Today's Big Stories

Sex predators finding learners online

Learners meet high numbers of sex predators online

A claim this morning from the Bureau of Market Research at Unisa is that one quarter of high school learners have been persuaded to perform sexual acts by a paedophile online. Researcher at that bureau's Youth Research Unit, Goodness Zulu:

We came to this finding as a result of a study we conducted last year amongst Gauteng learners. It isn't actually just paedophiles that are doing this, but it is other people that haven't been classified as such that are also doing this sexual grooming of children online. It is predominantly adults that are doing this grooming of children with the purposes of their own sexual gratification or with the purposes of producing porn. 1/4 is very high and one child is also one too many - this is a concerning number. What is encouraging - in terms of what we've found in our research - is that parents have started engaging their children on a lot of the dangers associated with technology.

The question of unions and representation

Billionaire business man Johann Rupert's Tuesday comment is that trade unions destroy jobs and that they do not represent the unemployed. Rupert also claims that a high minimum wage with a terrible education system is creating what he calls a new system of slavery.Cosatu President, Sdumo Dlamini:

I saw that unfortunate statement by Johan - a multi-billionaire who is not employed and claims to have feelings for the unemployed and the poor. It is not true. Cosatu and a lot of unions coordinate campaigns and fight for jobs and better benefits for workers; that is why we are in a fight against labour brokers and casualisation, as we are fighting for the dignity of workers. What Rupert is propagating views that are anti-worker and that is not what Cosatu stands for.

The power shift

A comment this morning during 702's John Robbie Show by Joburg Mayor Parks Tau is that the City is working on a plan with big business and private power producers to try and stop some load shedding in the province. Spokesperson for Manufacturing Circle, Bruce Strong:

I think as manufacturers, there's always opportunities to reduce consumption through efficiency. But doing instantaneously would be difficult. In the short term, you would have to cut down production. There's a lot one could do in terms of optimization. Reduction in power in the immediate term would result in a reduction in output. Having said that, it is also important to mention that there are ways that many businesses could contribute towards the generation of power.

Meanwhile, the Parkhurst Residents' Association in Joburg claims that as a suburb, it is going to go off the grid in the next few years. Go Green Project Leader, Ryan Beech:

It's not a short term goal - by 2020, we want to get as many houses entirely off Eskom's grid and we're hoping that by the end of this year to have 80% of residents to go for an entry-level system. We came to negotiate with various suppliers and we're putting together some packages. It is an expensive solution, but it is the best solution at this time.

#ProteasOnFire ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015

At Melrose Arch in Joburg, there's a sending off ceremony for our national cricket team the Proteas as they leave tonight for the ICC Cricket World Cup in Australia. EWN Sport's Jean Smyth:

We aren't seeing the typical 'bullish' nature typical of teams that have gone before - the overwhelming theme is of confidence, but that there's a big task ahead, with Sports Minister Mbalula invoking the spirit of Madiba in praising the make up of the team. The ceiling of nation-building is what Haroon Lorgat has spoken a lot of through the #ProteasOnFire Campaign especially and that 'the fire' is what might get them over the line in this year's World Cup.

Digital migration pursued

The Business Day reports that the ANC has decided to opt for a system of encryption in the new digital migration set-top boxes. MD at Strategy Worx Consulting, Steven Ambrose:

The big battle has been between the free-to-air channels and the pay-per-view industry over if the creation of the encryption, which would mean going into competition with them. Already, Icasa were taken to court by Multichoice over this matter.

Foreign and local entrepreneurs' battle for space

On the Tuesday edition of the Midday Report, the head of Soweto Business Access, Mputhu Mputhi said that foreign nationals running shops in Soweto had been selling counterfeit goods. Mputhi further claimed that they were also breaking the law by not paying tax. Chairperson of the Somali Retailer Association, Abdi Ahmed Aden:

Not at all, those are just rumours and propaganda that is being spread by those that are trying to overcome foreign-owned shops. This has been going on for some time now and these claims of selling counterfeit cigarettes, etc stem back to 2008. They are always coming with these claims to take foreign businesses out of the market.

Jordanian executions

The government of Jordan has now hanged two people it says belonged to the group Isis after Isis released a video claiming to show a Jordanian pilot being executed, by being burnt to death. EWN Middle-East Correspondent, Paula Slier:

The Jordanian King was in Washington and has now gone back to Jordan and has promised that there will be an earth-shaking response, with people calling for revenge. Revenge has been carried out of course via the two executions - the mood on Jordanian streets is one of revenge.

Author of To Kill A Mockingbird finally releasing book 55 years later

News breaking overnight that American author Harper Lee - who wrote the book To Kill a Mockingbird – is now going to publish her second novel. Wits English Department Professor Michael Titlestad:

It must be one of the biggest selling novels of all time and should be alongside - in American terms -Catcher in the Rye and Huckleberry Finn. The book was very topical and it articulates the experiences of so many people across the world and of race in the South of America. It is also an exceptionally well-written book, so it will be very exciting to see a second one.

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