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Lately, it has seemed that positivity and inspiration have been in short supply. However, in a country like South Africa, one need only look around briefly to find amazing inspirational stories.

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Human history, as we know it, is that Homo sapiens arose around 200 000 years ago in eastern Africa and then spread across the globe around 60 000 years ago. However, this timeline has changed as a result of a number of new discoveries.

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Since Jules Verne wrote Journey to the Centre of the Earth, George Orwell wrote 1984, not to mention the many science fiction authors since then who have offered their own dystopian visions of the future, human beings have been warned not to tamper with the “natural order”. Instead of taking the lessons these authors intended seriously, science seems to have set out to create in reality the technologies that led to the sci-fi plot devices that result in fictional catastrophe.

When Capitec launched into the South African market, it provided a real alternative to the country’s big four banks. The bank’s growth over the past few years has proved that South Africans are looking for lower fees and better service from the financial sector, in turn, leading to the big players upping their game and creating new offerings to try and compete.

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If you’re a leftie, you probably think your brain dictated which arm would be your dominant one. A study published last year, however, has shown that it might have nothing to do with your brain.
Rather, it could be determined by your spinal cord while you are in the womb.

With the new year fast approaching, South Africans are taking stock of what 2017 meant for them personally, what it meant for the country, and what 2018 is likely to have in store. While economists are predicting another tough year, political analysts are predicting more upheaval and social commentators are of the opinion that South Africa is in imminent danger of disintegrating into factional and racial strife, a positive outlook for 2018 has come from an unlikely source: a fast-food outlet.

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When the fossils of Homo Naledi were unveiled a few years ago, South Africa was proudly centred as the cradle of humanity, with palaeologists, archaeologists and anthropologists flocking to the country to add to the world’s body of scientific knowledge about humanity’s origins. When older Homo Sapien fossils were subsequently found in Europe, the world’s attention moved back to our immediate ancestors, but South Africa has shifted the focus back to the far distant past again.

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It came as no surprise to most people that yet another ratings agency has downgraded South Africa’s credit-worthiness, yet again. 2017 has been a year of tough times, in which the country seems to have lurched from one crisis to another, and a year that has fundamentally changed the political discourse of the country.

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South Africans have wholeheartedly adopted an American tradition: Black Friday is now the same kind of shopping extravaganza locally as in the US. With reduced prices on everything from household cleaning goods, to cosmetics, to appliances, and even cars, Black Friday has become a retail holiday that all walks of life have started looking forward to.