Carte Blanche by Jessica Pitchford

Carte Blanche burst onto the scene in 1988 as a genre never before seen on South African television: a trail-blazer, a blend of sociological awareness, sophistication and audacity. When pay channel M-Net came up with this different and daring weekly eye-opener that pushed the envelope, it brought promise of freedom and creativity and ended a period in our history in which television news and current affairs were limited to the state broadcaster.


Twenty-five years on, the familiar Carte Blanche melody has become an institution, announcing the end of the weekend and the start of an hour that resists the mundane and stimulates debate. What’s become a Sunday night ritual began in a make-shift studio with a small team of firebrands, led by an arrogant, fearless talent, a showman with scant respect for the conventions of the time: Bill Faure was the most dynamic director of his day, a visionary who shared his passionate love of television with the world. He set the stage for what has become South Africa’s longest running investigative current affairs show and the most valuable real estate in broadcasting.

Faure passed the baton on to an extraordinary generation of journalists that created a vault of diverse memories, brought into homes across the country and into Africa, stories of delight and daring, cheek and chutzpah, heartbreak and heroism, of the weird and whacky.

It’s enabled us all to chase car thieves across our borders, catch out rogue mechanics and find out what security guards and plumbers do and don’t do in our homes. It’s brought to our screens a host of unforgettable characters from the transsexuals of Beaufort West to the shady directors of Aurora.

The book Carte Blanche – 25 Years dips into an era of quality journalism through the eyes of the producers and presenters who have so effectively measured the national mood and recognised defining moments.

About the author


When it comes to current affairs, Jessica Pitchford is in her element.

Originally from the Eastern Cape, Jessica has been a journalist in Johannesburg since graduating from Rhodes University in the eighties. Her position as managing-editor at Carte Blanche is a departure from a long career in reporting and producing for SABC news and current affairs.

Follow Carte Blanche on Twitter HERE and like their page on Facebook HERE

Published by Jonathan Ball Publishers

ISBN 9781868425617

Walking Cape Town: Urban walks and drives in the Cape Peninsula by John Muir

The perfect companion for the urban sightseer, Walking Cape Town features 33 easy walks and drives through the streets and suburbs of one of the world’s most beautiful and popular cities.


From the Company’s Garden in the heart of the city to trendy Green Point, Sea Point and Camps Bay, the colourful Bo-Kaap, and the bustling seaside villages of Muizenberg, Kalk Bay and Simon’s Town, this comprehensive guide reveals the fascinating history and urban charm that has made Cape Town one of the top destinations in the world.

John Muir, an expert on Cape Town and its hidden gems, provides a wealth of information on all that can be discovered en route: the city’s colonial past, Victorian and contemporary architecture, museums and monuments, churches and mosques, parks and gardens, and rivers and wetlands. Fully illustrated with more than 250 photographs, this extensive guide also includes: easy-to-follow directions and full-colour illustrated maps; essential information on walking and driving distances, terrain, level of difficulty, opening times and contact details; suggestions for restaurants, pubs and coffee shops along the way; fact panels on the city’s iconic landmarks and famous residents.

For locals and visitors wanting to discover more about the city’s rich heritage, Walking Cape Town is an indispensable guide.

About the author


A former city councillor and past chairman of the Simon van der Stel Foundation a heritage conservation body, John Muir regularly leads heritage tours of the Cape Peninsula. He has published two previous books, Know Your Cape and John Muir’s Guide to the Western Cape.

Published by Struik Travel & Heritage (An imprint of Random House Struik)

ISBN: 9781920572945

Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders by David Williams and Ali Bacher

South Africa has produced more great cricket all-rounders than any other country, and Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders, a first on these remarkable players, is based on records, articles and interviews with living players as well as archival research of early players.

Jacques Kallis Cover HR_0

Over a hundred years ago, there was Jimmy Sinclair, the first man to score a century and take six wickets in an innings in a test match. More recently was the brilliant era of Eddie Barlow, Tiger Lance, Mike Procter and Clive Rice, as well as Tony Greig and Basil D’Oliveira, South Africans who played for England. A great tradition was established for the modern era: since re-admission in 1992 there has been Brian McMillan, Shaun Pollock, Lance Klusener and, the greatest of them all, Jacques Kallis. Jacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders is about the 13 men, each of whom were worth two or three players in one, worth their place as batsmen or bowlers, adored by the fans, and capable of changing a game with either of their skills.

With a readable mix of anecdotes, commentary and statisticsJacques Kallis and 12 Other Great South African All-Rounders is the first book about these multitalented heroes of cricket. A very special feature of the book is the inclusion of the careers of four black all-rounders who were unable to play for national teams because of their race.

About the authors

David Williams


David Williams was educated at King Edward VII School (where he played rugby for the 1st XV and Transvaal Schools) and Wits University. David has been Deputy Editor of the Financial Mail, and has worked extensively in radio (notably on 702 and Highveld) and television, specialising in sports and business coverage. He is now Senior Anchor on the daily “Open Exchange” programme on TV channel CNBC Africa. He has written several books on sport and military history, and is in demand as a conference speaker and facilitator.

Ali Bacher

Board 46

Ali Bacher was educated at King Edward VII School (captaining the 1st XI and Transvaal Nuffield XI) and Wits University, where he studied medicine. He captained Transvaal aged 21 and played 12 Tests between 1965 and 1970, when he captained South Africa to a 4-0 Test whitewash of Australia. He went on to a distinguished career in cricket administration, culminating in the hosting of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa. As a player, captain, selector and administrator, he worked closely with all but two of the 13 all-rounders, and for this book interviewed the seven who were alive in 2012.

Published by Penguin Books SA

ISBN: 9780143538325

Hearing Helen by Carolyn Morton

Hearing Helen, a tale about courage, determination and friendship,is an uplifting novel for young adults.

 “The difference between you and your brother is that he’s not only playing for himself but his parents too. That is his greatest problem,” said Madame Pandora. “But you … You are only playing for yourself. And that is your problem.”


Helen is desperate to escape from her run-down high school and to get into the Music Academy, but her piano teacher, Madame Pandora, will not hear of it. That’s not Helen’s only problem; life at home seems to revolve around her talented elder brother, her parents are too exhausted to notice her and the gorgeous Kean has eyes only for June, who is sickeningly perfect. When Helen finally gets the chance to make her dreams come true, she realises that not all opportunities are meant to be taken. Which opportunities should she grab, which should she leave and what will her decisions cost those for whom she cares the most?

Also available in Afrikaans as Om Helena te hoor.

About the author

Carolyn Morton grew up in Cape Town and after school obtained a B.A. in English and Latin and a B.Phil. in Journalism at Stellenbosch University. More recently, she has completed her M.A. in Applied Linguistics, which focused on the writing of deaf children, a topic motivated by her own hearing loss.

She is now living in Port Elizabeth with her husband and has been involved in teaching English and writing as well as doing some freelance editing and translating. Besides writing, she loves animals and reading (especially re-reading her favourite novels by Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer) and enjoys her teaching, going for walks with her husband and playing the piano.

Published by Human & Rousseau

ISBN: 9780798164368

Save with Jamie by Jamie Oliver




‘This year, I’ve got the message loud and clear that as everyone comes under bigger and bigger financial pressure, they want help to cook tasty, nutritious food on a budget – so this book was born completely out of public demand.’


‘It draws on knowledge and cooking skills to help you make better choices, showing you how to buy economically and efficiently, get the most out of your ingredients, save time and prevent food waste. And there’s no compromise – I’m talking big flavours, comfort food that makes you happy, and colourful, optimistic dishes. As well as that, every single recipe in the book is cheaper per portion than your average takeaway, so every choice is a great value choice. Our biggest luxury is knowledge, whether times are hard or not, so get kitchen smart and smash the recession.’

About the author


Jamie Oliver started cooking at his parents’ pub, The Cricketers, in Clavering, Essex, at the age of eight. After leaving school he began a career as a chef that took him to the River Café, where he was famously spotted by a television production company. His television and publishing career began in 1999 with The Naked Chef series. Since then he has set up Fifteen restaurant in London, changed school dinners in the UK and revolutionised home cooking. His charity, The Jamie Oliver Foundation, seeks to improve people’s lives through food. It operates the fifteen restaurants, which train disengaged young people for a career in the catering industry, and the Ministry of Food centres, which provide places for people to learn basic cooking skills.

Jamie lives in London and Essex with his wife Jools and their children.

For more information on Jamie, visit his website HERE, follow him on Twitter HERE, and like his Facebook page HERE

Click HERE for a free recipe, courtesy of Penguin Books, from Save with Jamie - DIM SUM PORK BUNS

Published by Penguin Books

ISBN: 9780718158149

Child of the two South Africas: The Trevor Vilakazi Story by Mugabe Ratshikuni

This is the real-life story of Trevor Vilakazi, son of a domestic worker, who was raised by the white family for whom she worked.


Trevor grew up in middle-class suburbia, living the life of a kid from an affluent, white family. The white family treated him as one of their own children and gave him everything they could to give him a better shot at success in life. The language he grew up speaking was English, the food he grew up eating was ‘white’.

But when Trevor was midway through high school, his life changed. The family moved away from Johannesburg. Suddenly, Trevor found himself in the harsh environment of Diepsloot informal settlement where he became an outsider: insecure, bullied and teased. The culture and language barriers he now faced changed his life. Trevor’s unusual story as a ‘coconut’ in Diepsloot provides a fascinating glimpse into the ambiguities of race relations in the post-apartheid South Africa.

About the author


Mugabe publishes the fortnightly newsletter of the Diepsloot Community ( aimed at promoting citizen journalism and giving the community a platform to communicate with the outside world. He also founded a website of pan-African commentary by young African writers ( Mugabe has a BA Degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from UNISA. He spent six years as a student pastor for His People Church at the University of Cape Town. Mugabe‘s MampoerShort was made possible through Mampoer’s Mentorship Programme, and was financed by the Kgolo Trust, which supports young black writers.

You can follow Mugabe on Twitter HERE and like his page on Facebook HERE



It’s a beautiful, warm, typical Johannesburg Saturday evening and four teenagers are home alone, watching television and drinking rum with tequila shots in between whilst their parents are out jolling. These kids are all buddies who go to Fourways High School, a co-ed public school situated in the middle of affluent middle-class suburbs in northern Johannesburg: Bryanston, Lonehill, Randburg, Chartwell, Magaliessig, Jukskei Park, and Northriding.

doccie comes on which piques their interest. Immediately the conversation stops as they focus on the television screen. The documentary is about a community called Diepsloot, the ‘ugly child’, if you will, of northern Johannesburg (at least that’s what the popular narrative says).

Diepsloot is a post-1994 informal settlement in northern Johannesburg, with government-built, small, one-roomed houses, commonly known as RDP houses, and a seemingly endless collage of shacks. It is known as a hub of crime, xenophobia, HIV/Aids, violence, teenage pregnancy, extreme poverty, service delivery protests and any other post-1994 South African negative phenomenon that you can think of.

True to form, the documentary is about xenophobia in Diepsloot. It shows a mob beating to death an innocent migrant for the ‘crime’ of being a foreigner. In between the gory scenes, they interview community members who aggressively state that they don’t want foreigners in their midst and will be doing everything they can to remove them, even if it takes violence to do so.

These teenagers in Fourways, growing up in middle-class suburbia, sheltered and far removed from this ‘other’ South Africa, are shocked and repulsed by what they see. They can’t fathom how any human being can do this to another human being. They feel far removed from these ‘hooligans’ who live ‘on the other side’. One of them turns to the others and says, “What kind of people live there?”

Amongst this group of youngsters is a chap called Trevor Vilakazi, the only black kid in the group (a ‘new South African’ racially-mixed bunch). Unbeknown to the other kids, he actually lives in Diepsloot, something he has kept a secret from his mates.

Trevor is that most interesting of ‘new South African’ kids – raised by a white family for whom his mom worked as a domestic worker. He grew up in middle-class suburbia and lived the life of a kid from an affluent white family – in his case, the Friedmans. They treated him as one of their own and gave him everything they could in order to give him a better shot at success in life. They made sure he attended some of the best schools in northern Johannesburg and contributed to his school fees. His mother has only been too grateful for the help they gave her son and like all mothers, wants to see her son succeeding in life and breaking the cycle of poverty within the family.

For Trevor, growing up as he did, places like Diepsloot were once a far-off reality. His reality was northern Johannesburg suburbia and all the perks that come with living in that kind of space. But when he was midway through high school, his life changed.

We Need to Act by Jonathan Jansen


Following the success of We Need to Talk, published in 2011, comes a new collection of Jonathan Jansen’s columns originally published in The Times newspaper. In We Need to Act Jansen’s decidedly non-PC views are organised around four action areas critical to all South Africans: Education (schools and universities); The Future (young people and their futures); Service Delivery (stories about failures of government and institutions); and Hope (stories to inspire).

Jansen takes his inspiration from a diverse group of people – statesmen, teachers, students, children and everyday South Africans he meets – and introduces us to them through his columns. Bound to make you stop and think, and then (hopefully) develop your own plans to act to change lives.

About the author


Professor Jonathan Jansen is the rector of the University of the Free State, where he has earned a formidable reputation for transformation and for a deep commitment to reconciliation in communities living with the heritage of apartheid. He is an educationalist, a former Dean of Education at the University of Pretoria, who holds an impressive collection of degrees and awards, including the position as President of the South African Institute of Race Relations. He was born in the Western Cape, and has lived in various parts of South Africa and in the United States. He is married with two children.

Follow Jonathan on Twitter HERE and like his Facebook page HERE

Published by BookStorm and distributed by Pan Macmillan SA

ISBN: 978-1-920434-58-8

Almost English by Charlotte Mendelson

The extraordinary new novel from the Orange Prize shortlisted author of When We Were Bad.


Home is a foreign country: they do things differently there.

In a tiny flat in West London, sixteen-year-old Marina lives with her emotionally delicate mother, Laura, and three ancient Hungarian relatives. Imprisoned by her family’s crushing expectations and their fierce unEnglish pride, by their strange traditions and stranger foods, she knows she must escape. But the place she runs to makes her feel even more of an outsider.

At Combe Abbey, a traditional English public school for which her family have sacrificed everything, she realises she has made a terrible mistake. She is the awkward half-foreign girl who doesn’t know how to fit in, flirt or even be. And as a semi-Hungarian Londoner, who is she? In the meantime, her mother Laura, an alien in this strange universe, has her own painful secrets to deal with, especially the return of the last man she’d expect back in her life. She isn’t noticing that, at Combe Abbey, things are starting to go terribly wrong.

About the author


Charlotte Mendelson’s last novel, When We Were Bad, was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and was chosen as a book of the year in the ObserverGuardianSunday TimesNew Statesman and Spectator. She is also the author of Love in Idleness and Daughters of Jerusalem, which won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Almost English is her fourth novel. Charlotte was born in 1972 and grew up in Oxford. She lives in London.

View Charlotte’s website HERE

Follow Charlotte on Twitter HERE

Published by Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9781447219972

Categories of Persons edited by Jacob Dlamini and Megan Jones

‘This thought-provoking and intriguing book explores a robust space of expanding and interacting identities that might just be the space for South Africa’s future politics.’ – Njabulo S. Ndebele.


As ongoing controversies demonstrate, race in particular continues to galvanise and polarise public opinion in South Africa. Categories of Persons challenges the rhetoric of contemporary race and social discourse and offers alternative ways of looking at how we present ourselves and look at one another in South Africa today.

From taxi rides to cross-dressing, inter-race marriages to living with disability and off-beat topics in between, the personal and evocative contributions from Neels Blom, Jacob Dlamini, Megan Jones, Antony Kaminju, Antjie Krog, Karen Lazar, Riaan Oppelt, Verashni Pillay and Kopano Ratele, are guaranteed to challenge assumptions about what it means to be ‘able-bodied’, ‘black’, ‘white’, ‘Indian’ or ‘coloured’ as they narrate encounters and experiences that transcend racial and social stereotyping.

About the Editors

Jacob Dlamini was educated at the Universities of Wits, Yale and Sussex. He is currently based at the University of Barcelona.

Megan Jones was educated at the Universities of Cape Town and Cambridge. She teaches English at Stellenbosch University.

Published by Pan Macmillan SA

ISBN: 9781770103061