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
Long day's journey to school The journey to school is long and tough for many pupils. Some have to travel for hours on foot to get to school. The Equal Education Law Centre (EELC) recently collected affidavits in rural KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) which were “truly incredible and devastating”. 4 December 2014
A house after waiting 13 years Tirelessly since 2001, Thembisa Maso has been sent pillar to post by the City of Cape Town, the Department of Human Settlements, housing committees and ward councilors, only to be disappointed. Finally, she will be able to move into her home by the end of this week. 3 December 2014
Organisations allege dreadful conditions at Pollsmoor awaiting trial facility Lack of mattresses, a leaking roof, lack of hot water and insufficient access to medical treatment: Pollsmoor’s facility for awaiting trial prisoners has been slammed by civil society organisations for what they call “several concerns regarding conditions of detention at the facility.” 27 November 2014
Prevention strategies the key to curbing violence against children “South Africa has no national statistics on violence against children,” says Shanaaz Mathews, director of the Children's Institute at the University of Cape Town. In the absence of statistics, the South African Child Gauge looks at community-based studies. The 9th issue was launched in Pretoria on Tuesday. 20 November 2014
Games that township kids play Three cans, an old pantihose or rope and a handful of stones. These are the ingredients you need to have a whole day of outdoor fun, no matter what age. 14 November 2014
Hout Bay man arrested by 18 cops has bail extended Santonio Jonkers let out a sigh of frustration as he was told for the third time that his court case was postponed, this time till next year. 13 November 2014
Another Cape Flats housing project goes bust A Khayelitsha housing project has gone bust amidst allegations of corruption. Beneficiaries are frustrated that they may not get their houses, or that problems with houses that have been built will not be fixed. 13 November 2014
Students demand an end to unequal education “In my school we have two main problems. The first one is a lack of water. Our taps are not working properly,” said Phila Biyongo, a grade 9 student at Simanyene High School in Strand, as she marched through Cape Town city centre yesterday afternoon in a protest organised by Equal Education. 1 November 2014
City rally against inequality in schools On Friday 31 October around 2,000 Equal Education members and supporters are expected to gather on the Grand Parade for a rally against inequality in the schooling system. 30 October 2014
Tackling rape in Khayelitsha Between two and three rapes are reported every day to a single centre in Khayelitsha. And the numbers will probably rise at the end of the year. 20 October 2014
Hangberg residents demonstrate outside court Hangberg residents demonstrated at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday in support of Santonio Jonkers who made his second appearance in court. 17 October 2014
In the business of building shacks Sheffield Road, one of the busiest roads in Philippi, has become one of the city’s best-known places to buy a shack. Here, builders make a living providing affordable housing for township residents. 14 October 2014
SJC trial: “We wanted the City to see we were serious” Emotions ran high in the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday as Social Justice Coalition’s(SJC) general secretary, Phumeza Mlungwana, was cross-examined about last year’s protest on the steps of the Cape Town Civic Centre. 8 October 2014
SJC members defend civic centre protest Protests are a way to be heard and not just an event, Social Justice Coalition general secretary Phumeza Mlungwana told the Cape Town Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday. 7 October 2014
Khayelitsha residents welcome SJC social audit report The community of BM Section in Khayelitsha came out in their numbers to listen to the report by the Social Justice Coalition (SJC) on sanitation services in the township. 1 October 2014
TAC plans fundraising drive as crunch time looms Even though the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) faces the possibility of closing down due to a lack of funding, it says there is no need to worry yet. 1 October 2014
The need for special needs schools A 15-year-old child spent 2013 without an education. Despite the great lengths her grandmother went to, she was unable to be placed in school because of her disabilities. There is a shortage of places for children with special needs. 29 September 2014
Harare crime even higher despite urban upgrade The recently released Western Cape crime statistics of 2014 deem Harare as one of the worst of 10 areas in Khayelitsha, plagued with increasing crime despite the Violence Prevention through Urban Upgrade Programme (VPUU). 26 September 2014
Western Cape crime stats to be monthly According to a report by the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry released in August, the crime statistics for the three police stations in Khayelitsha when combined, record the highest number of violent crimes in the country year on year. The national crime statistics were released on Friday in Pretoria and they show that there has been a decrease in contact crimes (such as murder, sexual crimes, assault and robbery) from last year in Khayelitsha. 22 September 2014
17-year-old who tried to make a difference shot and killed in Manenberg Galiema Kenny broke down as she recalled her son’s last words to her after he was shot by gangsters in Manenberg. Kenny laid her 17-year-old son, Yusriy Kenny, to rest on Tuesday afternoon. 17 September 2014
Khayelitsha cleaners fed up with not getting paid on time Every month since January, Khayelitsha’s refuse collectors and street cleaners in QA and PJS Section go in large groups to camp outside the supervisor’s office so they can get what is due to them. 15 September 2014
Disabled and living in a shack Regina Mahlombe is 64. She has become bed-ridden as a result of being stabbed by muggers in Gugulethu when she was 21. She yearns to leave her shack for a proper home. 12 September 2014
RR Section’s overflowing toilets still unfixed An unbearable smell lingers in the air of RR Section to the point where you can taste it. This is the daily struggle for Khayelitsha residents who live next to overflowing drains and toilets that still remain unfixed by the City of Cape Town. 8 September 2014
Taxi owners distance themselves from strike As all Golden Arrow Bus Services (GABS) returned to normal, taxi associations Cata and Codeta say they are happy with the outcome of the meeting they had on Tuesday, and that calm has been restored among taxi drivers. 3 September 2014
Taxi drivers vow to continue protest Taxi drivers angry at an increase in traffic fines have vowed to continue their protest if the authorities do not reduce fines. 3 September 2014
Shortage of drug that prevents babies from getting HIV The National Department of Health (NDoH) has sent out a circular nationally to all doctors, nurses and pharmacists informing them of a shortage of a paediatric anti-AIDS drug called nevirapine, used to prevent HIV infection in the newborn children of mothers with HIV. 2 September 2014
Circumcision just got easier In a bid to get thousands of men in the Western Cape circumcised, the national department of health (NDoH) officially cut the ribbon to launch the new mobile theatres which will be going around the Cape’s remote areas, to get males circumcised. 1 September 2014
School transport a nightmare Every day hundreds of parents depend on private transport operators to get their children to school and back home. The quality of service varies. GroundUp found some disturbing stories. 27 August 2014
Cosatu holds conference on crime On 22 August in the Cape Town City Hall, Cosatu convened an anti-crime conference in response to desperate pleas from communities asking for a more effective response to crime. 22 August 2014
TAC pickets Michael Mapongwana baby unit “There is no privacy, you are asked in front of everyone what your baby's HIV status is. It is dirty and the staff is very disrespectful in the way they speak to patients. I don’t go to that clinic anymore; it’s been a year now. Because of their treatment I did something I shouldn’t have done, I tested my child for HIV myself, because I too work at a clinic.” 14 August 2014
Department of Coffee opens new branches Muffin runs, a pop up shop, a new range of coffee beans and now training volunteers to be baristas -- Khayelitsha’s first coffee shop, the Department of Coffee (DOC) is growing and showing no signs of slowing down. 11 August 2014
Evicted Mfuleni backyarders now live in a tent After being evicted four times from private land, about 100 Mfuleni residents have now found respite in a tent on a piece of vacant land in Bardale. 7 August 2014
Firgrove residents want their land back Two thousand residents removed forcefully from Firgrove, Somerset West, between 1971 and 1975 under the apartheid Group Areas Act, want their land back. ‘Blacks’ were moved to Mfuleni and ‘coloureds’ were moved to Macassar. 4 August 2014
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

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