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A recent report by Oxfam SA states that the wealth of three South African billionaires is equal to that of the bottom half of the country's population. This ratio is slightly higher than the global average: the world’s eight richest men own the same wealth as the poorest half of the world.

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Genetic engineering is seen by many to be a nascent science, but one that promises to change humanity as well as the world we live in. While many researchers are focusing on using genetic engineering to improve food sources, others are concentrating on eliminating diseases.

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With over 37 million people living with HIV/AIDS, research into both cures and preventative measures are seemingly slow – with anti-retroviral drugs being the only reasonably effective treatment so far. The latest attempt in the long, frustrating search for a vaccine is doing a trial run locally, with a beefed-up version of the only vaccine ever to show a chance of protecting against the disease being administered to the test subjects.

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This week saw the release of the second annual South African Citizen’s Bribery Survey by the Ethics Institute, and the results were hardly surprising for average citizens. According to the report, the number of people asked for a bribe has risen, as has the average cost of a bribe - R2201.00.

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For all the problems that technology has sought to solve, there remains a particularly intractable one in South Africa: The violence and crime that comes with weapons – legal and illegal. With over 56 000 cases of aggravated robbery reported between 2015 and 2016, and more than 623 000 so-called contact crimes in the same period, the almost 15 000 known cases of illegal possession of a firearm indicate that there are many more guns out there.

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November 2016 will forever be remembered as the month when billionaire Donald Trump shocked much of America, and most of the rest of the world, by becoming President of the United States. For the first few months in which he campaigned against Hillary Clinton, many reporters and political pundits thought his candidacy was a practical joke, but “The Hair” is having the last laugh.

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Public Protector Thuli Madonsela ended her term of office in spectacular style. About two weeks after her term as Public Protector ended, the 355-page State Capture Report was released to the public, leading to increasingly strident demands that President Jacob Zuma step down.

South Africa’s magnificent natural heritage is one of the country’s biggest tourism draw cards, and is a shining example to the rest of the world in conservation. With almost 50 game reserves, the abundant wildlife in South Africa is protected within its natural environment, backed by a government and private sector that have made conservation their priorities.

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The #FeesMustFall movement and the ongoing student protests around South Africa’s university campuses have provided fodder for every political (and other) agenda. From politicians, to student representatives, to concerned parents, to faculty, and even to big business – everyone has voiced an opinion and used the movement to highlight their particular point of view on this and a number of related subjects.

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