Fellowship Award: Charlotte Newcombe september 2018 - august 2019
Woodrow Wilson Website
Great News! I am thrilled to announce that I have been awarded the 2018 Charlotte Newcombe Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship from the Woodrow Wilson Foundation. The fellowship is designed to encourage original and significant study of ethical or religious values in all fields of the humanities and social sciences. This award will support the completion of my dissertation. Read More Here
Conference Presentation: Africa in the World May 25-29, 2018 Johannesburg
I am very pleased to present "Life on an Installment Plan: Social Grants and Debt in South Africa" as part of a panel on Transformative Technologies. Please join me on May 26 at 4:00 pm at the Crowne Plaza Rosebank. Read More Here
Research for the ConCourt: Panel of experts report February 2018 johannesburg
Mail and Guardian Website
My research with the Black Sash is now part of a report that has been submitted by the Panel of Experts to the Constitutional Court. This Panel was appointed by the ConCourt to develop a new national social grant payment system. Read the Panel's full Third ReportHere
Guest Lecture: Geography 10 November 14, 2017 UC Berkeley
I just finished lecturing on debt and racial capitalism for our Introduction to Geography course. A big thank you to Jake Kosek who asked me to fill his very large shoes while he was away at a conference!
Invited Presentation: PLAAS Seminar Series June 16, 2017 University of the western Cape
PLAAS Seminar Announcement
“'It’s like the lotto,' said a Khayelitsha pensioner, 'sometimes I get little money and sometimes I get no money at all.' This conceptualization of the South African social grant system as a gamble — and not a reliable state entitlement — would be heretical in contemporary development literature, which touts cash transfers as the “solution” to global poverty..." Read More Here
COnference presentation: Intergenerational relations & social grants April 10, 2017 University of Cape Town
Families and Society Research Unit / UCT
Come hear me present a short paper on "Social Grants and the World Bank" at this workshop with UCT's Sociology Department, organized by Elena Moore. I am looking forward to sharing my work with other scholars researching inequalities, insecurities and intergenerational politics!
Radio interview: the daily maverick podcast CLIFF CENTRAL / March 2017
CliffCentral Studios Website
I am very excited to be interviewed by Kingsley Kipury on the Daily Maverick Podcast! Nomonde Nyembe from the Center for Applied Legal Studies at Wits and Koketso Moeti from Amandla.mobi are in the CliffCentral studio to offer their excellent analyses of SASSA and the Constitutional Court cases.
Newspaper Article: What we learn from "Concerning Violence" about Franz Fanon's Writings Africa is a country / 8 April 2015
Africa is a Country Website
Here is my first Africa is a Country piece for their series Movie Night. It was a lot of fun collaborating with Michael Watts, Camilla Hawthorne and Brittany Meche on a film review of Göran Olsson's "Concerning Violence: Nine Scenes from the Anti-Imperialistic Self-Defense."
Expert Presentation: Panel of Experts, Constitutional Court March 16, 2018 Pretoria
Very excited to attend to this Meeting of the Panel of Experts with Lynette Maart and the Black Sash! We'll be discussing the creation of a recourse system for social grant beneficiaries, who experience abuses on their bank accounts.
Documentary: The Green Card March 13, 2018 South Africa
Erna Curry / Black Sash
I am absolutely thrilled to be a part of the documentary crew that created this short film for Cutting Edge. Tune in to SABC 1 on March 27th @ 9:30 to see our work with EasyPay card holders in Ceres. Sarina and Jacobus will tell us how indebtedness has become part and parcel of the South African social grant system.
IN The FIELD: EasyPay research for the Black Sash June-july 2017 Port elizabeth and limehill
Black Sash Website
In June and July, I spent time with the Black Sash offices in PE and KZN. With Alexa, Evashnee, Jerome, Nelly, and a group of gutsy grant holders, we tracked down Net1 offices to test whether or not it was possible to cancel EasyPay cards. We wrote up a dozen case studies about the difficulties of navigating this techno-financial system.
Newspaper Article: The World Bank's Role in South Africa's Social Grant SysteM GROUND UP / March 23, 2017
Ground Up Website
"As the main South African investor in Cash Paymaster Services’ parent company, Allan Gray has been under the spotlight over the social grants payment controversy. As a result, a bigger investor, the World Bank, has not received much attention." Read MoreHere
NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: Sophia's choice: Farmworker has to decide which child to feed Ground Up / March 16, 2017
Erna Curry / Black Sash
"When loan repayments left Sophia destitute, she had to beg a little money from her cousin and make a terrible choice. Either she could feed herself and her six-month-old baby, or she could feed her 8 and 13-year-old daughters. She chose the latter. When she stopped eating, she also stopped producing milk. Her baby’s weight dropped from 11.3 kg to 8.8 kg in three weeks. The clinic sister threatened to call the social worker..." Read MoreHere
NEWSPAPER ARTICLE: deductions from social grants: how it all works Ground up / MArch 3, 2017,
Ground Up Website
"As the SA Social Security Agency prepares to negotiate a new social grants payment contract with Cash Paymaster Services. CPS's parent company, Net1, is using the payment system to benefit its subsidiary companies..." Read More Here
Fellowship Award: Wenner-Gren september 2015 - august 2016
I am excited to announce that I am a 2015 Wenner Gren Dissertation Fieldwork Grantee. The fellowship is designed to support research that makes a solid contribution to the discipline of anthropology. This award will support my fieldwork in South Africa this year. Read More Here