Robotic welcome: meet South Africa’s hospitality bots
05 February 2021 | 7:00 am
In Johannesburg, three robots navigate the corridors of the 453-room upmarket Hotel Sky, answering guests' queries and delivering room service orders. Put in place before the pandemic, the hotel has embraced the new technology even more than it had originally inteded, as a way to help reduce the risk of infection by Covid-19 in a country that has recorded nearly 45,000 deaths.
In 2019, scientists working for South Africa’s government completed a study on the health impacts of pollution from the country's sprawling coal industry. So far, it has not seen the light of day. The study, a copy of which was reviewed by Reuters, showed more than 5,000 South Africans die annually in the country’s coal belt because the government has failed to enforce its own air quality standards.
Former president FW de Klerk, the man who freed Nelson Mandela, has died. The last apartheid president passed away at the age of 85 after a battle with cancer.
The COP26 climate conference in Glasgow is entering the final hours of what are likely to be tough negotiations. In order to reduce carbon emissions, one key objective is putting an end to coal power. South Africa is among the countries that have pledged to progressively phase out this highly polluting fossil fuel. But on the ground, coal mines are booming. Our correspondents Caroline Dumay, Stefan Carstens, Nadine Theron and Sophie Lamotte report.
The NGO says authorities desperately need to do more to address the crisis of gender-based violence, particularly amid the pandemic. But hard data on the number of victims is still worryingly difficult to come by.
South Africa's health minister has said a newly identified coronavirus variant is of "serious concern." Scientists said the variant could be behind a major spike in cases in the country.
The Dutch public health institute said in a statement that testing was continuing on the samples of 61 people who tested positive for COVID after arriving from South Africa.
It was the largest single transfer of white rhinos ever undertaken. The species is threatened by illegal poaching.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday hosted his South African counterpart, Cyril Ramaphosa, in the Presidential Villa Abuja. The South African President who is accompanied by a delegation of ministers and business leaders is on a state visit expected to reinforce South Africa’s bilateral relations with Nigeria as well as strengthen partnerships directed at African development and cooperation in multilateral forums.
South Africa's president warns of a "health apartheid", criticising travel bans once again. This as Omicron becomes the dominant strain of Covid-19 in the country. Meanwhile in Cameroon, we meet survivors of sexual violence from the Anglophone regions. Rape and abuse are being used as weapons of war in the conflict. Finally, our reporters are in Gambia ahead of Saturday's presidential poll. We bring you a report on voters waiting to take part in the country's democratic transition.
The new variant has come with a spike in cases, but it remains to be seen how much it will affect South African hospitals. New COVID infections have jumped from about 200 a day last month to more than 11,500 on Thursday.
The spekboom plant, excellent at sucking CO2 out of the atmosphere, has been badly degraded in South Africa. Now an initiative is using innovative planting methods to bring back the plant and restore soil and biodiversity.
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Shares in Sony slumped more by than 10 percent in Tokyo on Wednesday on news of Microsoft's $75 billion deal to buy the video games maker Activision Blizzard. Investors fear the acquisition could mean popular titles like Call of Duty would be moved exclusively to Microsoft platforms. FRANCE 24's Business Editor Stephen Carroll examines the consequences of the deal for the companies involved, and their rivals.