CCIJ ROUND UP: South Africa’s Sewage System up “Sh**s Creek”

Uncovering a waste-water catastrophe in South Africa, excessive legal expenditures raise questions about SA’s National Lottery Commission, April’s Monthly Member Spotlight on Christina Orieschnig, and our update on the photography workshop with Danny Wilcox Frazier. 

South Africa’s rivers of sewage: More than half of SA’s treatment works are failing

Sewage in city streets, in rivers, in drinking water; it doesn’t just stink. This investigation shows how nationwide wastewater mismanagement poses a major risk to South Africans. In an article published Monday in the Daily Maverick, Steve Kretzmann, Nompumelelo Mtsweni, Peter Luhanga, and Nombulelo Damba report that over half of wastewater treatment plants in South Africa are in poor or critical condition. And in the municipality, that number rises to 75 percent of facilities not being up to standard. The story details this national failure’s devastating environmental and public health impacts. Between the clear data, compelling visual imagery, raw personal accounts, and gripping storytelling, this investigation is already gaining national attention

Learn more about this infrastructure collapse and its consequences here.

National Lottery Commission in South Africa Spends Millions in Litigations

CCIJ Southern Africa Hub Leader Raymond Joseph published another groundbreaking report on corruption in the South African lottery. In his latest for GroundUp, Joseph details how the National Lottery Commission is spending millions of rands on lawyers, going after government officials and former employees in an attempt to escape accountability and public scrutiny. The NLC has also been using millions in funds to keep the recipients of the Lottery Grants under wraps (Check out Joseph’s story from last week to learn more about the corruption in NLC grants). This is yet another development in Joseph’s ongoing contributions to the “Gaming the Lottery” CCIJ Investigation.

 Read the full article here.

Member Spotlight for Christina Orieschnig

Our April Member Spotlight features journalist, environmental data analyst, and doctoral student Christina Orieschnig. Her research has focused on the effects of climate change on the Mekong River Delta in Vietnam. In her work, she seeks to design new models for examining the climate’s effects on the Delta and surrounding community. We’re so happy to have her on the team!

Read her full profile on our blog.

Photography Workshop with Danny Wilcox Frazier (Rescheduled)!

On Friday, May 7, CCIJ will be hosting the latest of its training and workshop series. The event, originally scheduled for April 20th, will include a conversation and workshop with Danny Wilcox Frazier, an award-winning photographer and a member of the VII photo agency.  Please write Jeff Kelly Lowenstein at to register!