Incidents of racism can now be reported with just a tap of a button. The Ahmed Kathrada Foundation and other stakeholders launched the Zimele Racism Report App this week. The Zirra app was launched in Johannesburg in the build up to Human Rights Day.

From the tirades of the k-words to the most shocking racial outbursts, South Africa is a country haunted by the ghosts of apartheid. These social ills have inspired 24-year-old Zano Mngadi to develop an app to fight racism.

Mngadi says the Zirra app will assist victims of racism to blow the whistle.

“On that drop down, you can click the type of incident. You can see harassment, graffiti, physical, then you can click on that, then you have nationality.”

The app allows the upload of pictures and videos of a racism incident.

“Now, it starts uploading process. The beauty about this you can add as many as you like. If you have multiple evidences – maybe an audio, video… it does make it easier because it’s digitised. It’s in your phone. So, it feels more private.”

Users may also report someone else’s case. A report will be submitted in less than five minutes. The question is however, where do the reports go?

Busisiwe Nkosi from the Ahmed Kathrada Foundation says that the reports go directly to the Foundation.

“It comes straight to Ahmed Kathrada Foundation. We go through every incident and then we look at what measure is needed for that. Some cases will be going to the South African Human Rights Commission, we will be referring people to the equality courts, and if it’s mediation that’s needed, we have mediate work that have come on board and have offered us their services for free.”

Gail Smith, SA Human Rights Commission says that the app will also make the Human Rights Commission’s work load lighter.

“It’s significant to say that economic and social rights complaints increased dramatically to 75% of the total number of equality violations in 2016/2017 and it’s curious to us as a commission, when we put up the stats it doesn’t get followed up, because it’s closely tied to race.”

Now the next step is to get subscribers.

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