Masters Degrees (Faculty of Science (former Departments))

Permanent URI for this collection


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 20
  • Item
    Ondersoek na moontlikhede vir entrepreneuriese ontwikkeling in 'n landelike toerisme-area
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-03) Le Roux, Anneri; Botha, M. J.; Van der Merwe, M. E.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Consumer Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Poverty and unemployment are currently serious socio-economic problems in South Africa. One way of dealing with this problem is entrepreneurial development. Growth in the tourism sector, specifically in rural tourism, has increased substantially in South Africa in the last decade. Facilities, services and products offered by entrepreneurs are part of the South African tourism industry. This trend created a need for information concerning tourists' needs regarding products and services. The primary aim of this study was thus to investigate the needs of tourists regarding products and services which can lead to entrepreneurial development in a rural tourism setting. A literature review has been undertaken to provide an in-depth report concerning the literature that forms the theoretical basis for this study. Definition of relevant terms, the link between tourism and recreation and the positive and negative impacts of tourism were discussed. Rural tourism and sustainable tourism development were discussed next, followed by literature regarding the tourist, his/her shopping behavior and the importance of crafts. Employment generation, entrepreneurship, entrepreneurial development in tourism, entrepreneurial training and the link between entrepreneurship and crafts were also discussed. The geographical demarcation of the study was the rural town of Darling on the South African West Coast and the 15 km radius surrounding the town. This region is a popular tourist destination. Despite this, unemployment is still a serious problem. A situation analysis of the available facilities in Darling was done to determine which products, services and attractions the relevant businesses and artists of the area offer to tourists. The data analysis of the information that was gathered through document analysis and structured interviews showed that the area is popular with nature as well as culture lovers. To be able to determine the needs and compile a profile of the average tourist that visits a rural town like Darling. Tourists were approached to serve as respondents for the study. A sample was taken and the respondents completed self-administered questionnaires. Frequency and contingency tables were constructed to compile a tourist profile and to identify the needs of tourists visiting a rural region like Darling. On account of this data, shortcomings were identified between that which Darling offers and the needs of tourists. Recommendations were made concerning ways to address these shortcomings in a manner that can/may facilitate entrepreneurial development and at the same time use the existing facilities in Darling. The conclusions suggest that the businesses and artists involved in this study contribute towards tourism and to a certain extent satisfy tourists' needs. Respondents indicated, inter alia, a need for products that are unique to the area. In light of the fact that a typical "Darling product" was not identified in the situation analysis, this was found to be a particularly severe shortcoming. Recommendations were made to address the identified shortcomings by way of training programmes aimed at facilitating entrepreneurial development in Darling.
  • Item
    Housing knowledge of final year student teachers at Esikhawini College of Education : implications for the development of housing unit standards
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2003-03) Dlamini, Buyi P.; Van Wyk, A. S.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Natural Sciences.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The provision of housing in South Africa is a national priority. As many aspirant homeowners are first-time homeowners, they are not necessarily informed about the pitfalls of home ownership. Although the Government has attempted short-term solutions aimed at equipping these housing consumers with the necessary knowledge and skills to make informed and responsible housing-related decisions, research pointed to the need for a sustainable longterm solution in the form of education and training of the housing consumer. There must be a concentrated effort to provide housing education to consumers, since everyone has a constitutional right of access to adequate housing. Unless consumers are equipped with adequate knowledge and information to make informed choices, this right will not be realised and the housing market shall not function effectively. The main objective of the research study was to determine the basic housing knowledge of the senior student teachers of the Esikhawini College of Education in KwaZulu Natal. The second objective was to develop an illustrative Unit Standard for teacher qualification programmes on the fifth level of the National Oualificationa Framework (NOF). The sixteen housing education and training core concepts identified by Serfontein (2001 :120) namely Basic Housing Technology, Community, Cultural Aspects of Housing, Environment, Financial Aspects of Housing, Housing Consumerism, Housing Design and Decoration, Housing Market, Housing Needs, Housing Policy, Legal Aspects of Housing, Resource Management, Role-players in Housing, Sources of Housing Information, Tenure Options and Types of Housing were used to compile a questionnaire which was administered to the senior students of Esikhawini College of Education. The aim was to determine the basic knowledge that respondents possessed. The data collected formed the background for the illustrative Unit Standard for Housing Education that was developed in this research study. The development of Unit Standards for Housing Education is very necessary and timely as the Department of Housing, who seeks to develop a systematic housing consumer education framework for South Africa, have recommended that Housing Education should be included in the formal education curriculum. If the recommendations of the Department of Housing are implemented and housing education is included in the school curriculum, well-qualified and trained teachers would be needed to facilitate the learning of the content. Therefore housing education should be included in student teacher training programmes. The illustrative Unit Standard for Housing Education developed in this research study is ideally suited for this purpose.
  • Item
    Perceived importance of retail store image attributes to the female large-size apparel consumer in a multicultural society
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-12) Janse van Noordwyk, H. S.; Visser, E. M.; Van der Merwe, M. E.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: An opportunity currently exists for retailers to develop store image strategies to target the female large-size apparel consumer market within the multicultural South African consumer society. This exploratory study set out to generate and describe retail store image attributes perceived as important to the female large-size apparel consumer within the South African context, as well as identifying differences and similarities in the perception of these attributes based on race and age group. The study also aimed to determine if the existing store image attribute groupings by Lindquist (1974-1975:31) is applicable when studying the female largesize apparel consumer. Focus groups were used as method of data collection in this study. The sample population (n=37) consisted of account holders who purchased apparel from a specific large-size apparel retail store during a specific time period. Three race groups, namely Africans, Coloureds, and Whites, as well as three age groups i.e. 20-29, 30-39, and 40-54 year age groups were included. Each focus group was homogenous in race and age composition. A facilitator conducted group discussions by following a focus group schedule. The first part of the discussion generated retail store image attributes deemed important by the focus group participants, followed by the rating of the perceived importance of these attributes using the Schutte Visual Scale. The second part of the discussion generated participants' description of Lindquist's nine identified store image attribute groupings, followed by the rating of the perceived importance of each of these attribute groupings using the Schutte Visual Scale. Transcriptions of all the focus group discussions were made. For the first part of the study the transcriptions were compiled into composite lists and refined based on Lindquist's nine attribute groupings. The aggregate ratings for each specific attribute and attribute grouping were calculated. For the second part of the study's results, the descriptions of each of Lindquist's nine attribute groupings was compiled into a single list of descriptive attributes. The aggregate ratings for each of these attributes groupings were calculated. Respondents perceived Merchandise and Clientele the most important attribute groupings in the analysis of all race and age groups, followed by Service, Post-transaction satisfaction, Promotion and Store atmosphere. Institutional factors and Physical facilities were perceived as the least important attribute groupings. No attributes relating to Convenience were generated. In the analysis of race and age groups, Merchandise and Service, followed by Store atmosphere, were perceived as the most important attribute groupings by most of the focus groups. The specific attributes generated by the different groups showed similarities, whereas the rating and definition of these attributes differed. Lindquist's descriptions of the nine attribute groupings were compared to the descriptions of the respondents. Similarities and differences were identified. Recommendations were made to refine and adapt Lindquist's attribute groupings and descriptions to develop a store image research framework that could be more applicable to the female large-size apparel consumer. This exploratory study provides some insight into the perceived importance of retail store image attributes by the female large-size apparel consumer, given the context of a multi-cultural South African society. Recommendations for future research were made and the implications for retailers were outlined.
  • Item
    Automatic detection of image orientation using Support Vector Machines
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-12) Walsh, Dane A.; Omlin, C. W.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Science. Dept. of Mathematical Sciences (applied, computer, mathematics).
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: In this thesis, we present a technique for the automatic detection of image orientation using Support Vector Machines (SVMs). SVMs are able to handle feature spaces of high dimension and automatically choose the most discriminative features for classification. We investigate the use of various kernels, including heavy tailed RBF kernels. We compare the classification performance of SVMs with the performance of multilayer perceptrons and a Bayesian classifier. Our results show that SVMs out perform both of these methods in the classification of individual images. We also implement an application for the classification of film rolls in a photographic workflow environment with 100% classification accuracy.
  • Item
    An exploratory study in the Western Cape on game meat as a consumer product
    (Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2002-12) Crafford, Karlien; Hoffman, Louwrens C.; Muller, M.; Schutte, De W.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Science.
    ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The purpose of this research was to study the current purchasing and marketing behaviour of game meat by supermarkets, butcheries and restaurants in the Western Cape Province, and to investigate perceptions on, purchasing and consumption of game meat by South African consumers and overseas tourists visiting South Africa. Research was done by the survey method with the aid of structured, self-administered questionnaires. Chi-squared frequencies were used to test for significant influences of data. The research showed that South African consumers are poorly educated regarding the nutritional benefits and cooking methods of game meat. Consumers indicated that they would buy game meat if they were better informed on its qualities. Just over 73% of the respondents indicated that they have eaten game meat, whilst 66% of the respondents indicated that they would eat game meat again. South African consumers, however, indicated that they are not willing to pay more for game meat than other meat types. Race and educational level were the only two socio-demographical variables that showed significant differences. White respondents and respondents that were in the "post-High school diploma/degree" educational group, were better informed on game meat and were also more likely to buy game meat than either the black or coloured racial groups. The respondents indicated the leanness of meat as one of the most important quality considerations when they buy meat. This provides an opportunity for game meat marketers to market game meat as a low-fat meat product. This research succeeded in identifying target markets for game meat. Restaurants should market game meat for European tourists, whilst supermarkets and butcheries should focus on marketing game meat to white consumers and consumers with higher educational qualifications, but also target coloured and black consumers. This research confirmed that the South African game meat industry is plagued by numerous misconceptions and contradictions. It is evident that both consumers and marketers of game meat have contradictory beliefs regarding the seasonal availability of game meat. Consumers as well as some of the supermarket, butchery and restaurant meat buyers, are ill-informed regarding the sensory qualities, health benefits and preparation and cooking methods of game meat. Ironically, the research showed that tourists visiting South Africa were the respondent group that were the most knowledgeable regarding the sensory qualities and health benefits of game meat. This research provides a valuable pilot-study into the marketing possibilities of game meat.