Duduetsang Makuse

National co-ordinator, SOS Coalition

Duduetsang Makuse believes in her dreams and convictions. At 29, she knows she is part of a generation that wants things to happen immediately, but has learned that the wheels of social justice turn slowly, and endurance, bravery and persistence are needed to create real change.

Holding a BA in communications and a master’s degree in media management, Makuse describes herself as an activist against socioeconomic and gender-based inequality and sexual violence. With interests in media strategy, policy and development in the convergent, digital era — particularly in the African context, Makuse is the national co-ordinator for the SOS Coalition, a public broadcasting partnership of trade unions, independent film and TV production sector organisations, nongovernmental and community organisations, academics, freedom of expression activists and concerned individuals.

The body aims to address the ongoing crisis in public and community broadcasting in South Africa, working towards a public broadcasting system dedicated to the broadcasting of quality, diverse, citizen-oriented public programming committed to social justice and the deepening of South Africa’s Constitution, particularly the Bill of Rights. Duduetsang says the SOS Coalition played a key role in the parliamentary inquiry into the fitness of the SABC board to hold office.

“Every SOS recommendation we proposed was accepted into the ad hoc committee’s report, which was a major victory for us. I cannot recall a time when the South African public has been witness to a live, open and transparent parliamentary inquiry process, nor when the interest of the public has been so high in requiring appropriate parliamentary oversight of a public body and service,” says Makuse.

“This put overt pressure on Parliament to do the right thing and implement the recommendations. It was a win for the people of South Africa, because now we have seen that democratic processes can be made to work for us and that public institutions can be made accountable to the people of this country.”

Makuse played an active role in the Black Friday protest of July 2016, leading the co-ordination of a multi-sectoral, non-partisan demonstration against censorship at the SABC.

She has also been involved in the issue of digital migration, seeking to translate media freedom and access issues and link them to existing problems of inequality, unemployment and poverty in South Africa.

— Linda Doke

Instagram: @DuduetsangD