Five things that should be in place before we endorse the national minimum wage

The national minimum wage debate has been hotly contested over the years. On 8 February, after decades of campaigning and negotiation, all but one of the constituents of the National Economic Development Labour Advisory Council (Nedlac) signed an agreement to implement a national minimum wage in South Africa. The signing of this agreement is a groundbreaking development. But for many, the signing of the agreement is only the start - and the Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has not yet signed. The Daily Vox…

NSFAS delays leave students uncertain and unfunded

Delays regarding National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) funding have left prospective university students in limbo, and some institutions in chaos. The knock-on effect of the slowed process is being felt as the first semester of university begins for 2017. As of 8 February, 175, 348 students have received confirmation of financial aid from NSFAS to further their studies at any of the 26 public universities. Just under 10,000 applications were rejected for not meeting the NSFAS financial eligibility criteria. While the…

Immigrants standing against illegal activity in Rosettenville face hostility from community

Monday in Rosettenville was an odd day. A delegation of government officials, including Minister of Home Affairs, Malusi Gigaba, were doing the rounds visiting suburbs around Johannesburg with a blue light brigade. Rosettenville was one of their stops; their final and arguably most important one. The situation in Rosettenville is now an issue of national discussion, touching on concerns of police inadequacy, corruption, poverty, crime, and xenophobia. It’s a mess that echoes the struggles faced in many other urban areas in…

#MashabaInAction: Making Rosettenville Great Again

On Wednesday evening Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba swooped in on Rosettenville with SAPS in tow, and began raiding residences. I'm raiding in Rosettenvile with @MichaelSun168 and @FunzelaZA #MashabaInAction pic.twitter.com/kG09NZ5tpf — Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) February 8, 2017 In a series of tweets, the mayor broadcasted his findings and declarations that crime would not rule under his watch. Many residents seemed thankful for the intervention and #MashabaInAction was soon trending. It's the criminals that must…

Rosettenville’s mob justice against illegal activities isn’t as simple as it seems

On Sunday, 5 February, a group of over 100 residents from in and around Rosettenville, Johannesburg, gathered on Verona Street in protest against drug dealers and brothel owners harming their community. In the early hours of Sunday morning, the protesters enacted mob justice on a local nightclub and at least three private residences. Each place was looted and at least partially set on fire. All of the sites that were targeted were owned by Nigerian immigrants. Not as simple as vigilante justice On Monday, The Daily Vox…

Other than politicians, these are the snakes you may find in SA’s biggest cities

Living in the most populated city in South Africa, you’d expect being exposed to potentially dangerous wildlife is something you’d only hear from Americans who think South Africans keep pet lions and use elephants for transport. But last week, a person living in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg discovered a surprise visitor in his backward. Uninvited guests are bad enough, but when they’re severely venomous reptilians, it’s a whole other story. A 1.5-metre long snouted cobra. The Daily Vox took a look at some of the…

Here’s what students need to know about the law when protesting

Last year, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (CASAC) commissioned the Socio-Economic Rights Institute (SERI) for a legal opinion on the restraint of protest in or near university spaces. The request came in light of the often ambiguous conflict that arises between protesters and the legal means that university management use to contain these protests - particularly in the form of interdicts and use of force.  The Daily Vox summarised some of the key points to come out of the opinion. Lawson…

#BlackoutClifton: what happens when an event is organically organised?

#BlackoutClifton took place on Saturday 28 January, and there seem to be mixed feelings about how successful it was. Much of this seems to have been in relation to how the event was coordinated by those who planned it - in that the “planners” did not want the event to be coordinated by them at all. “Perhaps it could have been better planned and coordinated so that more people knew what was happening,” said Portia Mbotho, a sales manager from Cape Town, who attended the event. But, she said, it’s also important for black…

#BlackoutClifton: disrupting Cape Town’s whitest spaces

Over the past two weeks, posters titled “Blackout Cape Town” have been circulating on social media, calling for an occupation of Clifton Beach and other areas around Cape Town. The poster reads: “Black people reconnecting with their land, occupying parts of the city designed to exclude and keep them out of sight” If you cannot attend but would like to support others that want to, please use #BlackoutClifton to sponsor rides or share transport. pic.twitter.com/gGoMUP3LK9 — Mntwana we Langa (@KumkaniSiwisa) January 23, 2017…

Ten examples of homosexual behaviour in the animal kingdom

Dear Bishop Dag Heward-Mills (and all those living under rocks believing that homosexuality is “unnatural” because other animals don’t partake in it): We respond simply: You’re wrong, fam. But, just for control, here are 10 examples - of the over 450 documented cases - of queer behaviour in the animal kingdom. 1. Dolphins, orcas and other porpoises Let’s begin with some majestic mammals of the seas and rivers. Male bottlenose dolphins in particular move in all-male groups and sometimes form lifelong bonds with other male…

How much power should government have to intervene in universities?

On Tuesday 17 January, President Zuma officially signed the Higher Education Amendment Act. The Act gives Minister of Higher Education and Training, Blade Nzimande, increased powers to intervene in institutions of higher education. When the Bill was initially submitted in 2015, it sparked a robust conversation on state intervention to achieve social justice outcomes - and whether this “top-down” intervention harmfully compromised institutional autonomy in higher education. So what does the Amendment actually say? The…

Five ways people are trying to subvert Trump’s inauguration

US president-elect, Donald Trump, is set to be inaugurated on 20 January 2017. No, you’re not having a nightmare. It’s real. But, while presidential inaugurations are usually celebratory events, the great malaise associated with Trump’s term - and the rise in bigotry associated with it - has meant that some aren’t willing to be complicit in what unfolds. Here are five ways people are planning to disrupt, subvert, or boycott Trump’s inauguration as the 45th President of the USA. 1. Protests and marches during and around the…

“The holidays are a violent time for me, and I’ve begun to question the importance of families”

It’s the holiday season, and for many of us this means returning home and spending time with the family - whether our own or a partner’s. While the movies depict this as a heart-warming and joyous occasion, in reality it can be quite the opposite... because, let’s face it, some of our family is racist, sexist, homophobic or otherwise bigoted in some overt way. While some of us are privileged enough not to be exposed to such misery, for others the holiday season can become an erratic dance between confrontations and…

A beginner’s guide to anime for the holiday binge-watch

So it’s finally the holidays and not all of us are heading down to the beaches or getting our passports stamped. But you still have plenty of free time, so I recommend dropping the TV series and experimenting a with with anime - Japanese animation. Despite what impressions you have of anime, it’s really quite a diverse and multifaceted medium. You’re likely to find some aspect of it that really appeals to you - but it can be difficult to know where to start. So here’s a beginner’s guide into Japanese anime for your holiday…

How accessible are our universities for students with disabilities?

When we talk about university transformation, race, gender and sexuality usually take centre stage of the discourse. The accessibility of the university environment for students with disabilities is often only thrown in as an afterthought, despite efforts towards intersectionality in most student movements. The Daily Vox looks at the structures that are currently in place and those proposed by the government to make university more accessible for students with disabilities. Disability is an umbrella term for a range of…

Five highlights from day 1 of the Abantu Book Festival

The Daily Vox had the pleasure of attending the first day of the Abantu Book Festival at the Eyethu Lifestyle Centre in Soweto. It began with a panel discussion on “Writing and rioting womxn in the time of Fallism”. The panelists were Sandy Ndelu and Mbali Matandela - fallists from the University of Cape Town who were part of the Rhodes Must Fall movement - and Simamkele Dlakavu, from the University of Witwatersrand, a prominent figure of the Fees Must Fall movement and member of the Economic Freedom Fighters. Here’s what we…

Why we need to reimagine masculinity

It’s 2016 and gender-based violence remains a norm we live with, despite campaigns such as 16 Days of Activism. This, which is inextricably linked to queerphobic violence, is predominantly perpetrated by people like me - cisgendered, heterosexual men. So what is it that makes us so broken? If at this point you feel inclined to chime in with “But it’s not all men,” please take a seat and indulge me for a bit - dialogue is never a bad thing. Masculinity so toxic The violence meted out regularly on women and queer people is not…

“Men are trash” – everyday experiences of toxic masculinity

Acts of gender-based violence do not arise out of thin air. The violence is a consequence of a society that accepts and normalises everyday occurrences of harm. A lot of this harm comes about because of a particular understanding of “manhood” which says that to be a “real man” means to be aggressive, hypersexual, domineering and unemotional - toxic masculinity. The Daily Vox spoke to a number of *womxn about their overlooked experiences of toxic masculinity that set the stage for acts of gender-based violence. For most men,…

HIV/AIDS in South Africa: how far have we come?

It’s been 16 years since Thabo Mbeki’s denial of HIV’s relation to AIDS, 15 years since the death of international icon Nkosi Johnson and just over a decade since President Jacob Zuma’s famous shower to prevent contracting HIV. It’s well known that South Africa’s struggle with fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic has been a long journey - but how far exactly have we come over the last decade? The Daily Vox spoke to the Deputy General Secretary of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Sibongile Tshabalala, who helped highlight the…

Meet NSFAS version 2.0: ISFAP

On Monday, the ministerial task team presented the Ikusasa Student Financial Aid Programme (ISFAP) at the Fees Commission in Centurion. The ministerial task team was put together by government in October 2015 to address the crises in higher education funding. The Daily Vox spoke to Sizwe Nxasana, the current chairperson of National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS), who headed the task team. ISFAP is the ministry's answer to dissatisfaction with NSFAS and is meant to replace the model come 2018... if the Fees Commission…