The Big Issue #239

  • February 16 to March 23, 2016
Pope Francis gives an exclusive interview to the street newspapers network and talks about tackling poverty and corruption, his origins in Buenos Aires, his poor soccer playing abilities, and missing the streets.

From the beauty of the hawksbill turtle captured in pristine blue waters off Papua New Guinea, to the male komodo dragons fighting for territory, to the red fox killing off an arctic fox in northern Canada as global warming increases its range, the Wildlife Photographer of the Year awards are a reminder of just how glorious our planet is — and also just how threatened it is by humanity.

Rise Up Bakeries is a smart, easy to establish small business development for people in surrounding towns. Five people are trained to run a container-based bakery, from baking through to finances and marketing, and take over the business themselves. We report on the one in Riebeek West.

We pull together a nationwide look at how the drought, extreme heat and mismanagement have created a critical situation in many parts of the country. And talk to people on the ground – township dwellers and farmers – about what it means to them. The effects on food production will be with us for some time to come…. And we need to address failures in water preservation and conservation urgently.

Just Jinger, one of the best-selling rock groups in South Africa, is back from a seven-year break with a brand-new album. Lead singer Ard Matthews explains why.

Chwayita’s story: Chwayita Desemele may struggle with English, but that hasn’t stopped her from being a very successful vendor on the corner of Kloof and Long Streets in the city and that’s why she’s been chosen as March Vendor of the Month.

Elsie’s story: Last year Elsie Ntsini’s eyesight was so bad she could only see shapes and shadows. It turned out she had cataracts in both eyes, so The Big Issue organized two ops for her over 5 months to restore her eyesight, operations that feel like miracles to her. You can visit her Bellville Market, Landros Street, Bellville.


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Pheliswa Ntloko

Pheliswa is originally from the Eastern Cape, but moved to Cape Town in 2012 in search of a job.

Michael Mangolwana

Fifty-six-year old Big Issue vendor Michael Mangolwane, was born and raised in Nyanga, and has not allowed his unbearable upbringing to determine his future. Michael endured harsh living conditions as a child because his parents struggled with alcohol abuse.

“Haybo Wena” song kicks off TB Awareness Month

With TB Awareness Month kicking off on Tuesday March 1 next week, the Haybo Wena! (Hey You!) Use Your Elbow, song aims to help prevent the […]

Private care exposed as costly, insensitive

After a week of public hearings into private healthcare, medical aids came out looking insensitive, while fees charged by hospitals and specialists were also hammered. A […]

Markets of Death, Part One: The Asian end of a grisly business

China’s desire for exotic animals, tastes and products will probably push wild elephants, rhinos, pangolins and many other species to extinction within the next 10 to […]

Two Elephant Bulls saved!

The clock was ticking. Two young bull elephants had broken out of Balule Private Reserve (bordering Kruger National Park) – crossed the main R40 road, trashed […]

When Sir Ian McKellen met Shakespeare

Sir Ian McKellen may be best known as the wizard Gandalf or the malevolent Magneto, but his finest acting moments belong on stage; recounting the words […]

Health-E: When a child gives birth, who failed her?

When a 12-year-old girl slides onto your operating table for a caesarean section, it’s hard not to ask how she got here – and the answer […]

Metrorail’s skorokoro trains

Every day, Cape Town’s long-suffering commuters face delays on Metrorail trains. And every day Metrorail offers a set of reasons for the delays. Defective signal equipment, […]

District Six: a 50 year anniversary of destruction

On 11 February 1966, the apartheid government resolved to force people out of District Six and demolish their homes. It was a horrendous act of destruction […]

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