SaVI made its public debut on 1 April 2011, and is one of four multi-disciplinary strategic ventures at UCT. The Initiative covers one of the national priorities – crime and violence – identified by the Vice-Chancellor, Dr Max Price, when he was first appointed. These were areas of interest and concern – along with poverty, climate change and education – he wanted to turn into key research drives at the university.
To work towards safe communities and countries, where freedom and security are the norm, rather than the exception.
To establish research collaborations that will contribute to promoting safety, reducing violence and to raising awareness about these issues within South Africa and other African countries. As university-based research collaboration a key feature of SaVI’s role will be to develop theory and to translate this into practice. This will be accomplished through:
1) Enabling researchers to engage and cooperate across disciplinary boundaries;
2) Facilitating socially responsive research;
3) Building a “critical mass” of researchers focusing on violence prevention and safety promotion;
4) Making wider and more efficient use of existing research resources on safety and violence;
5) Developing research capacity in the study of safety and violence;
6) Participating in relevant national and international networks, including links with civil society and the public sector; and
7) Facilitating the dissemination of research.
Giving Life to the Vision and Mission
To realise its vision and mission SaVI has three principal functional areas:
Research: Identification, facilitation and coordination of strong multi-, cross- and trans-disciplinary research projects.
Teaching: Facilitating the development of inter-disciplinary teaching on understanding and preventing violence at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.
Social Responsiveness: Undertaking evidence-based research; producing publications; and engaging in public education activities on the prevention of violence and the promotion of safety that are relevant to communities and governments affected by violence.