ISSUE #71

Local Government in South Africa


Briefing Notes for Journalists: Part One

A suburb of immense diversity


Ward 67, Yeoville, Johannesburg, Gauteng Province

Serving the politically and biologically connected?


Ward 35, QwaQwa, Free State

Bringing peace when there is disagreement


Ward 13, Malamulele, Limpopo Province

Town boosted by solar and wind farms


The untold true story of Thokozani Village


Ward 19, Thokozani, Mpumalanga

Party politics chokes service delivery


Ward 19, East London, Eastern Cape

Ikhaya lam lise Sterkspruit


Ward 10, Sterkspruit, Eastern Cape

Some progress, but still not much to choose from


Ward 13, Thembalethu, George, Western Cape

A six hour journey to vote


Ward 6, White City, Postmasburg

The place I call home


Ward 33, Molapo, Soweto, Gauteng

It’s Municipal election season!


The past, present and the future of local government

Index tells story of SA’s social progress


ISSUE #71

The Journalist is back and raring to go

The Journalist is back, for the first time in 2020. Our site was hacked and it took extraordinary efforts to recover all our material and get ready to relaunch.

Our former editor Leila Dougan has moved on after ably steering the ship for at least three years. Leonard Gentle, a veteran writer, researcher and activist has taken over the reins.

We have used the past few months to strengthen our capacity and systems and will unveil our exciting plans for the future in the coming weeks. We will once again have a regular monthly cycle of new stories.

The July edition has a great collection of articles, several focusing on the Covid 19 pandemic and its repercussions. Others are on the arts, heritage and books.

The COVID-19 stories deal with the political and economic context in which the pandemic is sweeping through the world. Black and brown people, mainly members of the working class, are disproportionately affected. One writer argues that the current crisis is a temporary one located within the permanent crisis of neo-liberal capitalism.

There are also a number of stories from networks of “unofficial journalists” giving us information outside the mainstream bubble. In the midst of the gloom, a radio station for youth based at the Red Cross Children’s Hospital has won an award for unpacking COVID-19 for young people. A Basotho reclaimer shares the suffering he endures as a member of a wastepicker collective, while South Africans fail to express solidarity and the Lesotho government has abandoned its own citizens. And a regional network, Benchmarks, tells us how it is training community reporters to speak about their experiences of resisting mining in their communities.

And we sadly report the passing of one of South Africa’s most important historians, Ntongela Masilela, who featured South Africa’s rich intellectual tradition on his website, The New African.

In Kau Kauru, which means conversations, a writer presents a fascinating reflection on parts of his roots in the Konkani region of India. Another writer, a resident of Ladysmith in KZN, wonders why the government still uses colonial names, while revealing the passion and talents of many amazing artists in her hometown, which was originally known as Emnambithi.

There is a strong Arts line up on the rebel poet Linton Kwesi Johnson.

We could not bring out this edition without talking about Master KG’s hit song Jerusalema that together with a captivating dance sequence, is taking the world by storm. The 24-year-old from Limpopo is stunned that his song has traversed continents, racking up over 50 million views in the process. And counting!

The Journalist... Responsible, Relevant & Responsive.

The Journalist is an independent, not-for-profit organisation working with the academic community and a range of credible entities. We are committed to multi-media offerings that delve more deeply into the complex facets of our reality. We don’t just tell you what happened. We help you understand why.

The Journalist was launched with the support of the University of the Free State, the University of Johannesburg, the Southern African Clothing & Textile Workers' Union (SACTWU) and financial contributions from a range of individuals.

Students and media lecturers at the University of Free State and the University of Johannesburg are participants in The Journalist.

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