Opportunity 6: Reflection and Analysis

Why zero-rated mobile phone content is a nation-builder

Cellphones have possibly been the most powerful societal bridge-builder of the post-Mandela era. Their introduction to South Africa coincided with the advent of democracy in 1994 and now, almost every household has at least one. However, their potential contribution to socioeconomic development has never been fully exploited, and in an increasingly digital world, they now […]

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Posted on 22 Feb 2021


Protecting the gains from the Covid disaster

The Covid disaster showed up much that is wrong in South Africa, but it also demonstrated that many things can be made a lot better – fast. The ban on alcohol sales proved that women and children can feel safer in their communities, especially over weekends. While the sales ban can’t continue indefinitely, a ban […]

Posted on 27 Nov 2020


Learning quickly from Covid-19

It was a bit like waiting for a hurricane, except that we knew that it would definitely make landfall.  So we battened down the hatches and waited in the eerie calm until the Covid-19 storm hit. As a South African foundation, the DG Murray Trust (DGMT) quickly pivoted its work to key areas which we […]

Posted on 7 Aug 2020


COVID-19 must be used to disrupt long-term mortality trends – and radically improve our education system

The clinically cold term ‘excess deaths’ has worked its way into the global lexicon. It means the number of deaths that occur in excess to that which would typically be expected in any given time period. If the death rate for whites is an acceptable norm for South Africa, then there are roughly 200,000 excess […]

Posted on 11 Jun 2020


In the midst of the Covid Crisis, we cannot leave half our children behind

Why zero-rating of mobile services of PBOs is so crucial The poorest children have the least access to digital learning – and yet we are currently zero-rating mobile content that only wealthy children can use! Schooling is going to stop for three months and we’ve got to: Stop pretending that most children will have access […]

Posted on 7 Apr 2020


The power of engaging around stories: Evidence from the Biblionef and Western Cape Education Department Book Project

South Africa’s foundation phase reading is in crisis. As evidenced by studies such as the 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS), 78% of Grade 4 students cannot read for meaning in any language. Several South African NGOs are trying to address this fracture in our education system. In 2016, book donation organisation Biblionef […]

Posted on 16 Jan 2019


We do have solutions for SA’s reading crisis

The national senior certificate results are an important annual benchmark of the state of education. In 2017, they showed some improvement, with a pass rate of 75%. But they have two major limitations. First, they reflect only the achievement of that half of school-leavers who actually wrote the grade 12 exams. The other half had […]

Posted on 16 Mar 2018


Creating a Story-Powered Nation

“Reading opens up new worlds. It gives us power – to learn new things, tell our own stories, and shape our futures”.  [Extract from a Story-Powered Nation] At DGMT we often talk about the importance of reading, of ensuring that children are ready to read when they go to school. We believe it is a key […]

Posted on 7 Sep 2017


How to make sense of mother-tongue instruction debates

Many parents find the debates about mother-tongue instruction very confusing.  All they want to know is “what is best for my child”? Is it better to introduce English sooner or later?  Will my child get mixed up if she learns more than one language at the same time?  Is it best to send her to […]

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Posted on 2 May 2017


Your Mandela Day to-do list: Grow empathy, connect to others, take action – but choose wisely

The message behind Mandela Day is that we all have the ability and responsibility to change the world for the better.  In theory many people agree with this sentiment, judging from the 2.8K likes that a Nelson Mandela quote like “our society needs to re-establish a culture of caring” can garner on the Nelson Mandela […]

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Posted on 18 Jul 2016