Virginia Magwaza-Setshedi

Programme head at the Freedom of Expression Institute

Virginia heads the Media and Information Communication Technology Programme within the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI).

She was born in Soweto and is the founding member of the Soweto Electricity Crisis Committee, an organisation that successfully challenged privatisation of electricity in Soweto. She is also a founding member of the Anti-Privatisation Forum, which started as the Anti-Egoli 2002 campaign that challenged the restructuring of the city of Johannesburg. Virginia started her activist days as a member of the South African Students Congress (Sasco) at the University of the Witwatersrand, while studying for her BA and LLB between 1995 and 2001.

She decided to become part of her community’s struggles in 1999. In 2002 she joined the Alternative Information Development Centre, where her duties included building the capacity of community-based organisations around issues of trade, privatisation, globalisation and debt. The programme she heads at the FXI looks at issues ranging from the public broadcaster, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa and Telkom’s high prices to the communication rights campaign, as well as promoting media rights for marginalised communities in South Africa.

Lunch Spot: Spiro's ,Melville