Faeeza Ballim

Faeeza BallimNetwork Member

Faeeza Ballim (she/her) is a Senior Lecturer and head of the Department of History at the University of Johannesburg. She has previously published on agricultural cooperatives and urban racial segregation in the small town of Mokopane in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Her book on electricity and the state corporation responsible for its provision in South Africa, Eskom, is currently in production and will be published in Ohio University Press’ New African Histories series in 2023. She is also currently the co-editor of a five-volume series on Science and Technology Studies in Africa entitled ‘Translating Technology in Africa’. Ballim‘s research interests cohere around the theme of Science and Technology Studies and its relationship to African history. Her new research concerns the development of Artificial Intelligence technology in Africa.

Current position
Senior Lecturer and Head of the Department of History
University affiliation
University of Johannesburg


Faeeza’s research has primarily been focused on the entanglement of government power and the activities of South Africa’s national electricity provider, Eskom, from the 1960s to the early 2010s. Here she considered the role of Eskom’s essentially technological activity in the context of the authoritarian rule of the apartheid government, which was chiefly concerned with realizing racial segregation in South Africa. She also considers the role of Eskom in democratic South Africa, where it became embroiled in allegations of governmental corruption amid the country’s waning energy security. Importantly for our understanding of the exercise of governmental authority on the African continent, she demonstrates that the activity of the state corporations did not neatly align with the strategic purposes of the government, and this complicated the ability of the government to enact its policy decisions. Her new research follows developments in artificial intelligence technology in particular countries on the continent and considers its portents for the future of governance and democracy.


  • Rottenburg, Richard, Faeeza Ballim, and Bronwyn Kotzen (eds.) (2024) "Translating Technology in Africa. Volume 1: Metrics." Leiden: Koninklijke Brill NV. → https://brill.com/display/title/65031
  • Ballim, Faeeza (2021) "Land Dispossession and the Ghosts of the Medupi Power Station." in Falling Monuments, Reluctant Ruins: The Persistence of the Past in the Architecture of Apartheid , edited by Hilton Judin, 13-28. Johannesburg: Wits University Press. → https://doi.org/10.18772/22021066673.7
  • Ballim, Faeeza (2017) "The Un-Making of the Group Areas Act: Local Resistance and Commercial Power in the Small Town of Mokopane." in South African Historical Journal, 69 (4): 568–582. → https://doi.org/10.1080/02582473.2017.1377760
  • Ballim, Faeeza (2015) "The Pre-History of South African “Neo-Liberalism”: The Rise and Fall of Co-Operative Farming on the Highveld." in Journal of Southern African Studies, 41 (6): 1239–1254. → https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2015.1093835