What does Trump mean for South Africa?

Donald Trump was elected as the 45th President of the USA and his introduction of a radical shift in policy will have a significant global effect. His “America First” policy could potentially have a profound effect on US - SA relations. Trump made it clear in his inauguration speech that he believes that the American government has spent too much money on foreign affairs, to the detriment of the American people. He plans to make decisions that only benefit American interests saying: “Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families.”

A large part of Trump’s “America First” policy focuses on trade. The United States is currently South Africa’s third largest trading partner. This is largely due to the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). AGOA is a trade agreement whereby eligible sub-Saharan African countries can export to the USA tariff-free. Trump has publicly opposed free trade agreements such as NAFTA and AGOA, so these agreements may be on the chopping block. In South Africa AGOA has also publicly been met with anger due to the negative effect it has had on the poultry industry. The South African government was forced to make concessions on chicken imports in order to remain part of AGOA. This has led to an influx of imports from the European Union, shackling South Africa’s own poultry industry.

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Pretoria’s pygmy hippo

On 16 December 2016, the National Zoological Gardens (NZG) of South Africa welcomed a new addition to an enclosure, a male pygmy hippopotamus.

Angeline Schwan, communications officer at the NZG, said that the baby pygmy hippo, who remains nameless for the time being, “is doing very well and has adapted to its permanent enclosure. It was moved into the enclosure on 25 January 2017. They usually weigh between 4 and 6 kg. At the time of release he weighed approximately 13 kg.” The baby hippo remains with his mother, as pygmy hippos should for the first 8 years, but has been separated from his father. Schwann added, “The youngster is currently just in the enclosure with his mother. Once the two have settled in and the dad has become accustomed to the little one through interaction between the one enclosure and the other, the father will join.” She then continued to say that there are “currently no plans for transfer” and that the baby will remain in the zoo for now. The NZG website reports that monogamous breeding patterns are usually observed in the pygmy hippo species and that sexual maturity occurs at about 3-5 years. It is therefore hoped that within the next few years this baby hippo will find a mate to ensure the longevity of this species.

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Hollywood whitewashing marginalises people of colour

Legendary Pictures provoked outrage when the trailer for the upcoming film The Great Wall was released. Despite the film taking place in eleventh century China the protagonist, portrayed by Matt Damon, is white. The Guardian published an article by Julie Carrie Wong titled “Asian Americans decry ‘whitewashed’ Great Wall film starring Matt Damon”. Wong called the film “the latest example of Hollywood putting a white person in a role that should go to a person of colour”.

This is not an isolated incident of a production casting a white person in a role available or even better suited for a person of colour. A substantial amount of films have come under criticism recently for whitewashing, including films such as Gods of Egypt (February 2016), and Doctor Strange (November 2016).

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School and university: Whats the difference?


University is not high school. In fact, the two are not similar at all.

No matter how early you get to your lectures, you may still find yourself sitting on the floor for 50 minutes. Even the lecture halls that accommodate approximately 800 students will not always have enough seats for the number of students who show up to a lecture. Hardly anyone will know who you are, and the friends you plan to sit next to may get lost in the crowd.

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Stress and the Student Body


Stress is defined as a state of mental or emotional strain that results from demanding circumstances. University is demanding, but it can be rewarding and is structured so that students are able to meet its demands.

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