Researchers in the Institute for Democracy have published four new Working Papers through the CSSR WP series. Dr Sishuwa Sishuwa, a post-doctoral research fellow, examines the role of charisma in politics in post-colonial Africa, in WP 446. Hangala Siachiwena, whose PhD is under examination, examines the effects of change of government on social protection policy reform in Malawi, in WP 447. PhD student Thomas Isbell uses Afrobarometer data in WP 448 to examine the relationship between inequality and the demand for democracy in Africa. PhD student Matthias Kronke, together with Honorary Professor Bob Mattes, also use Afrobarometer data to examine partisan identification in Africa, in WP 449.
UCT has suspended face-to-face classes, large group meetings and travel due to the coronavirus. Most CSSR researchers and adminstrators are working from home. Today (18 March) we learnt that a visitor from the UK who spent part of last week in the CSSR has been confirmed as coronavirus-positive. Some of us are now in self-quarantine. All of this poses a challenge to our continuing work. One of the core functions of research institutes such as the CSSR is to provide intellectual communities within which we engage as scholars, including giving and receiving formal and informal feedback on each other’s work. This will now be more difficult. But it will not be impossible. As far as is possible, we shall continue with our research – and to share and discuss it with colleagues electronically.
The coronavirus Covid-19 poses a special threat to the elderly. In an article for the Daily Maverick, former CSSR PhD student and post-doctoral research fellow Gabby Kelly writes that South Africa has generally neglected its elderly population and now needs to pay urgent attention to their situation. She asks, for example, what will SASSA do about payments of old-age pensions so as to avoid requiring the elderly to gather at paypoints?
ASRU is delighted to announce that Associate Professor Mzikazi Nduna will be spending part of her sabbatical with us from January 2020. Mzi holds a PhD in Public Health, and has 24 years of experience in the field of sexual and reproductive health and human rights.
Mzi’s overarching philosophy as a researcher is that of engaged scholarship. She serves on Boards of the following NPOs: National Shelter Movement, Sonke Gender Justice, IRANTI and SisterLove.