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Alexander Brand

Stellenbosch, South Africa
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About Alexander
Alexander Brand is a journalist based in Stellenbsoch, South Africa (near Cape Town). He currently works as a freelance writer and reporter for The South African (www.thesouthafrican.com). Before that, he spent three years at his community newspaper DieMatie (www.diematie.com).
Afrikaans English
News Gathering Feature Stories Content Writing
Politics Current Affairs Science & Environment

Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

01 Dec 2022  |  Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans
The article highlights the achievements of various young South Africans who are making significant contributions in fields such as education, community development, science, and technology. It features individuals like Tsholofelo Mosala, who works to protect cultural rights, and Sibusiso Malindisa, who is researching anti-cancer drugs. The text also mentions organizations like the CRL Rights Commission and the Azania Research Centre, emphasizing their roles in promoting cultural heritage and traditional medicine. The narrative is a blend of factual achievements and inspirational quotes, showcasing the positive impact these young leaders are making in South Africa.

Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans

29 Jun 2022  |  Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans
The Mail & Guardian profiles 200 young South Africans across various industries who are making significant contributions to their fields. These individuals are entrepreneurs, innovators, and leaders who are shaping the future of South Africa through their work in technology, agriculture, finance, healthcare, and more. They are recognized for their achievements, aspirations, and the positive impact they have on their communities and the country at large.

Covid-19: Western Cape sees increase in vaccinations, booster shots this week

14 Jan 2022  |  news24.com
The Western Cape health department observed a rise in Covid-19 vaccinations and booster shots, with over 41,000 jabs administered in the first four days of the week. The adult vaccination rate in the province is at 54%, with 47% fully vaccinated. The uptake of booster vaccines has also increased following their availability to all eligible age groups. The region is currently in the fourth wave of Covid-19, with a decline in case numbers. Data indicates that fully vaccinated individuals have a significantly lower risk of dying from the Omicron variant compared to those not vaccinated.

Covid-19: Universities, student bodies could be headed for showdown over vaccination policies

10 Jan 2022  |  www.news24.com
Mandatory vaccination policies are becoming a contentious issue in South African universities as the 2022 academic year approaches. The University of Western Cape's Student Representative Council has expressed growing anxiety among students due to these policies. While some universities have adopted mandatory vaccination to curb Covid-19 spread, student leaders argue that such measures could lead to the exclusion of certain university members.

Cape Town man injured near Steenbras River after diving into mountain pool

08 Jan 2022  |  www.news24.com
A man in his late 20s was injured after jumping into a mountain pool near the Steenbras River mouth between Gordon's Bay and Kogel Bay. Wilderness Search and Rescue (WSAR) responded to a distress call and found the man with a rib injury. After treatment, he was able to walk and did not require hospitalization. WSAR spokesperson Johann Marais advised hikers to be cautious when jumping into water and to stay on footpaths.

Western Cape road deaths, accidents drop during last week of December

04 Jan 2022  |  www.news24.com
Road-related fatalities and accidents in the Western Cape decreased in the last week of December compared to the previous week. The Western Cape Department of Transport and Public Works reported a drop from 35 crashes to 22, and fatalities from 55 to 32. Provincial Traffic Services issued nearly 10,000 fines and recorded 428 speeding offences. Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell emphasized the dangers of irresponsible driving and the need to address drunk driving cases swiftly.

Covid-19: South Africa records 11,754 new infections and a further 84 deaths

01 Jan 2022  |  www.news24.com
South Africa reported 11,754 new Covid-19 cases and 84 deaths on Friday, bringing the total confirmed cases to 3,458,286 and the death toll to 91,145. The Western Cape led with 26% of new infections, followed by KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. The country's positivity rate was 27.2%. There were 418 new hospital admissions, with 9,401 people currently hospitalized. Cumulative tests reached 21,231,024, with 43,160 conducted in the last cycle. Vaccination doses administered totaled 27,955,112, with 15,590,480 adults fully vaccinated and 908,441 doses given to children aged 12 and older.

Western Cape drivers rack up more than R8m in traffic fines in one week

29 Dec 2021  |  www.news24.com
Western Cape Provincial Traffic Services issued nearly 6,000 fines totaling over R8 million in one week, amid increased road crashes during the festive season. Authorities conducted extensive roadblocks and vehicle checks, resulting in numerous impoundments and discontinuations for un-roadworthiness. Transport and Public Works MEC Daylin Mitchell expressed concern over the high number of drunk driving incidents. The province recorded 35 crashes and 55 fatalities last week, with over 100 road fatalities by Christmas Eve. Similar trends were observed in KwaZulu-Natal, with officials urging motorists to reduce speed and avoid drinking and driving. Nationally, there was a 142% increase in road crashes compared to the previous year.

Cops recover hand and smoke grenades in Cape Town

28 Dec 2021  |  News24
Police in Cape Town confiscated an M26-HE hand grenade during a raid in Philippi's Klipfontein Mission Station informal settlement. The Western Cape Extortion Task Team, focusing on organized crime and illegal activities, was informed about the grenade's presence. The K9 unit recovered the grenade, and an inquiry was opened. Additionally, a military-issued smoke grenade was found in Mitchells Plain, and a case of possession of military pyrotechnics was opened for further investigation.

SPCA removes lodged fishhooks from seal in Kalk Bay harbour

28 Dec 2021  |  www.news24.com
The Cape of Good Hope SPCA successfully removed fishhooks from a seal in Kalk Bay harbour after the animal endured pain for about three weeks. Chief Inspector Jaco Pieterse led the rescue operation, while spokesperson Belinda Abraham highlighted the dangers of discarded fishing hooks and lines to marine life. The incident underscores the broader issue of environmental hazards posed by irresponsible fishing practices.

Fancourt tees off in annual golf cart parade, in aid of child welfare

25 Dec 2021  |  news24.com
The Fancourt golf cart parade in George, South Africa, collected nearly 100 toys for the George Child and Family Welfare. Thirty-six golf carts participated, decorated according to the theme 'A Few of My Favourite Things.' The event, which is in its second year, is aimed at raising awareness and supporting vulnerable children during Christmas. Valor Hospitality's managing partner Tony Romer-Lee and Fancourt's corporate social responsibility chairperson Jenny Streicher expressed their delight at the community's generosity. The George Child and Family Welfare's senior social worker, Leilanie Peacock, acknowledged the joy brought to children by the continuous support from Fancourt. The event's initiators, Lisa and Alon Kowen, hope to increase participation in the following year.

Stellenbosch University nightwatchman becomes first black South African man to obtain PhD in viticulture

17 Dec 2021  |  news24.com
Andries Daniels, at the age of 40, has made history as the first black South African man to earn a PhD in viticulture from Stellenbosch University. Working as a nightwatchman while completing his undergraduate degree, Daniels has now been with the Agricultural Research Council for 16 years. His research involved using near-infrared spectroscopy to predict grape quality. In 2020, he and his supervisor, Phyllis Burger, released the Sundowner raisin grape cultivar. His family from Kimberley attended his graduation ceremony.

Weather warnings issued for Eastern, Western Cape

15 Dec 2021  |  news24.com
Weather warnings have been issued for the Western and Eastern Cape provinces in South Africa, forecasting strong winds and thunderstorms. The Western Cape is expected to face strong south-easterly winds, leading to rough seas and potential risks for small vessels and high-sided vehicles. The Eastern Cape has experienced severe storms recently, with thunderstorms expected to cause localized damage to property and affect livelihoods. Over 90,000 customers lost power due to the storms, with 11,000 still without electricity. The adverse weather has resulted in deaths, displacement, and loss of livestock. The Western Cape is also expected to receive above-normal rainfall during the festive season.

Girl, 16, missing after being swept away while swimming in Crocodile River

15 Dec 2021  |  www.news24.com
A 16-year-old girl named Nokulunga Mbokane was swept away by the Crocodile River in Mpumalanga, according to police. Despite efforts by the Ehlanzeni Police Diving Unit to find her, she remains missing and is presumed to have drowned. The incident occurred as she and friends were playing in the river. Police have issued warnings against playing in rivers during the current heavy rainfall.

Capetonians express disappointment as minstrel carnival cancelled again

14 Dec 2021  |  News24
The annual Cape Town Minstrel Carnival, organized by the Kaapse Klopse Karnival Association, has been cancelled for the second consecutive year due to the Covid-19 fourth wave. The cancellation has caused disappointment among Capetonians and economic hardship for those who rely on the event for income, including small businesses and community projects. Despite the cancellation, there is a possibility of individual troupes performing in smaller community events while adhering to Covid-19 protocols. The event's financing is complex and largely underfunded, with little support from the Western Cape and national governments. Residents expressed their frustration and sadness over the loss of a cultural tradition that brings life to the city.

No topic is too risque for Danny Painter’s new online book show

01 Jan 2021  |  The South African
Danny Painter, a popular radio host and TV presenter, has launched 'The XOh Book Show', an online program that reviews erotic fan fiction. Painter, alongside her friend Love, who has a BA (Hons) in English Literature, explores various erotic works, with Love providing literary analysis and Painter focusing on the more provocative aspects. The show was conceived during the pandemic as a digital alternative to traditional book clubs, offering interaction through Goodreads, XOTV comments, and social media. The show aims to destigmatize the enjoyment of 'taboo' topics and brings joy to its audience. Episodes are available monthly on the XOTV channel, and the show can be followed on Instagram at @thexohbookshow.

Meet South Africa’s youngest ‘gin scientist’, Matt Beech

08 Dec 2020  |  The South African
The article tells the story of Matt Beech, who, uncertain about his future after high school, took a gap year that led him to Los Angeles and eventually to bartending. His journey in bartending began on a boat in Marina del Rey and progressed to bartending competitions. His skills caught the attention of Belvedere and Autograph Gin's co-owner, Anthony Norton. Beech was mentored by Roger Jorgenson of Jorgensen’s Distillery and has since made a name for himself in the craft gin industry. Autograph Gin, where Beech is involved, has won several awards and is known for its 'African Dry Gin.' The article also touches on the unique packaging of Autograph Gin, inspired by the colourful history of gin, designed by artist Brandt Botes.

Stop and smell the gin: Guide to classic botanicals which make spirit sing

23 Nov 2020  |  The South African
The article discusses the various botanicals used in South African gins and their origins, tastes, and recommended uses as garnishes in gin and tonics (G&Ts) or specific cocktails. Juniper, a mandatory ingredient in gin, is noted for its pine-like flavor. Coriander seeds, with origins in Southern Europe, Northern Africa, and Southwestern Asia, are highlighted for their citrus and nutty taste. Angelica root, citrus plants, black pepper, liquorice, and cassia bark are also discussed, each with their unique flavor profiles and origins. The article mentions specific South African gin brands that feature these botanicals and suggests how best to use them in drinks. It also reminds readers that despite some botanicals having medicinal properties, gin should not be considered a form of medication and should be consumed responsibly.

Distinctive distillation: The key to quality gin lies at its heart

23 Nov 2020  |  The South African
The article discusses the history and production process of gin, a popular distilled alcoholic drink flavored with juniper berries. Originating as a medicinal drink in the 11th century, gin has evolved through simple distillation processes to become a commercially produced spirit. The production of gin involves creating a neutral base spirit, commonly from wheat, barley, grape, or sugar, and then re-distilling it with botanicals through maceration or vapour infusion. The distillation process is divided into three parts: heads, hearts, and tails, with only the heart, or middle cut, being used for high-quality gin. After distillation, the gin is rested, diluted to the desired alcohol by volume (ABV), and filtered before bottling. The article details the methods and considerations in creating the distinct flavors of gin.

New collection of short stories from Grabouw’s Lester Walbrugh

23 Nov 2020  |  The South African
Lester Walbrugh, a South African writer, has released his debut anthology of short stories titled 'Let It Fall Where It Will', published by Karavan Press. The book explores themes of race and sexuality and was launched at Elgin Ridge Wine Estate with local writer Bettina Wyngaard. Walbrugh, who grew up in Grabouw and later traveled extensively, draws inspiration from his experiences in South Africa, the UK, and Japan. He placed third in Short Story Day Africa’s annual competition in 2018. Walbrugh is also working on a debut novel and recently took on an unexpected acting role in the film 'Two Thirds of a Man'. For more information, Karavan Press and Walbrugh can be found on Instagram.

The Spirited History of Gin: From Dutch Courage to Craft Cocktails

22 Nov 2020  |  The South African
The article explores the rich history of gin, tracing its origins back to the Dutch genever created by Professor Sylvius de Bouve in the 16th century. It became popular in England during the Thirty Years War, where it was known for providing 'Dutch courage'. The drink's popularity surged when Dutch King William of Orange ascended the English throne and boycotted French brandy. The Gin Craze of the 18th century led to social issues in England, similar to the 1980s crack epidemic in the US. The article also covers the evolution of gin through the Gin Acts, the creation of 'Old Tom', and the iconic gin and tonic mix's association with the Royal British Navy. Post-World War setbacks and the 20th-century cocktail revival are discussed, leading to the current craft gin movement with brands like Sipsmith and Malfy competing with commercial gins.

Gerald Clark announces live stream show from the Czech Republic

27 Oct 2020  |  The South African
South African blues musician Gerald Clark is set to perform his first live stream show, 'Gerald Clark Live – Blues & Love Songs', from the Czech Republic on 28 October. The show will include a mix of Clark's atmospheric blues covers, hits from his albums, and new songs set to release in 2021. Clark, who resides in the Czech Republic, reminisced about writing his song 'Elderflowers' and discussed his upcoming album. He also plans to visit South Africa in early 2021 for shows, family visits, and surfing. The music video for 'Elderflowers', shot in Prague and the Morava region, features his fianceé Radka Bartošíková and was produced by South African agency AWEMYBRU. Tickets for the live stream are available on Homestage.co.za, as Clark turns to virtual performances due to the pandemic-induced lockdown in Europe.

South African electronic duo GoldFish performs in California

29 Sep 2020  |  The South African
South African electronic DJ duo GoldFish, consisting of David Poole and Dominic Peters, recently performed at Belly Up Tavern in San Diego and released a new single titled 'Forever Free' featuring Nate Highfield and Silver. The single comes with an animated music video created by Matt Torode and Mike Scott. GoldFish also participated in a live-streamed fundraising gala for Project Playground, an NGO in South Africa. The duo has toured Brazil and the United States, with memorable performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre and Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. They are also celebrating the 10th anniversary of their album 'Get Busy Living' and have reissued their 2005 album 'Caught In The Loop' on vinyl. An upcoming album is expected to return to their roots.

BRAhSSE celebrates diversity

12 Aug 2020  |  The South African
BRAhSSE is a Cape streetwear fashion brand founded by Abdu-Shakoer Baderoen and his friends, aiming to represent the post-apartheid generation's identity through locally produced clothing. The brand, which started in 2017 at Stellenbosch University, celebrates diversity and unity in South Africa. BRAhSSE, which stands for heritage, has gained attention for its unique designs and has been invited to the Agenda Las Vegas trade show in 2021. The brand has collaborated with Jive Cooldrinks and is part of a larger collective, XCV, which includes Neighbourhood Entertainment and Smaak Vriet. The founders are fundraising to cover the costs of showcasing at Agenda Las Vegas and have plans to expand their product lines and open pop-up stores across South Africa.

Francois van Coke to livestream his annual rock concert with friends

12 Aug 2020  |  The South African
South African musician Francois van Coke, known for his work with bands Fokofpolisiekar and Van Coke Kartel, is set to celebrate his 40th birthday with the 'Francois van Coke en Vriende Livestream 2020' concert. Despite challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the event will proceed as a two-hour online show streamed from Cape Town. Van Coke has a successful solo career with multiple albums and hit singles, and has also been a coach on 'The Voice South Africa'. He has collaborated with various artists, including a recent partnership with Jan Blohm on the single 'Die Toekoms'. The article also mentions his TV show 'Die Van Coke Show' on kykNET and his upcoming collaborations with artists like Van Pletzen and Matthew Mole.

Profile: Love, death and Harry Potter inspire Spoegwolf’s Danie du Toit

03 Aug 2020  |  The South African
Danie “Reënwolf” du Toit, the lead singer of the South African rock group Spoegwolf and co-owner of the Stellenbosch restaurant Drum, is featured in this article. Du Toit has released a poetry anthology and is involved in various creative and culinary ventures. Spoegwolf has an online platform, Die Rivier, for artist interaction and is working on a new album set to release on September 1. The band will also participate in South Africa's first drive-in live music show, Innikar, alongside other top bands. Du Toit's restaurant Drum is not only a culinary spot but also a platform for social change and has launched a coffee brand, Drum Loud Coffee. Additionally, Du Toit was involved in a new online series and a television show for DStv's Channel 147.

Proudly Elléna: Cape Town street artist Elléna Lourens

27 Jul 2020  |  The South African
South African street artist Elléna Lourens is gaining recognition for her work in illustrations, street art, painting, and embroidery. She combines ancient symbols with a modern aesthetic and has collaborated with artists like Faith XLVII and Keya Tama. Lourens has created murals internationally, including her first public piece in New York in 2017. She enjoys the freedom of painting and has a particular affinity for using shades of pink. Lourens has spent significant time in the US, where she finds more opportunities for street art. She admires the fashion industry and plans to move into fashion. During the lockdown, she has continued to work on various projects and participated in the 'Out of Touch' exhibition, which supports the fight against COVID-19 and racism, with part of the proceeds going to Color of Change and Heart to Heart International.

Stepping into Health the Convenient way

18 Feb 2019  |  morethanfoodmag.com
The article discusses strategies for adopting a healthier lifestyle, emphasizing the importance of making small, sustainable changes rather than drastic ones. It suggests starting with one healthier meal a day, having a support system, and not being too hard on oneself for occasional failures. The author shares their personal challenges with dieting and introduces Plated Convenience, a company that provides healthy meals, as a convenient solution to maintain a healthy diet. The author plans to try Plated Convenience's 21 day Starter Pack and will later share an interview with the founder, Willbert Kinnear, and a review of the meals.

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