The big nuke issue: SA’s big nuclear plan in the spotlight

The Big Issue 194 also debates the Fish Hoek Beach shark exclusion netsAs South Africans grit their teeth and brace themselves for a minimum 16% electricity tariff increase in April, The Big Issue tackles the big question: Will nuclear energy lead South Africa out the dark?

“Our explosive ‘big nuke debate’ pits two experts from opposing sides against each other to debate the pros and cons of South Africa’s R1 trillion nuclear energy plan, including safety, waste, cost and why we need — or don’t need — six new nuclear plants,” explains editor, Melany Bendix.

“With Eskom warning of yet more rolling blackouts this winter, the timing of this debate is more crucial than ever,” she adds, “and it’s done in such a way that everyone can understand and join the debate.”

Another big issue addressed in the latest edition is the proposed exclusion net trial in Fish Hoek, which the City of Cape Town hopes will keep the feared Great White well away from bathers. This report examines the proposal and looks at whether one non-fatal and two fatal attacks at the beach over the past decade warrant costly shark  exclusion nets.  for an update on the proposed shark exclusion nets go to:

Turning the focus to poverty, an exclusive photo essay shows all too vividly how Hong Kong may be one of Asia’s richest cities, yet it has the highest level of income inequality among the world’s most advanced economies. That inequality is glaringly manifested in the ever-increasing number of homeless living on the city’s streets.

“What struck me most about this photo essay,” says Bendix, “is that it is not only the jobless and destitute who are homeless. Hundreds of those with jobs are also being forced to live on Hong Kong’s affluent streets because they cannot afford to rent even the smallest rooms.”

On a lighter note, The Big Issue reveals the true stories behind Nevada’s “Extraterrestrial Highway”. This follows a recent de-gagging of the top secret Area 51 military base which, for the first time, allows retired US officials to talk about the spate of UFO sightings there.


Back home, the Agent of Change for this edition is Gidon Levenbach, a qualified acupuncturist who could be making a pretty penny charging Cape Town’s affluent for acupuncture sessions. Instead, he chooses to earn no salary from the free clinic he runs, the Flying Needle Project, where he provides free treatment to the city’s most destitute.

Another local personality featured is musician Andy Lund, who is about to release a second album with his band Andy Lund & The Mission Men. Lund, who has been playing to local audiences for 20 years, tells about his long-time passion for music, his success in The Big Apple and how — just like the musician he most reveres, Bruce Springsteen — he’s more of a journeyman than a one-hit-wonder.


The magazine also carries a jam-packed arts and entertainment section, as well as news you won’t read elsewhere. This includes a report on how South Africa is not prepared for its ageing population to double in the next 40 years. This warning is, however, not exclusive to South Africa — the World Health Organisation (WHO) has designated “ageing and health” as the key issue for this year’s World Health Day on April 7.

In happier news, Cape Town can expect a visit from Kenya’s Maasai Cricket Warriors, who have been invited to play in the Last Man Stands Twenty20 Championship in April.

“The cricket-playing warriors, clad in traditional Maasai dress, are incredible,” says Bendix. “Not only do their matches make for jaw-dropping photographs, but the story behind the team is equally awe inspiring. They actively campaign against harmful cultural practices, such as female genital mutilation, while fighting discrimination against women in Maasailand. And, through cricket, they hope to also spread awareness about HIV/Aids amongst youth.”

Expect this and a whole lot more in the new edition of The Big Issue, on sale from street vendors throughout Cape Town and some parts of Johannesburg until April 19.

For more information, contact:

Marketing and media:

Angie McErlean

021-461 6690 / 072 901 0589/


Melany Bendix

021-461-6690 / 082 200-7088 /