Stop random Covid-19 testing and sort out the backlog
The testing backlog and proposed testing strategies outside hospital settings are threatening patient management and compromising health care workers’ safety.
The world is flat: Covid-19 becomes the driving force for 4IR
The most profound change is the accelerated of way in which digital transformation and the Fourth Industrial Revolution have moved at warp speed.
Dubious remedies will not decolonise Africa
So-called African solutions that are often uncritically accepted as ‘good’ do nothing for the continent
Economic policy remains hotly contested in South Africa: this detailed history shows why
Book sheds new light on the evolution of the economic policy of the African National Congress, South Africa's governing party.
A new, fairer economy is possible, but that would mean sacrifice
That Covid-19, the lockdown and whatever will come after will have had a lasting and devastating impact on our economy seems indisputable.
Why arguments against quantitative easing hold no water
The Reserve Bank should be allowed to buy more government bonds and securities to support the liquidity of the banking system.
What a bone arrowhead from South Africa reveals about ancient human cognition
The artefact closely resembles thousands of bone arrowheads used by the indigenous San hunter-gatherers from the 18th to the 20th centuries.
Why more must be done to fight bogus COVID-19 cure claims
Authorities around the world can do more to ensure that correct information and messages on the pandemic reach everybody.
The arrival of British settlers 200 years ago continues to cast a shadow over South Africa
It is not hard to see the roots of 20th century apartheid policies in the legacy of the British settlers.
South Africa’s COVID-19 strategy needs updating: here’s why and how
South Africa should base its COVID-19 mitigation strategy on the premise that the pandemic will last for two years unless a vaccine is developed before then.
What South Africa needs to forge a resilient social compact for Covid-19
Ramaphosa's call for a new social compact will fall on deaf ears unless there are some fundamental changes to the way in which the pandemic is being managed.
Choices in a fog of uncertainty: lessons for coronavirus from climate change
The science to policy process that was developed to guide climate mitigation decisions can be applied to the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
What should South Africa’s coronavirus endgame look like? Here are some options
SA's response to the COVID-19 pandemic was one of 'intervene first and ask questions later'. Now is the time for government say what its strategic endgame is.
Lockdown is riling black and white South Africans: could this be a reset moment?
It is rare for a post-authoritarian society to get two chances to reconcile. This may be just that, for white South Africans in particular.
South Africa’s COVID-19 testing strategy needs urgent fixing: here’s how to do it
Early reports by the National Health Laboratory Service indicated that it had the capacity to do 30,000 tests a day. But capability to do so has not materialise
Health and safety in the spotlight as South Africa’s miners go back to work
Miners face cramped working conditions, transportation in packed cages, and a high incidence of other respiratory diseases, posing considerable risks.
African countries are moving to make masks mandatory: key questions answered
Wearing masks is being introduced in conjunction with maintaining a physical distance of at least 1.5 metres; following hygiene measures such as hand washing.
The impact of coronavirus could compare to the Great Depression
And a corresponding rise in nationalism and xenophobia may follow, just as it did in the 1930s.
Why South Africa needs to ensure income security beyond the pandemic
Economic distress was the norm for many before the coronavirus outbreak. The pandemic is an opportunity to provide an economically secure future for all.
Let’s talk about ethics and treatment for COVID-19
In this episode of The Conversation - Africa's podcast, Pasha, Wits bioethics researchers discuss the difficult decisions facing health professionals.
Can the philosophy of ubuntu help provide a way to face health crises?
There are lessons for the health sector - the need for more coherent integration is undeniable.
Where there is political will there is a way to work across sectors
COVID-19: There are lessons for the health sector - the need for more coherent integration is undeniable.
Unpacking Ramaphosa’s COVID-19 rescue package
A major step forward, but some warning lights are flashing. President Cyril Ramaphosa’s social and economic rescue package leaves some questions unanswered.
Africa must make sure it’s part of the search for a coronavirus vaccine
To refuse inclusion would prevent Africa’s researchers from being significant players in the universal fight against the virus.
Numbers can kill: politicians should handle South Africa's coronavirus data with care
We’d all love to know more about our neighbours – from COVID-19 data, census data and other official data sources – but we shouldn't.
Toward a risk-based strategy for managing the COVID-19 epidemic: A modelling analysis
Given the protracted nature of the risk posed by the COVID-19, this paper seeks to address the need to match health prevention and a viable economy.
South Africa needs a post-lockdown strategy that emulates South Korea
South Africa cannot afford to embark on a strategy of extended periodic lockdowns. It needs to shift to mass testing and contact tracing.
Coronavirus myths: Lessons from an AIDS study
Attempting to defeat these folk theories with science achieved little; the myth busters of the AIDS epidemic talked past those they were trying to convince.
COVID-19 risks forcing SA to make health trade-offs it can ill afford
South Africa could lose many children due to a measles outbreak which is completely preventable.
South Africa is bent on austerity and should change track
The South African government should be spending more, not less, to boost economic growth and create jobs.
African genetic studies offer hope for preventing a common cause of blindness
Knowing genetic associations in specific populations will make it possible to focus prevention and treatment.
Covid-19: Treatments, but at what cost?
Accessible & affordable medicine: We cannot wait for treatments to be available in high-income countries in order to negotiate prices for the rest of the world.
If you think lockdown is bad, spare a thought for SA’s prisoners
How more restless are those living in prison and confined to a small cell, who are now completely cut off from the outside world and their families?
Debunking 9 popular myths doing the rounds in Africa about the coronavirus
Some of the false claims about coronavirus may be harmless. But others can be potentially dangerous.
The case for a citizens’ basic income grant in South Africa
With Covid-19 and the lockdown there is no room for denial of how large parts of South African society suffer.
South Africa needs to end the lockdown: here’s a blueprint for its replacement
Academics call on government to develop a comprehensive health and economic strategy if it is to prevent long term socio-economic damage caused by pandemic.
There is a dire need to boost SA’s stimulus package
Countries such as the US, Germany, India and Brazil have launched help for all sectors of their economies — South Africa needs to follow.
Tackling gender-based violence during lockdown
Women and children face even more alarming levels of abuse due to COVID-19 lockdown.
SA needs to mitigate the worst of its inequalities in tackling COVID1-19
South Africa won't flatten the COVID-19 pandemic curve unless all citizens have the means to stay at home.
Personal versus public freedoms South Africa during COVID-19
In restricting individuals' movements and interactions during any national disaster, the conflict between public interest and personal autonomy will get messy.
Crowdsourcing: Scale of COVID-19 calls for new approaches to research
Crowdsourcing is a promising approach to biomedical research and development (R&D) and could produce solutions to pandemics like this one.
Covid-19 lockdown needs to protect inner-city communities
In South Africa, the collision of HIV, TB and Covid-19 could be devastating, and radical measures are needed to address the spread of Covid-19.
SAs response to COVID-19 worsens the plight of waste reclaimers
The clock is ticking: in the absence of government support, not being able to work means waste reclaimers don't have money to buy food.
What will happen to Africa after the coronavirus?
It would help if everybody comprehend that the world will not be the same after the dust settles on the pandemic.
Would a Longitude Prize speed production of a Covid-19 vaccine?
To stop economic destruction, we need to refocus vast resources from other productive activity – a truly grand prize might do the trick.
How do we save SA?
The virus has wiped billions from stock exchanges globally. Now is the time to re-evaluate and promote domestic private investment.
Bold programmes are needed to mitigate the economic crisis
The Covid-19 crisis is first and foremost a health and humanitarian crisis is likely to have lasting impacts on how we live.
Covid-19, #ClimateEmergency and Lockdown
The coronavirus is an opportunity to end the war with nature.It’s a moment to be humble and realise our finitude in a wondrous and infinite natural order.
Gag the spreaders of disinformation, not the scientists
In times of a health crisis, such as the corona virus pandemic, health scientists should be encouraged to speak out.
Foreign migrants must be included in Covid-19 response
Why South Africa needs to actively engage all foreign migrants in its response to Covid-19.
Newborns in developing countries need better protection from common bacteria
Streptococcus agalactiae, also known as Group B streptococcus, is the most common bacterial cause of illness in newborn babies around the world.
A tiny bone from Little Foot’s skeleton adds fresh insights into what our ancestors could do
Studying Australopithecus, an extinct hominin genus that represents a branch of our family tree, is a great way to make more sense of our bushy family tree.
Snakes make good food. Banning farms won’t help the fight against coronavirus
The wildlife trade has long been closely linked to disease outbreaks.
Hypocrisy in the time of Covid-19
The sanctimony of moving from blaming foreign migrants to rendering them invisible in a critical public health moment will have implications for our response.
Coronavirus: how big, how bad, and what to look out for
Cases of illness from the new coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) disease, known as COVID-19, have been confirmed in more than 100 countries.
Africa’s wish list of what might change under a Biden presidency
Africa’s stake in the outcome of the 3 November 2020 US presidential election spiked with the unexpected revival of former Vice-President Joe Biden’s campaign.
Africa’s policies hold key to LGBT rights on the continent: here’s how
Questions of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression have continued to divide opinion across the globe.
Yes, washing our hands really can help curb the spread of coronavirus
Hand washing is a tried and true, scientifically proven preventive strategy that reduces the likelihood of transmitting both viral and bacterial borne diseases.
Dance softly and carry a big voice: understanding Joseph Shabalala
What is our response to the great artistic and spiritual hole his loss has left in South Africa?
Behind Kenya's strange weather
It can be attributed to the Indian Ocean Dipole, the difference in sea surface temperatures between the eastern and western tropical Indian Ocean.
SA's rich bag of big, small and eclectic community radio stations
Most of the community radio stations operate on a survivalist level, and should be seen as struggling small, medium and micro enterprises.
Ramaphosa has shown he understands how to put the energy crisis behind us
President Cyril Ramaphosa has used this year’s SONA to signal that he understands what needs to be done in order to overcome South Africa’s electricity crisis.
Cynical South Africans are unlikely to be moved by Ramaphosa’s next big speech
The challenge to deliver a persuasive speech comes firstly in the context of intense doubts as to whether President Ramaphosa is truly in charge of the ANC.
Many countries regulate e-cigarettes. South Africa should too
The number of users is likely to grow and there are health risks, so now is the time to act.
Donating your body to research
Why you should consider donating your body to research once you die. Listen to Pasha 20, The Conversation Africa's podcast on research.
Messages about male circumcision aren’t clear: why this is dangerous
Difficult to understand communication and the somewhat overstated benefits of male circumcision may lead to increased risky sexual behaviour.
Events in Lesotho point to poor prospects for political stability
Since the demand for resources far outmatches the patronage available, Lesotho’s political arena has become brutally competitive.
The digital economy is becoming ordinary. Best we understand it
The digital economy will, soon, become the ordinary economy as the uptake - and application - of digital technologies in every sector in the world grows.
South Africa risks losing rich insights into an ancient farming society
As early as 1500 the Bokoni people created stone-walled settlements that demonstrate their mastery of farming. But today these sites are under threat.
South Africa’s energy crisis has triggered lots of ideas: why most are wrong
The deluge of opinions and proposed solutions to South Africa's energy crisis reflects corporate and political interests.
Build a capable state, don’t just talk about it
This is an adaptation of a speech given at the BUSA Business Economic Indaba in Sandton on Tuesday 14 January 2020.
How we deduced that our ancestors liked roast vegetables too
The charred remains of root vegetables found at Border Cave help us understand how early humans survived and thrived.
Why this academic got a radio ad banned
Gender stereotyping might be funny, but it's no joke. A public health professor explains why she took action against everyday sexism heard in a radio advert.
South Africa has huge ‘green fuels’ potential but it needs to act now
Opportunity for South Africa to transition from being a key contributor to global warming to becoming a key contributor to global emissions reductions.
Art as a weapon in South Africa’s liberation struggle
A retrospective exhibition displays the key works from the life and times of activist and artist Judy Seidman.
Ancient southern African rock engravings finally find a fitting home
The Origin Centre has added a new wing that's perfect for a visit, the Rock Engraving Archive.
Being darker makes being a migrant much harder
Research in India and South Africa shows life is considerably harder if migrants have a darker skin and come from a poorer country.
What’s needed to fix collapsing coalitions in South Africa’s cities
Successful coalition governance ultimately depends on political maturity and the ability to govern across divisions.
What’s needed to fix collapsing coalitions in South Africa’s cities
Three South African cities run by opposition party coalitions for the past three years have been facing tough times.
Frank review of South African foreign policy over 25 years
The country's national interest and human rights remain the two topics bedevilling South Africa's foreign policy.
The complex story of ‘medical xenophobia’ in South Africa
The experiences of non-nationals in the public health care system are more complex and varied than implied by the dominant discourse on "medical xenophobia".
The social management of HIV: African migrants in South Africa
HIV is a condition that must be managed, not just medically, but also socially, tackling stigma, social anxieties and the risks of disclosure.
South Africa needs to get more young people with HIV on treatment
There's an urgent need for interventions to increase uptake of antiretroviral therapy and improve services for adolescents.
Marx, Buddha and the pursuit of happiness
Maverick Citizen: Transitional Compass 7 focuses on new concepts of value; on 'well-being' and 'happiness' rather than narrow economic ‘values’ such as GDP.
Women’s participation in South Africa and Kerala, India
Maverick Citizen: Transitional Compass 5 focuses on women’s participation in local spaces to examine the state’s engagement with democratic participation.
The different types of drought
Not all droughts are the same and South Africa needs to have a targeted approach to each type.
How WhatsApp groups support Nigeria’s nurse graduates
How Whatsapp supports nurse students in Nigeria and helps them transition into the workplace.
The food sovereignty alternative
Maverick Citizen: Transitional Compass 4 focuses on the South African Food Sovereignty Campaign's response to climate and food inequality.
‘The end of labour’? Revisiting the past to understand the future
Maverick Citizen: Transitional Compass 2 looks at how precarious workers are challenging the practices of the established unions.
Good or bad sleeper? Debunking the myths
PODCASTS: Wits Alumni and UK specialist in sleep medicine, Dr Hugh Selsick, shares insights in what good, and bad, sleep looks like.
How to get to the post-capitalist world
Maverick Citizen: Transitional Compass 1 is shortened essay from a special issue of the journal Globalizations that focus on possible pathways out of inequality
DA's woes signify historical dilemma of SA’s liberals
Liberalism has always been reluctant to grant black people equality unless they achieve certain designated standards.
Mining activities continue to dispossess black families
Mining companies and some heritage consultants don't understand the sacredness attached to ancestral remains, and the meaning of land in African communities.
How the fall of the Berlin Wall 30 years ago resonated across Africa
Marking the end of the Cold War offers the chance to reflect on the changes and continuities in African politics and international relations since 1989.
America’s right is lobbying against South Africa’s sex education syllabus
Lobby group FOR SA is backed by the US Christian right. Its latest target is South Africa's increasingly inclusive sex education lesson plans.
How South Africa can deliver on the right to food
PODCAST: To break the cycle of poverty and malnutrition, the government needs to ensure that children have access to sufficient healthy food.
South Africa’s real water crisis: not understanding what’s needed
The real crisis with water supply is that South Africa doesn't know what it doesn't know.
South Africa is one step closer to processed titanium alloys
Low-cost titanium alloys in South Africa could be used in non-aerospace sectors, such as car parts, medical devices, implants, jewellery and kitchen appliances.
Tropical cyclones in the South West Indian Ocean: new insights
As storm directions change, countries that are outside the usual tropical storm zones need to ready themselves.
Why South Africa’s copyright bill is good for digital archives
Libraries, archives, museums and galleries have finally been included in South Africa's contested new proposed copyright bill.
How Creative Commons works, and why it enables access to knowledge
Open access study material can help reduce the costs of education, improve skills and improve lives for millions of people.
Health professionals and cadavers: the quest for an ethical approach
Dissection is important for developing a range of skills, as well as moral and ethical training and a humanistic approach to patient care.
Science and science teaching are at a global crossroads
We need to think more deeply about how we can develop science more extensively on a global scale for the common good of all of humanity.
Panic over water in South Africa’s economic hub is misplaced
South Africa's Department of Water and Sanitation has plans in place to ensure adequate water supply until 2040 and beyond.
South Africa still has a long way to go on the right to food
Hunger affects people's health. It also affects their dignity and their ability to live full and productive lives.
South Africa’s TV actors have every reason to demand a better deal
South African actors are lobbying government to demand better working conditions and labour protection.
Who takes care of the elderly?
Care facilities are often considered a last resort in South Africa. Personal care is assumed to be provided by family and household members.
What affects people’s brain function as they grow older?
Researchers find the key factors behind poor cognitive function were related to levels of education, being a woman, marital status and being poor.
Tracking the impact of ageing in rural South Africa
Rapid population ageing has prompted researchers to study disease trends in older South Africans.
A centrist political alliance in South Africa? Yes, but hard to get
South Africa's parliamentary system would make it difficult to achieve a fusion of parties.
Want to donate your body to research? What you need to know
Dissection plays an important role in introducing students to death by providing moral and ethical training as well as a humanistic approach to patient care.
Quarter century study on ageing in South Africa offers new perspectives
Research done over the past 26 years provides insights into changes across people's lives, helps evaluate interventions, and provides information for planning.
Study: Unhealthy ageing takes its toll on health and income
It's evident from research that while health influences economic well-being, the inverse is also true, economic well-being influences health.
What lost photos of Blue Notes say about South Africa’s jazz history
A rare set of photographs of South Africa's most famous jazz ensemble, the Blue Notes, has added valuable insights to the music archive.
Literature sheds light on the history and mystery of the Southern Ocean
The Southern Ocean, as artists have uncovered, is also a treasure trove of cultural narratives.
Why Africa can’t afford to be distracted by Trump
Trump’s bad example in the world’s oldest democracy can only comfort autocrats.
Did a large meteorite hit the earth 12,800 years ago? Here’s new evidence
Could platinum-rich dust associated with the impact of a very large meteorite have contributed to major climatic change and extinctions 12,800 years ago?
South Africa is planning more regulators: this is a bad idea
South Africa's independent regulators have failed. Instead of introducing new ones, alternatives need to be found.
Explainer: Why phenology is key in tracking climate change
Monitoring the timing of recurring biological events is key to understanding the effects of climate change.
50 years on: What we learned from South Africa’s biggest quake
There are three important issues to consider when thinking about quakes: what causes them; how to prepare and plan for them; and, how to move on afterwards.
Why corruption killed dreams of a better South Africa
25 years ago, citizens hoped a post-apartheid SA would be a fresh start. Today, political and business leaders stand accused of money laundering and bribery.
New copyright law will benefit South Africans with disabilities
South Africa's new Copyright Amendment Bill could help the country take an important step in tackling its own “book famine”.
How buildings in Johannesburg could benefit from green roofs
South Africa needs to develop low-cost housing solutions that are inherently comfortable and environmentally sustainable.
South Africa: a new narrative could tackle anti-migrant crisis
Faced with the same problem, South Africa is turning to the familiar toolkit to explain a recurrent problem.
Xenophobia: time for cool heads to prevail in Nigeria and South Africa
South Africa and Nigeria need to lead policy debates on long term measures to address migration in Africa.
Robert Mugabe: as divisive in death as he was in life
Robert Mugabe, the former president of Zimbabwe, has died.
Why South Africa’s plans for universal healthcare are pie in the sky
South Africa's planned NHI has no equivalent in any setting in the world. It's deeply flawed on a number of fronts.
The process of anti-patronage reform (Part Two)
Part Two of this series offer a process for dismantling South Africa’s patronage system.
The politics of South Africa’s patronage system (Part One)
Part One of this series describes the mechanics and architecture of South Africa’s patronage system.
Flights of healthcare fancy are for another time
The state is too broken to blunder on with universal healthcare.
The blind spots of ideology and journalism today
If you are confused about what is real, what is true, fact, propaganda or fiction, you are not alone; join the rest of the world.
South Africa’s 2019 poll showed dangerous signs of ‘insiders’ and ‘outsiders’
The election's result endorses other evidence that trust in South Africa’s constitutional settlement and its political institutions is steadily declining.
Ebola: how to manage in a crisis
Lessons from the West Africa: Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is currently grappling with the world’s second largest Ebola outbreak.
Hidden in plain sight
A fossil hidden in plain sight in South Africa turns out to be a new dinosaur.
How population data can help countries plan and tweak policy
South Africa’s data collection is constantly improving and Stats SA does a good job of making data available for analysis and research. Why is this important?
How our African ancestors made sound in the Stone Age
Researchers show how some bone artefacts from archaeological sites in South Africa's southern Cape region might have been used in sound production.
Investors push for positive global change in tailings management
An interesting development emerged from Brazil dam disaster: investors work with mining companies and regulators to improve tailings management systems.
Land reform that unleashes a rural economic miracle should be the goal
Migration from rural areas to cities can be slowed down with integrated agriculture value chains.
There’s a nugget of good news in the latest unemployment figures
The number of workers employed has actually gone up and the numbers of workers trying to find a job has gone up too.
South Africa’s universal man of uncommon passion
Johnny Clegg was a prophet, even if the ideal future he prophesied has not yet come to pass.
Trial in South Africa confirms a new drug, dolutegravir, is an effective and well-tolerated ARV.
Migration and health: what southern Africa needs to do to plug the gaps
Health systems are generally structured around nation-states. Migration, especially across national borders, therefore leads to challenges.
Unique picture of migration patterns helps urban planning
Keeping track of migration and urbanisation is challenging. It's vital for population health that migration and urbanisation is well understood and planned for.
Southern Africa needs better health care for women and girls on the move
Health responses need to take on board the fact that the number of women and girls migrating across borders as well as within countries is growing.
South Africa’s healthcare system can’t afford to ignore migration
It's difficult to keep track of the medical records of patients on the move and some may be lost to follow-up, presenting further public health challenges.
We tracked South Africa’s sardine run over 66 years: here’s what we found
South Africa's annual sardine run is occurring increasingly late, and there have been instances where it doesn't happen at all. Here's why.
Why migrants must be part of South Africa’s universal health plan
Seven years ago the United Nations (UN) endorsed universal health coverage as key to sustainable development and global security.
There are lots of myths about flu: we debunk six of them
Despite the availability of vaccines for influenza – or flu – the virus continues to kill people across the world.
Neglected challenge of the 4IR debate
The roles and practices of companies like Google and Facebook must be investigated.
Mining-affected communities are in a crisis which present law cannot address
At the centre of the demands is the communities’ struggle for the industry and government to recognise the right to free prior and informed consent.
Zuma and Trump: half a world apart, yet similarly paranoid and dangerous
Within the space of a few days, we have been subjected to bizarre but carefully staged performances by both presidents.
Marxist scholar Harold Wolpe’s ideas still speak to South Africa’s problems
Reflections on the recent launch of a collection of essays, “Race, Class and the Post-Apartheid Democratic State”, on Wolpe’s scholarly contribution.
Technology can make collecting and analysing evidence for policy easier
There is more and more research being produced around the world every day. In total, about 3 million articles are published every year.
The historian reminding us we are close to the cliff's edge
The book, 'The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America', helps make sense of the mess the world’s in
We need a social pact to secure the farming industry
Social pacts in agriculture, energy and mining, between business, labour and communities, will be crucial to lift market confidence and growth levels.
Evolution of ANC economic policy sheds light on squabble over the central bank
The recent squabble over the mandate of the South African Reserve Bank has very little to do with real economic policies.
How did elephants evolve such a large brain? Climate change is part of the answer
Elephants have long captivated our attention, partly because of their sheer size and majesty. But we’re also struck by their complex behaviour.
South Africa takes a quantum leap and joins the race
Quantum technologies are exploding and no longer the purview of laboratory experiments only.
People have skewed views on inflation. Why this matters
Countries that use an inflation target to anchor monetary policy pay considerable attention to expectations of future inflation.
The century of the African philanthropists is here, but wise choices must be made
African philanthropists have the capital, influence, local knowledge and moral authority to address pressing challenges that face the continent.
Ramaphosa’s vision needs to be wider than just attracting foreign investment
Unless the government regulates the economy effectively, it will generate growth that accrues disproportionately to those with wealth and power.
Young women in Soweto say healthy living is hard. Here’s why
Data from South Africa has shown that over two thirds of young women are overweight and obese.
South Africa should learn from Brazil about how to tackle ‘hidden hunger’
South Africa faces a double burden of hunger and malnutrition, on the one hand, and obesity with associated non-communicable diseases (NCDs), on the other.
Tropical cyclones are on the rise in southern Africa
Southern Africa has seen a rise in tropical cyclones recently. Why? Listen to Pasha 20, The Conversation Africa’s podcast on research.
Twelve steps to successful land reform
Developing and protecting agriculture-related industries will be crucial to creating jobs and achieving a just new order.
Adherence is delaying HIV elimination targets. What’s needed to break the cycle
As 2020 draws closer, the deadline to end AIDS by 2030 looms large. The aim is to achieve the ambitious targets of “90-90-90”.
Tribute to Raymond Louw: a great SA editor and determined activist
Veteran journalist Raymond Louw (93) passed away recently - a former editor of the Rand Daily Mail and tireless press freedom campaigner and mentor.
Past trends could explain why Senegal scrapped the Prime Minister’s office
Soon after Macky Sall was re-elected for a second, and final, presidential term he signed a decree that scrapped the office of the Prime Minister.
We tested baby food sugar levels in South Africa. This is what we found
South Africa has the highest rates of childhood obesity in the world, with an alarming figure of 13%.
There’s still so much we don’t know about the star-gazing beetle with a tiny brain
Edited extract from 'The Dance of the Dung Beetles', a new book authored Dr Helen Lunn and Professor Marcus Byrne published by Wits University Press.
A change of climate in the media?
Vishwas Satgar, Associate Professor at Wits contributes to a discussion about climate change and the media on Al Jazeera.
Structuring SA’s digital government: the road not traveled?
The potential capabilities afforded by digital technologies should not be ignored in the current stage of design of the future government administration.
In South Africa, unhealthy food choices are everywhere
Diseases linked to obesity are rising rapidly in South Africa. Listen to Pasha 20, The Conversation Africa’s podcast on research.
Ramaphosa’s cabinet: who and what’s needed to end South Africa’s malaise
South Africans recently went to the polls in a national election which the African National Congress (ANC) won by a wide margin.
How the ANC survived Jacob Zuma — and eked out a win in South Africa’s election
Under Zuma, democratic institutions bent but did not break. Just 15 months ago, South Africa’s democracy faced the gravest crisis in its 25-year history.
The struggles of black women in science
Ndoni Mcunu shares her journey of being a black woman in science on Pasha 18, The Conversation Africa’s podcast on research.
Study signals enduring racism in science
Each university and journal must reflect on its assumptions in biology, medicine, natural sciences, anthropology and the social sciences.
Why the Indian Ocean is spawning strong and deadly tropical cyclones
The Indian Ocean has made its mark on the global news cycle this year.
Why restoring accuracy will help journalism win back credibility
How removing senior sub-editors from newsrooms and creating "sub-hubs" have contributed to the rise of misinformation, propaganda and disinformation.
South Africa’s black middle class is battling to find a political home
South Africa’s black middle class is growing numerically – and growing politically restive.
Reporting on China in Africa is too binary. What needs to be done to fix it
So it’s not surprising that this has become an ever-expanding topic for both the media and researchers.
How South Africa ranks in the press freedom stakes
It’s pleasing that the latest World Press Freedom Index released by Reporters without Borders rates the state of press freedom in SA as “satisfactory”.
Heading to a region with malaria? Some simple steps to keep you safe
Every death from malaria is a tragedy. But many infections can be prevented.
2019 Elections: ‘Ramacynicism’ and leaps of faith
Voting for the ANC come the 2019 election will be a calculated but inescapably blindfolded leap of faith for many South African voters.
Electoral systems need urgent reform. South Africa is no exception
Is South Africa’s particular proportional representation system fit for purpose as popular support for the political system is steadily eroding?
Foreign policy priorities South Africa should pursue
South Africa continues to enjoy an unusual degree of international prominence normally accorded to states that are more powerful, or strategically located.
Cyclone Idai is over – but its health effects will be felt for a long time
People in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe have started trying to rebuild their lives after the devastation wrought by Cyclone Idai.
Light pollution: the dark side of keeping the lights on
New research show mounting evidence that increased lighting has a range of negative effects on all life on earth.
New fossil find may shed light on how sabre toothed predators evolved
Prehistoric bestiary is full of remarkable creatures and fearsome predators.
South Africa's plan to fight prejudice is full of holes
The South African government has launched a plan aimed at addressing pervasive prejudice in the country.
The legacy of Okwui Enwezor – the curator who exhibited Africa to the world
Over two decades Okwui Enwezor emerged as a dominant and highly influential voice in curatorial practice and contemporary art history.
Poor coverage of floods in southern Africa? Blame the media bosses
Local media coverage of the havoc and destruction caused by Tropical Cyclone Idai has been very poor and shows that traditional media is dying.
Africa cannot afford to take the back seat in one of the most important pursuits of modern science
The continent needs its own experts to harness Artificial Intelligence towards our local challenges and priorities in Africa.
Tropical cyclone Idai: The storm that knew no boundaries
This storm provides a grim prospect of the future of tropical cyclones in southern Africa, a region under continued threat from climate change.
Major battles have been won against TB. But the war isn’t over
We all need to advocate for more resources and better patient support. TB is everyone’s problem – not just the poor and forgotten.
How South Africa can improve community-based HIV services
South Africa introduced a community-based primary health care programme in 2012.
Managing diseases in African cities
Listen to Lenore Manderson, Distinguished Professor in Public Health and Medical Anthropology, in this episode of Pasha 10, The Conversation Africa's podcast.
Local solutions can boost healthier food choices
The crisis in health triggered by cheap food that’s high in fat and sugar is now well documented.
Why corruption in South Africa isn’t simply about Zuma and the Guptas
Corruption in South Africa isn’t simply a matter of bad morals or weak law enforcement.
It’s time to rethink how foreign languages are taught at universities
Many people underestimate the difficulty involved in learning a language. This is because language acquisition goes beyond comprehension.
South Africa must end its coal habit. But it’s at odds about when and how
SA is highly dependent on coal – almost 90% of its energy comes from coal-fired power stations. The urgency of change is clear on both global and local levels.
Cape Town has a plan to manage its water. But there are big gaps
The City of Cape Town – and southwest Africa more generally – experienced its worst drought on record between 2015 and 2018.
Why a guaranteed jobs scheme in South Africa would pay for itself
Among the biggest injustices of the past in South Africa is unemployment.
Religiosity, risky behaviour and young people: a South African case study
Alcohol and other drug use and risky sexual behaviour remain high among adolescents across the globe.
Postponement fuels lack of trust in Nigeria’s ability to hold fair elections
Nigeria has postponed its 2019 presidential elections. The Independent National Electoral Commission made the announcement hours before voting was scheduled to
What a major offshore gas find means for South Africa’s energy future
Many are celebrating that a promising show of natural gas has been discovered in deep water south of Mossel Bay. What is the significance?
New ways of thinking on health, arts and humanities are emerging in Africa
Medical and Health Humanities bring together academics, researchers, practitioners, creative artists, health care seekers and providers.
Curious Kids: how does thunder work? And why is it so loud?
The Conversation Africa's Curious Kids is a series for children in which we ask experts to answer questions from kids.
Eskom: our biggest threat
Explainer: Why South Africa’s energy generator is in so much trouble.
Want to be a woman in science? Here’s advice from those who’ve gone before
Each year on February 11, the United Nations marks the International Day of Women and Girls in Science.
The World Bank needs deep reforms to reflect a changing world order
The sudden resignation of World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has rekindled debate about leadership succession and the mission of the institution.
A democracy or a kleptocracy? How South Africa stacks up
Revelations emanating from the two commissions of inquiry indicate that South Africa stands in great peril of falling prey to kleptocracy.
Weighing up the costs of treating ‘lifestyle’ diseases in South Africa
Increasing need to treat people who have diabetes, hypertension, and hypercholesterolaemia to try to prevent their consequences.
Scientists split on South Africa’s winter and summer rainfall zones
South Africa is among a handful of countries that experience winter rainfall in some areas and summer rainfall in others.
Why delays to fixing health care are bad news for South Africans
The release of a final report about the state of competition in South Africa’s private health sector has been delayed again.
Why screen time needs to be limited
High levels of screen time, among babies, children and adolescents, are associated with potential harm.
New research shows lasers can create fractals
Wits researchers prove the long-held theory by making the first direct observation of fractal light from lasers.
Should I be scared of lightning?
Curious Kids is a series for children in which we ask experts to answer questions from kids.
How global warming is adding to the health risks of poor people
There is mounting evidence of the impact of climate change on human habitat and health, on plant and animal life, on water resources and shorelines.
“Weather” and “climate” shouldn't be used interchangeably
To understand climate projections and climate forecasts you need to know the difference between “weather” and “climate”.
Crackdown in Zimbabwe
South African diplomacy on Zimbabwe can remain quiet – but it must get tough.
The Reserve Bank needs stability
Explainer: South Africa’s central bank – ownership, mandate and independence.
The need for real justice
The Central African Republic (CAR) provides hard lessons on what it means to deliver real justice.
The silly season ahead of the 2019 elections
The festive season is well and truly over but another silly season is upon us - election season.
Elections, the ANC and the Suspension of Disbelief
South African voters are cynical beings, but not immune to bouts of political magical realism.
South African journalist, author, militant and prisoner
Hugh Lewin has died in Johannesburg at the age of 79.
Why does malaria recur? Filling in the pieces of the puzzle
Some people suffer from repeated attacks of malaria. These can occur weeks to months or longer after contracting the disease.
Are universities teaching the right kind of economics?
South Africa joins global charge to overhaul undergraduate economics.
The complex reasons for South Africa’s organ donor shortage
At any given time, there are around 4300 people waiting for organ donations in South Africa.
Secrets of an ancient fossil’s brain and inner ear
Virtual images help researchers to present and explore new scenarios about how our ancestors lived and evolved.