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Liability for injuries to seafarers: a critical analysis of the extent of shipowner liability under the Maritime Labour Convention.
The main aim of this dissertation is to determine whether the Maritime Labour Convention has been successful in ensuring the fair and equal treatment of seafarers in relation to shipowner liability. This dissertation aims to do this by analysing the national legislation in three different jurisdictions (The United States of America, United Kingdom and South Africa) before the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention. The national legislation in the respective jurisdictions after the implementation of the Maritime Labour Convention will then be analysed to determine whether or not the Convention has been successful in protecting the rights of injured seafarers and whether they are treated fairly and equally in all three of the respective jurisdictions. The dissertation will comprise of desktop-based research and will make use of comparative research methodology. This dissertation will comprise of five chapters. Chapter one introduces the problem topic and provides the background to the problem. Chapter two examines the MLC, it provides information on the aims of the MLC, how it was developed, the implementation of the MLC and the provisions for shipowner liability in respect of injured seafarers. Chapter 3 examines the history of the national laws in the respective three jurisdictions before the implementation of the MLC and analyses the extent to which an injured seafarers’ rights were protected and where a shipowner’s liability ends. Chapter 4 examines the national laws in the respective three jurisdictions after the implementation of the MLC and analyses the extent to which an injured seafarers’ rights are now protected and examines exactly where a shipowner’s liability ends. Chapter 5 concludes the dissertation. It restates the key research questions and the resulting conclusions. After analysing the national legislation in the abovementioned jurisdictions, it is evident that the domestic legislation protecting seafarers, even prior to the implementation of the MLC in these jurisdictions, already extensively protected seafarers employed on board vessels registered in the UK and SA. The MLC will however have a substantial effect on the ability of port authorities in member states to inspect and take action against owners of substandard vessels. The MLC is not above criticism and its shortfalls have become apparent in the crew change crisis during the Covid-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, the MLC is still a great step forward in the consolidation and harmonisation of compliance and inspection procedures followed by flag states and port authorities, thus increasing the protection and enforcement of seafarers’ rights.
Critical care nurses’ perceptions of caring for patients at a selected hospital in KwaZulu-Natal.
Background: Caring in a critical care setting requires a holistic process of individualised, patient-focused, and specialised care within a work intensive and technologically focused environment. These are what have an impact on how caring unfolds within a critical care environment. The COVID-19 pandemic has further altered the care relationship between critical care nurses, critically ill patients and their families. Aim: To determine critical care nurse’s perceptions of caring for patients at a selected hospital in KwaZulu-Natal Methods: A quantitative, descriptive, cross-sectional study was conducted on 139 participants in a tertiary quaternary hospital. Data collection used the Caring Assessment for Caregivers questionnaire, and analysis was with descriptive statistics. Results: Results revealed that most of the participants were females above 30 years, holding a Diploma in Nursing and had > 10 years of work experience. Participants had an overall high perception of caring, with a total mean score of 116.01 (range of 25- 125). Of the five subscales, the subscale of “Maintaining belief,” had the highest mean composite score 24.25(range of 5-25) and the subscale of “Being with,” had the lowest mean composite score 22.70. There was no significant relationship found between the critical care nurses’ socio-demographic characteristics, the overall score and the total scores of each of the five subscales. Conclusion: Whilst critical care nurses reported a high overall perception of caring, lower mean scores on the subscale “Being with” suggest that there areas for critical care nurses to grow in their role as carers. Further research is necessary for replication of the study using qualitative approaches to bring forth valuable findings on how the critical care environment has an impact on the caring experiences of critical care nurses.
Analysing conceptions of Zulu kinship system in present times and their influence on orphaned children’s education in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
The kinship care system is the preferred option, should it become necessary for a child to be removed from home and placed within a safe environment. It is the least restrictive and most family-like out-of-home placement. This study explored the lives of children in KwaZulu- Natal, who have been orphaned or are otherwise vulnerable, in relation to the Zulu kinship care system. Orphanhood has become widespread because of the HIV&AIDS pandemic, though there are also other contributing factors. The main purpose of the study was understanding how the children adapt to a life living with extended family because of being orphaned. The second purpose of the study aimed to find out why the children who have extended families are sent to live in an institution and how they understand both their family circumstances and their present context. The study design is a qualitative case study, designed with an interpretive paradigm. Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems framework provided the lens for this study. This examines a child’s development within the complex “layers” of environment, each influencing a child’s development. The framework provided a way of approaching and analysing the data. There were 45 orphaned child participants, primarily girls, between the ages of 15 and 18, who were living with their caregivers, 25 of whom were also interviewed. The orphaned children were selected from three high schools in KwaDukuza area of KwaZulu- Natal; selection was undertaken on a systematic sampling basis. In addition, nine children were selected from a childcare facility in Durban, as well as a social worker from the same facility. The data collection strategies included focus group discussions with caregivers, individual interviews with participating teachers and a social worker as well as drawings and interpretation with children. Interviews with caregivers in a township revealed that the families themselves were poor and humble yet had been open to accepting yet another child to care for. The most significant finding is that the Zulu kinship system continues to operate but is under severe stress, and at times is not serving to protect children to the extent needed. The pattern of families intervening to protect and care for children in difficulties still continues, as indicated in the township settings; the caregivers report on their care as a labour of love that entails sacrifice. However, there is evidence from children that, while that is true of some situations, other placements are subject to abuse and exploitation. In many cases the care is inadequate simply because of the poverty of the family. The impact of poverty on schooling, and the degree of ostracism within schools, is a constant problem. In some families, the system has failed to the point that the only option for vulnerable and orphaned children is institutional care. Children in care report fully on the abuse and neglect that led to their placement, while most of those who had been placed with the extended family had enjoyed family life before the loss of parents. An additional finding was on the central role of mothers and on the frequent absence of fathers, before the loss of parents, as well as the major role played in the extended families by grandmothers. Significantly, despite the evidence of abuse and despite the evidence that institutional care was supportive and warm, children in care expressed a longing for family, even some children from families that had failed them completely. There is clearly, as recommended, a pressing need for ongoing visits by a social worker to orphaned children placed with extended families, given the extent of abuse revealed. In terms of further research, proposals are made to explore areas that would buttress the capacity of the kinship system in relation to social work and school, and to understand the possibilities for intervening before families lose their capacity for care.
Sustainable energy efficiency and energy security in developing countries: a case study of airports in South Africa.
When looking at the penetration of energy efficiency into the built environment and progress in the decrease in reliance on fossil fuel sources for energy generation, there is a definite challenge in obtaining the priority it requires to arrest the exponential increase in carbon emissions. Energy being key to economic development and improvement of the human way of life, developing countries face unique challenges to secure and sustain low carbon energy sources and effectively inculcate energy efficiency. This study aimed to present a solution in the form of an engineering approach entrenched in the three dimensions of business sustainability, i.e., environmental, social, and economic, to ensure that efforts towards energy efficiency and energy security in developing countries are effective and sustained in reducing carbon emissions. This solution was implemented in a live environment for nine airports in South Africa, and the results are presented in the form of case studies. The thesis investigated the global context of the climate change challenge and the global trends regarding carbon emissions from energy generation. The barriers that developing countries face with respect to achieving energy efficiency and energy security are presented together with the focuses required to overcome the barriers. Energy efficiency is investigated from the point of resource extraction to the point of energy end use, investigating energy conversion efficiencies, showing its best-matched end-use, resulting in the determination of principles for energy efficiency from component to system to infrastructure ecosystem. The principles developed were used to write an energy efficiency policy for all new infrastructure adopted at Airport Company South Africa’s (ACSA’s) nine airports in South Africa. An approach to interpreting onsite low carbon energy sources and their generation potential using available commercial technologies is proposed. Principles are created to determine an optimum low carbon energy mix that is suitable to available resources, business focus, operating environment and efficiently matching the site energy demand. The resulting energy mix based on these principles is presented as a case study for ACSA’s airports. The technologies identified for implementation to reduce energy consumption of the airports as well as their carbon footprint through the energy mix are tested for their financial viability using an economic model run via Microsoft Excel. These initiatives are SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, timed) in that they are specifically chosen for an organisation in a developing country, measurable in economic return and environmental benefit, achievable for the business, relevant to the airports’ geographical location and timed to map a pathway to carbon neutrality in electricity consumption for the airports by 2030. To ensure that the principles defined are sustained through the necessary changes in legislation, personnel and technologies, a set of key factors that underpin energy efficiency and energy security were determined and are presented. A case study of the implementation of these factors for airports in South Africa are presented. The thesis concludes with leveraging the fourth industrial revolution for innovative engineering solutions, presenting smart solutions to close the large development time gaps required for building human capacity, engineering capability and costly storage technologies to mature due to inherent intermittency of renewable energies. The results of the study and its implementation show that the solutions presented for energy efficiency and a low carbon energy mix are realistic and successful, while being grounded in sound scientific and engineering principles and sustained through inevitable changes. This is evident in the various strategies, company policies, technical guidelines and other programmes being approved and implemented by the senior management of the organisation that owns and operates the nine South African airports presented in this case study. The findings of the implementation show that a low carbon energy mix makes business sense, provides energy security and that achieving carbon neutrality is possible through the adoption of carbon offsetting. The “acid test” showing the solution presented in this thesis is being implemented for the nine airports in South Africa is that it still remains as a valid and a business focus even in the financial crisis faced by the aviation industry since the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nanoencapsulation of novel pyrazolone-based compounds to enhance solubility and biological activity.
The biological activity of pyrazolone-based derivatives has been thoroughly documented; nonetheless, low stability and water solubility are their main drawbacks, preventing effective translation to clinical application. Based on this, two previously reported weakly soluble pyrazolone-based compounds, PBC-301 and PBC-302, were encapsulated using PLGA: poloxamer complex to improve their solubility and further examine the influence of solubility augmentation on their biological activities. We first developed and validated a simple, accurate RP HPLC-PDA method for detecting, measuring, and standardising the compounds in nanoformulations to achieve this wide goal. Efficient separation and quantification were carried out using Shim-pack GIST C18 (5 𝜇m 150 × 4.6 mm) column, maintained at 25 ℃ with isocratic elution using acetonitrile and acidified water (0.1% Trifluoracetic acid) (75:25 v/v) at 0.5 mL/min flow rate. The injection volume was 20 𝜇L, and eluents were detected at 333 nm at a retention time of 4.82 mins. Method validation was done following ICH guidelines. Results demonstrated that the method is specific, precise, and accurate within the recommended limits. The method showed good linearity with a 0.9994 correlation coefficient over a concentration range of 2.5-50 𝜇g/ml. The method efficiently detected and quantified the novel pyrazolone compound in the nanosuspension. The obtained nanoformulations PBC-PLGA 301 and PBC-PLGA 302 were characterised using various in vitro techniques. Size, PDI and ZP of the optimised nanoformulations were 166.6 ± 7.12 nm, 0.129 ± 0.042, -14.14 ± 2.90 mV for PBC-PLGA 301 and 192.5 ± 1.08 nm, 0.132 ± 0.025, -10.77 ± 1.515 mV for PBC-PLGA 302 with the encapsulation efficiency being 84.20 ± 0.930 and 81.5 ± 2.051, respectively. The compound release from the nanovesicles followed a sustained release pattern, with PBC-PLGA 301 and PBC-PLGA 302 attaining a cumulative release of approximately 37% and 53% in 48 hours. The biological activity assays showed a better-enhanced activity with the nanoformulations compared to the non-encapsulated PBC 301 and PBC-302. In vitro antibacterial activity revealed that the compound-loaded nanovesicles have better activity against the two gram-positive bacteria S. aureus and Methicillin-resistant S. aureus compared to the standard drug vancomycin and the non-encapsulated compound. On the other, the cell penetration assay further revealed that the compound-loaded nanovesicles achieved greater than 90% propidium iodide penetration (translating to cell death) at the reported MIC well for S. aureus while showing 86% and 89% cell penetration for Methicillin-resistant S. aureus. Also, the nanoformulations showed improved radical scavenging activity in a concentration-dependent manner, with PBC-PLGA 301 exhibiting the best antioxidant activity against DPPH, FRAP and nitric oxide compared to the standard antioxidant-gallic acid and the non-encapsulated compounds. In conclusion, the aqueous solubility of the two pyrazolone compounds, PBC-301 and PBC-302, was greatly enhanced by their encapsulation into a nanosystem, resulting in improved biological activities. Therefore, the nanoformulations of the pyrazolone-based derivatives can be exploited as potential pharmaceutical agents to fight bacterial infections and other diseases triggered by oxidative stress, cancer, and hepatic and vascular diseases. The data from this study has resulted in two first-authored research publications.