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Masters Degrees (Development Studies)

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    Exploring the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the informal economy in Durban, South Africa.
    (2023) Mhlangu, Thulile Sinethemba.; Khambule, Isaac Bheki.
    The informal economy in South Africa is predominantly characterised by the presence of women and the working poor. The flexibility in entry and exit in the informal sector enables the marginalised and those with low skills to gain entry in this particular sector. Informality is quite prevalent in developing countries as the economies have less economic diversification. The high levels of unemployment in South Africa influence the growth of the informal sector as a method of livelihood. The informal economy has minimal protection, exposing those operating in the informal sector to social and economic shocks. The eThekwini region is noted as one of the busiest hubs in South Africa and has a strong presence of informal traders. It is impossible to ignore the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, which has caused a huge instability in the daily lives of South Africans. Against this background, the aim of this study was to explore the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on informal workers in the eThekwini Region. This study has also identified and explored the various livelihood and socio-economic challenges encountered by the informal workers in the region. Methodologically, the study utilised secondary data analysis as a data collection tool, informed by the mixed methods approach. The study’s data is based on a survey conducted with 150 informal workers in eThekwini on the impact of COVID-19 on their livelihoods. The key finding reveal that the Covid-19 brought upon great hardship and challenges in the informal businesses and the livelihoods dependent on the sector due to the closure of economic activities during the height of the pandemic. There was insufficient distribution of Covid-19 relief funds by the government and the local municipality towards informal workers in the midst of being barred from earning a living. Additionally, there is a huge gap for social security in the informal sector in the eThekwini region. While the resilient informal workers in eThekwini region have returned to trading (despite being unable to recover post-Covid income), most aspire for better protection in the midst of social and economic shocks.
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    The role of civil society organisations in the provision of adequate housing to citizens: the case of Abahlali baseMjondolo (ABM)
    (2022) Mhlongo, Nhlakanipho Wiseman.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    Housing is an essential component of the social and personal life of every individual. Housing the nation is one of the greatest challenges facing the South African government. To address the housing challenge, the South African government introduced several policies such as the Reconstruction and Development Programme (RDP) in 1994 and 10 years later, the Breaking New Ground (BNG) in 2004. Despite the adoption of these policies, the housing crisis in South Africa’s continues to worsen each year as Hartmann (2019) indicates the housing backlog in South Africa stands at 2.3. million houses and it is growing by approximately 178 000 houses a year. With this in mind, the study sought to understand the role of civil society organisations (CSOs) in the provision of adequate housing to citizens. It investigates this through the case study of Abahlali baseMjondolo (AbM) which is a CSO that was established in 2005 by shack dwellers in Kennedy Road in Durban, within the Province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The study method was qualitative. The sample consisted of ten participants, and purposive sampling was used while selecting the five AbM members and snowballing sampling was utilised to sample shack dwellers and an interview schedule was applied. The study revealed that AbM is not a political organisation, but it is a social movement meant to address the issue of housing and land as well as restoring the dignity of a black person. The organization is committed to building a just society where people enjoy equality and access to opportunities. Findings also revealed that the organization seeks to improve the living conditions of shack dwellers through the provision of basic services and assisting them in the provision of adequate shelter. In the delivery of adequate housing to the citizens, the study findings indicate that AbM plays a role of empowerment, advocacy and promoting participation. Furthermore, AbM uses five (5) strategies in the delivery of housing to the citizens namely, engagement, issuing media statements, holding marches and protests, litigation and/or the use of the legislation as well as land occupation. The study also discovered that there are several challenges faced by AbM while attempting to play a role in the delivery of housing to the citizens. AbM members and shack dwellers face brutal and violent evictions at the hands of law enforcement officers. Furthermore, some AbM members have been killed while trying to assist the citizens in terms of housing. Despite the challenges, AbM has had success in the delivery of adequate housing, and they have been recognized by international institutions for their effort. The research also discovered that AbM has a good relationship with other CSOs. However, the relationship between AbM and local government is a concern and borders on animosity. Based on the study findings, this study concludes with a proposition of a number of recommendations for CSOs and the government on how to work together to deliver adequate housing to the citizens. There is a need for cooperation between all spheres of government and CSOs. Furthermore, the research recommends that the delivery of services and housing should be de-politicized.
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    Adaption and survival: perspectives and experiences of migrants in an urban township in KwaZulu-Natal.
    (2022) Mazibuko, Philane Bongumusa.; Maharaj, Pranitha.
    South Africa is currently facing a growing number of migrants from other countries. This qualitative study investigates the dilemma of being a migrant in South Africa. The overall objective was to explore the perspectives and experiences of migrants in Newcastle, South Africa. Particular attention is given to exploring how the migrants negotiate the often controversial social, economic, cultural, and political realities in the urban towns of KwaZulu-Natal. The South African case is subject to investigation, particularly regarding the migration system. In this study, the data was collected using in-depth interviews. Interviews were held with 20 migrants, both men, and women, living in Newcastle KwaZulu-Natal. All participants were migrants from various African countries such as Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, Congo, Mozambique, Lesotho, and Nigeria. The study found that migrants use different livelihood strategies to survive in South Africa, and their level of education does not allow them to work in the formal sector. This study found that migrants work as street traders to earn income, buy, and sell goods at an affordable price, and they use their skills to make and sell a range of products. Furthermore, migrants work as hairdressers, restaurant waiters, welders, bricklayers, and shopkeepers to earn income. Other migrants have families in South Africa as well as in their home countries. Migrants send home part of their earnings in the form of either cash or goods to support their families, these transfers are known as a worker or migrant remittances. Migrants are vulnerable to crime and xenophobia, they become abused and exploited by the local people since they are not from South Africa, they even call them derogatory names. Most participants observed that they are surviving in South Africa, nevertheless, they are concerned with their safety. The study recommends that there must be a strong awareness among police that everyone has a right and deserves respect and protection, regardless of who they are and whether they have any legal documentation.
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    Social media entrepreneurship as an employment creation strategy: a case study of students in Durban, South Africa.
    (2022) Mdluli, Thobelani Ntokozo.; Maharaj, Pranitha.
    The study was motivated primarily by the realisation that the issue of youth unemployment, which has long perplexed both developed and developing countries, has reached new heights, particularly in South Africa. Nevertheless, it was acknowledged that there appears to be a much-needed shift in how young people use social media to combat this issue. The overall aim of the study is to shed insight into the youth’s social media usage as an employment creation strategy in Durban, South Africa. The study aimed to explore social media usage as an employment creation strategy among students in Durban, while ascertaining student’s perspectives and experiences of social media as an employment creation strategy. It also wanted to explore the opportunities and barriers of using social networking as an employment creation strategy. The study asked how social media is used as an employment strategy among students. This study collected data using telephonic interviews with 20 participants, who were students in various higher education institutions in Durban. The study found that the social media entrepreneurs interviewed, did not make money through being online like how bloggers, social media personalities do but they used social media for advertising their businesses. The study also found that the ‘studentrepreneurs’ utilised social media because it is cheaper than the traditional way of advertising. Despite the numerous advantages found, such as helping entrepreneurs to collaborate with other small business owners, time efficiency and target market availability, social media was also found to possess its own disadvantages. A few of those disadvantages included finance, COVID-19, the fast paced and forever changing customer interest and many others mentioned. It was reported in the study that each time the participants conducted business online, they stood a chance of being victims to hackers, fraudsters, perverts and bullies. The study recommended that youth entrepreneurs should employ various social media sites to cater to various consumers. This was recommended to be done after noting the different participants' complaints of being victims of cyber-crimes. The study also suggested that whenever a corporation has implemented social media entrepreneurship, those who are in charge must devote enough time to it and should be willing to participate in social media to improve interaction between the company and its customers as this would help with relationship building. The study also recommended a collaboration between the government and the private sector or the private sector and NGOs, which would connect the youth to the preconceptions of the private sector.
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    Traditional governance structures and uptake of housing allocation policy in eThekwini Municipality.
    (2023) Lengolo, Mahlomola Cyprian.; Ngcoya, Mvuselelo.
    This research study examines traditional governance structures in the eThekwini Municipality and its uptake on their housing allocation policy and policy feedback. It further explores how the dual governance system impacts on state subsidised housing allocation within the eThekwini Municipality particularly in traditional authority areas. The delivery of houses has become a highly politicised mandate with some beneficiaries sidelined due to their political affiliations. Policies are developed to guide service delivery initiatives however the question of proper consultation with the relevant stakeholders has been raised extensively in recent times with some key stakeholders lamenting that they have been left out of service delivery initiatives that are affecting their constituencies. Document analysis on the existing traditional governance literature, municipal administration and policy feedback was necessary to draw views on how traditional structures of government implement a policy that they did not formulate, a principle that they feel is contrary to the democratic values of South Africa and an infringement of their rights as enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. This study utilized primary and secondary data collection methods targeting traditional leaders, municipal officials, Ward Councillors, and residents to draw conclusive analysis. Primary data was collected using semi-structured interviews from 20 participants. Findings from the study show that while traditional leaders and Ward Councilors sounded reconciliatory about working with each other for the benefit of service delivery, however city officials made it clear that the housing allocation process has become a political havoc. Research findings also highlighted that service delivery beneficiaries are caught up in this policy conflict and there is not much that they can do. Traditional Leaders emphasised that they are not willing to give up their roles as indigenous leaders further stating that unlike Councillors, they are not appointed or voted on five-year terms. As a result of, balance of power sharing equilibrium needs to be struck soon especially in areas under Traditional Authorities. The effects of this policy conflict between the municipality and traditional governance structures on low-cost housing provision has exacerbated the already dire housing allocation process in traditional authority areas located in the outskirts of the eThekwini Municipality.
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    Climate change adaptation and water security in the case of rural women in Zonyama village, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2022) Hlengwa, Linda Natasha.; Sutherland, Catherine Grace.
    Climate adaptation involves the development of policy and practices for a set actions that the local state and communities in a geographical location can employ to limit and control both expected and unexpected climate change impacts. These impacts differ in scale and extent, and vary according to set conditions at a given location. This thesis presents the results of qualitative research based on the Community-based Adaptation (CbA) practices as adopted by women of the rural Zonyama village of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The main objective of this research was to identify the practices that the women of Zonyama village employ in efforts to secure their household water consumption needs during a drought period as brought about by climate change. This thesis uses Community-based Adaptation theoretical approach, , to investigate the practices employed by the women of Zonyama village in addressing their household water consumption needs. The theory is also used to assess the impact of these practices and the challenges that the women may experience as a consequence. Using field observation and the semi-structured interview method, the research concludes that women have the agency to determine how to access water for their household consumption needs, although women continue to rely on the voices of men to advocate for policy to be actioned on behalf of the women, regardless of marital status. The problem-solving and decision making centred around issues of water and access remains a female problem with little contribution and action from men and hence is gendered in its practices. This research contributes to the understanding of some issues of access to places without sufficient and reliable water for household consumption from the perspective of rural women in addressing climate adaptation. The participants for the research were purposively selected and excluded persons over the age of 18 years old, due to ethical considerations. The research acknowledged the sensitivity around the conservative nature of the community, avoiding questions that may challenge the social security of the participants. A total of 30 interviews representative of 30 households from the village community out of 107 households were conducted. The research found that place attachment to the land is a major factor that shapes water security in Zonyama village. Households would rather not have water for prolonged periods than to relocate away from their village. Poverty is also a constraining factor, as the desire to relocate may exist, but the means to do so may not be readily available. Women are less likely to participate in the planning and decision-making surrounding the greater community’s water ii needs as these engagements are determined by the men in the community and the village Indunas, the Chief and the Councillor, and a Traditional Council largely made up of elected men of the community.
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    Post-Covid 19 recovery and resilience in Cato Manor, Durban.
    (2022) Dlamini, Andisiwe Nomvelo.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    The Coronavirus disease that has come to be popularly known as the Covid-19 pandemic has become more than a health crisis as it has exposed the vulnerabilities that exist in our country and within our communities. The declaration of the National State of Disaster was subsequently followed by the implementation of the national lockdown that commenced at midnight on the 26th of March 2020. As a country we quickly had to adapt to what was termed the “new normal”. We had to adapt to the mandatory wearing of face masks, curfews as well as the closure of schools for a longer period of time. The lockdown regulations put a limit of economic activities which threatened people’s livelihoods. The impact of these changes was unequally experienced amongst our societies and revealed the dire socio-economic conditions that our societies are faced with. This study explored the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic in Cato Manor and the level of resilience of the residents from the pandemic shocks. This was done through conducting faceto-face interviews with twelve members of households in Cato Manor which falls under the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal. The qualitative methodology applied aimed to gain an in-depth insight into the residents’ experiences and realities during Covid-19. The study also aimed to get a sense of what the post-recovery phase would entail amongst the citizens in our communities. The responses to the questions posed to the were transcribed and analyzed with the aid of NVivo analysis software to generate codes and themes. From the findings it can be highlighted that the Covid-19 pandemic exacerbated the plight of unemployment in Cato Manor, that was present prior to the pandemic, especially amongst the youth. The study also found that the pandemic had an impact on the informal businesses of Cato Manor. It can also be noted that Cato Manor residents relied on the social grants to prevent them from falling into poverty combined with the use of the newly introduced SRD grant which they relied on buy basic necessities. Moving away from the pandemic, the post-recovery plans for the residents include looking for and securing employment as well as starting up businesses and picking up those businesses that existed prior to the pandemic.
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    The impact of protected areas on the livelihoods of local communities: a case of Khula village, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2020) Bafana, Ronald Mpilo.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    The purpose of the study was to investigate the lived experiences of the local communities that live adjacent to protected areas (PA) in South Africa using a case study of Khula Village which is located in KwaZulu-Natal. The literature which was reviewed acknowledges the importance of protected areas however the communities who reside close to protected areas are not fully benefiting from the protected area management, leading to conflicts between management authorities and local communities. This study has sought insight from community members in Khula Village in pursuit of the overarching research question: a) What are the benefits of protected areas management to local communities? b) What are the factors that hinder the flow of benefits? and c) How is the protected area perceived? The individuals interviewed provided data for the research questions. The findings that I gathered suggest that this community has nothing against conservation but the issue is how it is done. The community is not enjoying the benefits of conservation this has led to clashes between the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA) and the community, unfortunately some of these clashes have often led to fatalities. By applying the political ecological approach (Robbins, 2012), as a basis of analysis my study suggests that the approach of management of IWPA is unsustainable; not involving of local people from protected areas management leads to conflict; the state control of the PA has negatively affected the livelihood of the local community. The study findings have recommendations that may help inform the government and management agencies to manage PA more sustainably.
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    The impact of protected areas on the livelihoods of local communities. A case of Khula village, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.
    (2020) Bafana, Ronald Mpilo.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    The purpose of the study was to investigate the lived experiences of the local communities that live adjacent to protected areas (PA) in South Africa using a case study of Khula Village which is located in KwaZulu-Natal. The literature which was reviewed acknowledges the importance of protected areas however the communities who reside close to protected areas are not fully benefiting from the protected area management, leading to conflicts between management authorities and local communities. This study has sought insight from community members in Khula Village in pursuit of the overarching research question: a) What are the benefits of protected areas management to local communities? b) What are the factors that hinder the flow of benefits? and c) How is the protected area perceived? The individuals interviewed provided data for the research questions. The findings that I gathered suggest that this community has nothing against conservation but the issue is how it is done. The community is not enjoying the benefits of conservation this has led to clashes between the iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority (IWPA) and the community, unfortunately some of these clashes have often led to fatalities. By applying the political ecological approach (Robbins, 2012), as a basis of analysis my study suggests that the approach of management of IWPA is unsustainable; not involving of local people from protected areas management leads to conflict; the state control of the PA has negatively affected the livelihood of the local community. The study findings have recommendations that may help inform the government and management agencies to manage PA more sustainably.
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    Digital transformation and its effects on socioeconomic outcomes in South Africa: a micro-analysis of digital transformation on economic and social welfare.
    (2021) Rushambwa, Tawonga.; Vermaak, Kerry.
    Digital Transformation is the present era’s wave of technological transformation, pervasive and fast-paced with the promise of unparalleled human development and progression. Various studies have presented opportunities in sustainability, increased income, increased opportunities for entrepreneurship, social inclusion and equalization. However, challenges have also been noted including technology-induced job displacement and its potential to displace the incomes of people. This study is an attempt to map the societal conditions under which digital transformation can be instrumental in generating net social and economic welfare. Using a mixed-methods approach, the study investigates socioeconomic dynamics of individuals and households, termed the physical divide, juxtaposed against the digital transformation processes. In one of the major findings of the study, it was concluded that where digital transformation occurs under broadly under-skilled labour force, and poorly resourced social institutions and arrangements, digital transformation will more likely exacerbate socioeconomic inequalities leading to net welfare loss. The study also established the existence of a physical and digital divide of long duration in South Africa, with the inequalities likely to engender losses in welfare due to fast-paced change under digital transformation. The study also established that socioeconomic characteristics, skills and job competencies differ sharply across population groupings and continue based on access to developmental opportunities, assets, facilities and services which must be resolved for successful digital transformation.
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    Assessing the effectiveness of public participation in improving the local community development prospects in Ndwedwe Local Municipality.
    (2022) Ngubane, Lucky S’bongiseni.; Khambule, Isaac Bheki.
    Evidence suggests that public participation is among the most crucial factors in fostering both equitable and sustainable local economic development in the local government sphere. Public participation and its various mechanisms are a process of seeking and enhancing the engagement of those individuals and stakeholders potentially affected by or invested in a decision-making. Previous research has established that, in local government, the main purpose of public participation is to enhance transparency, encourage openness in government and build ownership of development decisions as well as programs and projects. Moreover, studies on local economic development in South Africa have shown the importance of public participation in enhancing and fostering local social and economic development. However, previous published have failed to expose how the implementation of certain public participation mechanism may have improved the livelihoods of local communities. This research examines the role of public participation mechanism in the context of local community development. Drawing on the case study of Ndwedwe Municipality, this study sought to assess the public participation mechanism and system implemented by the Ndwedwe municipality. It specifically evaluates the extent to which the current public participation mechanism and system are successful in fostering both economic and social development in Ndwedwe municipality. Data for this study were collected using semi-structured interviews. Ten (n=10) purposively sampled individuals were selected for the interviews. Data were presented and analysed using the thematic analysis approach. Findings show that the community is not fully involved in the issues that concerns them as development of their communities. This also means that there is limited public participation thereby making it less effective. It is highly recommended that the communication practices should be closely examined and appropriately adjusted to include different stakeholders. This means that there will be an introduction of new policies that emphasise the inclusion of all stakeholders previously excluded from decision-making.
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    Assessing the role of agricultural co-operatives in contributing to Local Economic Development (LED): a case of waterloo township.
    (2021) Mbokazi, Nqubenhle Mqobi.; Maharaj, Pranitha.
    The co-operative movement is one of the strategies adopted by the South African democratic government to address the triple challenge of poverty, inequality, and unemployment. To that extent, co-operatives have been widely recognised as catalysts for economic development and have been prominently featured in national, provincial, and local development strategies for inclusive growth. While there are many forms of co-operatives in South Africa, the majority focus on agriculture. Agricultural co-operatives have been widely promoted as a vehicle for smallholder farmers to directly participate in the mainstream economy of South Africa. Despite the optimism on the potential of co-operatives, research studies which documents their successes in South Africa suggest that their performance yields 'mixed results,' with insufficient statistical proof of their ability to generate substantial revenue or jobs. These co-operatives have been supported and established as part of the national, regional, and local economic development strategy. Despite this effort, evidence from previous research has suggested that the performance of co-operatives is below what is expected considering that they receive assistance from the government. This study uses a qualitative approach to interrogate the extent to which agricultural co-operatives contribute to Local Economic Development (LED) using Waterloo township as a case study. A total of 15 members from five different agricultural co-operatives based in Waterloo township were interviewed. Using purposive sampling, this study draws on findings collected from participants who are agricultural co-operatives members located in Waterloo township. The study findings emphasised lack of access to the market, insufficient resources, including other underlying internal and external factors as the main factors influencing the limited contribution of Waterloo agricultural co-operatives. In contrast, some other co-operatives were found to empower, utilise resources, sustain livelihoods and create job opportunities. Moreover, this study found that some agricultural co-operatives in Waterloo may support the livelihoods of its members; however, there is still a significant limitation in these cooperatives' contribution to local economic development initiatives. Subsequently, this suggests that the Waterloo township economy is less affected by these. This study has noted that although there are many existing active co-operatives in the eThekwini Metropolitan Municipality area, their impact and contribution to LED initiatives remain largely unreported publicly. Therefore, very little is understood about co-operatives in townships and theirability to help smallholder farmers leverage existing resources and maintain livelihoods in a township setting. However, the study showed that despite many internal and external challenges encountered by agricultural co-operatives in South African townships, they still demonstrate a strong potential to significantly impact the local economy and assist local people in sustaining their livelihoods. Furthermore, this study argues that there is too much government interference in the cooperative development programme, which causes confusion among ordinary people. Thus, the study recommends that the development of co-operatives should be autonomous, and to enhance the economic contribution of smallholder farmers, there is a need to intensify educational support and lessen government involvement in initiating co-operatives projects.
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    How the old age pension grant contributes to the livelihoods of the poor: a case study of Qacha’s Nek.
    (2016) Sephelane, Nthatisi.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    This research studied the effectiveness of the old age pension grant, which has been initiated in developing countries to alleviate poverty and to improve the livelihoods of the elderly. The study’s focus is Qacha’s Nek, Lesotho. The study considered if and how the old age pension enhances the quality of life of senior citizens and what strategies they employ to survive on a daily basis and to counter poverty. The study was qualitative in nature and based on fifteen in-depth interviews with recipients of the old age pension grant. The main study findings were that although most of the study participants relied on the grant it was inadequate in that it does not cover all their basic needs nor does it impact on the challenges they face.
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    Understanding gender dynamics among informal sector shop-owners: a case study of spaza shops in Lindelani, Durban.
    (2016) Mkhwanazi, Smanga.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    Spaza shops contribute significantly to informal economic activity in South Africa. The spaza shop industry is known to generate enormous revenue while providing employment at the family and community level. However, spaza shop owners face a number of challenges ranging from lack of education, business knowledge and skills, financial assistance, transport challenges, facilities such as trading and storage space and security and safety threats. Furthermore, the magnitude of these challenges is compounded by gender dynamics. The aim of this study was to consider gender dynamics among spaza shop-owners through a case study of spaza shops in Lindelani, Durban. To uncover relevant information of gender and spaza shop industry, the study used qualitative methodology. The study found that female spaza shop owners face gender discrimination and gender stereotypes compared to male counterparts. The findings of this study are consistent with the literature and feminist perspectives arguing that female spaza shop owners are disadvantaged as compared to their male counterparts. The study found that female spaza shop owners lose considerable time performing household chores. Thus performing dual roles forces females to spend more time at home looking after their business and performing household chores, thus working long hours. Feminist literature argues that existing gender inequality stems from limited opportunities for females to participate in various aspects of the public sphere, such as education, political activity, and employment. Moreover, the study further found that crime stand to be the main concern for majority of spaza shop owners. Financial assistance, education, business knowledge and skills, transport challenges, facilities such as trading and storage space are among other challenges that spaza shop owners face in their day to day business. However, the severity of these challenges varies greatly with the gender of the spaza shop owner.
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    The child support grant and rural womens’ livelihoods a case study of Umsinga.
    (2016) Wiese, Makhosazana Noxolo.; Ballard, Richard James.
    There is a body of literature that locates social protection at the centre of poverty reduction. Other discourses see social welfare as creating dependency. In the literature, that links social protection to poverty reduction, social grants are seen as a means of addressing poverty and vulnerability, as they provide safety nets for the poor. The South African Child Support Grant is a well-known example of this as it contributes significantly to household income in a majority of households, especially those whose substantial source of income is made up of social grants. The grant is targeted at children who live in poor households and was introduced in 1998. This study uses the sustainable livelihoods approach (SLA) as a framework for exploring whether and how the child support grant can facilitate access to a wide range of livelihood options and opportunities in rural extended family homesteads. The thesis explores a wide range of literature on social protection starting from the earlier debates on welfare to current works on social protection as part of development policy globally and in the South African context. It also explores the concept of agency and of households. The study was conducted in Msinga, in the province of KwaZulu-Natal using interviews and a focus group discussion with some of the women who receive the grant. In exploring the main research question, the study found that women spent most of the grant money on consumable goods, but also invest some of it on acquiring productive assets. It also found that the grant has generally had positive outcomes for the livelihoods of the women who participated in the study.
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    Students, food, hunger and food security: a case study of Howard college, university of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.
    (2016) Mbangatha, Abongile.; Mtapuri, Oliver.
    Food (in) security is a global dilemma that requires multifaceted and sustainable solutions. This is because hunger is unique in every context and it requires an approach that will address the unique challenges of specific contexts – such as the students’ one. Food (in) security is often looked at on a macro scale (such as at a country scale), which leads to negligence of food (in) security issues that take place on a micro scale. The purpose of this study was to investigate issues of hunger and food security on a micro scale, particularly, at the University of KwaZulu–Natal, Howard College campus (UKZN-HC). There is very limited research on student hunger and food security among students. The food sovereignty framework is adopted as a theoretical foundation for this study, for its appropriateness. The aim of this study was to evaluate the manner in which university students access food, and the impact of various food security strategies that have been implemented at the university between 2006 -2015. This aim was achieved by employing in-depth interviews as a qualitative data collection method, which was appropriate to unpack the perceptions and insights of students about hunger and food security in their context, through their lived experiences. The findings suggest that a household’s economic status does matter because students from well-off families endure less hunger than students from poor households. Money is important as a game changer in access to food because those with money have a choice in terms of the quality and quantity of food they eat. National Student Financial Aid Scheme- NSFAS (which is a source of funding provided by the government) is an important player in ensuring food security among students, whose role cannot be ignored. Although feeding schemes do have an impact on hunger reduction amongst students, they are often stigmatising and generally not sustainable. The study also found power differentials in the determination of policy with the university authorities having more power in determining food policies at the University. The study also found out that addressing food security among students is very imperative, because food is a very critical element in enhancing the academic performance of students. As such, the university needs to direct its priorities towards ensuring food security among students, as this can help to enhance their performance; and when students perform well, the ranking of the university improves.
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    Indigenous vegetables and access to markets: a study of rural women farmers in Senanga, Zambia.
    (2016) Mukupa, Nancy Lwimba; Ngcoya, Mvuselelo.
    General agriculture, fishing and small business enterprises are the most prominent economic activities in Senanga, a district located on the Western part of Zambia (Central Statistics Office 2010). However, in the recent years, cultivation of indigenous vegetables by rural women has both increased and gradually become a source of livelihood in Senanga. It is from this backdrop that this dissertation employs the food sovereignty framework to examine the cultivation of indigenous vegetables and rural farmers’ access to markets in Senanga. It also draws on the food security literature, Sustainable Livelihoods Approach (SLA) and the agro-ecological approach to analyse indigenous vegetable farming in developing countries. With the aid of data collection instruments such as participant observation, transect walk and in-depth interviews conducted with 11 female farmers, five traders and five agricultural officers, the study investigates the production of indigenous vegetables in Senanga. I also examine women’s access to local, national and international markets and how they maintain business relationships with these markets. The dissertation also evaluates the role of the public and private sector in indigenous vegetable farming. From the views and experiences of the research participants, socio-economic factors such as high unemployment rates, growing demand for indigenous vegetables and access to resources emerge as factors that motivate farmers in Senanga to engage in indigenous vegetable farming. This has helped farmers increase their households’ food security and income. It has also improved their access to social services and other agriculture inputs. On the other hand, gender bias and limited recognition of indigenous vegetables by public and private sector, socio-economic factors such as lack of agricultural skills and financial resources are identified as factors that hamper indigenous vegetable production and farmers’ access to markets in Senanga. Equally, the research findings show that gender stereotypes and sociocultural factors such as discriminatory gender roles, cultural rigidity, customary land laws and dependence syndrome also contribute to low production of indigenous vegetable in Senanga. In addition, the dissertation discusses strategies such as adequate provision of agricultural services and training in agro-ecological approaches to food production by government and NGOs, increased women’s participation in the formulation of agricultural policies if implemented might improve indigenous vegetable farming in Senanga.
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    An exploration of corporate governance and performance of a state-owned enterprise: case of Eskom.
    (2016) Magagula, Hendry Bhazamusi.; Mtapuri, Oliver.
    The objectives of the study were to determine elements of corporate governance that impact on performance at Eskom; to evaluate the corporate governance process at Eskom and to establish governance factors that limit performance at Eskom. The data collection instrument used was the self-administered questionnaire, which was targeted at the board of directors, the shareholder and the executive management of Eskom. In-depth interviews were also conducted targeting the executive management. The research applied both qualitative and quantitative methods. The estimations and data analysis were done using the IBM 22 SPSS statistical software. The main tests that were used in the current study are the frequency tables and the one-way ANOVA test. The reliability and validity of the questionnaire/ instrument was tested using the Cronbach’s Alpha coefficient. The quantitative data collected was organized and summarized using descriptive statistical methods such as averages, tables and percentages. In addition, qualitative data was interpreted and directly linked to the relevant research questions. The results obtained were compared with what theory says and some appropriate recommendations were made. The findings reveal that while the board of directors of Eskom accepts the recommendations made by the executive management, it, however, does not implement them. The Eskom shareholders were found to be lacking commitment in the governance processes and the overall running of the business of Eskom. The study also found out that both insider and outside ownership including direct ownership matter for economic performance. It also found out that greater transparency and disclosure leads to a widened investor base and flexible access to capital. The study recommends the revamping of the whole corporate governance process and the recalibration of the balance of power, improving the structure and size of its board of directors as well as to improving the timely disclosure of company information especially financial reports.
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    Perceptions of early childhood development (ECD) programmes amongst rural women: a case study of the Matshetshe ECD centre in uMzingwane district, Zimbabwe.
    (2016) Ngwenya, Dorcas.; Mottiar, Shauna.
    Early Childhood Development (ECD) programmes have an impact on the lives of the communities and societies which they serve. It has been noted that ECD programmes also have an impact on both the guardian and the child. As a result, governments, schools, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and communities are working together to ensure that these programmes enhance the development of the child. Hence, the amalgamation of ECD services that include education, nutrition, hygiene and parental guidance. Women are generally closest to the child and often play the largest care-giving role. Thus, comprehensive ECD programmes need to consider the needs of women caregivers in their planning and implementation. This study seeks to understand rural women’s perceptions of ECD programmes that have been introduced in the Zimbabwean formal school system, that is, ECD A and ECD B. In so doing, gender issues and the socio-economic impact of ECD programmes on women is investigated. The study adopts a qualitative research approach. The data was collected through in-depth interviews, participant observation and a Focus Group Discussion (FGD). The Matshetshe Primary School ECD centre, which is situated in a rural area in one of the marginalised provinces of Zimbabwe, that is, Matabeleland South Province was the case study. Findings of the study reveal that ECD programmes have an impact on the socio-economic lives of women and this shapes women’s perceptions of ECD. In addition, the findings revealed that stakeholder collaboration and the social and cultural context of the community shapes the success of ECD programmes. Therefore, the study recommends that needs assessment has to be done so that programme planners get to understand the socio-economic needs of the caregivers. Also, there is a need to conduct more awareness meetings with the communities about the ECD curriculum and the broader meaning of ECD.
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    Contraceptive use among young people: a case study of university students in Durban, South Africa.
    (2016) Lombo, Mandy.; Maharaj, Pranitha.
    There have been many studies conducted on the issue of contraceptive use among the youth. This is because the issue of contraceptive use among the youth is considered an important one, in the midst of high rates of unwanted/ unplanned pregnancies in the developing world. Unplanned pregnancies can have a negative impact on the studies of an individual. The rate of unplanned/ unwanted pregnancies is highest among young people. This category of individuals is most likely to be at a tertiary institute, this is why this study opted to try and understand the perceptions of the youth in the university context. This study also aimed at understanding how the interpersonal and social networks of these students impacted their contraceptive attitudes and use. This study draws on the theory of unsafe sexual behaviour to understand these interpersonal and social networks and if they have any impact on the decision of the participant in this study A qualitative approach was taken, in the form of 20 in-depth interviews with students at the University of KwaZulu-Natal. The study found that interpersonal networks of an individual did influence their contraceptive decision-making. Many of the participants that were using a contraceptive admitted that if their friends had negative opinions about contraceptives then they too would most likely have a negative perception of contraceptives as well. This was because friends were identified as the main source of information on sexual matters in the absence of parental advice. The interpersonal and social relationships also had an influence on the type of contraceptive to be used. Therefore it must be taken into consideration that individuals do not exist in isolation to their interpersonal networks. It became clear that the issue of contraceptive use by students is multi-dimensional and thus the approach should also be multi-dimensional. Campaigns aimed at changing the sexual behaviour of youth should focus on encouraging society as a whole rather than isolating youth.