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Articles on Cape Town

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A copy of the VOC’s registers for April 1789. These daily registers contained rich detail - including about the weather. Tracing History Trust

Climate change: colonial diaries in South Africa are helping scientists reconstruct weather patterns of the past to protect against future events

A project to transcribe Dutch colonial records of the weather in Cape Town can benefit modelling of future climate scenarios and assist in forecasting weather now.
Alien trees threaten biodiversity, increase the risk of wildfires and also guzzle water. Photo courtesy Cape Winelands Biosphere Reserve

Removing alien plants can save water: we measured how much

Clearing alien trees from mountain catchments is a more cost-effective approach to providing water than building and maintaining desalination plants.
Alien pine trees, which use substantially more water than the native vegetation of the Cape Mountains, reduce river flows to dams that supply the city’s water. Martin Kleynhans

Clearing alien trees can help reduce climate change impact on Cape Town’s water supply

Clearing alien trees before the drought hit could have reduced the impact of climate change on water supply during the ‘Day Zero’ drought.
Ajay, right, and Atul Gupta are on the run from the law in South Africa. Their sibling Rajesh is wanted on fraud and money laundering along with Atul. Pic: Martin Rhodes. 02/03/2011. © Business Day

Interpol red notice: what it means and why South Africa requested it

A judicial commission has found that the Guptas orchestrated massive corruption and the capture of the South African state, with the help of their friend, former president Jacob Zuma.
Water flows from the Vaal Dam after several sluice gates were opened in February 2021. Heavy rains in the Gauteng province resulted in a spike in dam levels. Deaan Vivier/ via GettyImages

Why full dams don’t mean water security: a look at South Africa

Gauteng citizens need to know the uncomfortable truth: for the next six years, their water supplies will increasingly have to be restricted.
Wildfires are the inevitable consequence of three factors coming together at the same time: an ignition, the weather and fuel. Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images

The Table Mountain fire: what we can learn from the main drivers of wildfires

The fynbos vegetation that historically clothed the slopes of Table Mountain is highly inflammable. This has been worsened by the spread of alien trees that burn more intensely than the fynbos.
Demolition of uninhabited shacks in Bloekombos, Kraaifontein, Cape Town, August 6, 2020. The land, which was to be developed as a community facility for neighbouring communities, has been illegally occupied by people who have been demarcating plots and building informal settlements. Rodger Bosch/AFP

Can social housing help South Africa overcome its legacy of apartheid?

Despite millions of free homes built since 1994, spatial inequality in South Africa remains high. A study evaluating a programme to boost rentals in well-located areas found mixed results, however.

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