One of the University of Western Cape researchers at Mankosi focused her attention on gender issues in the community and how they affected the Zenzeleni project. Tigist Sherawega interviewed many women from the community, in particular those who live in the households which host the base stations. Although some do participate in meetings related to the project, many do not. For these women, the communication aspect of Zenzeleni is overshadowed by the solar-electric aspect.
The fact that a side-benefit of hosting a base station is LED lighting in the home, is a major improvement in the view of these women. However the responsibility of administering the charging of phones and collection of fees is a burden which falls mainly on them.