Some 36 years ago I invited onto the Wits campus the recently elected general secretary of the newly launched National Union of Mineworkers, Cyril Ramaphosa. It was an invitation to him and his members to listen to the findings of a collaborative study we had done on safer underground gold mining. The researcher, Jean Leger, a young chemical engineer, demonstrated persuasively why black miners had the right to refuse to work in dangerous conditions.

Last week I repeated the process and invited food couriers to Wits campus to listen to the research undertaken by Fikile Masikane, a sociology graduate student attached to the Southern Centre of Inequality Studies, on the precarious conditions of these new app workers of the digital age...

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