Eleven years old? For a small non-profit outfit like ours, operating in difficult times, it’s a milestone worth boasting about. So let us bring you up to date on what the beetles have been doing.
All those years of probing investigations are making an impact. Billions of rands stolen in state capture have been recovered and precedent-setting court cases have been won. Here’s how amaB’s work has paid off for the public:
- 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 making an impact.
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 should be redoubled. Which is where you can come in, and help us celebrate our birthday.
For the last three years amaB Supporters have collectively been our largest source of funding, covering on average 25% of our operating expenditure. Our financial year end is around the corner and looking at the numbers, we’re almost there: our projections say 23%.
We’re looking to you to help us close that gap with a financial contribution.
Thank you to readers who have already come on board during a difficult year. We ask that you forward this newsletter within your circles. For those of you who aren’t yet part of this collective we call on you to sign up as amaB Supporters. For those whose commitments have lapsed, we call on you to renew your commitment.
Your support helps us maintain independence and keeps the beetles digging.
Support amaB, support democracy.