In case you haven’t taken a walk through the Twitter streets today; tweeps are going ape shit over Marie Claire Magazine’s ad for an intern who will be paid – wait for it – thirty rand a day. No, you read right, but let me just put it in numbers in case you are straining your eyes in disbelief: R30!

Some were funny…


Others were a straight up depressing reality check…

For many of us who have worked in media, this comes as no surprise, but tweeps are up in arms because, you know, we live in that age where nothing goes unchecked (what privilege are we discussing these days? I read somewhere that there’s such a thing as Christianity Privilege). It’s about time!

The magazine industry has been exploiting people for many years, and Marie Claire is unfortunately the sacrificial lamb for an industry that has been able to disguise abuse as opportunity. Worse still: a lot of them don’t even offer interns that R30 stipend (at least with Marie Claire you can get a streetwise two), they expect them to work for free.

But wait. There’s more!

There is always a requirement that you have a car and, sometimes, even a laptop, thereby discriminating against anyone who is not from an upper middle class background (bearing in mind that families with a household income above R6,000 are classified middle class in SA, also just masipa fela).

It’s a widespread practice that really needs to come to an end, and I’m glad people are calling this out. As much as these kids need the experience, it’s not like the magazines don’t also need the help, otherwise there’d be no need to advertise for an intern to begin with. I doubt anyone is looking to get paid 10K for an internship (even though Mail & Guardian and others publications do pay that much), but, really, free internships should not be a thing. Ever!

By Sandiso Ngubane

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