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The Special Focus

The Special Focus

By Zāhid Jadwat
A weekly show interrogating the biggest sociopolitical headlines of the week; hosted by Zāhid Jadwat. Catch it live on Salaamedia every Tuesday between 19h00 and 20h00 (SAST) or listen to the podcast here.
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The impact of ocean drilling and climate change

The Special Focus

The impact of ocean drilling and climate change

The Special Focus

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Panel discussion: What has gone wrong in the post-Mugabe Zimbabwe?
Panel discussion with researchers on what went wrong in Zimbabwe after Robert Mugabe.
58:01
August 7, 2020
How did it go wrong for Emmerson Mnangagwa?
When Zimbabwe's ex-President Robert Mugabe resigned in 2017, there was much optimism about the future of the country. President Emmerson Mnangagwa was seen as just what the country needed for reform. Today, the hope seems to have evaporated. Dr Nicole Beardsworth explains how it went bad for Mnangagwa. Dr Beardsworth is a political analyst based at the University of Warwick, England.
02:35
August 5, 2020
Why there might be hope for Zimbabwe
Zimbabwe is making global headlines once again; this time for alleged human rights abuses in the country. Whilst many may see the country returning to a regime of repression, Dr Chipo Dendere sees hope in the activism of Zimbabweans. Dr. Dendere is a Zimbabwean-born scholar of political science. She serves as Assistant Professor of Africana Studies at Wellesley College based in Massachusetts, USA.
03:21
August 5, 2020
How the Zimbabwean Government used foreign sanctions as an excuse
The government of Zimbabwe has regularly blamed the country's dire economic situation on sanctions which were imposed by a number of Western countries. Professor Stephen Chan believes that the sanctions have been used as an excuse for the government's failure to develop an economic plan. Prof. Chan is a member of the Centre of African Studies, based at the University of London. He participated in Zimbabwe's transition to independence and has written a number of books about Zimbabwe.
03:24
August 5, 2020
Public health experts weigh in on state of SA healthcare system
As South Africa takes drastic measures to save its healthcare system from collapse due to Covid-19, public health experts Prof. Mosa Moshabela (UKZN) and Prof. Laetitia Rispel (Wits) explain the current state of the country's fragile public healthcare system.
03:50
July 25, 2020
Real conspiracies do exist, but here's how to spot a baseless theory
Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky and Prof. John Cook believe that real conspiracies do exist. In this episode of The Special Focus, they tell you how you can differentiate between real conspiracies and the baseless ones. Lewandowsky is the Chair of Cognitive Psychology at the School of Psychological Science based at the University of Bristol in the UK and Cook is a cognitive science researcher at George Mason University in the US.
11:13
June 28, 2020
Why the Plandemic documentary sounds sketchy
Conspiracy theory researchers, Prof. Stephan Lewandowsky and Prof. John Cook, doubt the credibility of the Plandemic documentary due to contradictions made in the video which claims that a cabal of elites are using the Covid-19 pandemic and a potential vaccine to profit and gain power. Lewandowsky is the Chair of cognitive psychology at the School of Psychological Science at the University of Bristol (UK) and Cook is a cognitive science researcher at the George Mason University based in Virginia, USA.
05:41
June 25, 2020
Documentary to capture lockdown Eid experience
This year, Eid-al-Fitr will be celebrated in a unique way that has never been experienced before. As the Coronavirus lockdown prohibits social, religious and cultural gatherings, Muslims will have to find new ways to make the most of the day. A group of filmmakers have sought to capture the unique experience through the production of a documentary, with public participation. Zahid Jadwat speaks to Imraan Jeeva, the producer of Film Mayfair, 2018.
10:57
May 24, 2020
#HumanityHeroes: Khidmatul Khalq Foundation
Zahid Jadwat speaks to Muhammad Masoom Bagdadi, Chairman of the Khidmatul Khalq Foundation as part of the #HumanityHeroes segment which showcases the work of charity organizations.
14:02
May 24, 2020
Western Cape Premier Alan Winde on how the province is dealing with Covid-19
The Western Cape is the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak in South Africa. Nearly 60% of all cases in the country have been confirmed in that province. Zahid Jadwat speaks to Premier Alan Winde to find out how the province is dealing with the crisis. This interview was done on 17 May 2020.
13:12
May 18, 2020
Discussing President Cyril Ramaphosa's leadership during the Covid-19 crisis
As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world, leaders are under increased pressure to lead their nations through the crisis. Zahid Jadwat speaks to a panel of experts to find out the state of SA's leadership. Guests: Miyelani Mkhabela (Political Economist and Founding Director of Antswisa Management Group), Sara Gon (Policy Fellow at the Institute of Race Relations) and Solly Moeng (Brand Reputation Management Advisor at DonValley Reputation Managers)
50:48
May 17, 2020
Business is dissatisfied with Government over lockdown. Where to now?
South Africa's business community has broken with Government over lockdown regulations. Business organizations have lashed out, saying that they've had enough of the lockdown approach that is proving to be detrimental to the economy. Zahid Jadwat speaks to Johannesburg-based freelance financial journalist and former Economics Editor at Business Day, Jonathan Katzenellenbogen to find out more.
09:12
May 17, 2020
Isipingo Business Forum Steps Up Private Security Patrols During Lockdown
Junaid Iqbal, chairperson of the Isipingo Business Forum, explains why the organization decided to hire private security personnel for 24 hour patrols in the business district in Isipingo, south of Durban during the lockdown period.
11:29
May 2, 2020
Is Now The Best Time To Deal With South Africa's Inequality Crisis?
Zahid Jadwat speaks to independent political commentator Kim Heller about why she believes that now is the best time to deal with inequality.
18:26
May 2, 2020
A Closer Look At IRR's 'Trim Down Approach' Alternative To Lockdown
As the economic impact of the nationwide lockdown has hit small businesses hard, the Institute of Race Relations (IRR) has published what they call a 'trim down' approach which, they say, could be an alternative to the lockdown.
11:35
April 26, 2020
Muslim Community Gives Back To South Africa In Response To Covid-19 Pandemic
Zahid Jadwat speaks to Mickaeel Collier about the coordinated efforts by Muslim charity organizations to tackle humanitarian issues brought upon us by the Covid-19 pandemic and the nationwide lockdown. Mickaeel Collier is the co-convenor of the SA Muslim Response Task team and Deputy CEO of Awqaf SA.
07:58
April 26, 2020
Freedom And The Post-Apartheid Democracy: How Far Has South Africa Come?
Zahid Jadwat speaks to Omar Badsha (CEO of SA History Online) and David Van Wyk (Lead Researcher at the Bench Mark's Foundation) about Freedom Day and the state of South Africa in the democratic era to assess how far we've come since the dawn of democracy.
39:34
April 26, 2020
How Do Young South Africans View Democracy And Freedom?
The so-called born free generation of South Africa will play an important role in the history of South Africa once they take over. How do they see the democracy? Zahid Jadwat speaks to the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's Irfaan Mangera to get an understanding on young people's perceptions of democracy.
13:31
April 26, 2020
This Is The Role Of The Media In South Africa
Zahid Jadwat looks at the role of the South African media, it's challenges, it's impact and the future of the media in this country. Guests: Anton Harber (Adjunct professor of journalism at the University of the Witwatersrand, a columnist for Business Day and the co-editor or author of three books), Kate Skinner (Executive Director at South African National Editors' Forum), and Mary Papayya (SABC & PCSA board member).
37:50
April 22, 2020
Covid-19 & The Lockdown From An Economic Perspective
Assessing the economic impact of Covid-19 with Professor Imraan Valodia (Dean of the Faculty of Commerce, Law and Management at the University of Witwatersrand), Duma Gqubule (Director of the Centre for Economic Development and Transformation), Jacques Jonker (Economic & Legal Analyst at the Free Market Foundation).
37:52
April 16, 2020
#21DaysLockdownSA: Human Rights Activist Says Lockdown Reminds Of 'Historical Trauma'
The nationwide lockdown has largely been met with acceptance. However, it has been challenged by certain groups over the constitutionality of the measure which is aimed at curbing the spread of Covid-19. Zahid Jadwat spoke to human rights activist Kagiso Nkosi.
04:26
April 14, 2020
Covid-19 & The Lockdown From A Political Perspective
Assessing the Coronavirus's impact on the local and global political status quo. Guests: •Professor Andre Duvenhage - Political Scientist at the North West University •Yamkela Spengane - Social Commentator •Gabriel Crouse - Political Analyst & Journalist-at-large at the IRR
39:26
April 9, 2020
#21DaysLockdownSA: Unions Were Not Consulted As Much As Business Was - NUMSA
The National Union of Metalworkers is unhappy about the lack of consultation with worker's unions before President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a 21 day nationwide lockdown. NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola spoke to Zahid Jadwat.
16:14
April 3, 2020
Journalist Azarrah Karrim Recalls Moment She Was Caught In A Crossfire
News24 journalist Azarrah Karrim recalls the moment she was caught in a crossfire between Police in Yeoville, Johannesburg, and weighs in on the role of journalism during the nationwide lockdown
09:10
April 3, 2020
All You Need To Know About Covid-19
Zahid Jadwat spoke to Dr Angelique Coetzee to find out what every person needs to know about the coronavirus, including the current situation and conspiracy theories. Dr Coetzee is the National Chairperson of the South African Medical Association (SAMA).
32:46
March 26, 2020
Skepticism As South Africa Prepares For Lockdown
South Africa will tonight enter the country's first ever lockdown. Zahid Jadwat spoke to Professor Alex Van De Heever to find out what a lockdown means for us, as well as its possible effects. Prof. Van De Heever holds the Chair in the field of Social Security Systems Administration and Management Studies at the Wits School of Governance.
06:17
March 26, 2020
Assessing Human Rights In South Africa Today
With Saturday being Human Rights Day, Zahid Jadwat spoke to human rights expert Bonolo Makgale of the Centre for Human Rights to get a closer look at human rights in South Africa. A little later in the show, Rumbie Elizabeth Chidoori briefly explained how HIV stigmatization relates to human rights violations. She is the Gender Coordinator at the Foundation for Human Rights.
41:50
March 20, 2020
A Closer Look At The Latest Crackdown On Royals In Saudi Arabia
According to several reports, Saudi Arabia has launched a new crackdown against senior royals and top officials in what appears to be Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's latest effort to consolidate control of all major levers of power inside the kingdom. Zahid Jadwat spoke to Na'eem Jeenah who is the executive director of the Afro-Middle East Centre (AMEC).
33:07
March 13, 2020
The State Of Education In SA And The 4th Industrial Revolution
Education is a major aspect of every country. In South Africa, it has been praised, encouraged and respected. This is due to the fact that many South African parents come from a previously disadvantaged background and were never granted access to a decent education. However, despite the praise, the real issues challenging the education system and schooling in South Africa were exposed for what they are when a team of activist cyclists embarked on a long and arduous journey from Musina in Limpopo to Chatsworth in KZN for this years #Ride4Education campaign.
31:27
March 5, 2020
All you need to know about the Public Protector saga
Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane has been criticized for a number of notable controversies and related judicial judgements. At the same time, some have been labeling the criticism as 'character assassination.' We spoke to Adv Stefanie Fick from OUTA to find out more about why they're calling for a review of Mkhwebane's fitness to hold office.
34:14
March 1, 2020
SONA20: President Ramaphosa met expectations, but was rather ambitious
President Cyril Ramaphosa delivered the annual State of the Nation Address in Parliament last week Thursday. Did it meet the expectations of the average South African? That's what you'll find out in this week's episode of The Special Focus. Zahid Jadwat spoke to Hermann Pretorius and Jimmy Ramokgopa.
48:10
February 20, 2020
What is climate change and why you should be concerned
Scientists are warning of catastrophic conditions as a result of global warming and unpredictable climate changes. To help us get a better understanding, Zahid Jadwat speaks to a panel of environmental experts in this weeks episode of The Special Focus. Panel Guests: Khalid Mather - environmental scientist at WildOceans Nazeer Jamal - lead environmental scientist at Khweza Environmental Consulting Ulrich Steenkamp - environmental justice activist at Earthlife Africa Aired: Thursday, 13 February 2020
37:29
February 13, 2020
Land Debate (Part 2): What are the consequences of EWC?
After interrogating the need for land expropriation without compensation last week, we turn the focus once again to the land expropriation policy to find out from experts what is the likely outcome of the implementation of such a policy. Zahid Jadwat speaks to Daily Maverick columnist Ivo Vegter and BLF leader Andile Mngxitama.
36:50
February 6, 2020
Land Debate (Part 1): Is there a need for land expropriation without compensation?
This week, Zahid Jadwat spoke to analysts Martin Van Staden and Kim Heller to get opposing views on the land debate that has grabbed South Africans' attention. Martin Van Staden is a legal and public policy analyst at the Free Market Foundation and Kim Heller is a political analyst and writer.
38:02
January 30, 2020
Exclusive interview with leader of the BLF, Andile Mngxitama
In this exclusive interview with Zahid Jadwat, President of the Black First Land First movement Andile Mngxitama weighed in on the land debate, former-President Jacob Zuma, the controversial Gupta family and much more.
35:32
January 24, 2020
Loadshedding remains a threat as Eskom's woes deepen
The threat of loadshedding remains whilst power utility Eskom's woes deepen. The power supply has been under massive strain due to aging infrastructure, amongst other factors. Senior energy expert Ronald Chauke explains the current situation.
10:21
January 16, 2020
ANC January 8 statement: Is it just more talk?
The African National Congress recently held its birthday celebrations in Kimberley, NC. The January 8 statement, which is said to have set the tone of the party's course of action in 2020, has been received with mixed reaction by the public and analysts. Guests: Nkosikhulule Nyembezi - Political analyst & Co-chairperson of the National Coordinating Forum Sara Gon - Analyst at the Institute of Race Relations
24:51
January 16, 2020
Amaarah Garda on the fight against gender based violence
With gender-based violence on the rise, many women have also risen to take a stance and stand up to the scourge. Activist Amaarah Garda explains.
30:05
January 12, 2020
Labeebah Latib on GBV
With gender-based violence on the rise, many women have also risen to take a stance to stand up and stop the scourge. Zahid Jadwat spoke to Labeebah Latib, a young woman who fought off attackers at campus.
13:47
January 12, 2020
ICYMI: #TheSpecialFocus Full Show - 9 Jan 2020
Full show of #TheSpecialFocus, 9 January 2020.
44:59
January 9, 2020
Politics: Here's what to look out for in 2020
Zahid Jadwat speaks to News24 journalist Jan Gerber to get a quick look at the political calendar of 2020.
08:40
January 9, 2020
The truth about farm attacks in SA
Is this the beginning of a "White genocide", as some white nationalists have claimed, or is this just another genuine crime within South Africa's broader crime problem? Zahid Jadwat speaks to AfriForum's Ernst Roets on the issue of farm attacks in South Africa.
29:20
January 9, 2020
Harrismith in serious trouble as municipality fails to deliver basic services
Operational Coordinator of Water Heroes Willem Konig reveals the extent of dysfunction in the Maluti-A-Phofung municipality in the Free State province. Water Heroes is a non-government organization which has intervened to deliver basic services to residents of Harrismith.
14:19
December 26, 2019
#TheSpecialFocus is now on Salaamedia - here's what you can expect
The Special Focus is now being aired every Thursday afternoon, hosted by myself Zahid Jadwat every Thursday afternoon between 15h00 and 16h00. I spoke to Inayet Wadee on the Alternative View on Salaamedia to unpack what you can expect to hear on the show!
13:05
December 18, 2019
Sara Gon on coalition politics
Following a drastic shift in the leadership of Johannesburg last week, Sara Gon explains why coalition politics isn't the best form of governance. Ms Gon is an analyst at the Institute of Race Relations.
12:45
December 13, 2019
Eskom is "living on ICU" - energy expert
Senior energy expert Ted Blom speaks to Zahid Jadwat to unpack the situation at Eskom after South Africans were hit with the worst loadshedding in history this week. Produced by Shazia Zubair /Salaamedia.
11:36
December 13, 2019
SANCO proposes a R150 flat-rate on electricity
Sowetans collectively owe power utility Eskom nearly R20bn in unpaid debt. Zahid Jadwat spoke to Mpho Sesedinyane to find out if a R150 flat-rate on electricity for residents is the solution. Mr Sesedinyane is the Chairperson of the South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO). Produced by Shazia Zubair /Salaamedia.
13:00
December 13, 2019
The impact of ocean drilling and climate change
In this week's episode of #TheSpecialFocus, Zahid Jadwat spoke to Mr. Khalid Mather on the impacts of ocean drilling and climate change. Mr Mather is an environmental scientist and a member of the Oceans Not Oil campaign. Produced by Shazia Zubair (Salaamedia).
15:26
December 12, 2019
SAA crisis from a union perspective
Zahid Jadwat speaks to NUMSA spokesperson Phakamile Hlubi-Majola to get the union's perspective on the SAA crisis. Catch #TheSpecialFocus live on Salaamedia every Thursday afternoon between 15h00 & 16h00.
11:38
December 5, 2019
#TheSpecialFocus: Is the DA in crisis?
In this week's episode of #TheSpecialFocus, Zahid Jadwat spoke to analyst Hermann Pretorius to discuss the so-called 'crisis' that has erupted following senior member's resignations this week.
31:19
October 27, 2019
#TheSpecialFocus: Eskom admits to inadequate maintenance on its power plants
In this week's episode of #TheSpecialFocus, Zahid Jadwat spoke to Eskom's Deputy Spokesperson Ms Dikatso Mothae to interrogate the nightmare that is loadshedding. Listen as Ms Dikatso elaborates on the "9-point plan" and how the embattled power utility is recovering funds lost through state capture.
13:56
October 26, 2019
#TheSpecialFocus: Exclusive interview with Honorable MP, Ganief Hendricks
Zahid Jadwat speaks to member of parliament and leader of the Al-Jamah Party, the Honorable Ganief Hendricks. From sleeping under the kitchen to taking South Africa's first Islamic party to parliament, Hendricks speaks about his life and the role of Muslims in South Africa, President Cyril Ramaphosa's leadership and much more.
33:15
October 19, 2019
#TheSpecialFocus: Are boycotts effective?
Zahid Jadwat speaks to Muhammed Desai about boycott campaigns and the main question is: "are boycotts effective?" Desai is the Director of Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions South (BDSSA).
14:37
October 4, 2019
#TheSpecialFocus: Nasheed artist Waleed Bata
South African Nasheed artist Waleed Bata speaks to Zāhid Jadwat about his life, career and the nasheed industry in general.
18:55
September 19, 2019
Azhar Vadi - Humanitarian journalist and co-founder of Salaamedia
South African humanitarian journalist and co-founder of Salaamedia, Azhar Vadi, speaks to Zahid Jadwat on #TheSpecialFocus.
31:35
August 23, 2019
SPECIAL FOCUS: The Balloon Foundation
In this week's edition of Special Focus, we turn the focus onto The Balloon Foundation and what they're doing.
33:28
July 10, 2019
SPECIAL FOCUS: What is happening in Sudan? Dr Ehab Lithey explains
Protests in Sudan lead to Omar al-Bashir letting go of power after a turbulent 30 year reign. But, militants have crushed the country's hopes of prosperity just when it was about to begin. Sound credits: The Guardian
20:14
June 17, 2019
SPECIAL FOCUS: Yumna Patel - Founder of Project O
Speaking to Yumna Patel about Project O and how they're serving an underprivileged community in Johannesburg.
23:06
June 2, 2019
SPECIAL FOCUS: Irfaan Mangera on the role of youth activism
Speaking to Irfaan Mangera on the role of youth activism and his journey through activism. He is the national secretary of the Muslim Students Association (MSA) as well as the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation's Youth Activism Programme education, training and information officer.
20:03
May 28, 2019