Mary-Anne Gontsana

Mary-Anne Gontsana lives in Montevideo just outside Gugulethu. She studied journalism for three years at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology and interned at the Cape Times,

Mary-Anne has seen many different things as a journalist, including a dead body with a gunshot wound to the head disposed in an open field. But she has also done fun stories, such as having dinner on a cruise ship and meeting Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his wife Leah.

Mary-Anne says, "Journalism is a great profession as it gives you a chance to explore different places and meet different people. It also does not hurt to have your finger on the pulse and know things before anyone else."

Mary-Anne's stories published on GroundUp

Title Summary Date publishedsort ascending
Makhaza's shoddily built houses Zone 14 residents in Makhaza are worried about the shoddy building of houses managed by the Niall Mellon Township Trust (NMTT). This has prompted the provincial Human Settlements Department to investigate after receiving numerous complaints. 23 July 2014
Murdered doctor: TAC marches through Khayelitsha Escorted by the metro police and the South African Police Service (SAPS), carrying a huge banner written “Criminals are being nursed by the system, justice must prevail”, the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) led a march through Khayelitsha to demand safe communities. 22 July 2014
Growing vegetables in the oddest place Thabani Marhanjana is growing a vegetable garden in an unusal place - on the roof of a two-story building in Makhaza, Khayelitsha. 15 July 2014
Babies found abandoned in Khayelitsha Residents of Site B in Khayelitsha were shocked and angered after the body of a baby was found in a toilet last week. The tiny body lay between pieces of paper inside the bucket system toilet. 26 June 2014
Kukhanya - a young burn survivor’s tale Seven-year-old Kukhanya Ngxumza suffered severe burns when he was only a few months old. Today, he is teased at school, but he doesn’t let bullies win. 24 June 2014
Another winter after 22 years waiting for a house “I doubt that I will get my house while I am still alive”, says wheelchair-bound Mbuyiselo Vena who has been on a waiting list for a house since 1992. But the City of Cape Town says Vena no longer wants his house built via the Iqhayiyalethu project, and that he needs to join a different housing project. 19 June 2014
First green bakery in Khayelitsha opens Lufefe Nomjana used to bake 25 loaves of spinach bread a day and walk up to 25 kilometres to distribute them. Now he has launched the first green bakery in Khayelitsha, Espinaca Innovations. 3 June 2014
Elections: what people are saying GroundUp spoke to people about the elections, asking whether they would vote, who they would vote for and why. This is the first of a series GroundUp will be running. 16 April 2014
Cape Town Jazz Festival workshop in Gugulethu As the city prepares for the annual Cape Town Jazz Festival on 28 and 29 March, Gugulethu was treated to a preview of what to expect at the event. 28 March 2014
Metrorail promises R233 million to upgrade its service At a press conference today, 25 March 2014, Western Cape Provincial Metrorail regional manager Mthuthuzeli Swartz said the rail company is on the verge of an upgrade revolution. 25 March 2014
Commuters fed up with Metrorail train delays Since last week, Metrorail trains on the Khayelitsha line have been repeatedly delayed and even cancelled due to an “infrastructure problem” in Cape Town. Commuters want to know when it will end. 20 March 2014
Residents complain of potholes in Khayelitsha What started out as just a tweet from a frustrated Khayelitsha resident, has now put the spotlight on potholes. 19 March 2014
Gugulethu youth organisation on a mission to turn church library into public library Gugulethu based community organisation, Township Youth Movement (TYM), have taken it upon themselves to open a second public library in the township. 18 March 2014
Attitudes to pets have changed significantly in recent years in Khayelitsha Started by a community member 17 years ago, Mdzananda Animal Clinic in Khayelitsha now treats up to 1,000 animals a month. 17 March 2014
Former gang member calls for the army to pacify the Cape Flats “civil war” Former gang member Mervin Lewis says what is happening in Mitchells Plain, Manenberg, Nyanga, Khayelitsha and Gugulethu is not a gang fight, but a low intensity civil war. 12 March 2014
Manenberg community taking back their streets Manenberg is a township in the Cape Flats outside Gugulethu. The apartheid government originally created it to relocate Coloured families who had been forcibly removed from their homes. Today it often makes the news because of gang violence. 28 February 2014
Red tape blocks Khayelitsha small businesses Entrepreneurs from two successful businesses in Khayelitsha are frustrated with the red tape that is blocking their businesses from growing. 12 February 2014
Mother and daughter: alive, productive and healthy on antiretrovirals Nandipha Madolo, from Khayelitsha’s Litha Park, has experienced much in her life, with HIV playing a major part. She watched her brother die from meningitis due to HIV. Her HIV-positive husband abused her. Her youngest daughter contracted HIV, and Madolo found out that she too was HIV-positive. But today Madolo has a healthy daughter, a steady job, and she is a public speaker. 29 January 2014
Khayelitsha refuse collectors angry at working conditions Since starting in November, some Khayelitsha refuse collectors say they still haven’t received uniforms or protective gear to wear while doing their jobs. Their employer says it is all lies. 22 January 2014
Mshengu toilets down again Mshengu’s blue chemical toilets have once again toppled over in Khayelitsha’s BM Section causing residents to defecate in the bushes. 15 January 2014
Fears of surge in Manenberg gang violence Some Manenberg residents are worried that gang violence has started again in their area, with two people allegedly shot and killed on Saturday. 11 December 2013
Over R1 billion in fund - yet apartheid victims still await compensation The President’s Fund was established in 2003 under President Thabo Mbeki to compensate apartheid victims. It has accumulated over a billion rands. Nevertheless, many apartheid victims who were identified by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) to receive compensation from this fund, have still received nothing. Some have died waiting. 5 November 2013
The Gugulethu Seven remembered 27 years later Mandla Mxinwa, Jabulani Miya, Themba Molefi, Christopher Piet, Zola Swelani, Zabonkwe Konile and Zandisile Mjobo -- the Gugulethu Seven -- will once again be honoured for the role they played in the struggle against the apartheid regime. 15 October 2013
Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry to go ahead Civil society organisations and communities are rejoicing after the Constitutional Court unanimously ruled for the O’Regan/Pikoli Commission of Inquiry into policing to go ahead. 2 October 2013
Plans to close and rebuild GF Jooste Hospital delayed It caused a controversy last year, leaving many people wondering how exactly it would work. But what was supposed to be the closure and reconstruction of GF Jooste Hospital this year, will now only happen in 2018. 1 October 2013
Khayelitsha parents march for quality education As the country was celebrating Heritage Day, about 300 parents, teachers and members of Equal Education (EE) marched from different points in Khayelitsha to Site B Hall. They wanted to draw to the attention of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga the need for quality education for their children and to have standards set for school infrastructure. 30 September 2013
Fewer learners fed after feeding tender goes BEE Since the Peninsula School Feeding Association (PSFA) lost a tender by the Department of Education’s National School Nutrition Programme to deliver a school feeding service, two schools are complaining that the service has decreased, and learners are hungry. 26 September 2013
Taste of my heritage NdinguMambhathane, uTshaya, uMxesibe, uMgxubane, Khandanyawana, uMam’Khuma, Nxele, Bhaca, isizukulwana sika Ntswayibana noBhakaqana. 23 September 2013
“I don’t see myself living anywhere but Manenberg” Roegchanda Pascoe and her younger brother have watched through the window of their home as rival gangs fought with each other day in and day out. But Pascoe says she doesn’t see herself living anywhere but Manenberg. 18 September 2013
TAC protests against shortages of life-saving drugs “We demand accountable leadership”, “Failure to resolve stock-outs = human rights violation”, “Limpopo Department of Health – Failed promises” read placards at the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) march in solidarity with provinces that continue to be plagued by finding essential medicines are out of stock. 16 September 2013
Help kickstart Khayelitsha baker's bicycle dream An obsession with spinach makes a good baker -- that at least applies to 25-year-old Lufefe Nomjana. 11 September 2013
Civil society organisations visit gang stricken Manenberg Members of various civil society organisations led a solidarity visit to gang stricken Manenberg to monitor the situation and to lend a helping hand to the community. 11 September 2013
Old container to be re-opened as Gugulethu library An old container once used as a library could be brought back to life in Gugulethu. 100 books have already been donated. 10 September 2013
What to do with expired medicines Most households have cupboards of expired pills and medicines and sometimes even use them. But what are the dangers? 3 September 2013
GroundUp journalist harassed at Home Affairs A GroundUp journalist was left shaken after she was harassed by security guards at the refugee reception centre in Cape Town while reporting a story. 2 September 2013
No tap and one toilet A fed-up Khayelitsha resident is anxious to know why the City of Cape Town is not making any provision for water and sanitation on her street. 28 August 2013
Activist harrased by police receives bail An activist who has been trying to hold the police accountable in Khayelitsha appears to be a victim of police harassment. Social Justice Coalition (SJC) activist Angy Peter has been released on R2 000 bail and her case for kidnapping and attempted murder postponed for further investigation. 28 August 2013
SAPS run crime-scene workshop DNA CSI: D – Don’t touch, N – Note, record and observe, A – Assist police officers, C – comfort & support victim, S – Secure crime scene, I – Insist no-one interferes. 21 August 2013
Manenberg gang violence Western Cape Police conducted crime operations in the Manenberg area on 19 August as part of ongoing efforts to end gang violence as learners returned to school 20 August 2013
Cape Town’s Informal Settlements keep growing A survey done by the provincial department of human settlements showed that in 2010, the Cape Town Metro had almost as many informal settlements as the rest of the entire province. 14 August 2013
Khayelitsha residents march in support of police inquiry, as court hears case On Tuesday judgement for the O’Regan/Pikoli Commission of Inquiry (COI) into policing in Khayelitsha was reserved by the Constitutional Court. A full bench of 11 justices heard the case. 8 August 2013
Constitutional Court to hear if Khayelitsha police inquiry should proceed Next month, the Constitutional Court will hear the appeal by Minister of Police Nathi Mthethwa after his application for an interdict to stop the Commission of Inquiry (COI) into policing in Khayelitsha was unsuccessful.The case is set for 6 August. 30 July 2013
Police target homeless in Somerset West Last year GroundUp ran a story about the Helderberg Street People’s Centre (HSPC), a soup kitchen in Somerset West. They were being forced to close down. The situation “has since gotten worse” according to chairman of the centre, Ian Greer. 24 July 2013
Electricity increases make life harder for poor people With the winter in full effect, people are queuing in petrol stations for paraffin, filling up their gas tanks but most importantly using even more electricity in their homes. 10 July 2013
"I need an electric wheelchair" “I’m Selina Lehloo from Khuma. I’m using a wheelchair. I was born like this. I’m 25-years-old. I failed matric in 2011, but I didn’t give up”. 2 July 2013
Sick janitor claims City endangered health Monica Gotshana, is a single mother of five children from Khayelitsha’s Site B. Today is her last day working as a janitor for the City of Cape Town because her six month contract comes to an end. She talked about her experience working as a toilet cleaner. 26 June 2013
The other Marikana About 90 people are still living under a tent almost two months after their shacks were demolished by the City of Cape Town’s Anti-Land Invasion Unit, on Symphony Way in Philippi East. 19 June 2013
Portable flush toilets: What are they and why the fuss? The public spats over portable toilets have been at the forefront of the news. But what exactly are portable toilets? How do they work? What is good and what is bad about them? 12 June 2013
Violence against women mural unveiled in Khayelitsha A mural has been unveiled in Khayelitsha to highlight the need for the state and communities to improve their response to violence against women. 5 June 2013
Disabled and waiting for a house since 1992 While Thembisa Maso, a KTC resident still waits for her house to be completed, Mbuyiselo Vena, her neighbour, is struggling day in and day out in a wheelchair after being on a housing waiting list for the past 20 years. 29 May 2013

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