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What role does civil society play in resisting a hostile and interfering government? In this episode of the ‘Solutions With David Ansara’ podcast, I speak with Rob Hutchinson, the founder and Chairman of civil society organisation DearSA, about how to become an active citizen.

Rob and I discuss his reasons for starting DearSA, and how its public participation process differs from traditional approaches, such as petitions.

DearSA achieved prominence during the Covid-19 lockdowns, but its work is not over. Rob shines some light on the SA government’s ongoing Covid regulations, and reveals DearSA’s plans to challenge the validity of the National Health Amendment Bill in court.

We also discuss how DearSA leverages technology to reach audiences online, as well as its funding model and future objectives.

We close the conversation by reflecting on the state of democracy in South Africa, and why it is important for ordinary people to make their voices heard.


David Ansara is the Chief Operating Officer of the Centre For Risk Analysis (CRA). In this role, David manages the CRA’s policy research and political risk advisory services. He is also responsible for the CRA’s bespoke projects division. David is a regular speaker at conferences and events, where he discusses the political economy of South Africa and future scenarios for the country. He also comments widely in the media. David holds a Master’s in Political Studies from the University of Cape Town.