News 24: OPINION: Fear and policing in the time of COVID-19 A major area of concern is that the oversight bodies that were created in the 1990s in an effort to protect South Africans from abuses by the security forces are overwhelmed, understaffed or are not operating due to the lockdown, writes Guy Lamb.
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, this Working Paper is embargoes from May to November because it is being published as a chapter in Research Handbook on Political Partisanship edited by Henrik Oscarsson and Sören Holmberg (Edward Elgar).
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.
Since the emergence of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the 1980s, South African scholars have worked relentlessly to investigate and understand the epidemic, and to ameliorate its catastrophic effects. At UCT, researchers within the Health Sciences modelled the clinical and epidemiological impacts of the epidemic, while economists focused on its fiscal implications. Within the Humanities and the Social Sciences, researchers explored the social meanings of the epidemic; its medical history; and its consequences for South Africa’s democratic polity.
The Politics of Social Protection in Eastern and Southern Africa has been published (by Oxford University Press). The book – edited by Sam Hickey and Tom Lavers (University of Manchester), Miguel Niño-Zarazúa (UNU-WIDER) and Jeremy Seekings (University of Cape Town) - represents a collaboration between the three institutions, presenting research conducted through the Effective States and Inclusive Development (ESID) programme at Manchester and the Legislating and Implementing Welfare Policy Reforms (LIWPR) programme at Cape Town, with assistance from UNU-WIDER.
The set of papers, edited by Elena Moore and Jeremy Seekings, examines ‘Social Protection, Intergenerational Relationships and Conflict in South Africa’. In their introduction, Elena and Jeremy review the ‘Consequences of Social Protection on Intergenerational Relationships in South Africa’. Former CSSR student and post-doctoral researcher Gabby Kelly’s article on ‘Disability, cash transfers and family practices in South Africa’ examines conflicts over access to and use of disability grants. ‘Conflict and negotiation in intergenerational care: Older women’s experiences of caring with the Old Age Grant in South Africa’ – by CSSR doctoral student Kirsty Button and fieldworker Thobani Ncapai – examines the relationships between old-age pensioners and younger kin. Elena’s article on ‘Who has a duty to support? Care practices and legal responsibilities in South Africa’ examines how the responsibilities of kin have been defined in court cases involving the Road Accident Fund. In his article on ‘The conditional legitimacy of claims made by mothers and other kin in South Africa’, Jeremy analyses data from survey experiments on who is considered deserving of assistance from both the state and kin. The final paper, on ‘Parental absence: Intergenerational tensions and contestations of social grants in South Africa’ by Ziphora Kearabetswe Mokoene and Grace Khunou of the University of Johannesburg) examines conflict between grandmothers (who often provide child care) and mothers (who receive the child support grants for the children).
Any crime reduction effects from the current crackdown operation in Cape Town are likely to be short-lived unless a holistic and realistic plan to reduce crime and violence is devised, writes Guy Lamb. News 24
Elena Moore was part of a discussion on ‘Understanding Polygamous marriages in South Africa’ on the Aubrey Masango show on 702. If you are interested and want to hear more, here is the podcast: Radio 702 Show Talk
Siyanai Zhou, first-year doctoral student at Department of Statistics and AIDS and Society Research Unit, received an award for his presentation at the 8th Southern African AIDS Conference in Durban on June 14, 2019. Zhou presented his work titled “A data-driven approach to estimate putative pulmonary TB among adolescents living with HIV/AIDS: use of self-reported TB symptoms”, using data from the Mzantsi Wakho cohort study (www.mzantsiwakho.org.za).
Oxford University Press have just published a new book by Nicoli Nattrass and Jeremy Seekings. Their book - Inclusive Dualism: Labour-Intensive Development, Decent Work, and Surplus Labour in Southern Africa - examines the importance of labour-intensive industrialisation in job creation and development in Southern Africa, with a particular focus on the clothing industry. Drawing on the work of W. Arthur Lewis, the founding father of development economics, they argue that inclusive forms of dualism should be embraced, not rejected.
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