Itâ€™s been a heavy month.The long weekends have come and gone. Is there really that much for South Africans to be happy about right now? AAISHA DADI PATEL thinks so, and lists ten reasons why.Â
1. The rand is under R15 for the first time since December!
By 10:15 on Wednesday 30 March, the rand was at R14.96 to the dollar – the first time it was below the R15 mark since December. This came after US fed chair Janet Yellen made comments the night before alluding to the fact that the dollar is depreciating against most currencies, according to News24. By Thursday afternoon, it was down more than 20c more.
2. Pravin Gordhan has responded to the Hawks to set his story straight
While we shouldnâ€™t need to thank the sky for being blue, itâ€™s a good thing that it does its job. The same can be said for Minister Gordhan, who released a statement in response to the questions posed to him by the Hawks. “My legal advice is that I am not obligedâ€š under any lawâ€š to answer the questions sent to me by the Hawks but I believe it is in the public interest that I provide them with information I have at hand. Be that as it mayâ€š as a law abiding citizen I have decided to co-operate fully,â€ he said as he answered some of the questions put to him by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.
Itâ€™s good to know that we have politicians that we can rely on to be accountable.
3. The Constitutional Court orders President Zuma to pay back the money
After about two years of opposition parties calling for President Zuma to pay back the taxpayer money that he spent on the building of his Nkandla home, the Constitutional Court ruled on the last day of March that the Treasury will determine the amount for Zuma to pay, and that he should pay a portion of the non-security related expenses within 45 days of the Treasuryâ€™s report.
â€” The Daily VOX (@thedailyvox) March 31, 2016
Halala, ConCourt, halala!
4. The qualified accountant working as a petrol attendant who got his debts paid off by kind strangers
After a Facebook post detailing the story of the petrol attendant, known only as Henry, went viral, people flocked to help relieve him of his debts. The single dad arrived from Zimbabwe in 2008 and has since worked as a lecturer, car guard, small business owner and – for the last three months – as a petrol attendant, according to News24.
5. KZN will get a new bulk water plant which will assist 350, 000 inhabitants
The poorest of the poor living in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands are set to get a new water system in place, the construction of which has already provided 1, 163 jobs. The infrastructure will treat water from the uThukela River to supply to secondary networks in the iLembe District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal.
6. “South Africaâ€™s Schwarzenegger” shows off Ikasi Gym
Paying R100 membership a month, inhabitants of Alexandra in Johannesburg have a place to work out and be encouraged to pursue healthy lifestyles. The gym, a small business run out of the property where bodybuilding champion Tumi Masiteâ€™s home stands, has 350 members. Fiftyof them are recovering from strokes and getting treatment at the gym. Masite also trains youngsters who have had criminal or drug problems. “A lot of black people lack basic education about a healthy lifestyle. Lots of people are not working. Ikasi Gym is here for the people” Masite told Reuters.
7. A South African chef becomes the first South African to be awarded the prestigious Michelin star
Jan Hendrik Van Der Westhuizen told Cape Talk that even though he is based in France these days, traditional South African family recipes remain his favourite. â€œMy grandmotherâ€™s souskluitjies (cinnamon dumplings) was my favourite and I still canâ€™t do it the same way she did it and my momâ€™s pannekoek (pancakes).â€ Originally from Middelburg, Van Der Westhuizen now operates his restaurant, Restaurant JAN, in Nice.
8. The impressive space science project South Africa is piloting
These incredible images of the construction of the meerKAT telescope are really exciting! A precursor to the SKA (Square Kilometer Array) – a telescope which will be 50 times more sensitive and 10,000 times faster than the best radio telescopes – the MeerKAT array will function as a pathfinder to the SKA.
The South African Ambassador to Italy with the Italian Ambassador in South Africa in front of a MeerKAT antenna. pic.twitter.com/0qbo0iaeNq
â€” SKA Africa (@SKA_Africa) March 18, 2016
9. Graduation season!
The conclusion of the first quarter of the year sees many South African tertiary institutions holding their graduation ceremonies for the class of 2015 – and this crop has got a good dose of black excellence. Graduands this March include EFF Commander-in-Chief Julius Malema, and the #BlackGirlMagic that is Dr Tiisetso Lephoto. Yaasss!
â€” EFF Official Account (@EFFSouthAfrica) March 30, 2016
A photo posted by Kgethi Setati Phakeng (@fabacademic) on
10. More #BlackGirlMagic: Azile Nkabinde, the young accountant breaking barriers
After high school, the only hope Azile Nkabinde had for studying further was a bursary. Luckily, she received a Thuthuka Bursary – a South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) bursary available solely to African and coloured students who dream of becoming chartered accountants but do not have the funds to pursue that dream. Every year, between 250 and 300 Thuthuka bursaries are awarded for undergraduate BCom Accounting degrees, to students who come from disadvantaged communities.
After completing the four-year degree, aspiring CAâ€™s must pass an ITC board exam – and Azile has become the first Thuthuka student to EVER make it to the top 10. You go, girl!
Got any more good news stories that we may have missed? Mention them in the comments or tweet us @thedailyvox!