Kristin Palitza

Housing: Are good ideas wilfully ignored?

We’ve been promised housing for South Africans for a good 15 years now, but progress has been rather pathetic. The backlog remains at more than 2 million houses and government seems highly unlikely to make serious inroads into the issue soon. This became painfully evident last month when it came to light that government flagship housing…

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Sonke vs Malema

When ANC Youth League president (ANCYL) Julius Malema declared that charges of hate speech and discrimination brought against him by South African NGO Sonke Gender Justice were motivated by a racist and imperialist desire to embarrass black leadership, I was more than a little surprised. Where the heck was this cheap accusation coming from I…

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Criminally hopeful

I had two dates with crime last week, and although they jolted my emotional safety belt, they ultimately were experiences that gave me a lot of hope. How so? They showed me that, despite the general lament about its disappearance, ubuntu still exists in our society. Here’s what happened: Last Sunday, my neighbour looks out…

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The story beneath

Covering the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Ministerial Forum in Bamako, Mali, did not come without its challenges. The conference was called largely to push the interests of huge international organisations, like World Bank, and to shamelessly promote investment in health systems’ research that will ultimately benefit those who are keen to loan huge amounts…

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To cut or not to cut

Friends of mine had a baby boy a few weeks ago. When their doctor asked them if they wanted to circumcise their child, my friends asked if there were any health advantages to snipping off the foreskin. “None,” the doctor answered matter-of-factly. When they told me this story, I had to gasp for air. I…

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Power saving made fun and clever

Since we all have to think about saving electricity from now on – if not in the hope that it will avoid future load shedding than perhaps to keep our personal the electricity bill down – I thought it might be a good idea to find out what quirky inventions are out there that could…

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Of parking metres and foreign languages…

I parked in the inner city of Durban the other day where there are parking meters installed everywhere — every 30 metres, I’ve been told by a local police officer. That makes it extremely expensive to park your car. Most of the time, I try to avoid them. But last Friday I couldn’t steer clear…

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Why we resort to violence

It’s raining outside and the sky is hanging low in a saturated grey, so I can’t even justify why I love this country so much with the weather. And right now, I don’t exactly feel like justifying it by explaining what a wonderful society we are. Because at the moment, it’s really hard to believe…

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A country without future?

I had a long conversation with a small group of unemployed youths a few days ago. Young people in their early 20s, who are supposed to have a long, bright future ahead of them. At least theoretically. These guys were not so sure about that though. They were actually quite angry. Jaded already before they…

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Zim behind the scenes

In the past couple of days I’ve been wondering what’s really going on behind the scenes in Zimbabwe. Many rumours have been in circulation, but I wasn’t too sure what to make of them. But now I’ve sniffed a very foul smell wafting from much further than Zimbabwe or Southern Africa — it comes all…

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