Initial reactions to finance minister, Pravin Gordhan’s, trip recall

President Jacob Zuma dropped a major political bombshell yesterday when he recalled his arch-nemesis, finance minister, Pravin Gordhan, and his deputy, Mcebisi Jonas (who had allegedly previously refused a bribe from the Gupta brothers), from their international roadshow promoting South Africa in the UK and US. Speculation is rife around …

Why do young people think that South Africa is struggling?

The hashtag #WhySAIsStruggling became quite popular For a few days last week. I collected 1,704 tweets that contained the hashtag over a couple of days. Here are the hourly tweet volumes to give you an idea of how the hashtag was picked up: I thought that this dataset would give …

Twitter’s reaction to the 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA)

The president’s annual State of the Nation Address (SONA) is a highlight within the South African political calendar but for all the wrong reasons. Rather than a gathering that celebrates our country’s progress, the SONA has become a battleground where opposition parties demonstrate their disdain for the ANC and its leader,  President …

INTERACTIVE: Visualising the web of state capture

The Public Protector’s office released its report into alleged ‘state capture’ of the South African presidency and various state-run enterprises at the end of October 2016. The report was a political and social bombshell that outlined uncomfortably close and ethically (not to mention potentially legally) fraught relationships between our president, Jacob …

Visualising the web of state capture

[UPDATE 1: The South African Council of Churches released their “Unburdening Panel” report into state capture in May 2017. It is an incredibly succinct summary of state capture and I highly recommend reading it as a companion piece to the below article] [UPDATE 2: The Public Affairs Research Institute has …

Public Protector shoot-out: Thuli vs. Busi

In this post I’m going to look at 180,000+ tweets mentioning the Public Protector. The dataset includes mentions of the Public Protector’s office in general as well as specific mentions of Thuli Madonsela or the various candidates for her replacement, including her eventual successor, Busisiwe Mkhwebane. The data covers more than two months, …

University participation by race

I saw this great post by Africa Check about education statistics in South Africa and I thought that, since we’re currently grappling with the race dynamics in our country, it’s worth visualising some of the stats a bit more intuitively and building on them using some other sources that I’m …