Code Red: Watch Carte Blanche, this Sunday 12 September 2021 at 19:00, only on M-Net 101.

U N C O M M O N   G R O U N D

Building on Holy Ground

It’s a case of colliding interests as jobs and property development are pitted against environmental concerns and a sacred indigenous heritage site. Battle lines have been drawn in a David vs. Goliath clash between some of South Africa’s first people – indigenous Khoi and San – and the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon. The prize? A tract of sacred land in the heart of Cape Town set to become the retail giant’s African base of operations and an emerging technology hub in the city. Carte Blanche researches the roots.

Producer: Latashia Naidoo
Presenter: Claire Mawisa
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C O D E   R E D   F O R   H U M A N I T Y

SA’s Climate Change Standoff

With scientific consensus that the worst climate damage and warming can be halted if humans drastically reduced carbon dioxide emissions, South Africa has set its sights on global net zero by 2050. Fulfilling this means SA must cut human-caused CO2 emissions by about 45 percent from 2010 levels by 2030. Without any action, climate damage caused by global heating will continue to escalate – with extreme weather events intensifying. But South Africa faces a conundrum as its teetering economy is highly dependent on coal that makes the country a top greenhouse gas emitter. Carte Blanche investigates the tensions between those with vested interest in the status quo and those who believe in the benefits of leaving behind the way we do business to move South Africa to a zero-carbon future.

Producer: John Webb
Presenter: Claire Mawisa
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Prayers for Rain

For a few short weeks every spring, a miraculous eruption of daisies in the arid Namaqualand in the Northern Cape draws and delights tourists. But once the flowers wilt and visitors leave, a severe drought, that is now extending into its tenth year, has destroyed millions of hectares of land and fundamentally changed the way farmers approach their profession. In the Eastern and Western Cape it’s been seven years. The drought is another manifestation of the manmade climate impact that has seen an intensification of extreme weather events in 2021 – from flash floods and hurricanes in the United States and Australia, to heatwaves in the UK and Russia, dust storms in China, and unprecedented winter storms. Carte Blanche examines the economic and social impact of the extended drought that has challenged farmers to adapt, or to simply pack up and leave, as government and donor assistance become unsustainable in the long run.

Producer: Anina Peens
Presenter: Derek Watts
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Masa Kekana: “Spending time with Dr Sebopetša moved me. His passion for education and not only the children, but the parents too, is palpable. Imagine what he could do with better resources? It’s a shame he operates with so little.”

The Power of a Principled Life  

Teaching is a difficult profession, especially in some of South Africa’s poorest schools. But for many educators, it’s a rewarding calling. Now, despite the odds, a headmaster working in a remote village in Limpopo has won the Global Principals’ Award. With over 200,000 entries from 110 countries over six continents in the last five years, the award celebrates excellence in education on a global scale. With his spirit of relentless excellence that inspires his pupils, parents and teachers and the life motto: ‘hard work kills nobody’, Dr Ngwako Sebopetša has a message that reverberates beyond his home base. Carte Blanche visits Rathaga Primary school in the Mapone District of rural Limpopo – far from the resources and amenities that modern education often depends on – to meet a community and a leader inspired by lifelong learning and an ethic of passionate care for every child.

Producer: Sophia Phirippides
Presenter: Masa Kekana
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Please note: Carte Blanche line-ups are subject to change. Stories can be viewed at