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Every year, organisations of every variety come up with reports and lists on all sorts of topics – from economic growth, to industry-specific insights, to social issues. The United Nations, for example, releases a “happiness index”, looking at – as the name implies – which countries in the world boast the happiest people.

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In the movie Back to the Future, the main character, Marty McFly travels from 1989 to 2015. Many of the “futuristic” technologies he encounters have become common in our day-to-day lives – in fact, many were available way before 2015 – but some are still seemingly impossible to achieve.

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A week and a half after the Rand reached new highs against the backdrop of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s appointment, his cabinet reshuffle, and South Africa’s “new dawn”, the currency has plummeted once again. This was the result of the fact that Parliament voted to establish a multi-party committee whose sole function will be to discuss amending section 25 of the Constitution in order to expropriate land without compensation.

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Last week saw the latest tragedy in a long string of tragedies that have become almost commonplace in the United States since 1999: another mass shooting. Almost 20 years ago, the Columbine High School massacre shone an unpleasant light on America’s gun-loving society, with 13 people – of which twelve were teenage students – dying at the hands of fellow students. The latest school shooting, at Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, saw 17 people killed.

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Despite their origin as a means to pay for goods and services on the Dark Web, cryptocurrencies have firmly entered the mainstream. These days, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin have ATMs where people can draw cash, and the recent crash of the currency’s value affected millions of people around the world. This has led to regulators in many countries considering changing laws to prohibit the proliferation of cryptocurrencies, in an effort to protect the stability of the traditional financial markets.

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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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Crown Publications, one of South Africa’s largest business-to-business publishing houses, came into existence in 1986. Since then, the company has grown from producing a single magazine, Electricity SA (renamed Electricity+Control), to publishing six monthly magazines, three quarterlies, and a number of engineering handbooks.

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