"The Giving USA 2019 report by the Giving USA Foundation and the University of Indiana Lilly Family School of Philanthropy has just come out. The good news? American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave $427 billion to U.S. charities in 2018, according to Giving USA 2019: The Annual Report on Philanthropy for the Year 2018. We Americans are very generous to our churches and charities. In good times, we give a bit over 2 percent of our national GDP to charities. The bad news? 2018 was a down year. Adjusted for inflation, total giving declined 1.7 percent.

Frankly, we have been expecting this news ever since the U.S. tax overhaul went into effect in early 2018. All is not lost, though. At TechSoup, we of course follow technology closely, and we have some ideas on how you can use digital fundraising techniques and tools to thrive in recessionary philanthropic times.

Read more on TechSoup

"Alien vegetation still poses a significant threat to Cape Town's water supply. Clearing the water-guzzling invasive alien trees is the most cost-effective solution to help with the City of Cape Town’s water resilience plan. This is according to Louise Stafford, the Nature Conservancy's water fund project director for South Africa.  While city officials consider spending R8-billion on engineered solutions to boost Cape Town's water supply, Stafford says alien plant clearing will guarantee the most water return for the least cost. According to Stafford, a total of 50 billion litres (two months' water supply for Cape Town) could be harnessed if 54 000 hectares of identified alien vegetation is cleared around the Cape's dams."

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

  • In a comparative study among 50 countries, South Africa placed last in the measurement of the reading skill set of Grade 4 learners.
  • 702/CapeTalk host Eusebius McKaiser said that the young are being set up for guaranteed failure, and democracy in itself is in trouble if our children cannot read with comprehension.
  • Stephen Taylor, Director of Research at the Department of Basic Education: 
    • Early reading outcomes are strongly predictive of later education outcomes like getting to matric.
    • If we look at between 2006 and 2011 there actually does seem to be an improvement. 

Read more and listen to the podcast on Cape Talk

"Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) has revealed that nearly half of South Africa's children have never read a book with a parent, raising questions about whether or not there has been a culture of reading harnessed in the country. Puku Foundation executive director Elinor Sisulu has provided context to the problem, with a look at the history of the migrant labour system which has lead to the absence of parents."

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

"Around 900,000 doses of cholera vaccine have been unloaded in Mozambique to help stave off a possible epidemic, in the wake of the devastation caused by Cyclone Idai. The immunisation programme will start immediately in unison with an awareness campaign on local radio stations. So far, two cholera deaths and 1,428 cases of the water-borne disease have been confirmed, Aljezeera reports."

Read more in the article on Bizcommunity


"The rate of unemployment in South Africa rose to 27.6% at the end of the first quarter (Q1) of the year. It’s the worst figure since Q3/2017, a nearly 15-year high. About 237 000 fewer people had jobs in Q1/2019 compared to Q4/2018. There are now 6.2 million South Africans who are actively looking for a job but can’t find one.

The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed Kevin Lings, Chief Economist at Stanlib Asset Management."

Listen the the interview on Cape Talk

  • Almost four in five Grade 4 pupils fall below the lowest internationally recognised level of reading literacy‚ and South Africa is last out of 50 countries in the Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (Pirls).
  • Professor Sarah Howie‚ the Pirls co-ordinator for South Africa‚ said the results suggested most pupils cannot read well enough to succeed in subjects across the curriculum in Grade 4 and higher grades.
  • “While less than half of the learners who wrote the tests in English and Afrikaans could read‚ 80% of those learning in one of the other nine official languages effectively cannot read at all.”

Read more in TimesLive


"The Cape Town water crisis was averted, temporarily, but taps in other parts of South Africa have run dry.To grapple with the country’s ongoing water problems, we need to understand structural failure in the system. The infrastructure of our cities is based on the outdated notion that there is plenty of water for all uses, including flushing our sewage to the waste treatment works. While some retooling has been done, the fundamental structural problem remains: the design of water systems assume there is enough sustainable water for them to continue functioning."

Read more on Daily Maverick

The newly established Chair in African Philanthropy – a joint initiative between the University of Witwatersrand Business School (WBS) and the Southern Africa Trust aims to mainstream the narrative of African philanthropy and the practice of gifting through the promotion of pan-African research, teaching and dialogue. Prof Alan Fowler, visiting chair, speaks about the need for an enhanced discourse and deeper understanding of African philanthropy.


"South Africa will have a 17% water deficit by 2030 and unless urgent steps are taken to implement a range of integrated solutions, the country’s next looming crisis will be severe water scarcity. This emerged at a hard-hitting review of both Nelson Mandela Bay and the country’s water supply and usage status at the Nelson Mandela University Business School on Wednesday, where experts warned of a water crisis that would mirror SA’s energy woes."

Read more in SundayTimes



"It is cause for deep concern when Angie Motshekga, the minister of basic education - who has served in that role for a decade - concedes she does not understand why there are still schools without decent toilets. It is utterly unacceptable that the minister's response to a national crisis is that her hands are tied and the responsibility lies not with her but with other national government departments, other state organs, and with provincial MECs. This has been repeated by Motshekga over the course of her tenure..."

Read more in Sunday Times


"According to Statistics South Africa, the country’s unemployment rate has risen to 27.6% at the end of the first quarter of the year, the highest level since the third quarter of 2017. There are now 6.2 million South Africans who are actively looking for a job but can’t find one. To unpack what the unemployment rate, Eusebius McKaiser chats to Institute for Economic Justice policy director Neil Coleman, economist Dr Thabi Leoka and Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute director Isobel Frye."

Listen to the interview on Cape Talk

"Research shows that women, whether wealthy or not, outpace men at similar income levels when it comes to charitable giving. But female donors respond to different fundraising tactics than male givers do, and few nonprofits are actively working to attract and cultivate women supporters."

Read more in The Chronicle of Philanthropy

When Michael Porter and Mark Kramer published ‘Creating shared value‘ in Harvard Business Review in February 2011, the impact was huge. Although much of it was positive (a stellar citation rate; articles in The New York Times, The Economist, The Guardian; Davos roundtables; McKinsey’s award for the best HBR article in 2011), many within the sustainability community were less impressed.

John Elkington, executive chair of Volans and the nearest sustainability has to a founding father, took Porter deftly to task for his lack of subtlety. Paul Polman, Unilever CEO and sustainability’s leading light ever since he told short-term speculators to sell their shares in his company, was also unconvinced.

Others decided that the difference between sustainability and shared value was simply semantics. We don’t agree.

"The landscape and environment of the classroom have changed with the new innovative methods being used and children appearing to be more outspoken than before.

Executive director of the National Professional Teachers Organisation (Naptosa) Basil Manuel joins CapeTalk host Abongile Nzelenzele to give insight into the teaching profession, why some teachers are losing control of classrooms, and whether the profession is under threat."

Listen to the interview on Eyewitness News

"Behavioural scientist Mavis Ureke believes that South African women are worst affected by the country’s high levels of financial illiteracy. Speaking during Women’s Month (August 2019), Ureke discussed the low standard of financial education in South Africa, the financial difficulties many citizens face as a result, and the disproportionate impact that low financial literacy has on the Rainbow nation’s women."

 Read more in the Maravi Post

"If basic skills are not acquired and learners are pushed through school, it can have dire consequences for their future development, write Tholisa Matheza and Dianne Hendricks.
While tabling her budget vote in May last year, Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga proposed a progression policy which would see struggling learners from grades R to 3 (Foundation Phase) be advanced through primary school without having to repeat a grade, even if certain educational milestones had not been achieved. "

Read more in News24

"In a good system, a child in a rural poorer community and a child in a wealthier urban suburb should have an equally good teacher standing in front of them every day. But,  when we look at the data on how teachers are trained in South Africa, it is clear that our system still sets teachers up for failure long before they even enter the classroom – and in the process further disadvantages the children they teach."

Read more in the article on Daily Maverick