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Reflection and Analysis

Browse our collection of articles that reflect on and/or offer useful analysis on the 10 opportunities for social change that form the basis of our five-year strategy.

(Click on each block to explore more)

1 Drive public innovation by reigniting civil society

Call for responsible drinking masks the big lie

26 Mar 2021

It is time to challenge the liquor industry’s claim that ‘responsible drinking’ is the answer to South Africa’s alcohol problem. That assumes that the problem lies only with individuals who won’t control their drink, rather than an industry whose profits depend on excessive consumption. It is a stark reality that over 80% of all alcohol […]

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Human Factor 3: Shaping the frontal cortex as a critical youth development strategy

5 Mar 2021

What happens when the thrust of our national youth development strategy is to connect young people to jobs, and there are no jobs to connect them to?  Then we sit with a 50% unemployment rate among 18 – 34-year-olds and fear the ticking time bomb when young people eventually have had enough of being left […]

READ MORE

Human Factor 3: Coming of age in South Africa

23 Feb 2021

Having worked my way through the DG Murray Trust’s latest issue of its annual publication, Human Factor: Young People Open Minds, I decided to apply my open mind to the difficult topic the issue took on, which was young people’s individual and collective identity formation in our country. The publication delves into the complex lives […]

READ MORE

Introducing the Human Factor 3: young people – open minds

4 Feb 2021

In her essay “In memory of who we are”, which opens the third issue of the DG Murray Trust’s (DGMT) Human Factor, social justice activist Lovelyn Nwadeyi writes: “We often talk about identity as something that we can define and determine for ourselves as individuals. While that may be true in part, it is perhaps […]

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2 Release the systemic chokes on innovation that are perpetuated by exclusion

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

22 Feb 2021

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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A (Women’s) Day of Reflection

13 Aug 2020

Could you tell? Our media, usually flooded with Women’s Month sales, and calls to wear our doeks, or for men to wear heels, was notably more subdued. As South Africans, we have always been ambivalent about how we mark historically important days. Many of these days are in memory of some of the darkest parts […]

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The physics of change

10 Apr 2019

An article from DGMT’s Annual Report, 2018 You may have seen the 2017 movie, Loving Vincent. Each of the 65 000 frames in the 100-minute long film is an individual oil painting on canvas. It mimics Van Gogh’s stippled style of art, exemplified by his famous painting, The Starry Night. He uses thousands of tiny […]

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Celebrating women’s month with the unsung heroines in the field of development: Julita Dorman

8 Aug 2017

Women’s Month stories often focus on renowned women. This series aims to celebrate some of the women we have worked with in development who you may not yet know about, but who have made an impact where they are, with whatever resources they have had. Each woman has a valuable journey consisting of trials, learnings […]

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3 Create unlikely networks to stimulate positive change

A (Women’s) Day of Reflection

13 Aug 2020

Could you tell? Our media, usually flooded with Women’s Month sales, and calls to wear our doeks, or for men to wear heels, was notably more subdued. As South Africans, we have always been ambivalent about how we mark historically important days. Many of these days are in memory of some of the darkest parts […]

READ MORE

Learning quickly from Covid-19

7 Aug 2020

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 […]

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Unlock, inspire, include: How unlikely networks push us forward

18 Oct 2017

DGMT’s strategy and 10 opportunities to change South Africa are clearly set out. Still, some of these opportunities are easier to grasp than others: for example, most people would immediately understand what it means to give every child the benefit of early childhood development. The steps to achieving that are also clear, even if there are […]

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A compelling business proposition: Create value at no extra cost

11 Oct 2017

Just over a decade ago, a senior official at national Treasury told me that Government was “awash with money”. Not anymore. Cost-cutting is the order of the day. Things are only going to get tighter after the medium-term budget policy statement on 25th October. We will all feel sick to the pit of our stomachs […]

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4 Give every child the benefit of early childhood development

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Protecting the gains from the Covid disaster

27 Nov 2020

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 […]

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Responding creatively to the ECD sector COVID crisis

6 Nov 2020

The ECD Working Group of the C-19 People’s Coalition recently released a statement that the early childhood development (ECD) sector is at risk of being “decimated by government inadequacy” during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. That statement may appear harsh, but it holds a lot of water. The impacts of COVID-19 and the lockdown on the […]

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Learning quickly from Covid-19

7 Aug 2020

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 […]

READ MORE

5 Stop nutritional stunting among children under two years

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Learning quickly from Covid-19

7 Aug 2020

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 […]

READ MORE

Media Statement: Court application to compel MTN to zero-rate approved PBO websites

20 Jul 2020

The DG Murray Trust has launched a court application to compel mobile network operator MTN to zero-rate the local educational websites of public benefit organisations that have been officially approved, but not actioned.  This application follows three months of engagement with the three largest network operators (Vodacom, MTN and Telkom Mobile) urging them to zero-rate […]

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Thinking innovatively around addressing a looming malnutrition crisis in South Africa

17 Jul 2020

In the past week, South Africa has seen exponential growth in the number of COVID-19 cases across the country. Whether this indicates that we are reaching “the peak” remains to be seen but what is clear is that things are going to get a lot worse before they get better. What is also clear is […]

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6 Make sure every child is ready to read by the time they go to school

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Protecting the gains from the Covid disaster

27 Nov 2020

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 […]

READ MORE

Learning quickly from Covid-19

7 Aug 2020

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 […]

READ MORE

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

11 Jun 2020

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 […]

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7 Build simple, loving connections for every child

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Pregnant women and moms now have one-stop site for expert COVID-19 info

16 Apr 2020

A collaboration between South African NGOs is one of the first in the world to create a COVID-19 information platform for pregnant women and mothers as they grapple with so many unknowns during the pandemic. Focusing on physical and mental health, they provide expert input on what many mothers are thinking about, such as the […]

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Bent, but not broken

20 Jan 2020

In this article Professor Nonkhanyo Mdzanga, who was a contributing editor to our Human Factor publication, poignantly describes the difficult journey of parents to come to terms with having a child who has autism, but she also offers inspiration and shows how networks of parents can support each other. Read the essay below – choose […]

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‘I love the feeling of keeping them safe’ – Men as early childhood development practitioners

16 Oct 2019

“I’m the one that’s struggling here, not her.” This was a father’s response to my umpteenth reassurance that his daughter was okay in her new playgroup. At that moment she was happily arranging mud cakes on a log under the plum tree. I realised later he was observing me to be sure that his daughter […]

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8 Place failing schools ‘under new management’ so that children can succeed

Human Factor 3: Shaping the frontal cortex as a critical youth development strategy

5 Mar 2021

What happens when the thrust of our national youth development strategy is to connect young people to jobs, and there are no jobs to connect them to?  Then we sit with a 50% unemployment rate among 18 – 34-year-olds and fear the ticking time bomb when young people eventually have had enough of being left […]

READ MORE

Human Factor 3: Coming of age in South Africa

23 Feb 2021

Having worked my way through the DG Murray Trust’s latest issue of its annual publication, Human Factor: Young People Open Minds, I decided to apply my open mind to the difficult topic the issue took on, which was young people’s individual and collective identity formation in our country. The publication delves into the complex lives […]

READ MORE

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Introducing the Human Factor 3: young people – open minds

4 Feb 2021

In her essay “In memory of who we are”, which opens the third issue of the DG Murray Trust’s (DGMT) Human Factor, social justice activist Lovelyn Nwadeyi writes: “We often talk about identity as something that we can define and determine for ourselves as individuals. While that may be true in part, it is perhaps […]

READ MORE

9 Create new connections to opportunity for young people

Human Factor 3: Shaping the frontal cortex as a critical youth development strategy

5 Mar 2021

What happens when the thrust of our national youth development strategy is to connect young people to jobs, and there are no jobs to connect them to?  Then we sit with a 50% unemployment rate among 18 – 34-year-olds and fear the ticking time bomb when young people eventually have had enough of being left […]

READ MORE

Human Factor 3: Coming of age in South Africa

23 Feb 2021

Having worked my way through the DG Murray Trust’s latest issue of its annual publication, Human Factor: Young People Open Minds, I decided to apply my open mind to the difficult topic the issue took on, which was young people’s individual and collective identity formation in our country. The publication delves into the complex lives […]

READ MORE

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Introducing the Human Factor 3: young people – open minds

4 Feb 2021

In her essay “In memory of who we are”, which opens the third issue of the DG Murray Trust’s (DGMT) Human Factor, social justice activist Lovelyn Nwadeyi writes: “We often talk about identity as something that we can define and determine for ourselves as individuals. While that may be true in part, it is perhaps […]

READ MORE

10 Support young people to keep their grip on opportunity

Human Factor 3: Shaping the frontal cortex as a critical youth development strategy

5 Mar 2021

What happens when the thrust of our national youth development strategy is to connect young people to jobs, and there are no jobs to connect them to?  Then we sit with a 50% unemployment rate among 18 – 34-year-olds and fear the ticking time bomb when young people eventually have had enough of being left […]

READ MORE

Human Factor 3: Coming of age in South Africa

23 Feb 2021

Having worked my way through the DG Murray Trust’s latest issue of its annual publication, Human Factor: Young People Open Minds, I decided to apply my open mind to the difficult topic the issue took on, which was young people’s individual and collective identity formation in our country. The publication delves into the complex lives […]

READ MORE

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

22 Feb 2021

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 […]

READ MORE

Introducing the Human Factor 3: young people – open minds

4 Feb 2021

In her essay “In memory of who we are”, which opens the third issue of the DG Murray Trust’s (DGMT) Human Factor, social justice activist Lovelyn Nwadeyi writes: “We often talk about identity as something that we can define and determine for ourselves as individuals. While that may be true in part, it is perhaps […]

READ MORE