Our privacy and access policies

We are a non-profit organisation that does no more than the journalism and related activities we describe here. We will not sell your information nor hand it over to others to target you with advertising. However, our work and your use of this site have privacy implications.

Personal information used in our reporting

    • Journalistic inquiry and publication may intrude on privacy, but it should do so only to the extent justifiable in the public interest.
    • The Protection of Personal Information Act does not apply to journalists when they do bona fide journalism and are “subject to a code of ethics that provides adequate safeguards for the protection of personal information”. The Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African Print and Online Media is such a code.
    • As we subscribe to it, any complaint that we intruded unjustifiably on a person’s privacy in the course of our journalism should be directed to the Press Ombud here or by calling +27 (0)11 484 3612.
    • For information regarding privacy that is not related to our reporting, see below.

How does this website collect and use my personal information?

Does this website collect my personal information? If so, what information does it collect?

  • This website does not collect any personal information that could identify you when you browse this website and read our articles.
  • We use Google Analytics tracking software on this website to understand our audience better and improve reader experience. Google Analytics uses cookies, small data files placed on your computer, which collect and analyse data on your usage of the website. This information includes how long you stay and what pages you visit. These files do not contain personal information, but they do contain a personal identifier allowing us to associate your personal data with a certain device.
  • We access the data received in depersonalised, aggregated form only.

I don’t want to share this information with this website. How do I opt out?

  • You may choose to opt out of Google Analytics by clicking this link.
  • You can also disable cookies in your web browser settings, or delete cookies manually.
  • For information on Google’s privacy policy, go here and for details on how Google collects data, go here.

By using this website, will my information be accessible to external websites and services?

  • This website contains links to external websites and services, the content and policies of which are not under our control. If you click on these links, the destination website may collect and process your personal information, subject to its privacy policy.
  • In particular, this site uses plug-ins for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube’s share, like and follow functions. If you use these functions on this website, your information may be shared with these platforms, and the privacy policy of the relevant platform will apply. You may want to read the privacy policies of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and others.

How is my personal information collected and used when I donate to amaBhungane?

  • We use GivenGain, a web platform, to manage online donations. The GivenGain Foundation is a non-profit based in Switzerland. Read GivenGain’s privacy policy here.
  • When you make a donation to amaBhungane via GivenGain, it shares information like your name, address, email address and the donation amount with us. If you tick the “anonymous” box when donating, GivenGain will not share your name, address or email address with us. We prefer your donations not to be anonymous as we are unable to give anonymous supporters any benefits.
  • You may also donate directly on our website via PayFast or PayPal. If you do, we will obtain information such as your name, email address, and address (postal or physical) as supplied by you. PayFast is based in South Africa (privacy policy here) and PayPal is based in California, USA (privacy policy here).We (amaBhungane) do not collect or save Internet Protocol (IP) addresses.
  • If you donate to us via GivenGain, PayFast, Paypal or directly, we treat your personal information as private and use it only to understand our donor base, communicate with you and extend agreed benefits to you. We will not share your information with third parties except our accountants and/or auditors or if required to do so by law.
  • However, if your donation is above our disclosure threshold (currently R10 000/year), your name and amount donated will be published on this website and may be published in stakeholder communications.

How is my personal information collected and used when I subscribe to amaBhungane’s newsletter and/or WhatsApp channel?

  • We will communicate with you via our newsletter and WhatsApp channel only if you have subscribed to them or otherwise agreed to receive communications via them.
  • In order to do this, we will store the information you provide to us (such as name, email address and/or cellphone number) in our database.
  • By signing up to receive communications, you consent to us providing your contact information as supplied to our distribution service providers, MailChimp (if you choose to receive email) and/or WhatsApp (if you choose to receive WhatsApp updates), for the purposes of distribution.
  • MailChimp is based in Atlanta, USA (privacy policy) and WhatsApp’ is based in California, USA (privacy policy).
  • Communications include information about our latest stories. They may also include information about our activities to develop investigative journalism, information about our town hall events and funding appeals.

How can I stop receiving communications from amaBhungane?

  • If you want to stop your newsletter subscription, please email digital@amabhungane.org.
  • If you want to stop your WhatsApp notifications, send an SMS or WhatsApp to the number from which you are getting the notifications.
  • When you opt out of receiving these communications, amaBhungane will delete the contact information you supplied at the time of sign-up from our database.

Access to information

  • Information about how to request information from amaBhungane in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act, 2000 can be found in our PAIA manual.

Other essential Information

  • For any complaints concerning our use of personal information outside of our journalistic activities, we are subject to the Protection of Personal Information Act and the jurisdiction of the Information Regulator, which is the appropriate authority for complaints.
  • You may request a copy of your personal information as described in this section, and if necessary, a correction or deletion of the information. You can also withdraw consent for the processing of your personal information. To do so, contact us at paia@amabhungane.org.
  • For contact information of our Information Officer as well as further information about how we process personal information (including how we keep it safe) see our PAIA Manual here.
  • This privacy policy may be updated from time to time. Changes will be reflected on this page and notified to our email and WhatsApp subscribers.
  • Effective date: 20 July 2021