Why are immigrants soft targets for local frustrations?

Over the past month, South Africa has experienced a recent resurgence in xenophobic violence. With the looting of shops and destruction of houses belonging to foreign nationals in Pretoria West, Atteridgeville and Rosettenville and a “march against immigrants” planned in Mamelodi it seems that our neighbours have turned into strangers once more. This #Atteridgeville resident says he recieved a pamphlet alerting the community about a march to Home Affairs offices against foreigners. pic.twitter.com/RdEiVevyLZ — Lirandzu…

Students find refuge in church as the #UPResCrisis continues

On Wednesday, relief organisation Gift of the Givers donated hygiene packs to the students without accommodation at the University of Pretoria (UP). Some students have found refuge at the Elim Church after they were chased away from the Student Centre by campus security and bouncers, where they had been sleeping earlier this week. All students who need residence placemet should go to the Piazza at 12, an NGO will be handing out basic hygiene packs #UpresCrisis — Caroline Letsoalo (@letsoalocarolin) February 15, 2017 “A few…

UPResCrisis: students struggling for accommodation, university claims it’s all staged

Students at the University of Pretoria (UP) were chased away and allegedly assaulted by campus security late on Monday night. The students were attempting to find refuge in the Student Centre because they had no place to sleep. The students brought the situation to attention under the hashtag #UPResCrisis, but management says it has reason to believe the incident was staged. Amla Monageng, chairperson of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Student Command, told The Daily Vox that students sleeping in the Student Centre were…

Outside #SONA17: What the Parliamentary channel won’t show you

It was evident that what transpired inside Parliament on Thursday night during the president’s state of the nation address (SONA) was nothing short of chaos. But if you thought what happened inside was messy, you should know what erupted outside, as told by people on the ground. The Daily Vox rounds up what happened beyond parliamentary walls, according to opposition parties and journalists. EFFing off from Parliament, onto the street As expected, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) were removed from the National Assembly…

Academic activities suspended at WSU, DUT over registration fees and accommodation issues Walter Sisulu University

Walter Sisulu University The East London and Mthatha campuses of Walter Sisulu University (WSU) have suspended academic activities and registration processes until further notice. Deputy president of the East London Buffalo City campus SRC, Malumgifa Toli, told The Daily Vox that students are “facing challenges with registration”. Students are concerned that those who went to no-fee paying schools and those with parents on social grants had been made to pay registration fees even though, as per Minister of Higher Education,…

Search continues for Shiraaz Mohamed, missing for three weeks

It's been almost a month since Johannesburg-based photojournalist, Shiraaz Mohamed disappeared while traveling with aid group Gift of the Givers in Syria. According to the group, Mohamed had been kidnapped on January 10 on his way to the Turkish border. But a series of contradictory statements from Gift of the Givers have set off a trail of confusion. First, the aid group said they knew where he was. Sooliman, founder of Gift of the Givers, said on January 23 that this organisation had an idea of where Mohamed was but that…

An ancient remnant from a lost continent has been found, and it’s pretty cool

Scientists have evidence that confirms the existence of a “lost continent” in the Indian Ocean, beneath the island of Mauritius. A piece of lava-covered crust found on the island appears to be a remnant from the break-up of the supercontinent, Gondwana, which began about 200 million years ago. The Daily Vox spoke to University of Witwatersrand’s Professor Lewis Ashwal, one of the leading scientists in the discovery, about what exactly was discovered and what it means for the world. Before we get into this groundbreaking…

Cultures are not disposable garments – or at your disposal

I prefer markets over malls. I like knowing the woman who hand-crafted my bracelet or the man who lovingly constructed that shwarma for me (with extra hummus). It’s more personal - and satisfying. So it’s no surprise that I found myself at a little market over the weekend. It was no different than any other market I had visited before. It’s a mish mash of cultures from all over the world, borrowing a little bit from everybody to create the new cool. What’s not to love? A little bit of Japanese zen, reiki healing and the…

We need national buy-in with the distribution of free sanitary pads

The Kwazulu Natal Department of Education is distributing free sanitary pads to poor menstruating learners as part of an initiative that it launched last year. While this is commendable, it is only the first step in ensuring that sanitary pads are accessible to all those who are menstruating. Lack of access to sanitary pads is not just a matter of education; it is a matter of health and dignity as well. The initiative to distribute sanitary pads in KwaZulu-Natal was launched in November last year but distribution only…

We need to talk about the ‘taboo’ of women’s health in SA

Women’s healthcare in South Africa is steeped in stigma and misinformation, and Donald Trump’s Global Gag Rule does nothing to clear the misunderstanding. There is a severe lack of education locally surrounding women’s health, particularly surrounding reproductive and family planning services. The problem has little to do with money and more to do with misinformation and strained healthcare workers. It seems that women who visit public clinics face worse stigma than those in private clinics. The Daily Vox spoke to South…

When men make decisions about women’s bodies, nobody wins

This week, eight rich white men took a decision that directly affects the lives of millions of women and girls in the developing world. US president Donald Trump signed the Mexico City Policy (or the Global Gag Rule, as it is referred to) cutting US funding for health clinics that provide reproductive health services worldwide. The Daily Vox spoke to Andrea Thompson of Marie Stopes South Africa - which is part of an international non-governmental organisation (NGO) that provides contraception and safe abortion services to 37…

Why does Trump hate women?

On his first Monday as President of the US, Donald Trump reinstated the Mexico City Policy, blocking US funding for health clinics that provide reproductive health services worldwide.  This was just two days after millions of women in the US and across the globe marched for women’s rights under Trump’s rule. 44 years ago, #RoevWade made reproductive freedom the law of the land. Yesterday, millions of us took to the streets to say: #WeWontGoBack. pic.twitter.com/y3fdcCZ0iX — Elizabeth Esty (@RepEsty) January 22, 2017 But what…

The Land Question Part 2: Why is Malema bent on getting the land back?

Lack of effective and swift land reform is doing nothing to bridge the huge inequality gap in South Africa. But if we know that it's so important, why has land reform not been successful in South Africa? In the second instalment of a two-part series, The Daily Vox explores the current land reform processes in place, the problems with these and what future plans are in place to implement it. READ FIRST: The Land Question part 1: What is land reform?  How has government tried to right this wrong? The African National Congress…

The Land Question part 1: What is land reform?

Julius Malema, Commander-in-Chief of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), frequently gets into trouble for inflammatory statements encouraging supporters to occupy white-owned land. His comments at a party meeting in 2014, when he urged his supporters to invade unoccupied land, landed him in court for contravening the Riotous Assemblies Act. “I am asking politely for the land to be returned. And if they don’t return it, I cannot guarantee what will happen. But they must be assured that this land, this land, we are fighting…

Here’s why 2016 wasn’t as bad as we think it was

Ask anyone what they thought of 2016 and get ready to hear how 2016 showed them flames. But Swedish economic historian and writer, Johan Norberg says it had some bright spots. Norberg wrote a book called Progress: Ten Reasons to Look Forward to the Future, using data to tell the story of how far we’ve come in the year 2016. From decreased gender pay gaps to access to clean drinking water, it seems that 2016 was not too terrible after all. Here are ten signs of progress that we made this year, based on the chapters in…

Dear 2016: thank you for teaching us these important lessons

Dear 2016, It’s almost time to bid you farewell and our timelines are filled with tweets and statuses expressing glee at seeing the back of you. Although you have put us through times that have been trying - at best - we would be lying if we said you didn't leave us with a few important lessons. The protests In true South African fashion, this year has been packed with protests. It’s how we come together to show our displeasure with the status quo. From every protest we learned something valuable. We remember two in…

We all need to take action to stop school bullying

Early in December, a video circulated of a teenage girl being bullied at the Lückhoff High School in Idas Valley, Stellenbosch. In it, a girl assaults another girl while her schoolmates watch and record the attack. This was the second video to emerge from the school in the space of a month. Each video contains a different set of girls, but incidents like these are not isolated: such videos have surfaced out of South African schools regularly. Why is bullying so prevalent in our society and how we can address it? Bullying is…

We’ve BEEN speaking against violence on womxn’s bodies – is anyone listening?

16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children is an annual international campaign to raise awareness. It runs from 25 November to 10 December each year. But this year, the *womxn of South Africa didn’t wait for these ten days to expose and condemn the violence they experience at the hands of men. The conversations around rape culture have been ongoing, and womxn have constantly been reminding those in power to heed the call of the oppressed and to stop allowing perpetrators of sexual violence to escape…

If this story of rape doesn’t change you, nothing will

Trigger warning: this article includes an account of rape and child abuse 16 Days of Activism focuses on violence against women and children but what about addressing injustice beyond this period? The Daily Vox spoke to a woman about her experience of being raped as a child. Rape and sexual assault victims cannot keep sharing their stories - laying their pain bare to the world - while perpetrators remain silent. If we are to see significant change in the rape culture that permeates our society then we need to see everyone…

How patriarchy and prejudice fuel queerphobia in South African communities

The tragic murder of LGBTI activist and lesbian Noluvo Swelindawo,  during 16 Days of Activism, is disturbingly ironic. According to Sharon Cox, Health and Support Service manager at LGBTI rights organisation Triangle Project, queerphobic crimes in South Africa are very common. Cox told The Daily Vox how we are nowhere near solving queerphobia in South Africa and that to make progress, people’s mindsets need to change. I don’t think there is enough being spoken of in places where it needs to be spoken of. If we talk about…