Features

Varsity’s feral felines

SAVANNAH PLASKITT

UP has become home to many cats on all its campuses and residences. These cats can cause problems by going in search of food inside residences and breeding indoors, and they can also carry rabies. However, the cats prove an advantage in controlling rat populations. While UP may have a case of overpopulation, it is not effective to remove the cats as they are territorial and will likely return, or a new cat will simply take their place. Instead, UP chooses to manage its cat population, which is far more effective.

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90% local content for SABC radio

REBECCA WOODROW

On 11 May the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) announced its decision to play 90% local music across the corporation’s 18 radio stations from Thursday 12 May in order to “prioritise home-grown content”. The SABC also increased its local television content from 1 July and music fillers between programmes are intended to be locally produced.

Hlaudi Motsoeneng, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of the SABC, said the change would make sure that the public broadcaster reflected the multitude of local music available. SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago said the decision came about after consultations with local music producers. The public broadcaster has encouraged fledgling and independent artists to come to the public broadcaster with “fresh proposals and content” to aid in this transition. South African music heavyweights, like hip-hop artist AKA and vocalist Sipho “Hotstix” Mabuse, have shown support for this decision on their respective social media accounts. Mabuse tweeted “good news viva SA music” in his response to the announcement of the quota.

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Universities across South Africa see changes in language policy

HUVASAN REDDY         

Language policies have become a contentious issue at universities across the country. On 22 June the Council of the University of Pretoria (UP) approved a new language policy making English the primary language of tuition and assessment at the university, while Afrikaans will be gradually phased out. UP is not the only university which has recently had a shift in language policy. Stellenbosch University (SU), the University of the Free State (UFS), and the University of South Africa (Unisa) have also undergone changes in their policies.

 

Unisa

In April 2016 the Council of Unisa decided that English would be the only language of instruction at Unisa from 2017. According to Unisa’s revised language policy released on 28 April, the language of learning and instruction for all undergraduate courses will be English, along with “scaffolding in other official languages”. According to the policy, “All formal study material, formative and summative assessment, as well as other formal tuition activities will be in English only, whereas learner support activities may be in the language of the student.” According to the policy, the responsibility of the implementation of the policy falls under “a special language unit to be established in the university, with oversight by the Senate Language Committee and ultimately the Senate of the university.”

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Gun control: which side are you on?

COURTNEY TINK

Gun control is extremely topical on a global scale at the moment. In the US, citizens are attempting to recover from the Orlando and Dallas shootings that have recently dominated the media. In our own backyard, South Africans became acutely aware of gun control when Oscar Pistorius shot his girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp dead in 2013. Whether you agree or disagree, arms access is pertinent to your constitutional knowledge.

There are two sides to gun control. On the pro-side stand organisations such as Gun Free South Africa (GFSA), who noted that in 2011 there were over 2.9 million registered guns to over 1.5 million owners. This is contrasted to the unknown statistics of unregistered guns, which are estimated to sit anywhere between 500 000 and four million. The GFSA encourages the notion that gun control equates to crime control. These organisations aim to restrict access to weaponry and encourage harsh punishment for crimes involving guns.

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Know your mayoral candidates

HUVASAN REDDY

The 2016 South African municipal elections are scheduled for 3 August. The City of Tshwane is a highly contested metro, and the upcoming elections could bring about a change in leadership. There will be a definite change in the mayor of the city as incumbent mayor Kgosientso Ramokgopa of the ANC has been replaced by a new candidate, Thoko Didiza. The Democratic Alliance (DA) will be represented by a member of the provincial legislature Solly Msimanga as a mayoral candidate, while the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) are pursuing a different election strategy and is not putting forward a mayoral candidate. Perdeby takes a look at what these three parties have to offer in terms of mayoral candidates and governance as elections are around the corner.

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