amandla.mobi is an independent, community advocacy organisation, established in 2014, which seeks to build a more just and people-powered Mzansi. Its mission is to turn every cell phone into a democracy-building tool to amplify the voices of, and support those most affected by poverty, violence and corruption – Black women from low-income backgrounds – to organise in numbers that hold power to account across the public and private sectors.
amandla.mobi responds to a significant gap in South African civil society. While there is no shortage of excellent journalists, lawyers, researchers and policy analysts, sometimes this work is disconnected from campaigning and mass mobilisation.
amandla.mobi works with its members, partners, credible reporters and researchers to design and run high impact campaigns.
amandla.mobi launched its first campaign in June 2014 with young people from townships across Ekurhuleni, in isiZulu, and using USSD and SMS, which focused on youth unemployment.
Since then amandla.mobi has grown into a national movement of more than 225 000 people, with members in every province. It has conducted over 300 campaigns and worked with more than 40 community organisations, NGOs, and social movements.
Some of amandla.mobi’s most significant campaign victories include:
Keep SABC Free – implemented with the SOS Coalition, this campaign resulted in the government agreeing to set aside R3 billion to subsidise five million poor households with a digital set-top box so they are not cut off from the SABC and free-to-air channel, eTV.
Stop Using R-5 Assault Rifles – implemented with Gun Free South Africa, the campaign resulted in the former Police Minister creating a Task Team to address police brutality and the banning of R-5 assault rifles from crowd control, and remove R-5s from public order policing in the meantime.
Justice for Marikana – amandla.mobi members organised 77 community events across the country to demand justice for the Marikana massacre. This resulted in eTV agreeing to screen the Marikana documentary, Miners Shot Down, and more recently, the government agreed to compensate the survivors, and the families of the mine workers who were killed.
Tax Justice – working with Oxfam and the Economic Justice Network, this campaign put pressure on (then) Finance Minister Nene to attend a crucial international summit on curbing illicit financial flows, and his (then) successor, Pravin Gordhan, announced new regulations in response to this issue.
Solidarity with Fees Must Fall – this campaign helped stop the proposed increase of university fees in 2016, and forced the Department of Higher Education and Training to release its ‘no-fee varsity’ report which provides a policy platform for reforming higher education funding. On a local level, it helped Durban University of Technology students with the release of their qualifications so that they could start looking for employment.
Scrap the Virgin Bursaries – successfully maintained pressure to get the Virgin Bursaries Scheme scrapped in uThukela District Municipality.
SABC Censorship – worked with SOS Coalition, Media Monitoring Africa and Freedom of Expression Institute to successfully put enough public pressure on the SABC and ICASA to overturn a SABC censorship policy and reinstate seven journalists who had been fired. The campaign also built enough public pressure for President Zuma to sign the Special Investigation Unit proclamation to allow for investigations into corruption at the SABC.
.Data Must Fall – mobilised public support to ensure government and regulators, including ICASA and the Competition Commission, initiate inquiries into the cost of mobile data in South Africa. The campaign generated more than 44 000 submissions and resulted in the introduction of new regulations benefiting at least 20 million South African pre-paid users whose bundles will no longer expire after 30 days, and who now have the choice to opt into expensive out-of-bundle rates.
Sugary Drinks Tax – worked with HEALA, Health-E and Priceless to implement a 12-month campaign which resulted in Parliament passing a bill on tax on sugary drinks, the Health Promotion Levy, and the Presidency signing it into law, to curb type 2 diabetes and other non-communicable diseases.
amandla.mobi’s Founder and Executive Director, Koketso Moeti, has been recognised for her work at a global level. She was selected as a 2017 Aspen Institute New Voices Fellow, and in 2018, as an inaugural Obama Foundation Fellow. Koketso and amandla.mobi were recently awarded the Waislitz Global Citizen Award.
amandla.mobi is growing rapidly, and often experience capacity constraints to respond to the demands of its members in launching campaigns and using new tactics in support of existing campaigns. At the same time, it is working hard to retain momentum while securing funds for 2019, 2020 and 2021 to achieve its goal of reaching half a million South African members.
Anyone can join amandla.mobi for free from any cell phone by dialing *134*1994*789#, or sending an SMS / “Please call me” or Whatsapp message to 062 17 POWER.
Click here to make a donation to amandla.mobi.