Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Previous Archive
26 March 2018 Photo Pixabay
Back to the drawing board to save water
We’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands.

Dr Cindé Greyling, a University of the Free State (UFS) DiMTEC (Disaster Management Training and Education Centre for Africa) alumni, studied drought mitigation with a strong focus on communicating important water-saving information. 

Can we run out of water?
Yes, and no, says Dr Greyling. “To our knowledge, water is not ‘leaking’ through our atmosphere. We have what we have, but that doesn’t mean we will have enough clean, fresh water forever. Nature has a magnificent way of purifying water through the water cycle. We, on the other hand, must use a lot of money and energy to purify water. Also, we’ve managed to damage nature’s ‘filter’ with air, ocean, and soil pollution, and by destroying wetlands. The other problem is a simple supply and demand scenario. More people will need more water, but not only that, population growth calls for industry development and increased food supplies – all of which require more water.”    

A war over water
Besides some Hollywood impressions, it is difficult to imagine a war over water, but it is possible. “Some experts are convinced that we are heading there, and others claim that such tensions already exist. Personally, I don’t favour these kinds of shock tactics (or truths) – social research has shown us that it rarely leads to behavioural changes. We can learn a lot from what was has been done in Cape Town. Although we all think people were bombarded with ‘Day-Zero’-scares, they were actually encouraged to adapt their behaviour with a communication campaign that hardly ever used the term ‘Day-Zero’. This approach mobilised citizens to reach record lows of water usage.” 

Adapt a new normal
Dr Greyling encourages the “new normal” set in motion by Capetonians. “Water consciousness is needed, even when the rain comes again. We’ve taken water for granted for too long. As consumers, we have the power to turn this situation around – drop for drop. Be aware about the amount of water you use, how you use it, and for what. Keep in mind that any wastage and pollution (of ‘dry’ things) also wastes and pollutes water. Generally, we need to behave better regarding consumption.”  

News Archive

Is Al-Qaeda operating in South Africa?
2014-09-29

 
Our Department of Political Studies and Governance recently hosted a seminar with investigative journalist De Wet Potgieter – author of the book, ‘Black Widow White Widow’.During the seminar, Potgieter reflected on the research he has conducted for the book, revealing the unsettling presence of Al-Qaeda in South Africa.

The ‘White Widow’ in the book’s title refers to Samantha Lewthwaite, a British woman who was found in South Africa with a fraudulent passport. She was later linked to the Westgate shopping mall attack which took place in Nairobi, Kenya on 21 September 2013. In this mass shooting at least 67 people died and over 175 people were wounded. The Islamist group al-Shabaab – which is also linked to Al-Qaeda – claimed responsibility for the incident.

In contrast, the ‘Black Widow’ is the disclosed identity of an Afrikaans-speaking self-styled spy, who after being widowed became a counter-terrorist operative.

Potgieter’s book divulges details of Al-Qaeda paramilitary and urban warfare training on a secluded farm in the Little Karoo and reveals details of the support they receive from various local extremist groups. Potgieter’s investigation spans across two years and suggests possible future attacks from, or on, South African soil.

“South Africa plays a role in the bigger picture for Al-Qaeda Islamic terrorism,” Potgieter said. “For instance, the Navy Seal team who killed Bin Laden found reports pointing to active Al-Qaeda/Islamist presence in South Africa. South Africans need to know we are under siege by a small, well-trained Al Qaeda terrorist cell. Yet, operations – of which I know, but cannot disclose much – are also underway to contain these matters,” Potgieter added.

Potgieter’s sources suggest that Al-Qaeda has been active in South Africa since the 2010 FIFA World Cup already. The South African government seems to turn a blind eye, though, despite CIA and MI6 requests and enquiries on the matter.


We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept