MARKO SVICEVIC UP’s Department of Facilities Management, in collaboration with UP’s Department of Residence Affairs and Accommoda...Read more
Housed on top of the Mineral Sciences building, the Kumba Iron Ore Virtual Reality Centre is Africa’s first virtual reality mine design centre. The Virtual Reality (VR) Centre is part of a R50 million project which facilitated the building of a completely new fifth floor on the Mineral Sciences Building to be used by the Department of Mining Engineering. The project, initiated by Head of Department of Mining Engineering Prof. Ronny Webber-Youngman and CEO of Kumba Iron Ore at the time Chris Griffith, was undertaken by the university in conjunction with mining company Kumba Iron Ore, which donated R18 million to the project. Approximately R12 million was allocated to the building of the VR Centre.
“Small is big” is the slogan of Cool Capital, the DIY guerilla platform that endorses a citizen led initiative that strengthens communities and promotes pride in Pretoria. The platform works as a starting point and guiding structure for preconceived projects that will brighten up the community. Often someone may have a great idea but lack a way to go about making it a reality. This is where Cool Capital steps in to help.
In 2012, Pieter Mathews, partner at Mathews and Associates Architects in Pretoria, attended the Architecture Venice Biennial, an international architecture exhibit that invites artists from the best countries to present their work every two years. It was at the Canadian pavilion that Mathews saw a poster encouraging citizens to take active control over their city. As a result Mathews decided to bring this initiative back to Pretoria and in 2014 he started Cool Capital. According to Jana Kruger, junior architect at Mathews and Associates, Cool Capital intends to show citizens the value of art in South Africa because there is currently a lack of influence in the creative community.
In August 2014 Information Design students at UP created the “Stop in the name of love” project in collaboration with Cool Capital. Students constructed a rollout zebra crossing that was then applied on a road in need of a pedestrian passage. Once the crossing was rolled out, students in reflective shirts would stop traffic with signs that read “stop in the name of love, before you break our bones” while pedestrians were free to cross. The project encouraged a sense of privilege and acknowledgement among the pedestrians.
Over the past two months tensions have been rising in Zimbabwe. Zimbabweans took to the streets to voice their concerns and raise awareness of numerous issues in the country. At the forefront of this protest stands Harare based Pastor Evan Mawarire, the face of the #ThisFlag movement, who began the movement for social awareness with a single post on social media.
On 20 April Pastor Mawarire posted a video on his Facebook page wearing a Zimbabwean flag around his neck. In the video, which has been viewed almost 170 000 times, Mawarire said, “When I look at the flag it’s not a reminder of my pride and inspiration. It feels as if I just want to belong to another country. […] And so I must look at it again with courage and try to remind myself that it is my country.” The video sparked a large social media response with hundreds of people posting pictures of themselves wearing the Zimbabwean flag. In reaction to the overwhelming response he began five days of digital activism from 1 May using the hashtag ThisFlag. The action was then extended to 25 days, ending on Africa day on 25 May. In a video posted on his Facebook page Mawarire said, “The 25th is not when we stop but when we start, where we start to push them to accountability. The last 25 days have been us waking up, us knowing that we all have these frustrations. […] A lot of people have got to a place where, like me, they didn’t know what to do, but they really just want Zimbabwe to work.”
On 1 July protesters shut down the Beitbridge border post, close to the town of Musina in Limpopo province, over new import restrictions introduced by Zimbabwe. The new import laws, which restrict the importation of basic items such as jam and bottled water, affect both sides of the border. Speaking to eNCA, International Cross-Border Traders Association representative Dennis Jeru said of the restrictions, “If the situation continues there will be a total shutdown in Musina as most businesses rely on buyers from Zimbabwe. Without Zimbabwean clients, Musina will cease to be active.”
The South African Broadcasting Commission (SABC), South Africa’s public broadcaster, operates four television channels and 22 radio stations and is the largest media outlet in South Africa. The SABC has been under scrutiny over the last few months about editorial decisions taken by the SABC that many have called censorship, foremost a decision to not broadcast violent protest images. Chief Operations Officer (COO) Hlaudi Motsoeneng is responsible for these decisions, although he denies that they constitute censorship.
The Juno probe, launched by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (Nasa), a branch of the US federal government, has travelled over five years and more than 2.7 billion kilometres to enter the orbit of the planet Jupiter on 4 July 2016. According to a statement released by Nasa on the day of the launch, the name of the probe stems from Greek and Roman mythology: “The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, and his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and reveal Jupiter’s true nature.”