How do human rights fare in South Africa after two decades?

Chris Jones, Stellenbosch University Every year South Africans celebrate Human Rights Day on March 21 to commemorate the 1960 Sharpeville massacre when police opened fire on a crowd killing 69 unarmed people. They were protesting against the humiliating pass laws that controlled the movement of black people. Besides a reminder of a dark period in …

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Stop bugging the bugs: the world as we know it would fall apart without them

Pia Addison, Stellenbosch University Just under one million insect species have been identified on the planet. Global insect species diversity makes up more than half of all other species diversity on earth. Estimates of actual species richness range from a realistic four to six million to an extravagant 80 million species. But insects are continuously …

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How to avoid getting hooked by a festive season phishing scam

Rika Butler, Stellenbosch University and Martin Butler, Stellenbosch University Email phishing attacks are especially popular over the festive season, partly because there’s an increase in email marketing and special offers linked to the holidays. During the fourth quarter of 2014, for instance, the number of unique phishing attacks globally went up by 18% compared with …

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Why Africa is lagging behind in child vaccination

Charles Wiysonge, Stellenbosch University Africa has made incredible improvements immunising children against preventable diseases such as polio, pneumonia, diphtheria, measles and tuberculosis. By 2014, 77% of the continent’s children were immunised. Compared to 1980, when only 5% of African children were vaccinated, this is a drastic improvement. Despite these achievements, the immunisation agenda in Africa …

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The legacy benefits from Africa’s fight against polio

Charles Wiysonge, Stellenbosch University The campaign to eradicate polio in Africa has had a number of positive spinoffs for the health sector on the continent. Chief among these have been community involvement, multi-disciplinary partnerships, improved health care and the strengthening of health systems. For decades, polio took a heavy toll on both children and adults. …

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