The world is changing fast and to keep up you need local knowledge with global context.
- South Africa’s new communications minister said this week’s outage of Facebook Inc. apps and services is a reminder the government can do more to support the development of local social-media platforms. The creation of Naspers-backed messenger service Mxit was evidence local companies can produce successful technology with the right backing, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni said in a Q&A with reporters on Tuesday. Mxit had 7.4 million monthly active subscribers in 2013, according to consultancy World Wide Worx, but collapsed two years later under competition from the likes of Facebook’s WhatsApp. Facebook services including WhatsApp and Instagram were down for about six hours on Monday, shutting out many of its 2.7 billion global users. The incident has led to worldwide introspection about the extent businesses and individuals rely on the $1trn company, – alongside fresh criticism that it has too much power.
- UPL, an Indian producer of chemicals used in agriculture, will be asked to pay for the establishment of a forum that will keep the public informed about developments relating to a spill of hazardous chemicals in the South African city of Durban. The so-called multi stakeholder forum will be set up by the country’s environment department and will request that UPL pay for it under the “polluter pays principle.” UPL has been accused by the department of illegally storing hazardous chemicals that were released into a residential area and a river system after its warehouse in the South African city of Durban was looted and set ablaze in July in a spate of rioting.
- A new analysis shows that South Africa is one of only 13 economies producing less now than a decade ago. An honest discussion now needs to take place about South Africa’s economic policy and the disaster in the manufacturing industry, says economist Mike Schüssler. After 16 years of the Industrial Policy Action Plan and as many versions, South African manufacturing has gone nowhere. In the second quarter, the result was that fewer people were employed in the formal manufacturing industry than in 1969, he said.
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Cyril Ramaphosa: The Audio Biography
Listen to the story of Cyril Ramaphosa's rise to presidential power, narrated by our very own Alec Hogg.