Humor is used to draw attention to the serious social issues that the author wishes to focus attention on. Using satire the author exposes the darker, and often more sinister, aspects of the society and culture and forces the reader to see the issue for what it is.
For example, in the early part of “Sizwe Bansi is Dead,” the reader is introduced to Styles. He's hurriedly trying to get the factory ready for an inspection. He starts laughing at the safety warnings that are only just now being posted all over the factory. This is humor and it is satire at the same time because the white bosses doen't really care about the workers' safety and it is in effect, only a colorful decoration. The greater theme, then, comes out of the humor and shows that if change is going to be made meaningful, then it must come from within the African culture, and not administered and legislated by the white business owners.