Coming Up On Carte Blanche – 24 March 2024

“Sunday’s show, perhaps more than most, reveals the anguish of what it is like to live in South Africa… to be South African. An investigation into human trafficking happening in plain sight induces outrage and hopelessness in equal measure. How could it not when we recognise our own children in the face of the young girl traded as a commodity by her mother and know that only circumstance has spared them such torment? And then, not yet at terms with her ordeal and its toll on someone so young, we meet a man called Benny with a passion for fossils and for life. In less than half an hour, a slice of our country in all its confounding, exasperating gloriousness.”  – John Webb, Executive Producer

Trafficked: Bus Ride From Hell

In November last year, a ten-year-old girl was found during a routine traffic roadblock, squashed inside the luggage compartment of a long-distance bus. She had been smuggled from Zimbabwe into South Africa under extreme conditions for several hours. But her case isn’t unusual. In this months-long investigation, Carte Blanche unravels alleged cross-border human trafficking and the shadowy figures known as transporters who are making it all possible. Undocumented foreign nationals are lured to South Africa from numerous African countries – many of them ending up on the streets of Johannesburg North. Thousands of Malawians are lured into the country on the promise of a new life, some smuggled by long-haul bus companies and funeral parlours, only to be forced into sex work and manual labour. In an even more sinister twist, many of the victims are coerced into taking out funeral policies on themselves once they reach South Africa. It’s an unusual demand but a guaranteed income as the transporters cash in on vulnerable undocumented foreign nationals.

Producer: Graham Coetzer | Presenter: Govan Whittles

Franschhoek’s Fierce Feud

A new proposal to erect a cableway in Franschhoek has divided the town. In peak season, the cableway could take 3000 visitors to the top station, which lies in a UNESCO World Heritage site. Final approval will be needed from national government before construction can go ahead. But if it does, restaurants, curio shops and an adventure centre will be built in this picturesque nature reserve. As the public participation process got underway, things got ugly on social media between those in favour and those against. The developers say this is the largest single investment into Franschhoek in many years and will create jobs and uplift the town, but many residents are not convinced.

Producer: Joy Summers | Presenter: Erin Bates

Benny and the Fossils

It started with a young boy playing drums on the strange rocks on his favourite Wild Coast beach. Back then, Benny Mbotho didn’t realise that his playground was a series of unique fossil beds along the shore. But thanks to his grandmother, and her love of the beach and its fossils, he began to see this coastline from a new perspective. Right in front of him were the remnants of shark teeth, giant clams and petrified tree trunks from a time long forgotten: the age of the dinosaurs. And for the past five decades, Benny has been guarding these treasures for future generations.

Producer: Stenette Grosskopf | Presenter: Claire Mawisa


The Social Media Dilemma

We’re joined by journalist, Takudzwa Pongweni to take us into the Daily Maverick’s The Gathering. Then, are local news publications suffering because of tech giants? The Competition Commission’s Media Market Inquiry hopes to answer this big question. Also, has X become a safe space for cyberbullies? One activist says: yes. Later, Nigeria comes down hard on plastic pollution, but is it the best solution? And Gauteng’s Green Army is uplifting communities one veggie garden at a time.

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Elections 2024 Unpacked

With just over two months to go before South Africans are set to make their mark, Masa Kekana sits down with My Vote Counts campaigner, Keamogetswe Seipato, to find out why this election feels so different. What’s truly at stake? Who has the most to lose? And why the youth hold the power to change it all.

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People, Promises and Power

Loadshedding, corruption, service delivery… We speak to you, the voter, to find out what you will be basing your vote on, how you feel about promises being made, and if this election is the one that could change it all.

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Buffalo City’s Pricey Stoep

The R100-million ‘stoep’, a multi-million rand waterpark upgrade that never happened, and a historical cricket ground in tatters – Govan Whittles asks the municipality and Buffalo City Metropolitan Development Agency: where’s the money?

Full Story

PetroSA’s Plush Deal

PetroSA, South Africa’s state-owned oil and gas company, has successfully hidden most of its bad investments over the years. By 2020, poor decisions at the secretive company had wasted billions and almost closed it down. But it was given a lifeline when Mineral Resources and Energy Minister, Gwede Mantashe – determined to save PetroSA – insisted Eskom buy its diesel from the parastatal. Now, it’s on a new drive to partner with private business. A recent contract with the Russian Gazprom Bank has caused a stir, but a far larger deal (signed in secret) will make a controversial businessman a major player in the oil and gas industry. We lift the lid on this new profit-sharing deal in the oil and gas fields off the Southern Cape Coast.

Full Story

Springboks: Road to Glory

It was the impossible dream. The Springboks were tasked with bringing home back-to-back Rugby World Cups: a feat achieved by only one other team in history. From a sport defined by its past, and a country defined by its differences, comes the story of a team that chose to believe in something more. Chasing the Sun 2 is a powerful SuperSport documentary made in collaboration with the Springboks and it tells the rousing tale of their path to their fourth World Cup victory.

Full Story


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By Andrew Germishuys

Founder of SAMDB | Actor | Armourer | Tech Enthusiast With over two decades in the film industry, I'm a seasoned actor and skilled armourer. I hold numerous certifications in acting and filmmaking, complemented by degrees and diplomas in IT and technology, giving me a unique blend of creative and technical expertise. When I'm not on set or in the workshop, you'll find me immersed in the world of gaming and VR, fuelling my passion for cutting-edge technology. Connect with me: X / Twitter Facebook Instagram Mastodon Threads Explore my work on SAMDB IMDb