This 23-year-old is empowering other women and girls to deal with life

As South Africa commemorates the 1956 march of thousands of women to the Union Buildings to protest against pass laws, today's young women continue to show resilience and compassion in their own ways. The Daily Vox spoke to SNENHLANHLA MZONELI, a 23-year-old social work student at UKZN and co-founder of a non-profit organisation called Anopa, aimed at empowering young women and girls. I grew up around women. I was raised up by my grandmother and mother in KwaMashu. I have always been passionate about working with people and…

ANC councillor in Durban: “You have to be the eyes and ears of the people”

Durban's ward 26, comprising of beachfront areas and tourist spots, is a hotly contested area in this year's local government elections. The ward was taken from the DA by the ANC in 2011. The Daily Vox spoke to the current ward councillor, Bongmusa Dlamini, to find out what he is prepared to do to hold on to one of Durban’s most important wards, and the challenges he faces as councillor. My main space is the office which is where I get to interact with the public. They mostly want proof of residence letters and are seeking…

DA councillor in Durban: “The ANC are in for a bit of a wake-up call”

With a week to the local government elections, political parties are gearing up to make sure they win. The DA councillor in Durban’s ward 26 is 26-year-old Nicole Graham, who’s running in a ward that’s different to the one in which she is currently a councillor. The Daily Vox spoke to her to find out how she’s preparing for the upcoming elections. I first got interested in politics when I was 16, and in varsity is when I started engaging in student politics. I am also a law student at UNISA and this takes up much of my time,…

Xenophobia is just one of the many problems faced by refugees in SA

Since a refugee is defined as someone who has evaded their home country because of war, persecution or natural disasters, they have not left home by choice. On World Refugee Day,  The Daily Vox spoke to ASTA BIZIMANA, who fled Burundi, about the challenges she faces as a refugee in South Africa. Being a refugee in South Africa is hard. Actually, being in any country as a refugee is hard because no one really knows why or cares that you are a refugee. Some foreigners go into other countries because they seek financial gain,…

How one woman lost R128 000 to a Ponzi scheme

Everyone likes an opportunity to make extra cash, but some deals are too good to be true… or legal. Last year, over nine business models were investigated by the National Consumer Commission on suspicion that they were pyramid schemes. Qiniso Mbili spoke to *THEMBISILE DUMA, who recently lost R128, 000 of her retirement package to a pyramid scheme. In 2014, I retired. I had been a nurse for 27 years. I had not yet reached my retirement age and I was tired of working. I wanted financial independence and so my plan was that I…

Meet the guys helping to keep Durban’s beaches clean

LUC QUEVAUVILLIERS and DALE JOHNSON have taken it upon themselves to keep Durban's Blue Lagoon beach clean. They, with the help of a growing number of friends, have volunteered to clean the beach, for free, at least once a month since March 2016. They are happy with their progress so far, but are always seeking more help from others. They have formed a Facebook group called #CleanBlueLagoon and they are overwhelmed with its growth. Qiniso Mbili spoke to them about their initiative. We started cleaning up this beach because…

In photos: a glimpse into the lives of Durban’s poorest

On 4 May, Minister of Human Settlements, Lindiwe Sisulu, gave a speech in Parliament highlighting the progress that the ministry has made in terms of housing. She claimed that 1,003 new houses are being built each day, and that the number of people living in informal settlements has decreased from 17% in 2002 to 11% in 2014. She also acknowledged the squalor that residents have to live in, due to their economic disadvantage and rising levels of inequality. QINISO MBILI visited a few of Durban's informal settlements to meet…

Picking up the pieces after a shack fire destroys homes in Durban

On Wednesday night, a fire burnt down several shacks in the Hoffman Place informal settlement near Overport. As a result of this, some 29 families were displaced. Those who can afford it have started rebuilding while many more wait for assistance from different parties. Qiniso Mbili spoke to STEVEN XIMBA, one of the community leaders to find out what it takes to rebuild your life after a shack fire. People are traumatised; it is one of the worst feelings to see fire flames rage through your property. Some hear about shack…

What’s it like making a living as a sex worker?

In March, Deputy President, Cyril Ramaphosa announced a plan to decriminalise sex work in South Africa. According to Sex Workers Education and Taskforce, almost one in five new HIV infections could be attributed to the sex work industry, and less than 5% of the estimated 153, 000 sex workers in South Africa were reached with HIV prevention services. Qiniso Mbili spoke to *ZINHLE MKHIZE, who has been a sex worker for more than ten years. I am a mother of two boys, I am also a daughter and a sister. My father left my mother to…

This is how Durban’s poorest people struggle to survive in the streets

Alongside the tall city buildings, fancy-dressed city dwellers and flashy cars, the homeless are the bitter end of the inequality scale. It's easy for most of us to discard them as lazy people, criminals and drug addicts without knowing the first thing about them. As QINISO MBILI found out, they have different stories and reasons behind their presence on the streets.  Nkosinathi Dladla, 36, beggar I grew up in KwaNyuswa, herding various families’ cattle. I never went to school. My sister and I ran away from home when we were…

Is it too late for Zuma to say sorry?

President Jacob Zuma addressed the nation on Friday to apologise for violating the Constitution by not paying the Nkandla money as recommended by the public protector. The ANC has since welcomed Zuma’s apology, although a National Working Committee meeting will be open for NEC members to discuss Zuma’s future. His apology has been met with mixed reception, but most people are unimpressed, as QINISO MBILI found out. Nozipho Ntshangase, 21, student, Durban I did not buy the apology. It felt very empty and I feel like Zuma has…

Human rights? What human rights? Rich people have more rights than the poor

On Monday, South Africa will be commemorating Human Rights Day under the theme of Anti-Racism. This annual public holiday is to remind South Africans of the sacrifices made during the struggle, mainly the Sharpeville massacre, and to celebrate progress made since then. QINISO MBILI spoke to young people from Durban to find out what the concept of human rights means to them. Kwandokuhle Njoli, 21, student, Durban CBD Human Rights Day is a great initiative to celebrate the lives of all the heroes who fought in the struggle for…

How Abahlali Basemjondolo are trying to improve the lives of shack dwellers

Members of ABAHLALI BASEMJONDOLO held a conference in Durban last weekend to discuss the progress of the organisation and to elect a task team to oversee a participatory development project that aims to improve the lives of shack dwellers. QINISO MBILI was there. Singing their own versions of struggle songs, the members of Abahlali Basemjondolo attended a conference in Durban last week. The organisation is part of a new participatory development project, named Siyakhisana, that aims to encourage government to include…

The hustle for this man is about finding safety at home in his shack

Very close to Morningside, one of Durban's wealthiest suburbs, is a  shack community known as Phanta's hill, which when translated from IsiZulu means "Hustler's hill". Last month, 13 shacks were destroyed by a fire that raged through the community here. At the same time,  there has been a series of demolitions by the eThekwini municipality. Some of the families affected have gone elsewhere to seek shelter while others have rebuilt their shacks. NJABULO MSOMI'S family shack was one of the shacks that burnt in that fire. He…

In photos: UKZN dominated by security forces and police

On Friday, University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) Howard College students were engaged in a heated interaction against Metro Police, SAPS and private security company MI7. These three forces had united to stop a student and worker protest against outsourcing. Students were standing in solidarity with the workers who have stopped working for the past two weeks. QINISO MBILI captured images of the action. The students initially gathered outside the Malherbe library peacefully singing struggle songs and holding up their placards.…

UKZN workers on outsourcing: “My dignity as a human being is reduced to nothing”

Tired of obliging to what they feel is injustice, the cleaning and security staff from the University of KwaZulu Natal Howard College have downed tools in a weeklong strike against outsourcing. The workers feel that while company bosses sign lucrative contracts from the institution every year, their share is not enough to get by. As most of them do not have any kind of education and qualifications, their jobs are all they can hang on to. They spoke to QINISO MBILI. Thandazile Mnguni, 46, cleaner, Folweni, earns R1, 700 I…

The workers’ protest at UKZN is being met with force

Students at UKZN's Howard College have been protesting in support of a workers' strike that began last week. However, their efforts were halted by private security and some students were arrested. QINISO MBILI rounds up what has happened so far. Students at the UKZN Howard College remain unsettled after a peaceful protest was dispersed by a security tactical response unit. Several members of the SRC were arrested and shot at with rubber bullets. Students are protesting in solidarity with cleaners and security guards who have…

This nurse says public healthcare workers still discriminate against LGBTQI

Last week, Kwazulu Natal Health MEC, Dr Sbongiseni Dhlomo attended a presentation by nurses that have been trained in the Nurse Initiated Management of Anti-Retroviral Treatment (NIMART) programme. The programme enables nurses to start eligible patients on ARVs, a task that had been restricted to doctors before. One of these nurses is NOKULUNGA CELE (34), who was encouraged by the MEC to confront more LGBTQI cases after she spoke about the complexity of LGBTQI cases she dealt with. She spoke to Qiniso Mbili. I am part of the…

Meet the students who NSFAS failed at DUT

Last Friday, Lindelani Myeza – a first year Durban University of Technology Management Sciences student – jumped to his death after allegedly receiving an SMS notifying him of his unsuccessful application for NSFAS. The financial aid scheme has since claimed Myeza had been approved for funding. There are many other students at the university with NSFAS complaints.  QINISO MBILI spoke to a few of the many students who still face an uncertain academic future just one month before the end of the first term. Menzi Majola, 22,…

What happened when I tried to interview a black man who hates white people

QINISO MBILI discovered he had no choice but to nod along to the vitriol – because there is some sense to it. It is exhausting trying to engage with someone who has decided to hate an entire race of people. Besides trying to understand where the hatred is coming from, I also had to give so much of myself just to keep the conversation going. He really seemed to believe he is always right. He certainly didn't think his views could be questioned. So in order to draw him into conversation, I had to keep nodding my head to things…