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Darren Taylor

Johannesburg, South Africa
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About Darren
Darren Taylor is a journalist based in Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa. He has been reporting on current affairs throughout Africa since the early 1990s. He specializes in longer form, in depth investigative and human interest features, for both radio and print, but is equally adept at short-form, hard news journalism. 

He considers himself to be too ugly for television, but that is his opinion, and he generally has no time for his own opinions, preferring to focus on those of others.  

He has reported on a variety of issues in his career, from South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission to conflicts in northern Uganda and the Sudan, to diverse lighter subjects such as the rise of Kobe beef consumption in South Africa, and the adventures of a fisherman-cum-gigolo on the shores of Lake Victoria.
Audio package (Radio / Podcast) Interview (Video / Broadcast) Vox Pop
Politics Current Affairs Technology

Security Analysts Warn of Rising Cybercrime From South Africa

05 Oct 2023  |  voaafrica.com
South Africa is being used as a base for global cybercrime gangs, with the country being labeled as Africa's cybercrime capital by Craig Pedersen, director of TCG Forensics. The strong telecoms infrastructure and sophisticated financial systems facilitate the operations of cybercriminals, including the Black Axe group, which has stolen millions through online romance scams. INTERPOL and AFRIPOL's four-month operation across 25 African countries highlighted the rise in digital insecurity, identifying over 40,000 networks and financial losses exceeding $40 million. South Africa's law enforcement struggles with technical capacity to investigate cybercrime, and there is a call for dedicated cyber-courts to address the growing issue.

Marketing on WeChat and flight discounts: Africa targets Chinese tourism boom

03 Aug 2023  |  EL PAÍS English
African countries are heavily investing in attracting Chinese tourists to recover from pandemic-induced losses. South Africa, Egypt, Kenya, and Tanzania are increasing direct flights and leveraging social media platforms like WeChat and TikTok. Despite the potential, challenges such as cumbersome visa processes and safety concerns persist. Experts emphasize the need for targeted marketing and collaboration with Chinese tour operators to promote Africa's unique cultural and wildlife experiences. The tourism sector's recovery is crucial for economic stability, with significant efforts underway to streamline travel and enhance safety perceptions.

Forbes Africa '30 Under 30' Features Solutions-Orientated Innovators

20 Apr 2023  |  www.voaafrica.com
The 2023 Forbes Africa '30 Under 30' list celebrates young entrepreneurs from various African countries who have built innovative, solutions-oriented businesses. Notable mentions include Dr. Wedu Somolekae of Medi-Glow Aesthetics in Botswana, Blessing Abeng of Ingressive for Good in Nigeria, and Koaile Manoheng of Khantsa Energy in Lesotho. These entrepreneurs are making significant impacts in their respective fields, from medical aesthetics and tech skills training to providing solar power to rural communities. Their stories highlight the importance of perseverance, innovation, and addressing local challenges.

Diepsloot: A Community at War with Its Children

05 Apr 2023  |  Voice of America
The article discusses the harrowing situation in Diepsloot, a township north of Johannesburg, South Africa, where child abuse, including rape and murder, is rampant. The township, characterized by extreme poverty and overcrowding, has become a flashpoint for such crimes. Community leaders and activists like Thanjani Mangoma and Glenys van Halter describe the brutal realities faced by the children, including toddlers, who are often targeted due to the chaos and lack of adequate police resources. The article highlights the systemic issues that contribute to the abuse, such as poverty, which forces some parents to leave their children unattended or, in desperate cases, to exploit them for money. Despite the efforts of local activists and shelters, the cycle of abuse continues, with many cases going unreported or unresolved due to the victims' dependency on their abusers for survival.

Queen Elizabeth II's Jaguar X-Type which she drove through the Windsor Estate sells for £43,000

27 Nov 2022  |  Mail Online
A Jaguar X-Type previously owned by the late Queen Elizabeth II sold for £43,000 at an auction held by Historics Auction House at Mercedes World in Surrey. The car, with less than 75,000 miles and an extensive service history, was described as a piece of royal history with a Barley leather interior and a 3litre V6 engine. Despite its typical auction value of around £5,000, the royal association significantly increased its worth. The Queen, who preferred driving a Land Rover Defender, also enjoyed this Jaguar, which was confirmed by the original booklet and photos of her driving it. The car is seen as a valuable collectible for serious collectors or Royalists.

Federal government runs risk of ‘driving economy into ground and driving people crazy’ says small business leader

07 Apr 2022  |  Northern Ontario Business
The Canadian Federation of Independent Business, led by Dan Kelly, expresses concerns over the federal government's upcoming budget, fearing it will end pandemic support programs and focus on social spending, potentially increasing costs for small businesses. The CFIB advocates for continued relief measures, including extending the Canada Hiring Recovery Program and forgiving more of the Canada Emergency Business Account loans. They also urge the government to ease COVID-19 restrictions to boost consumer confidence. The organization has communicated these concerns to the federal government, emphasizing the need for economic support to prevent further harm to the economy and small businesses.

Africa Braces for More Civil Wars and Famine: Analysts

24 Jan 2022  |  www.theepochtimes.com
Africa faces a challenging year with increased civil wars, famine, and political instability. Analysts highlight the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, ongoing conflicts, and the rise of terrorist insurgencies. Key regions like Ethiopia and the Sahel are particularly affected, with millions displaced and facing starvation. The international community, including the U.S. and the EU, expresses concern but has limited leverage. The situation is exacerbated by high unemployment, corruption, and political tensions, leading to a grim outlook for the continent.

Africans Will Get Wider Access to Vaccines in New Distribution Deal

13 Dec 2021  |  voanews.com
Africa is set to receive more COVID-19 vaccines through a new distribution deal, with South African pharmaceutical company Aspen Pharmacare close to becoming the first on the continent to distribute them. U.S.-based Johnson & Johnson is expected to grant Aspen Pharmacare a license to package and sell their vaccine as Aspenovax. This deal aims to address vaccine shortages in Africa, where only 3% of the population is fully vaccinated, and combat the spread of the omicron variant. The World Health Organization highlights the low vaccination rates in Africa compared to high-income countries. The deal promises uniform access and equitable pricing for African nations, contributing to the African Union's goal of reducing dependency on Western vaccine supplies.

South African Hospitals Say Omicron Symptoms Less Severe

09 Dec 2021  |  Voice of America
Hospital officials in South Africa, including Dr. Richard Friedland of Netcare, report that the omicron variant of COVID-19 is causing milder symptoms compared to previous strains. Most patients do not require hospitalization or oxygen therapy. The World Health Organization and South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases acknowledge the preliminary nature of these observations. Despite a surge in cases, hospital admissions remain lower than in previous waves, with most omicron-positive patients in Netcare hospitals being incidental cases. Data suggests that vaccines may offer some protection against omicron, with a push for more vaccinations as only 36% of South Africans are fully vaccinated.

South Africa Slams Travel Bans Linked to Omicron Variant

28 Nov 2021  |  www.theepochtimes.com
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa denounces travel bans on Southern African nations due to the Omicron variant, calling them discriminatory and unscientific. The bans, imposed by countries including the US and UK, aim to prevent the spread of the variant. South African scientists, who first detected Omicron, argue that the bans are unjustified and harm the region's economies. The article highlights the low vaccination rates in Africa and the challenges faced in increasing them, including vaccine hesitancy and logistical issues. The South African government is considering mandatory vaccinations to combat the pandemic.

Drunken Drivers Needn't Worry in South Africa

01 May 2016  |  Voice of America
The article is part of a series on road chaos in South Africa, focusing on the issue of drunk driving and the failure of law enforcement to effectively address it. It narrates the story of a businessman, Robert van Rensburg (a pseudonym), who regularly drives under the influence of alcohol and has bribed police to avoid arrest. Despite thousands of arrests for drunk driving, the Justice Project reports that only 6 percent of suspects are convicted due to corruption, slow processing of blood-alcohol results, and backlogs at state labs. The article highlights the high number of road fatalities in South Africa, with a significant percentage involving alcohol. Van Rensburg's personal experiences with drunk driving, including causing accidents and escaping legal consequences, are detailed. The article also touches on the inadequacy of public transportation in South Africa as a contributing factor to the prevalence of drunk driving.

South African Boy with Downs Syndrome Triumphs Over Prejudice

11 Jul 2013  |  Voice of America
The article tells the story of Sihle Batyia, a South African boy with Down Syndrome who has overcome social stigma and prejudice in the rural Eastern Cape region. In these communities, mental illness and conditions like Down Syndrome are often misunderstood, attributed to curses or evil spirits. Sihle's parents, Beauty and Jam-Jam, faced community ridicule but remained loving and supportive, enrolling him in school and later finding help at Ikhaya Loxolo, a home for people with mental illnesses. At Ikhaya Loxolo, Sihle has learned basic skills and found a nurturing environment. The article highlights the challenges faced by those with intellectual disabilities in isolated areas, the cultural misconceptions surrounding them, and the potential for individuals like Sihle to lead fulfilling lives with proper care and education.

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Jun 2023
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Sep 2016

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