10 Minute Investigative Documentaries 2008

The House on the Rocks
16×9 Productions

EXPLOSIVE allegations of sexual molestation, child abuse and brainwashing of children were made against House on the Rock, one of the Eastern Cape’s only palliative care centres for children. Most of the children are orphans from the HIV/Aids pandemic or its consequences..

Ken and Jenny van der Merwe, the managers were at the centre of this scandal which rocked East London. Amidst all the allegations, the real truth remained unclear and the facts still layered. This documentary shows all the sides of the story and lets you decide the truth of the matter.

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Heard it through the Pipeline
Lit Up Productions

The Albany Water scheme is a proposed project to provide the Sunshine Coast with water. Existing resources in the area are limited and not adequate for drinking. This becomes a major problem during the busy holiday season. Local municipalities are working together with the project managers and funders to develop the scheme. There are however, some major contentions. The scheme will rely on a complex network of pipes that carries water from the Orange River scheme to the six towns in the project. It will cost about R1 billion. Experts are concerned that more economically viable, longer term solutions have not been properly considered, particularly since the Orange River is a limited source and will probably only be able to supply the area for a period of 20 years.

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Holes in ESTA
SMGT Productions

There has been a high rise in the conversion of agricultural farms to game reserves in the Eastern Cape recently and so many of the farm workers have been evicted from their homes. In an attempt to protect the rights of farm-workers the South African government passed the Establishment of Security of Tenure Act (ESTA) in 1997. Under this law, people who had lived on the farm for more than ten years and were over the age of sixty had to be compensated upon sale of the land. The law also ensures that other farm workers not meeting these requirements cannot merely be evicted off the land, but rather negotiations must be entered into. This law seems great on paper, but in practice dubious methods are often employed in forcing workers to leave the land. This story looks at the holes within ESTA legislature by exploring two case studies, and through expert opinions, attempting to get to the heart of the problem.

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Food Crisis
FAB Productions

This 10 minute documentary centers around the current international food crisis involving grain and wheat products, and its impact on the poor. Through the story of Nomsa and her family, we see how increasing food prices have affected families and their eating habits. A discussion of the causes and wider economic impacts of the crisis help the viewer to better understand the severity of the situation. A local NGO, The Umthathi Training Centre, then help Nomsa and her family by showing how the growing of a small food garden may be one of the small ways families can cope with the problem.

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