Do you know your rights? This new app has your back

Students from the University of Cape Town (UCT) and Wits University have created an app that combines tech and social justice, to empower South Africans when they are dealing with the law. LegalMate, created by Jed da Silva and Michael de la Hunt, is a free legal information app that lets you know what your legal rights are when dealing with the law in certain situations. The app has categories which explain what your rights are in relation to drugs, protests, or roadblocks, among others. Last year, the police ministry told…

Tshwane taxi drivers planning gridlock in CBD over traffic fines

The taxi drivers of Tshwane Metro will be embarking on a go-slow on Wednesday, 16 August to protest their enforcement ticket fines. A photo of a notice directed to all taxi drivers in Pretoria has been going around social media. “We as drivers of Mamelodi we decided for a march to hand over a memorandum to our Mayor at Tshwane House,” it said. According to the notice, drivers want the municipality to cancel their tickets like they have done in Johannesburg and Durban. This morning the taxi driver alerted me of a taxi strike…

Life as a single mother: “You have to sacrifice a lot”

South Africa is a nation of children raised by single mothers. Research has shown that 60% of South African children have absent fathers. The Daily Vox spoke to two single mothers about their daily struggles. Dorah Molopyame, 32, customer service specialist, mother to Kago, aged 6 Kago’s dad passed on last year. Before that, he was unemployed so he couldn’t do much for him. If he had money, he would rather have maintained his other children because he always believed that I work well and I can maintain myself, which is true.…

Five women’s rights campaigns you need to support

Women’s Month is about commemorating the queens among us and fighting for the equality women deserve. To celebrate the work women are doing to ensure we are all afforded the same human dignity and to level the playing fields for women in the workplace, the Daily Vox rounds up five organisations for women, led by women, that you should consider supporting. 1. Social, Health and Empowerment Feminist Collective of Transgender Women in Africa (S.H.E) Transgender women face a disproportionate burden of HIV/AIDS cases, high levels…

Voting isn’t the end – three bills that need your comment now

Parliament is currently amending several bills that will have a direct impact on the average South African. The bills are in the public comment phase, which means there’s still time to let Parliament know how you feel about the proposed laws and have your views incorporated into the law. Ilona Tip, operations director for the Electoral Institute for Sustainable Democracy in Africa (EISA), told The Daily Vox that opening legislation to public comment is what makes democracy function. “It’s always important to have citizens…

The streets are meaner in Joburg but greener in Durban

A recent tweet threw out some data shattering commonly held beliefs about which cities have the most trees. And it turns out, Joburg isn’t as green as many of us thought. What? Durban and Sydney have more trees than Johannesburg? Of behalf of all Joburgers, I demand a treecount. https://t.co/rc3F5Ddtml — Gus Silber (@gussilber) July 18, 2017 MIT Senseable City, a built environment research lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, together with the World Economic Forum, created Treepedia, an interactive data site…

Animated film fosters hair love for black girls and their dads

When the internet identifies with a project, amazing things happen. A filmmaker in the United States is getting a lot of love - and funding - for his project to create a short animated film about a black father doing his daughter’s hair. Matthew Cherry, a former professional footballer turned filmmaker, launched a Kickstarter campaign on 10 July to raise money for the production of a five-minute short film entitled ‘Hair Love’. The film stars Zuri, a four-year-old girl with a gorgeous dome of natural ethnic and uncooperative…

UNICEF says 2.1 billion people still lack basic water and sanitation services

Globally 844 million people still lack even basic water services. That’s 844 million people who have to travel long distances to collect contaminated water for drinking and cooking. A new report by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) shows exactly how unequal access to water to is around the world. Speaking at the release of the report, WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said water was a basic requirement for human health. “Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home…

Frantz Fanon: father of decolonisation

Frantz Omar Fanon, the psychiatrist, revolutionary and father of decolonisation, would be 92 years old. Born on the French colony Martinique, the darkest of eight children to a middle-class family, Fanon created works that continue to inspire and ignite the revolutionary spirit in black activists around the world. Fanon, joined the French army at 17 and felt disoriented by the racism he experienced during his time there. He later studied psychiatry and eventually joined the Algeria's National Liberation Front. Fanon died of…

Unfair practices against black and female lawyers are ‘plain for everybody to see’

Black lawyers are frustrated by the unequal treatment they are receiving from the South African government and the sidelining of black women legal practitioners. The Black Lawyers Association (BLA), a group that advocates for the interests of black lawyers, marched to the Union Buildings on Friday, 14 July to protest this. The Daily Vox spoke to advocate Mahlape Sello, chairperson of the ethical and social committee of the Johannesburg Bar Council to find out about the situation facing black legal practitioners in the…

South African filmmaker thrown down the stairs by Airbnb host in Amsterdam

A South African was the victim of an alleged racially-motivated attack by her Airbnb host in Amsterdam on 8 July. Filmmaker Sibahle ‘Steve’ Nkumbi was staying in an Airbnb, a short-term rental, in the Netherlands, with three colleagues. They were reporting on and attending an exhibition by her friend, photographer Zanele Muholi. “There was really no suspicion that things could end like this,” said Nkumbi in an interview on YouTube. According to Nkumbi, she and her friends were an hour late checking out of the apartment they…

Looting, alleged rape, and political interference: what’s happening at Unizulu?

Fresh scandal has emerged at the University of Zululand (Unizulu), including allegations of financial mismanagement and claims that university staff raped a student. Unizulu was founded in 1960, and has a student population of roughly 16 000. Notable alumni include intelligence minister David Mahlobo, presidential candidate Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, and chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. The historically black university in Ngoye, northern KwaZulu-Natal, is no stranger to scandal. It has previously been investigated for selling…

All your musical faves are trash

Issues of gender-based violence and women’s safety in public spaces are always a national concern, and it seems some of our musical legends are not exempt from being trash. Last month alone, four South African musicians had charges of domestic assault laid against them by their wives and girlfriends. Yep, that’s one a week. The Daily Vox rounds up the trashy behaviour of these recording artists. 1. Arthur Mafokate The kwaito musician and producer has been a prominent figure in South Africa’s music industry for decades. He is…

ANCYL lobbying for free higher education by 2018 at ANC policy conference

The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) has called for free higher education by 2018. Despite the outcomes looking unfavourable for those calling for free higher education now, youth league president Collen Maine told the Mail & Guardian at the ANC policy conference on July 1 that they would persuade the conference to implement fee-free higher education in 2018 for poor and working class students. The ANC’s sub-committee, which is currently looking into fee-free higher education, only sees it becoming a reality in the next three…

New online platforms seek to flip the search for university funding on its head

The fees funding crisis in South Africa has encouraged the creation of new ways of crowdfunding and connecting students and funders. After the recent launch of Feenix, The Daily Vox takes a look at two more platforms that are changing the funding landscape. Omenon This novel platform caters for grade 10 to 12 pupils and university students. It flips the traditional approach to finding bursaries, scholarships, and part-time work on its head by creating a database of students that need funding, and allowing companies to set…

Tjo!StoryFest: a space to celebrate the stories of our communities

South Africa’s communities have a rich archive of stories, and the inaugural Tjo!StoryFest celebrated the importance of storytelling. Professor Vasu Reddy, dean of the University of Pretoria's faculty of humanities, opened the creative festival on Friday. He spoke to The Daily Vox about why it is so important to keep the collective storytelling of communities active and alive. Storytelling is what connects us to our humanity, and stories are kind of like building blocks for interpersonal relationships. Stories are very…

China’s biggest payment platform is now in SA – and it’s a big deal

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba has launched its digital payment platform, Alipay, in South Africa. For now, the app is only available to Chinese tourists for City Sightseeing, making it easier for them to pay for hop-on-hop-off bus tours. But industry experts say it could mean big things in the future. Alipay is the biggest online payment platform in China. It reportedly boasts 450 million users and it is estimated that 58% of online payments in China go through Alipay. And through Peach Payment, South Africa’s leading…

Feenix helps university students rise from the ashes of high fees

The #FeesMustFall protests highlighted that there are many students and families who are struggling to fund their university tuition. Some students, unable to get NSFAS loans, or bursaries and scholarships have taken up crowdfunding to raise money. A new kind of crowdfunding platform for South Africa was publicly launched last week. Feenix, backed by Standard Bank, is providing university students with a funding alternative. Crowdfunding is a relatively new phenomenon of fundraising, where a donor beseeches the wider…

Marching against rape and violence: ‘If they don’t heed this message, then we’ll retaliate’

Trigger warning: this article contains an account of rape This weekend, at the final #SafeTaxisNow event in the month-long campaign, women, LGBTQIA+ folk, men, and children gathered outside Bara Taxi Rank to voice their frustration about and tell the country enough is enough. The Daily Vox spoke to some of the women at the taxi rank to find out why they were marching and why they think men are a danger to women’s bodies. Mgladzo Nikelo, 33, gender activist, KwaThema We’ve been marching since we were born. Whether I stay…