and Vicky Monberg. With such incidents being spread via social media, an APP of this nature couldn’t have come at a better time.

Kathrada Foundation Managing Director Neeshan Balton says the thought that we can eradicate racism within 24 years of democracy after its more than 350 years existence in South Africa is misplaced.

Balton says racism has manifested its ugly head on new media platforms and it is important for them as the Kathrada Foundation to use such platforms to fight it.

Listen to Neeshan Balton below:

Balton says it is the responsibility of “all progressive South Africans who cherish this democracy and champion our constitution to fight the scourge of racism.”

The APP is in its pilot phase and is only available in English, on android devices.

Plans are in order to create an IOS APP.

Zirra App developer, Tiyani Nghonyama, says there are plans to accommodate other languages as soon as the piloting phase is over.

Nghonyama says they had to make sure the interface is as simple as possible because their aim is to reach every South African.

Listen to Tiyani Nghonyama below:


The APP will provide a platform for witnesses to racist incidents and victims thereof to report the incidents anonymously, and will also be used as a an educational tool in creating awareness on the different manifestations of racism.

The Zirra APP is an initiative between the Kathrada Foundation, Geek culture, M-Lab and the Innovation Hub.

No direct correlation between our products and the Listeriosis deaths: Tiger Brands
5 March 2018, 4:53 PM

Packaged goods company Tiger brands says it hasn’t yet established a direct link between its products and the deaths of 180 people, following the Listeriosis outbreak.

On Monday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken’s products, such as polony, russians, chicken sausages and viennas, were the source of Listeriosis.

Briefing the media in Johannesburg, Tiger Brands CEO Lawrence MacDougall said the company had increased its testing process.

“Our products have continuously tested below the level and therefore, not all products that have detection are harmful to consumers. That is why we have acted as we have. Since the DoH, DTI and the NCC have raised the awareness we have taken precautions to start watch for zero detection of Listeriosis in our products. The testing has been upped significantly. There has been no direct correlation between our products and the deaths yet.”

Tiger Brands has given the assurance that it’s dealing with the outbreak of Listeriosis with the urgency that it deserves.

MacDougall says, “We immediately suspended operations at both Enterprise Manufacturing facilities in Polokwane and Germiston. We halted all supplies to retailers. We set up a helpline. We are engaging with customers and retailers to ensure we are able to provide them with the support they require to remove the products from their shelves as a matter of priority. While there have only been three products that the DOH have requested us to recall, as a consumer-conscious organisation we are being extra vigilant and we are  voluntarily withdrawing all products produced from those two facilities.”

Tiger Brands earlier released a statement on the recall of affected products listen below:

Meanwhile, the National Consumer Commission has warned the public against disposing off ready-to-eat processed food products in the light of the Listeriosis outbreak.

Nutritionist Dr David Moore has commended health professionals for acting swiftly.

“I think it is devastating that we have reached nearly a thousand confirmed cases with a very substantial mortality rate, but I must compliment the teams and scientists at the NICD and the DoH for acting so swiftly in terms of making sure that all cases of Listeriosis were reported to the NICD and that it has become a condition within this outbreak context.  I am happy that they managed to locate the suspected source and that we will, hopefully, within the next couple of weeks, curtail this outbreak.”

Public warned against disposing of listeria contaminated foods
5 March 2018, 2:43 PM

The National Consumer Commission has warned the public against disposing off ready-to-eat processed food products in the light of Listeriosis outbreak.

Yesterday, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi announced that Enterprise Foods and Rainbow Chicken’s products such as polony, russians, chicken sausages and viennas were the source of Listeriosis which has claimed 180 lives.

The commission says the products should not be thrown in a bin, but instead stored away safely until authorities announce how they should be disposed of.

The commission’s Thezi Mabuza says the public will know later today following their meeting with the concerned companies.

“The companies will tell us exactly who their distribution agencies are and people who they normally sell to and those will be the people wherein the products will be collected. Because instead of using a normal dumping like you’d do with a municipal dumping, you’d create another hazard again, so we’d work with those companies, make those modalities clear. But for now all we’re asking of the public is that pack them away, pack them safely, and then with the announcement you’ll be told exactly what to do with those products.”

Meanwhile, the Consumer Goods Council of South Africa says it’s satisfied with the way stakeholders have responded to the latest information on the outbreak of Listeriosis.

This after revelations that origins of listeriosis were traced to three plants in Polokwane, Gauteng and the Free State.

The council’s Matlou Setati says, “It is commendable what the retailers are doing … They have removed everything from their shelves and they are willing to take any stock that is returned to them with or without a receipt.”

Also take note of the following foods that can be infected with listeria:

The department of Health has released a document with Listeriosis Frequently Asked Questions:

Black women dominate the newsroom: Report
2 March 2018, 8:11 PM

Young, black women are more likely to be employed as journalists than any other demographic in South African newsrooms.

This is according to the latest Wits Journalism report which looks at the state of South Africa’s newsrooms.

State of the Newsroom 2017Fakers and Makers, also looks at job placement in the newsroom, fake news, fact checking and threats to media freedom.

According to the report, there is a disturbing culture of harassment and intimidation of journalists, a “worryingly permanent feature of our media landscape”.


Read the full report below:

A look at SA’s looming water crisis
2 March 2018, 6:53 PM

South Africa is facing an impeding water crisis with some dams in the Western Cape and parts of the Eastern Cape running out of water.

The Theewaterskloof dam in the Western Cape water levels are around 10%.

With a number of the country’s dams averaging 23% capacity, what has been a crisis in Cape Town could spread to more parts of the country.

Statistics from the South African Weather Service show that many parts in the country have fallen below the normal rain fall average in the period from July 2017 to January 2018.

See video below for more:



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