18 April 2024 | 09:48 AM

A great big birthday thank you – we’re almost there!

Key Takeaways

Readers, you are wonderful! A huge thank you for your enthusiastic response to our birthday appeal, which has raised R50 000 and counting. The first donation arrived seven minutes after our ask went live last Friday. Contributions were still trickling in yesterday.

We are particularly grateful that readers continued to give in the current economic climate.

And we loved the messages some of you sent. Here are a few:

This donation is for my Dad, a journalist who died 11 years ago, and whose birthday was 19th March (born 1915). “Keep up the great work” is what he would say. And me too!

Terrific job you are all doing, please keep it up, we all need you, as does RSA.

You guys are so brave. Thank you!

Our appeal continues until the weekend. If you missed it, here’s why we’re asking.

The beetles are 11 years old. It’s a milestone worth boasting about. All those years of probing are paying off. Billions of rands stolen in state capture have been recovered and precedent-setting court cases have been won. Here are examples of our impact:

  • Eskom recovered R1.15bn from multinational consulting firms. One, McKinsey, also agreed to repay Transnet and SAA at least R650m;
  • a Transnet pension fund recovered R530m; 
  • SARS froze R2.8bn in Chinese rail multinational CRRC’s accounts;
  • Transnet and the SIU have applied to cancel the locomotive contracts that were at the heart of the Gupta project;
  • We challenged secret state surveillance and won a resounding Constitutional Court victory last month;
  • The IJ Hub, which we launched to grow investigative journalism across the SADC region, is now fully staffed and has become a force multiplier for centres like us across our borders.

What the past few years have demonstrated is that when other organs of society fail, committed and courageous sections of the media – such as amaB – stand as the final bulwarks against high level corruption, bureaucratic decay, xenophobia and organised crime.

AmaBhungane investigations have impact. We won’t stop exposing wrongdoing and holding government and corporate institutions to account. But we cannot do it without your support.

And yet the media too is endangered, a public good undermined by tectonic changes in digital publishing, threatened by politicians and corporate lawyers, its revenue sources appropriated by platform giants like Facebook and Google.

Efforts to develop investigative journalism must be redoubled. Which is where you can come in, and help us celebrate our birthday.

AmaB is a non-profit. Your support helps us maintain our independence and keep digging. For the last three years, amaB Supporters – readers who donate – have collectively been our largest source of funding, contributing the equivalent of 25% of operating expenditure.

Our financial year-end is around the corner. We’re almost there: our projections are now at 24%. 

We’re looking to you to help us close that last one percent gap. 

Sign up as an amaB Supporter now. If you’ve done so already, please consider forwarding this appeal to others.

Support amaB. Support democracy.

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Before joining the amaBhungane team in 2017, Micah was the national coordinator for media freedom and diversity at the Right2Know Campaign. He holds a Masters in African Studies from Oxford University and a BA Honours in History from Wits University.

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