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
Children without homes: referrals up for Cape Town centre

Just this week alone six children have been referred to the Fikelela Children's Centre in Mandela Park, Khayelitsha. The institution’s head social worker, Kate Brydon, says the number of abandoned children being referred to Fikelela has risen.

30 July 2015
Juggling for Jack: How the Zip Zap circus helped a six-year-old boy

The Zip Zap Circus School dome in the city centre was packed on Saturday afternoon as the circus put on a show to raise funds for severely disabled six-year-old Jack Bain.

28 July 2015
Perhaps it's time you cleaned your tackies?

Because two brothers hated getting their sneakers dirty and could not bear wearing dirty shoes, they came up with the unique idea of opening a tackie laundry.

27 July 2015
City and Blikkiesdorp residents fail to see eye-to-eye

“Residents of Blikkiesdorp do not trust the City [of Cape Town government],” says a Blikkiesdorp leader, Jerome Daniels. A meeting on Thursday night highlighted the ongoing tensions between this community and the City.

27 July 2015
Mother of two disabled children barely coping

Nomahlubi Mbulu is 47. She lives in a house in Old Crossroads. She has three children, a 12-year-old girl, a 17-year-old daughter and a 20-year-old son. Her last born, Lilitha, and her eldest, Sibusiso, are both disabled. She is struggling to cope.

21 July 2015
Sesfikile – the women’s winery

Even though she once despised wine because her brother would get drunk, Nondumiso Pikashe from Gugulethu has made a success of her own handcrafted wines. She thinks more people could tap into the industry.

14 July 2015
Ambitious plans for Philippi

Starting in September, the Philippi Economic Development Initiative has plans to turn the Philippi area into a “vibrant urban hub”.

8 July 2015
Is it the end for popular Cape Town circus?

As part of the City of Cape Town's plans to rationalise municipal facilities, the South African National Circus School (SAN Circus) will have to vacate their premises in Observatory, after their lease was terminated before it was set to expire.

3 July 2015
One of the world's oldest toys is a township craze

Spinning tops have been around for years and this is one of the toys that has been keeping township kids busy for decades, especially during school holidays.

1 July 2015
Counselling on wheels to come to Khayelitsha

“It will be like an emotional ambulance.” This is the vision of 28-year-old Banetsi Mphunga: a mobile psychology clinic in Khayelitsha which will see kids in the township receive free help dealing with psychological trauma.

26 June 2015
Yew Street Market gets its permit back

Saturday will see the park in Salt River buzzing with excitement when stall owners reopen for business, after the Yew Street Market was re-issued with its permit by the City of Cape Town.

23 June 2015
Tattoos - township style

Since the age of 16, Peter Webb from Mfuleni has had an obsession with tattoos after seeing many movie stars with bodies splashed with ink designs. Finally with his first salary, he managed to buy a tattoo machine and started his own business in the township.

18 June 2015
City withdraws Salt River market's permit

What was supposed to be an upliftment project for the Salt River community has turned into a nightmare for market organiser Kim van Lingen. The permit for her market was withdrawn days before the second one was to take place.

12 June 2015
Gun shots any time of day in Manenberg

This past weekend in gang-plagued Manenberg, a number of shootings took place once again in what community members refer to as one of those “worse weekends”.

8 June 2015
Mfuleni school kids taught in a shack

As Cape Town weather gets worse, some Grade R learners from Mfuleni are being taught in a cold leaking shack with just one toilet, because there is insufficient space for them in a proper school.

3 June 2015
Shooting hoops through stereotypes: Philippi's women basketball players

Even though Philippi female basketball player, Ziyanda Tyefi says the sport is still viewed as a male sport, she loves it and she cannot see herself playing anything else but it.

26 May 2015
When the state neglects property rights

Fridges, stoves, furniture, televisions and microwaves are just some of the goods that residents claim are taken or damaged during evictions. Shack building materials are taken too. But what exactly happens to these goods once they are taken away? And what does the law say?

22 May 2015
N2 golfer joins club

Vuyo Sontsonga used to play golf between two roads, the N2 and Borcherds Quarry, nearly everyday. But now his dream of golf club membership has been realised.

21 May 2015
Mfuleni vegetable garden gives people dignity

It's all smiles and happiness as five men and women go about their work at the Bambanani Food Garden. Project manager Theresa Falatsa explains that it is passion that drives them.

19 May 2015
Bus on the way for Masiphumelele students

Masiphumelele High School students who have been walking and hitchhiking 15 kilometres to get to school will soon have their own transport.

14 May 2015
Detainee tells of shocking conditions for awaiting trial prisoners

After numerous organisations wrote to the Department of Correctional Services, raising their concerns about the bad conditions in the awaiting trial section of Pollsmoor prison, GroundUp exclusively spoke to a detainee in that section, who says nothing has changed.

7 May 2015
Maggots, bodies and stench: what Khayelitsha residents say about their toilets

Last Thursday the Social Justice Coalition handed over 500 submissions, written by Khayelitsha residents, on the municipal budget to the City of Cape Town. GroundUp examined a sample of them to find out what residents are asking for.

29 April 2015
Old Mutual drags its heels on Khayelitsha housing development

Old Mutual has not kept a promise to build more than 500 low cost houses and a shopping centre in Khayelitsha, though this was a condition of a 2008 deal with the City of Cape Town.

28 April 2015
Khayelitsha residents hand over 600 submissions on City's draft budget

About 150 Social Justice Coalition (SJC) members, supported by Ndifuna Ukwazi, formed a queue behind a toilet outside the Civic Centre and chanted struggle songs on Thursday, as they waited for their individual submissions on the City of Cape Town's draft budget for the 2015/2016 financial year to be collected.

23 April 2015
Cape Town's strelitzia man

Every day between 3pm and 7pm, at the traffic lights on the corner of Buitengracht Street and Buitensingel in the Cape Town city centre, you’re likely to see a man with a bunch of orange strelitzia flowers.

22 April 2015
Defrauded Nyanga man refunded after GroundUp reports his story

After having half his salary deducted every month for over a year to pay for furniture which he did not buy, a Nyanga man has now been refunded.

15 April 2015
Athlone's amazing pet hospital

Walking through the People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in Bridgetown, Athlone, is like walking through a hospital for humans - bare walls, corridors, operating rooms. Except, that is, for the barking and for the smell of dogs.

9 April 2015
Countrywide protests by education activists over delayed government plans

Excitement and frustration were evident outside Parliament when students and Equal Education (EE) members slept overnight on the pavement in protest at the delayed release of the provincial implementation plans for Norms and Standards for School Infrastructure.

2 April 2015
Langa’s open streets brings people together from across city

Rubusana Avenue, Jungle Walk and Washington Street, in Langa, were packed on Sunday as scores of people came out to participate in the Open Streets project.

30 March 2015
Free State health workers on trial for protesting dismissals

There are protests outside the Bloemfontein Magistrate's Court this morning, as a trial of health workers resumes amidst widespread dissatisfaction with the Free State health system and MEC Benny Malakoane.

30 March 2015
How shack extension permits work

Informal settlement residents say they are always told by law enforcement and the Anti Land Invasion Unit that if they want to extend or renovate their shacks, they need to obtain a permit from the City of Cape Town. But what exactly is this permit and how does it work?

25 March 2015
MPs urged to get tested for TB

All MPs should get themselves tested for TB, the Treatment Action Campaign says.

24 March 2015
Fate of Ottery school for child offenders uncertain

Michael Jackson impersonations, singing, rapping and gumboot dancing were on display Friday morning when boys from the Ottery Youth and Education Centre celebrated for Human Rights Day. The centre's hall was filled with students, one after another performing a song, a dance piece or reading a passage to describe what Human Rights Day meant to them.

23 March 2015
Will Wolwerivier be a model for development, or the next Blikkiesdorp?

Loud barks from a multitude of dogs are what you hear when entering the small area of Wolwerivier, where 28 families live under difficult conditions.

20 March 2015
Living in a hole in the ground in District Six

With the wind blowing strongly, it’s laundry day in the field not far from the new District Six flats, and washed clothes have been pinned down on the grass with bricks. On the horizon, Danny “Rasta” Mukwena is approaching with his friend and neighbour Edwin Shaba.

18 March 2015
Nyanga man's salary slashed to pay for furniture he says he never bought

A Nyanga man has had more than R1,000 deducted from his salary every month since September 2013, to pay for furniture which he says he never bought.

12 March 2015
Khayelitsha students sent home for not paying voluntary fee

Dozens of Grade 12 students were sent home on Tuesday from Qhayiya Secondary School in Khayelitsha because they were unable to pay a “voluntary fee” to the school.

11 March 2015
Sanitary pads: no sign that Zuma’s promise has been kept

Four years after President Jacob Zuma promised sanitary towels for poor women, there is no sign that his promise has been kept.

10 March 2015
Buyers scammed in fake Cape Flats house sales

A Mitchell’s Plain man has been making fake house sales in Delft, Mfuleni and Gugulethu, apparently scamming buyers out of tens of thousands of rands.

9 March 2015
TAC calls on Free State premier to fire MEC

The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) has called on Free State Premier Ace Magashule to fire or suspend health MEC Benny Malakoane, after the release of a letter from doctors about the Free State healthcare system.

5 March 2015
Sibongile - help for children with disabilities

Nomasango Xabanisa knows only too well how time-consuming it is to look after a disabled child. Her own daughter, Sibongile, had cerebral palsy.

3 March 2015
Budget 2015: What leading activist organisations want to hear from Nene

Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene will present the budget speech to Parliament today. GroundUp spoke to several social movements and leading civil society organisations to find out what they would like him to address.

25 February 2015
“I loved my job,” says man dismissed by Independent Media

Bongani Peterson Fani says he only knows one thing that he does very well and that is delivering newspapers. Now that he is suddenly out of a job, he doesn't know where to begin looking for work.

24 February 2015
Shack demolished because of an unauthorised extension - says family

A family of six say they were left scrambling for material to rebuild their shack after it was demolished on Wednesday morning.

19 February 2015
Most Mfuleni tent children back at school

Arrangements have been made to accommodate most of the Mfuleni learners who were using a tent as a school, according to the Western Cape Department of Education.

4 February 2015
Assault at Home Affairs

People watched in shock inside the Khayelitsha Home Affairs on Monday morning as a man was beaten and thrown outside by what appeared to be a Home Affairs employee.

3 February 2015
Owls to be used to rid homes of rats

Philippi residents say there is just no getting rid of the rats terrorising them in their homes. But the City of Cape Town has a plan to introduce owls to solve the problem.

2 February 2015
No room for learners: parents start school in tent

Hundreds of learners are using a tent in Mfuleni’s Bardale neighbourhood as a school after parents say they were turned away from primary and high schools in the area which are full.

29 January 2015
Organisation provides hope and skills to thousands of kids

At 22 years of age, Brightness Khumalo, has found a job that she describes as hard but which she clearly finds rewarding.

22 January 2015
“We’re not going anywhere until we’re heard” - Mfuleni tent dwellers

A group of about 100 Mfuleni backyarders who raised eyebrows in the community after erecting and moving into a tent in an open space, more than five months ago, say they are not going anywhere until they are heard.

16 January 2015