Research Reports (School of Public Leadership)

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    The polemics of gender equality and cultural diversity in a multicultural setting : a South African case study
    (African Consortium of Public Administration (ACPA), 2018-12) Pillay, P.; Teleki, M.
    This article aims to unpack the polemics associated with advancing gender equality through law and policy, while simultaneously advancing cultural diversity in a country where there are not only variant cultures but where the cultures themselves are multiple in nature. Part of the exploration in this article centres on the co-existence of gender equality (through law, policies and programmes), and the promotion of cultural diversity (through law and policies), in a country such as South Africa. The aspect of equality arises from the need to balance out power in order to eradicate the dominance of one gender towards the other. This is partly why, in some non-western countries, cultural practices and beliefs systems prevail amidst gender equality laws or policies. The implication here is that even though the laws on gender equality may exist as an ideal aspiration, the promotion of cultural diversity could present a conflict between cultural practices and gender equality. Given this context, this article will explore the politics, challenges and tensions of advancing laws and policies on gender equality within a domestic environment that promotes cultural diversity in a multi-cultural setting.
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    Towards an evidence-based corruption index in South Africa : the first step
    (African Consortium of Public Administration (ACPA), 2018-12) Mantzaris, E. A.
    The article is the first serious attempt in South Africa and Africa in general to produce an Evidence-based Corruption Index in the country and the Continent. It begins with a variety of internationally accepted definitions of corruption, followed by the widely accepted definitions of the phenomenon in the South African landscape. It includes widely accepted definitions from government and civil society sources. The discourse of how can a comprehensive Evidence-based Corruption Index can be built with information available in South Africa begins with a critical view and analysis of existing and flourishing perception-based Indices. User’s Guide to measuring corruption as structured by the United Nations Development Program Oslo Governance Centre in cooperation with Global Integrity, is utilised as a thinking basis in terms of the methodological approach upon which the proposed, planned, designed and implemented Evidence-based Corruption Index is produced. A comprehensive categorisation of levels and general and specific acts of corruption outlines key elements of the Index as an integral part of the gist of corrupt categorisation. The methodological approach is based on an exhaustive scrutiny and dissection of anti- corruption and Section 9 institutions amongst others; content analysis of selected newspaper reports and personal interviews with senior administrators , politicians and consultants with direct and continuous involvement of the case study. The Evidence–based Corruption Index is then presented.
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    Analysing challenges facing smallholder farmers and conservation agriculture in South Africa : a system dynamics approach
    (AOSIS Publishing, 2016) Von Loeper, Wolfgang; Musango, Josephine; Brent, Alan C.; Drimie, Scott
    Smallholder farmers in South Africa find it challenging to participate in the modern economy. Most of these farmers have limited access to credit and insurance, and to markets in which to sell their produce. This paper reviews ethnographic research data and argues that smallholder farmers struggle to take part in modern agricultural value chains in South Africa. System dynamics modelling is used to understand the dynamics relating to agricultural value-chain participants, and to determine whether the ethnographic research data is sufficient to answer the question as to which value-chain participants potentially have the largest impact on smallholder farmers. The modelling results show that banks may have the potential to trigger an impact on smallholder farmers’ productivity that could then attract other value-chain industries to take part in efforts to support these farmers. Smallholder farmers could become a long-term viable and sustainable option for increasing food security in South Africa. However, this study has its limitations. The data used from existing ethnographic research, conducted by way of semi-structured interviews with valuechain participants, is limited and is not able to answer questions such as: (i) how much each industry is prepared to engage with smallholder farmers in the event of other industries being prepared to do the same; and (ii) how long it will take each industry to react to a willingness to engage. Ongoing research is required to extend the interviewee base and data in order to answer these questions and for the model to be completed and used for policy guidance.
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    Decoupling : natural resource use and environmental impacts from economic growth
    (United Nations Environment Programme, 2011-05) Fischer-Kowalski, Marina; Swilling, Mark; Von Weizsacker, Ernst Ulrich; Ren, Yong; Moriguchi, Yuichi; Crane, Wendy; Krausmann, Fridolin Krausmann; Eisenmenger, Nina; Giljum, Stefan; Hennicke, Peter; Kemp, Rene; Romero Lankao, Paty; Siriban Manalang, Anna Bella; Sewerin, Sebastian
    By 2050, humanity could devour an estimated 140 billion tons of minerals, ores, fossil fuels and biomass per year – three times its current appetite – unless the economic growth rate is “decoupled” from the rate of natural resource consumption. Developed countries citizens consume an average of 16 tons of those four key resources per capita (ranging up to 40 or more tons per person in some developed countries). By comparison, the average person in India today consumes four tons per year. With the growth of both population and prosperity, especially in developing countries, the prospect of much higher resource consumption levels is “far beyond what is likely sustainable” if realized at all given finite world resources, warns this report by UNEP’s International Resource Panel. Already the world is running out of cheap and high quality sources of some essential materials such as oil, copper and gold, the supplies of which, in turn, require ever-rising volumes of fossil fuels and freshwater to produce. Improving the rate of resource productivity (“doing more with less”) faster than the economic growth rate is the notion behind “decoupling,” the panel says. That goal, however, demands an urgent rethink of the links between resource use and economic prosperity, buttressed by a massive investment in technological, financial and social innovation, to at least freeze per capita consumption in wealthy countries and help developing nations follow a more sustainable path. - Source: