Recent and upcoming events

Book Launch: Rethinking reconciliation Evidence from South Africa

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Thursday, 25 May, 2017 - 17:00 to 19:00
Presenter(s): 
Kate Lefko-Everett, Rajen Govender & Don Foster
Venue: 
Institute for Justice and Reconciliation Offices, 105 Hatfield, Gardens, Cape Town
Abstract / Description: 

Light refreshments to be served prior to the conversation from 17.00 onwards.

On street parking available across the street from the IJR office, as well as limited parking spaces at the IJR.

Should South Africa criminalise ukuthwala leading to forced and child marriages?

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 23 May, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Roberta Hlalisa Mgidlana
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

In view of the SALRC’s proposed Bill, our paper investigates whether South Africa should criminalise ukuthwala or not. The paper examines the advantages and disadvantages of criminalising breaches of ukuthwala by drawing upon the field research findings from the community where the Jezile case originated. It is, therefore, divided into five parts. We discuss South Africa’s existing legislation in the context of ukuthwala. These include, inter alia, the Constitution, the Criminal Law Amendment (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Act, Children’s Act, Recognition of Customary Marriages Act and the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act. We also highlight the provisions of the Prohibition of Forced and Child Marriages Bill in order to assess the manner in which it seeks to criminalise forced and child marriages due to ukuthwala. Thereafter we discuss the elements associated with the practice with the aim of assessing the merits and demerits of criminalising breaches of ukuthwala. The last part is a conclusion in which we observe that there is a fundamental disjuncture between law reform and practice due to, inter alia, the communities’ lack of knowledge on the current legal framework that seeks to regulate customary marriages. Therefore, unless government prioritises awareness campaigns into the communities that are going to be affected by the proposed law reform, such law, will again be what Himonga calls ‘paper law’.


Presenter biography: Roberta Hlalisa Mgidlana, is a legal Research Assistant for Prof Lea Mwambene at UWC, also an LLM student under supervision of Professor Mwambene and co- supervision of Professor Sloth-Nielsen 

Ideologies of welfare in Africa

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 16 May, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Professor Jeremy Seekings
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

This paper focuses on ideologies of welfare – i.e. the attitudes, norms and beliefs concerning the respective roles of state, market and kin in supporting the poor – in Africa, so as to supplement political economic and institutional explanations of social policy reform. Across much of Africa, political elites have exercised significant discretion in how to respond to pressures and constraints. An ideological aversion to ‘handouts’ and ‘dependency’, and anxiety about the effects of cash transfers on productivity and morality, have been both widespread and deep-rooted across much of Africa. Whilst the predominant approach has been developmental, in the primacy attached to economic development, there has also been some variation over the precise delineation of who (if anyone) constitutes the ‘deserving’ poor and what the state should (or should not) do for (or to) them. This paper draws on primary research in Anglophone Southern and East Africa – including Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Namibia and Zanzibar (Tanzania) – to identify, explain and assess the importance of both commonality and variation in the welfare doctrines articulated by political elites.


Presenter biography: Jeremy Seekings is Professor of Political Studies and Sociology, Director of the CSSR and Interim Director of the new Institute for Democracy, Citizenship and Public Policy in Africa

Growing Up Daughters of ’The Doctor of District Six’: Generational Continuity and Contest in the Political Ideology of the Abdurahman Family in early Twentieth-Century Cape Town

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Eve Wong
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

This paper explores the relationship between Abdullah and Helen “Nellie” Abdurahman with their daughters, Zainunissa “Cissie” and Waradea “Rosie” to explore themes of generational political socialization and transmission, and how fatherhood affected Abdullah's politics. Through the discussion of his daughters’ childhoods, this paper draws attention to Abdullah’s philosophies on the role of education as the mediator between the essential ‘person’ to an engaged ‘citizen'. The girls’ struggles around their own education were closely linked to their father’s work towards educational programmes and goals. The second half of this paper takes a closer look at the relationship between Abdullah and Cissie and their political differences and the contemporary gossip regarding their estrangement. I focus on the contradictions between their affectionate father-daughter relationship and their roles as political adversaries. Their conflict and contest reflected larger social trends when one generation of political activism and politicians gave way to a new generation. Cissie, in a sense, inherited not just his Albert Lodge soireés-as-ersatz-political-space, but also his council seat. Abdullah and his old APO colleagues found their sons and daughters challenging their ideologies and their tactics, reflecting the sea changes in thought brought through by political changes in Europe, new ideas from the Atlantic, and the fast-changing South African landscape brought on by the mineral revolution.

Presenter biography:

Eve Wong is a Ph.D. student in the Anthropology Department at the University of Cape Town where she is studying the limits of inclusion and belonging in multicultural societies through the contests and articulations in collective memory, public culture , nd heritage in Khoisan revivalism movements at the Cape. Wong holds a research MA in Historical Studies at the University of Cape Town, an MA in Anthropology from Boston University, and undergraduate degrees in History, Classics, and Anthropology. She previously worked as a user experience developer and wrote websites.
 

Discussion on South African Councillor Panel Study

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 9 May, 2017 - 10:00 to 11:00
Presenter(s): 
Vinothan Naidoo
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

Induced Innovation and Total Factor Productivity: Has it promoted pro-poor rural outcomes in the Eastern Cape Province of SA and can it do so in the future?

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 25 April, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Heinrich Gerwel
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

This seminar presents results of PhD research conducted with the School of Economic and the Sustainable Societies Unit of the CCR at UCT. This research investigates how improving productivity in agriculture can be achieved to realise the goals set out in the National Development Plan (NDP). The main objective is to see how improvements in productivity can contribute to inclusive growth in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.
This is done through four substantive papers. Firstly, background to the national commercial agricultural performance is given, followed by an updated Total Factor Productivity (TFP) analysis from 1980-2015, which extends the work of Thirtle et al (1993), who measure TFP from 1947-1991, using the Torqvist-Theil approximation of the Divisia Index. This paper concludes that even though there has been moderate productivity growth over the period, national level policy focus does not bode well for promoting inclusive rural growth, as agriculture is spatially diverse, and commodity specific. Paper Two describes public expenditure on agriculture and rural development from 1970-2015, with a focus on productivity enhancing items, specifically farmer support and development and extension services. It concludes that the declining expenditure does not reconcile with the stated goals in the national policy plans regarding agriculture. In Paper Three, TFP is measured at the magisterial district, statistical region and provincial level for the Eastern Cape, following the methodology employed by Conradie et al (2008, 2009). As for the national level analysis, the Torqvist-Theil approximation of the Divisia Index is used to measure productivity growth from 1952-2002. It concludes that TFP growth was slow in the province and most of the districts, and that the strong growth seen in certain districts and regions in the Western Cape (WC), won’t be replicable in the EC due to different agro-ecological conditions and specifically, output mixes. Thus, national level prescriptions of the NDP pushing for expanding horticultural production is not relevant to the EC, which has extensive livestock production as its dominant commodities, as opposed to the Western Cape. In Paper Four, the wool industry, which is a dominant commodity in the Eastern Cape, is used as a case study to show where institutional innovation in agricultural advisory services has promoted pro-poor rural outcomes. The National Wool Growers Association (NWGA), in partnership with the provincial department of agriculture, has been providing market access, shearing sheds and other means of support and extension to communal farmers in different areas of the former Transkei. A Data Envelopment Analysis was run for a study group of these communal farmers which received mentorship from the NWGA, followed by a Benefit Cost Analysis of the intervention from the perspective of the participants of the programme. The paper concludes that agriculture as a potential route out of poverty is clearly a distinct possibility if the ideal institutional environment is setup that allows for innovative ways with which communal farmers can be empowered to enter formal marketing activities and improve their livelihoods.

 

Do electoral systems affect how citizens hold their government accountable?

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 18 April, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Matthias Krönke, PhD Candidate University of Cape Town & Sarah J. Lockwood, PhD Candidate, Harvard University
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

This paper asks whether a country’s choice of electoral system affects the methods citizens use to try and hold their government accountable. A large body of literature suggests that electoral system type has an impact on voting behavior, but little work has been done so far looking at other forms of democratic accountability (contact and protest). Using Round 6 Afrobarometer data, combined with a new, author-created, dataset, we find that the type of electoral system does indeed have a significant impact on these other forms of participation. Citizens in PR systems are significantly more likely to protest when they are dissatisfied than those in majoritarian ones, while those in majoritarian systems are more likely to contact their elected representatives. We argue that this is because the connection between citizens and representatives in majoritarian systems is clearer, closer and more responsive, making contact an effective strategy and providing an efficient "safety valve" when citizens are dissatisfied. The lack of a similar connection in most PR systems, in contrast, leads citizens to turn to protest with greater regularity. We provide evidence to support this hypothesis, and also suggest some directions for future research.

Thinking Historically about the “Black Tax”: Gender, Schooling, and Race in Umlazi Township

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 11 April, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Professor Mark Hunter
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

In the 2010s the term “black tax” became widely used to describe the unceasing claims of family members on the incomes of working black South Africans. There are various ways to contextualize the term’s recent use, including examining its connections to the #RhodesMustFall and #FeesMustFall movements. Yet this talk develops a historical viewpoint exploring the contested ways in which money and emotions became attached to formal education—as schooling itself increasingly became necessary to secure employment. Focused on Umlazi in the 1960s, the talk emphasizes gendered family dynamics surrounding schooling in this newly built apartheid township located on the outskirts of Durban. It shows the particular efforts that mothers made to school their children—despite and indeed because of apartheid’s oppressive educational and urban policies. In the face of increasingly insecure intimate relations, a booming economy, and expanded basic education, mothers’ attention to their children’s and grandchildren’s education grew in importance and scale: education required sacrifices but promised children’s eventual support.

Presenter biography: Mark Hunter is Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Toronto and Honorary Research Fellow at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. He has degrees from the Universities of Sussex (B.A. hons), KwaZulu-Natal (Masters) and University of California-Berkeley (PhD). He is the author of Love in the Time of AIDS: Inequality, Gender, and Rights in South Africa (Indiana and KwaZulu-Natal University Presses) and is currently completing a book on schooling, families and class in Durban. 

Child abuse in South Africa: prevalence, risk factors, prevention and measurement issues

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 4 April, 2017 - 14:30 to 15:30
Presenter(s): 
Dr. Franziska Meinck
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

Child abuse victimisation is a major public health concern in South Africa. Research on risk and protective factors and prevention interventions is still in its infancy. In this talk, Franziska will describe findings on linkages between risk factors of abuse and putative health outcomes as well as ongoing research on the prevention of child abuse using parenting interventions. Further, she will talk about issues regarding the measurement of child abuse and potential ways forward to mitigate these.

Presenter biography: Franziska Meinck is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Centre for Evidence-Based Interventions at the University of Oxford. She holds a BA in Social Work from the Free University of Bolzano-Bozen, an MSc in Evidence-Based Social Interventions and a DPhil in Social Interventions from the University of Oxford. Her research focuses on the epidemiology of child abuse in South Africa investigating prevalence rates and risk and protective factors as well as access to services. Her new research project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council in the UK aims to develop and validate child abuse measures for use in intervention studies in different cultural contexts.

Racial and ethnic politics in the United States: The positive effect of political representation on political participation

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 4 April, 2017 - 12:45 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Carole Uhlaner
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room 4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science Building, Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

People participate more in politics when they believe someone represents their interests.  In the contemporary United States, having a representative who shares a person’s racial, ethnic, or gender identity increases participation and furthers political incorporation of immigrants.  Three empirical analyses support these claims.  The first shows the effect of coethnic candidacies on vote turnout among Vietnamese Americans.  The second study shows the positive effect of having coethnic/cogender U.S. state legislators on voter turnout.  The third study shows the positive effect of “feeling represented” on several types of political participation by Latinos in 1989 and Latinos, African Americans, and Asian Americans in 2016.

Presenter biography: Professor Uhlaner works in the field of comparative political behavior, notably in North America and Western Europe. She is particularly interested in understanding mass political participation and mass-elite linkages. She has worked on theories of social choice and rationality and has used this to guide her empirical work. Her current research examines the political mobilization of ethnic minorities in the United States. In addition, she has worked on gender and politics. Professor Uhlaner's graduate teaching includes seminars on political participation and representation, political behavior, and methods of political inquiry. She often uses mathematical and formal approaches in her teaching as well as research.

 

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