On Saturday 15 August, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced that the country would be moving to Covid-19 Alert Level 2. Since the end of March and through to July the country had been under levels 5 and 4 which had the most stringent restrictions on movement and economic activity in the country.

The move was welcome one as the country had been experiencing a harsh economic fallout that saw many people losing their jobs, businesses shuttering and citizens going hungry. Throughout all of this our participants have kept reporting on the pandemic and the consequences (both good and bad) of our government’s response to it.

From the start of the pandemic Media Hack Collective developed an interactive dashboard that initially kept tabs on the infections and recoveries from the virus. It has since grown into a fully-fledged project that includes insight and analysis of the data as well as a weekly newsletter that explains the data in layman’s terms. If you would like to receive their newsletter you can subscribe to it here: https://mediahack.co.za/coronavirus/newsletter/

Daily Maverick and Mail & Guardian top Sikuvile Journalism Awards finalists

The finalists for the annual Standard Bank Sikuvile Journalism Awards were announced this week. SAMIP participants Daily Maverick and Mail Guardian were among the finalists with Daily Maverick being nominated in two categories and Mail and Guardian in a whopping seven.

Some of the work the publications have been nominated for include:

  • Daily Maverick investigative reporter Pauli van Wyk’s reporting on the VBS Bank scandal;
  • Mail and Guardian’s feature on the death of toddler at Bosasa’s detention centre;
  • A photo-series by Mail and Guardian on police brutality during the early days of South Africa’s national lockdown;

The awards will be held in a virtual event on 15 October.

Stokvel Talk hosts webinar on the effects of the pandemic on funerals

One of the most difficult subjects that South Africans (and people around the world) have had to grapple with has been how to hold safe funerals for their loved ones during the pandemic. The national lockdown imposed restrictions on the way people congregate and for black South Africans, whose customs and traditions require a lot of face-to-face interactions, this has posed serious questions and concerns.

In light of these questions Stokvel Talk hosted a webinar, in collaboration with Calgro Memorial Parks, on the impact of the pandemic on the funeral industry and burial societies. The webinar featured guests who spoke on how stokvel members can announce, hold and finance safe funerals for their loved ones.

New content

Several participants released new episodes of podcasts and features this past week.

The latest episode of Volume’s podcast series on the state of media on the African continent, African Media Thermometer, came out on Thursday. This episode looked at sustainability and innovation in African media during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Food for Mzansi’s weekly podcast, Farmer’s Inside Track, continues to highlight the wins and challenges being faced by people in the South African agri-business sector. This week’s episode highlighted a young entrepreneur from the Eastern Cape and tips for agripreneurs.

One of SAMIP’s newest additions, Zonotho, provides young professionals with the financial literacy tools and advice they need to make optimal decisions. For those fortunate enough to be able to buy home in these tough economic times they published a brief guide on the costs (both upfront and ongoing) when it comes to purchasing a property.