Features

Buzz-Kill: bees facing extinction

KATHERINE ATKINSON

Once abundant on the tropical shores of Hawaii and now threatened by extinction, seven species of Hawaiian yellow-faced bees were added to the endangered species list on 30 September. These are not the only species of bee that are dwindling. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services have already proposed adding the rusty-patched bumblebee, a species that was once abundant in the upper mid-western and north-eastern parts of America, to the list. Adding bees to the endangered species list allows access to funding for recovery programs and measures to protect the species.

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Help Portrait Pretoria: The picture of community

COURTNEY TINK

You have a job interview today. You have a warm shower and make sure that you look presentable. You print a copy of your CV that you spent the previous night going over with a fine-toothed comb, wondering whether you should or shouldn’t add that you won a reading prize in Grade 7. Without realising it, this entire routine is something that is taken for granted.

With the number of unemployed people always increasing and the resulting rise of homelessness, many individuals don’t have the opportunity to hand in a CV or take a photograph in which they appear clean and well-dressed.

Read more: Help Portrait Pretoria: The picture of community

New Cites regulations for South Africa

LORINDA MARRIAN

The 17th Cites (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) Conference of the Parties (COP17) was hosted in Johannesburg from 24 September to 4 October. Cites is an international intergovernmental agreement that aims to regulate the trade of wildlife and plants to ensure their conservation and continued survival. The triennial event was attended by around 2 500 representatives from various governments and organisations and was hailed by Cites as the “largest ever world wildlife conference”. The conference resulted in various decisions and new regulations that will directly affect the trade and protection of African wildlife such as elephants, lions and African grey parrots.

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Hybrid technology at the forefront of motoring innovation

THORISO PHASHA

With oil prices skyrocketing in recent years and the concern of greenhouse gas emissions, the need for eco-friendly engines has never been more serious. The introduction of electric motors have been recognised as the likely solution to the greenhouse gas conundrum, with car manufacturers like Tesla, Ford and BMW at the forefront of development in this segment.

Although three times as efficient as a traditional combustion engine, all-electric motors have one common drawback – the limited range a vehicle can travel before battery is depleted. Electric motors require constant charging, which can limit the range of travelling with few plug-in stations available at this stage in the world.

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Alcohol amendment proposes raising the legal drinking age

KATHERINE ATKINSON
On 29 September, the National Liquor Amendment Bill was issued. The bill proposes that the legal drinking age should be raised from 18 to 21. The bill is open to public comment for 45 days from the date of issue. It proposes that distributors will be held legally liable should they serve alcohol to someone under the legal drinking age. Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies’s major reasoning behind the age raise is the damaging physiological effects alcohol has on the adolescent brain and the high number of alcohol-related car accidents South Africa experiences per year. Davies said during a media briefing that one “can see that [alcohol abuse] is a significant problem in South Africa”, with the average South African consuming between 3.8 to 6.2 litres more alcohol per year than the global norm. This extreme alcohol consumption is especially concerning for persons younger than 21, as the brain does not fully develop until the mid-twenties. Furthermore, Davies said that 46% of non-natural fatalities and more than 40% of injuries are associated with people who have a higher amount of alcohol in their body than the legal amount for driving.

Read more: Alcohol amendment proposes raising the legal drinking age

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Perdeby Poll

What are you doing during the holiday?

Studying - 22.6%
Sleeping - 37.2%
Lying to your mom about doing stuff - 19%
Taking your textbooks on holiday - 21.2%

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