How will South Africa vote on 3 August 2016? What is the lived experience of students and their families in different wards?

University of Free State and University of Johannesburg students went home for June vacation and tell their stories in this mid-month edition. They touch base and take a deeper look at their roots.

Some live in villages and some in towns. Bravely told, they provide a glimpse into the range of experiences citizens face across the country.

For the first time this month The Journalist publishes Briefing Notes for Journalists.

This is a series that will appear from time to time providing working journalists with contextual information about a particular subject.

The first two-part set of notes sketches the history of development of local governance in South Africa.
The Journalist is committed to developing a knowledge bank to compensate for the weak institutional memory in the media industry.

So often the complaint is that reporters do not understand the context or history of an issue they write about. Our team is determined to do something about this.

Our main edition for July appears on 27 July. In the meantime, read our students election stories as they report from their hometowns:

The place I call home

Town boasted by solar and wind farms

A six hour journey to vote

The untold true story of Thokozani Village

Party politics chokes service delivery

Serving the politically and biologically connected?

A suburb of immense diversity

Bringing peace when there is disagreement

Ikhaya lam lise Sterkspruit

Some progress, but still not much to choose from