I knew something was wrong when on an uneventful evening, during what is usually a joyful holiday season, I looked down and felt the sting of tears in my eyes. It felt like I had taken a hard hit in my chest and could not breathe. The tears just came and despite being thoroughly embarrassed […]

For almost a month, South Africa has been undergoing rotating load shedding –  or rolling blackouts – owing to the country’s power utility Eskom battling to meet electricity demand. These blackouts are now creating cellphone signal blackouts due to networks reportedly struggling to keep their towers running. The impact of these signal blackouts is particularly […]

More than 140 mentally ill patients died after they and 1,500 other patients were forced to move to poorly equipped NGOs. The death toll could rise still as 62 patients cannot be accounted for in any records. Despite being warned of the potential consequences, the patients who had been living at Life Esidimeni were forcefully relocated […]

While many functions in society have been automated for a very long time, with traffic lights being the most recognisable form to most of us, the combination of robotics, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and other digital technologies have created much more sophisticated versions of automation. These have given us things like self-service kiosks and driver-less cars. […]

On Monday, two voice clips in which a 17-year old, Grade 11 learner from Pietermaritzburg Girls High School refers to her Black classmates as ‘k****rs’ were uploaded on social media. In the clips, she’s heard using the racial slur because her name had been pronounced and spelled incorrectly by another learner. According to reports, some […]

The success of start-ups such as Slack, BuzzFeed, flipkart.com and some sects of the on demand economy such as Uber and Air bnb were all part of the refining and spread of start-up culture. A culture that is often sold using the stories of individuals who quit something solid to ‘chase their ambitions’, ‘work in […]

Over the last few weeks, we have seen intense policing and private security at various university campuses across the country. This followed an announcement by the Minister of Higher Education, Blade Nzimande that universities will determine their own fees for 2017, with increases capped at 8%- a move that was merely a passing of the […]

The excessive, indiscriminate force; arbitrary arrests and detentions that are currently taking place in our higher education institutions and surrounding areas, have put a spotlight on securitisation and militarisation. But neither is new, South Africa has for some time consistently been steadily securitising and militarising in various ways. Think of the way private security has […]

Technology can help change activism for the better. A few years ago, an isolated community in the North West province faced eviction from their land, but the power of the simple cellphone changed that. Cellphones harnessed the power to connect people in numbers, coordinate action, secure legal expertise, and engage the community, the media and […]

Siboniso*, a 21-year old from Pinetown in KwaZulu-Natal, fears he might never receive a certificate for a National Diploma he completed at the Durban University of Technology (DUT). He is one of hundreds of graduates who instead of receiving confirmation of their qualifications, were handed statements with amount they respectively owe the institution. I am a National […]

Life Esidimeni’s Baneng Centre patients safe from relocation for now, but fight to safeguard the rights and dignity of those with chronic mental health disabilities continues. The deep inequality of South Africa has a huge impact on access to mental health services, particularly for those dependent on the public health system. It means that poorer […]

Unless you were only following SABC, visuals of protests in Tshwane recently filled a lot of our news. Barricaded township roads; burning buses and tyres; shops being looted and bystanders unable to get to work. The spark which triggered the protest action was the announcement of the ANC’s mayoral candidate, in the lead up to […]