Goratileone Oepeng reaches FameLab SA Final!

Image 2023-09-20 at 7.50 AM.jpgWe are so proud to see one of our science club members reach for fame through science!

Goratileone Oepeng grew up near Kuruman in the Northern Cape. He says he has always been curious about the world around him and the way things work. This is why, at school, he started a science club and registered it as a Science Spaza Club. In 2014, he wrote a letter to the Science Space newspaper where he explained just how much the Science Spaza Club meant to him and his friends – and said this is where he learnt to really love science. See below for that letter with Goratileone standing third in the back row:

Now, after almost 10 years, Goratileone's dreams have come true! He is studying an MSc in Entomology at the University of Pretoria. His research is taking a closer look at the link between pheromones and reproductive dominance in honey bee workers. A better understanding could help increase the already dwindling population of the world’s number one pollinators and other social insects that employ pheromones as a means of communication.

But we have even more exciting news … Goratileone was a finalist in the FameLab SA 2023 competition! In this competition, young scientists have three minutes to explain their research to judges in a simple and entertaining way. Goratileone impressed the judges enough to win a regional heat to go through to the semi-finals, and then he competed in the finals on the 21st September. We were also privileged to be able to take two of our Science Clubs through to Pretoria to watch the action.

BIG UPS to Goratileone!


Mandela Day 2023

Fun, Food and Farming for Mandela Day 2023 ????

We headed out along dirt roads and windy tracks in support of our non-profit initiative Science Spaza - bringing together scientists and young people to create positive change.

Jive Director, Prof Albert Modi, a leading expert in crop science and sustainable agriculture, arrived at Swayimane High School near Wartburg with armfuls of seeds, seedlings and fruit trees.

The Jive team soon got busy, along with 67 learners, plus volunteers from a local co-operative, Vukuzithathe, and within half an hour everything was planted.

We also had the opportunity to introduce the learners to Science Spaza, Jive’s network of more than 140 science clubs at schools across the country.

If you’re a scientist looking to share your ideas with the next generation of leaders, look no further than Science Spaza and talk to over 10 000 young people in all 9 provinces of South Africa.

Thanks to Kavo R Photography, Blackwoods Nursery, Dr Doshen Naidoo - PMB Paediatrician for generous donations!

Prof Dlova's Hair and Skin Care Tips

Prof Dlova, Professor of Dermatology at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, has been giving us super cool and very important tips on hair and skin care!

Click on the links to learn more...

  • Full edition of Spaza Space with lots of interesting facts about skin and hair

Spaza Space The Skin Edition WEB_page-0001.jpg


World Science Forum 2022

The Science Spaza team was at the Department of Science and Innovation's World Science Forum 2022 - the first to be held on the African continent!

The team enjoyed the opportunity to engage with learners and partners around science outreach.



Did you see Science Spaza at Science Forum South Africa 2019?! 

Check us out!





We had an awesome time meeting and interacting with everyone who attended SFSA 2019! 

We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Climate change will affect South Africans in five sectors: health, bio-diversity, agriculture, water and cities. Though the spread of malaria isn’t expected to increase, cholera outbreaks will. As temperatures rise, farmers will need extra irrigation and maize, wheat and grape production particularly will be impacted. It is uncertain what the outcome of precipitation will be, but the east coast and central interior are likely to get more water, while the Northern and Western Cape are likely to get less. Coastal cities may be threatened by higher sea levels. For example, Durban’s sea-level could rise by 2.7 mm every year, making storm surges and coastal erosion worse. In general, as weather patterns become more extreme, fires, storms, flooding, and droughts are expected.


  • Many South Africans are living in poverty, have a high disease burden and inadequate housing. This means that they are not able to deal well with extra pressures like extreme climate events since they are already in a vulnerable state.
  • In some places, South Africa already has low and variable rainfall.
  • Most of South Africa’s surface water is already appointed to be used somewhere, so there isn’t much extra.
  • Agriculture and fisheries, which will be impacted, are important for food security and local livelihoods.

This article was published in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs





  • There is an increase in the average global temperature of about 1°C.
  • A 0.19 m rise in the average global sea level has been observed.
  • There is reduced snow cover in the northern hemisphere, melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica and there’s a 4% decrease in Arctic ice.
  • Average precipitation over mid-latitude areas in the Northern hemisphere has significantly increased. There are more heavy rainfall events over most land areas. This leads to a higher risk of flooding in certain areas.
  • Since the 1970s, droughts are longer and more intense. Drying in the Sahel, the Mediterranean, southern Africa and parts of southern Asia.
  • Though some places have become colder, the general trend is a decrease in cold days and nights, with an increase in heat waves, as well as warmer days and nights.
  • Over 30% of the increase in carbon dioxide has been absorbed by the oceans. The oceans are now 26% more acidic and in combination with warmer seawater, this is impacting marine life.


Climate change has major impacts on biodiversity. Wildlife and plants will need to cope with:

  • Habitat destruction and extreme weather events.
  • Changed timing of seasonal events such as breeding and migration.
  • Important events could go out of sync – like flowering and pollination.
  • Species could become extinct or move to cooler locations.
  • Warmer, more acidic seawater kills sea creatures.
  • Some species, like  fish, are becoming smaller to cope with higher temperatures.


Unhealthy ecosystems cannot protect people against climate change. 

  • They cannot capture as much carbon and keep it out of the air.
  • They can’t protect against the impacts of extreme weather events.
  • If ecosystems aren’t doing their job, the air we breathe and water we drink can no longer be cleaned properly.
  • Excessive heat dries the soil, shortens growing periods and could increase weeds, pests and diseases. This could eventually result in complete crop failure.
  • Extreme weather events and unpredictable rainfall affects crops that humans eat.
  • Hotter conditions make it difficult to keep humans and livestock well-fed.
  • More disease puts those living with HIV/AIDS at risk. Other health concerns include hunger, malnutrition, air pollution and heat stress.
  • Many South Africans are living in poverty, have a high disease burden and inadequate housing. Because they are vulnerable, they can’t cope well with extreme climate events.


Very high temperatures are bad for the economy. A changing climate means a changing economy.

  • ENERGY: Hotter weather demands more electricity for air conditioning. Higher energy demand makes electricity prices climb.
  • FORESTRY: More disease outbreaks and resistance threaten forests and plantations. These are not just responsible for removing large amounts of carbon dioxide out of the air but could replace fossil fuels as a fuel source.
  • FOOD: Food prices are increasing. Income from  fisheries is declining due to smaller catches and destruction in coral reefs.
  • TOURISM: Tourism contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and has a massive carbon footprint.


Climate change burdens the poor. The disadvantaged are the most vulnerable to climate change. Reasons include:

1. More food and water insecurity

2. Higher food prices

3. Loss of jobs

4. Negative health effects

5. Being forced to move



This article was published in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Affairs


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