The Daily Times

March 10, 2015

People and Culture: What does it mean to live in the "Rainbow Nation?"

By Jessica Mellon

Edited by Luleit Shire

South Africa has come to be known as the "Rainbow Nation" due to its wide range of people and cultures. There are over 52 million people living in South Africa today and have several different cultures that give South Africa an oddly unique feel. Almost 80% of the population consists of native Africans, 9% of the population is white and 9% of the population is colored. There are many different languages spoken by the people of South Africa, in fact the National Constitution recognizes 11 of these languages as official languages of South Africa however there are many more. The main language spoken is called isiZulu, despite its odd name, more than 20% of the people in South Africa speak it. Surprisingly, only 8% of people speak English. With such a wide range of cultural diversity, one might start to wonder how well the people interact with each other. While racial equality has vastly improved since the time of the Apartheid, the struggle rages on as people struggle to cope with one another.

Despite the wide range of cultures and ethnicities seen in South Africa, there are some traditions that are unique to the country and are vastly accepted. For example, beads are a big part of South African culture. Beading has been a big part of their culture, dating all the way back to the stone ages. Different beads mean different things.

South African Land

By Beza Belay

Edited by Jessica Mellon

South Africa is unique in many ways including its land and geography. As its name implies, South Africa is located in southern Africa. More specifically, it is located at the very southern tip of Africa. One of the largest and wealthiest cities in South Africa is Johannesburg, famously known for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2010. South Africa recognizes three major cities as the countries capitals, Pretoria, Cape Town and Bloemfontein. Each city houses a different part of government. Pretoria is the administrative capital, Cape Town in the legislative capital and Bloemfontein is the judicial capital. In more recent news, a national disaster happened in Cape Town this past Wednesday, March 4th, 2015. A wildfire has been burning for three days around the Cape Town Table Mountains. Five hundred people were affected with this fire and had to flee their homes. Three of the houses were destroyed and five were just damaged in the fire. The fire is still not under control but firefighters are doing everything they can currently to stop the fire.

Education in South Africa: Failing or Succeeding

By Eliza Schmidt

Edited by Beza Belay

South Africa has one of the highest rates of public investment in education in the world. The South African government spends more money on education than any other department. Their law requires everyone ages 7-15 to be enrolled in school, of course offered the opportunity to reach higher in their education. There are three broad bands of education: General Education, Further Education and Higher Education. South Africa relies on a matric pass rate which was as low as 40% in 1990, although it has significantly increased to about 79%.

Although this seems great, South Africa is still trying to rebuild their education system from the Apartheid. “There are some excellent schools in the public system, but they are exceedingly few, and many are government schools that, under apartheid, were reserved for white children” Says T.O. Molefe of the New York Times. There are still many disputes over the schooling system saying there are few good schools for lower class families and better ones for high class families. In 2013 the countries basic education minister released statistics showing that 78% of people that took exams, passed. However, only 31% of kids had kept good enough grades to further their learning to a University. An increasing number of institutions have begun to mistrust a high school certificate. They believe it only shows a minimal set of skills and knowledge.

Economy: Apartheid vs. Post-Apartheid. Is there a difference?

By Davon Hardy

There are many ideas on which is better, the economy in Apartheid versus the Post-Apartheid. It is hard to declare which one has been the best for South Africa. Back when South Africa was dealing with the racial apartheid, they paid little to no attention to the economy causing the GDP to be $144 billion while the post apartheid nearly tripled. This made the GDP to go over $400 billion. GDP stands for gross domestic product which is the value of all things produced in a country withing a specific time period. The post apartheid economy also had an unemployment rate of over 30%. Some people think this is really weird because they think South Africa should focus on their internal issues. But that is simply not the case. South Africa had been experiencing the same internal conflicts for over 20 years meaning the only thing that changed in the country since the apartheid is the unemployment rate and the GDP. Even though each time period has had their strengths and downfalls, their js no cleaar consensus on which economy is better so the winner is still up for grabs. Who’s side are you on?

South Africa AFCON 2015

By Luleit Shire

Edited by Eliza Schmidt

The 2015 Africa Cup of Nations was hosted in Equatorial Guinea this past February. The South African National Team also knows as the "Bafana Bafana" qualified for the tournament after beating Sudan 2-1 with goals from Thulani Serero and Tokelo Rantie either side of halftime to secure the win. The team was later drawn into Group C which included African football powerhouses Ghana, Senegal, and Algeria. Their first game of the tournament "Bafana Bafana" surprised everyone by snatching a point from a 1-1 draw against Senegal. The exceptional result and celebration was short lived how ever when South Africa was knocked out from the tournament by a 2-1 defeat to the Black Stars (Ghana).Ghana and Algeria advanced as group winners and runners-up respectively, while Senegal and South Africa were eliminated. The future looks bright however for the South African National Team as we were able to see the team's quality and depth this past month during AFCON.