Still no peace in the CAR, a year after election

It has been a year since Faustin Archange Touadera was elected president of the Central African Republic (CAR) after the civil war and violence that gripped the country, yet the situation in the country has not improved. Almost half the population goes hungry every day and humanitarian aid in the country is sorely lacking. The president introduced many reforms including disarmament, demobilisation and preventing crime to try to ensure stability, but attempts to end the conflict and achieve some semblance of peace have had…

Wits residence protests may escalate if demands are not met

Wits University students from the Yale Village residence say they will escalate protests over a lack of services if management does not address their demands. On Thursday morning, students barricaded the university’s Empire Road entrance in protest of high residence fees, lack of services and security issues, amongst other things. The Yale Village Residence is a new residence that was created for Wits students who had previously been living in the Parktown Village (PKV) and Esselen residences. Both were closed down last year…

Wits students barricade Empire Road entrance over res dispute

Early on Thursday morning, students from the University of Witwatersrand Yale Village residence barricaded the Empire Road Entrance to the main campus. Students burned tyres in front of the gates and barricaded the pedestrian entrance with a stop sign. Students say they are protesting the lack of cleaning services and WiFi at the residence, and the lack transport services to campus. Their demands include uncapped WiFi, an increase in security at the residence and a convenient bus schedule. They’ve also asked to be reimbursed…

MSF field worker draws parallels between xenophobic attitudes in SA and Europe

Kate Stegeman is a South African field worker for Doctors Without Borders (MSF), a non-governmental organisation that delivers emergency aid to those in need. She is the first South African join MSF’s search and rescue operations for refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean. She spoke to The Daily Vox about her experiences. What have been your experiences working in the Mediterranean Sea? This was a very different mission compared to what I usually do with MSF. Normally my job is to do communications and it’s mostly…

#CabinetReshuffle sparks protests

President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle caused shockwaves across the nation Friday. Zuma fired five ministers and reshuffled several more including, controversially, Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, who has been replaced with former Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba. Civil society organisations and ordinary South Africans have already started organising protest marches around the country. The Organisation Undoing Tax Abuse (OUTA), lobby group Save South Africa, Section 27 and various trade unions held a #OccupyTreasury…

Uncle Kathy lived a life committed to non-racialism

As South Africa lays struggle veteran Ahmed Kathrada to rest, The Daily Vox team looks at his political ideologies as a young man and later in life. Ahmed Kathrada was politically precocious. One of his earliest traumas - being sent away from his parents at age eight to attend an Indian school in Johannesburg - came about because he was prevented from attending either the white or black schools in his home town of Schweizer-Reneke. Kathrada had played with white and black children in his hometown, and had wondered why he…

South African women are slaying at the Special Olympics Winter Games

Bianca Basson, Thato Serepedi, Joanne Crowley and Caroline Mignolet are four South African athletes slaying in the figure-skating competition at the Special Olympics, which is currently taking place in Austria. Basson took the gold while Mignolet won silver. Serepedi and Crowley both took bronze in their competitions. Here is Caroline Mignolet receiving her silver medal for Figure Skating. Caroline Mignolet brings home the Silver for Figure Skater level 1 #SpecialOlympicsSA #TeamSOSouthAfrica #austria2017 ⛸⛸⛸…

A foray into the messy world of Fees Must Fall politicking

Behind one of the many buildings that dotted the Eskom Learning Centre in Midrand, a huge white marquee had been erected for the Higher Education National Convention due to take place on 18 and 19 March. Various stakeholders from government, student leadership, and civil society were to gather and discuss ways to solve the higher education crisis that is facing South African tertiary education. Rows upon rows of chairs filled the tent with a huge podium erected in the front of the tent. Justice Dikgang Moseneke, various…

Sassa social grant crisis averted, for now

On Friday 17 March, the Constitutional Court ruled that the invalid South African Social Security Agency (Sassa) contract with Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) will be extended by one year with strict controls. The ruling also stated that the two parties are under a constitutional obligation to ensure the social grants are paid out to recipients. The judgment, which was handed down by Justice Johann Froneman, ruled that the outsourced CPS cannot use the personal information of Sassa recipients to market its other products. The…

Five must-reads on the daily struggles in Palestine

A lot of the stories coming out of Palestine seem to be historical accounts of the conflict without an in-depth look at the people behind the stories. While the facts are very important, especially in the case of the conflict happening in Palestine, The Daily Vox takes a look at some of the stories about the people of Palestine and their lives and experience under occupation. 1. The Blue Between Sky and Water by Susan Abulhawa No list of books on Palestine would be complete without one by Susan Abulhawa. The Palestinian-born…

Five bookstores where you can find ‘alternative’ literature

Do you consume books like they are the air you breathe? Yet every time you walk into Exclusive Books or CNA, you feel yourself becoming dejected because the prices are either astronomical or there is a limited variety of literature available. We feel you. The Daily Vox team looks at five places that provide alternative literature to what’s in the mainstream. For all the bookworms out there, this is for you. 1. Bridge Books “We believe in supporting African writers and in finding as many ways of getting books into the hands…

The Story of South African Cricket, from its tragedies to triumphs

Ashwin Desai’s newest book, Reverse Sweep: A Story of Post-Apartheid South African Cricket is a compelling read tracing the history of cricket in South Africa, from the rogue tours that took place in South Africa during apartheid to the post-apartheid transition of transformation and inclusion right up until the events of the 2016 cricket season. The Daily Vox team takes a look at five things we learned about the history of South African cricket from the book. 1. The Rogue Tours “Black cricketers came to realise that in a…

Despite High Court ruling, South Africa could still leave the ICC

South Africa’s attempts to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) were dealt a blow after a high court ruling was handed down on Wednesday afternoon, declaring the move as unconstitutional as it was done without prior parliamentary approval. The Daily Vox looks at what this means for South Africa in the ICC going forward. On Wednesday, deputy judge president of the Pretoria High Court, Phineas Mojapelo, ordered President Jacob Zuma to retract South Africa’s “invalid” attempt to withdraw from the ICC. Who fought…

Protests continue at TUT while calm prevails at WSU

As the 2017 academic year begins, things haven't exactly gone smoothly. Protests broke out at Walter Sisulu University last week, and that at the Tshwane University of Technology this week. The Daily Vox rounds up what's been going on in Pretoria and Mthatha. Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) Academic activity at TUTwas set to resume academic activities on Thursday after a shutdown had been instituted earlier in the week at the Pretoria campus, following a series of fires. The fires were reportedly set in reaction to…

#Riding4SAEducation aims to raise funds for impoverished learners

Salaam Foundation, which is the humanitarian wing of Salaamedia, - an online humanitarian journalism portal - is going to be embarking on a 3, 000km bike ride across South Africa for education. The project, called #Riding4SAEducation, will be undertaken by the founder of Salaamedia, Azhar Vadi. The project plans to visit 50 towns in South Africa with one major aim: to raise funds and awareness about the early education sector in South Africa. The Daily Vox team caught up with Vadi and Ebrahim Gangat, a presenter at…

Is it over for Africa in the ICC?

Following on from South Africa, Burundi, and The Gambia’s withdrawals from the International Criminal Court (ICC) last year, there is talk about African states planning to collectively leave the ICC. This will be a major move for them, especially considering they make up a significant portion of the Court. Reports out of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, suggest that a non-binding decision was made behind closed doors on the last day of the 28th Summit of the African Union (AU). Associated Press have also obtained the AU’s draft…

We have a new AU Commission chair, but does it matter to South Africa?

The African Union (AU) Commission’s new chairperson has been decided: Chad’s Maki Mahamat. The elections happened at an interesting time, especially with all the changes going on in the international community. The election was held this week in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the 28th Summit of the AU. For the past four years, the position had been held by South Africa’s own Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma.   Mahamat was chosen as Dlamini-Zuma’s replacement at the AU Headquarters after seven rounds of voting. He came out on top ahead of…

Climate change will hit SA’s poor the hardest

South Africa has been facing some really strange weather patterns over the past few years with alternating periods of severe drought and heavy rains resulting in flash floods which are all effects of climate change. Water and Sanitation Minister, Nomvula Mokonyane has said that it is going to take South Africa at least three years to recover from the drought, and even that might not be enough. The Daily Vox looks at who will be affected the most by climate change in South Africa. First of all, are the weather patterns we…

What are we going to do now that Trump really is president?

Donald Trump is now the President of the US. And as he recited his oath of office on 20 January, many in America and around the world thought: what the hell happens now? Well, we weren’t left to wonder for much longer. Just hours after Trump took over the presidency from Barack Obama, and the transition between the administrations became complete, several changes seemed to be taking place already. Visitors to the official White House website found that a few pages on the website were missing, most notably the White House…

The Gambia descends into further political unrest

Just one day before The Gambia’s president-elect, Adama Barrow is set to take over from outgoing president Yahya Jammeh, the latter has declared a state of emergency prohibiting any civil disobedience and disruption of the public order from the citizens of the country. Jammeh is refusing to step down as president despite losing the general election last month. Al Jazeera reports that a National Assembly resolution was passed on Wednesday which will extend Jammeh’s term by three months starting on Wednesday, the day before…