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Africa Geographic
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Africa Geographic Travel

Penguin Slick

A major oil slick from SELI 1 on the Table View beach front on Saturday, 1 September 2012 meant that hundreds of seabirds needed to be de-oiled.

The Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds (SANCCOB), along with many volunteers, have been working frantically since then. The African penguin population has seen a 90% decline in their numbers over the last 100 years and this is largely attributed to increased traffic, and thus pollution, on our coastline.

Penguin Slick, © 50|50
© 50|50
Penguin Slick, © 50|50
© 50|50

Damage from these oil spills does not end with affected birds. The oil that sinks will do even more damage later… With thousands of vessels on our coastlines, and more and more daily incidents, can we hope to conserve the many marine species in the oceans? South African Salvage crews are some of the most in-demand because of their highly developed skills form lots of practise. With increasing coastal traffic and more and more affected species, the real question is do we have the capacity to deal with the consequences of more disasters? Furthermore, do the institutions we employ to protect our coastlines have the funds to do so? Pierre investigates this week on 50|50.

Coal Yard Horses

While Eskom delivers electricity to many South African homes, warmth in the form of cooking fuel is delivered to Tembisa homes by horse and cart. Unfortunately, like all delivery vehicles, horses and donkeys need to be looked after but with limited resources it is not possible. Horses contract diseases and parasites, the day-to-day injuries turn septic and there seemed little that could be done.

Natalie Pope, a dedicated and passionate individual took it upon herself to treat the horses, educate the owners and set up a chain of command for injured horses. Natalie has since developed an equally passionate team in conjunction with Animals in Distress. Despite it costing R400 000 a month to run Animals in Distress, there is provision made to look after the horses. Together they strive for a sustainable service that seeks the best for owners and horses alike.

Coal Yard Horses © 50|50
© 50|50

No air to breathe

Our Eko-ondersoek-ers, Pierre and Faye were once again contacted with regard to something happening in our environment. The community of Protea Glen has been struggling for over a year now with what they call a health hazard to their community. The skies are filled with dust so bad that people are coughing and struggling to find any fresh air. This they claim, is the fault of a cement factory which runs what they believe to be an illegal operation of blending and packaging cement in a residential area. 50|50, together with an air quality specialist test the air to validate the claims and find out about the legality of the cement operation.


Lions are the focus of VeldFokus this week. We look at some lions climbing trees, one young lion too wild for the wild and some lions up to their usual buffalo-hunting antics.

Shenton Safaris
50| 50

A television programme that has, for twenty-five years, presented the successes and disasters of conservation to South Africa's people. 50|50 has influenced environmental policy, stirred the public against environmental injustices, promoted the work of our dedicated conservationists, and helped to create a stronger awareness of conservation and environmental issues in South Africa. Weekly on a Monday on SABC2 at 7:30pm - 8:30pm Visit the 50/50 website , or follow us on Facebook