General

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Sustainability and eco-friendliness have become a focus of our business and personal lives, and most people try to do their bit for the environment – whether it’s driving electric cars, recycling, or even composting food waste. These measures make us feel like we are contributing to a better planet, even though their impact is small on an individual level.

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This year’s budget speech saw the expected increases of so-called ‘sin taxes’; these being an easy way for government to bring a bit extra into the kitty. It seems as though the sugar tax is fast becoming another easy money-making measure, but these tax increases have a much wider effect on the economy, according to experts.

Traffic is a pain, particularly when the weather and traffic light failures exacerbate the plight of millions of people trying to get to and from work in South Africa’s urban areas. These people will not be surprised to discover the Johannesburg is the country’s most congested city, but that Cape Town has a far worse traffic problem.

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In today’s data-driven world, we have all been trained to believe that security should be the paramount consideration for every company – no matter what business it is in. This is even more important for businesses operating in the financial services sector, for obvious reasons. However, it turns out that there is such a thing as too much security.

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While South Africa – among a number of other countries – is currently experiencing a drought, scientists are warning that the frequency of extreme rain storms is going to increase over the next 70 years. Extreme storms produce at least 3 millimetres of rain per hour over a 25 kilometre area.

That South Africa’s education system needs work has become accepted fact, particularly in light of the fast-moving changes the world is seeing with the advent of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. However, it seems that opinions on the direction those changes should take differ widely – even among the decision makers who will ultimately dictate what South Africa’s students learn at school.

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The “brain drain” is not a new concept for South Africa, with hordes of professionals having left the country in the early 2000’s, and a fresh batch looking for greener pastures at the moment. This provides both opportunities and challenges for individuals and the country as a whole.

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For decades, we have been told that overpopulation was a growing concern, with ever-increasing numbers of humans across the world putting strain on our natural resources and our ability to feed ourselves. However, it looks like all the doomsday predictions will not come to pass, with slowing population growth and human ingenuity and science changing the future of food production.

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Since 1978, when the first IVF baby was born, the rise of “designer babies” was predicted. In the 40 years since, we have mapped the human genome and have been using this knowledge to screen for various genetic diseases, culminating in this week’s announcement by Chinese scientist He Jiankui that the first twins with their DNA genetically edited to make them resistant to HIV infection, have been born.