Recent and upcoming events

Jackal Narratives and Predator Control in the Karoo

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 6 August, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Nicoli Nattrass & Beatrice Conradie
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar,R4.29, Level 4 Leslie Social Science,Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

 

This paper discusses the historical roots of, and scientific evidence for, rival ‘jackal narratives’ about the problems posed by black-backed jackals for South African sheep farmers and conservation policy more broadly. The jackal has recently decolonised many South African sheep farms as agriculture became less economically and politically important, as land use patterns changed and as government stopped subsidising predator control. The influential ‘environmental jackal narrative’ shaping conservation policy, that lethal control is undesirable and ineffective, is rooted in the science of predator ecology but the linked recommendation that farmers learn to ‘live with the jackal’ is on less solid ground. The rival ‘farmer jackal narrative’, that jackal populations need to be suppressed on agricultural lands, in fact resonates with conservation theories justifying the culling of jackals in national parks. Contestation over values is important in shaping attitudes, but these competing plausible hypotheses about jackal control suggest that further scientific studies may be helpful in the construction of policies that are acceptable to both sides.

 

" Discourses of “deservingness”: Regulating access to disability grants in South Africa.

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 30 July, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Gabrielle Kelly
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room,R4.29,Level 4 Leslie Social Science,Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

 

The disability grant (DG) has featured prominently in debates around social security in South Africa, both inside and outside government, because it has raised major questions about social development and poverty alleviation strategies that extend well beyond concerns about disability.  Debates around how to regulate access to the DG and who “deserves” the grant reveal discursive tensions within government and civil society around concepts of disability and the value of social grants as a developmental intervention. In this seminar I will discuss the recent history of DG regulation and the discourses of "deservingness" that are visible in the debates on how to manage access to the grant. This is based on an analysis of minutes and recordings of parliamentary debates, legislation, policy documents and departmental plans and reports. 

 

Tax(i)ing the poor- transport and labour market outcomes in South Africa.

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 21 May, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Andrew Kerr
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room,Leslie Social Science,Room 4.29 Upper Campus.
Abstract / Description: 

This paper explores the effects of the low density of South African cities on commuting times and costs, as well as labour market outcomes. Commute times for workers are much longer than OECD countries- average commute times for black South Africans are 2.5 times longer than EU commutes and twice as long as US commutes. Monetary costs are also relatively high for those that pay to commute, although a substantial fraction of workers walk to work.
Minibus taxis are the dominant mode of transport for commuters in South Africa but they are also more expensive than publicly funded or subsidised buses and trains. The recent bus driver’s strike illustrates that an alternative to government provided buses is good for commuters. However the government’s current policy seems to favour a shift towards publicly funded buses and away from minibus taxis. I discuss the pros and cons of this policy.
 

Food Security and the Urban Food Policy Gap

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 14 May, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Jane Battersby-Lennard
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room,Leslie Social Science,Room 4.29 Upper Campus
Abstract / Description: 

The right to food and the challenge of food insecurity are being increasingly articulated in public statements of the ANC, DA, COSATU and other political players. However, while the right to food and food insecurity are gaining increased public political presence, this paper argues that the existing policy responses have significant gaps. The ‘face of food insecurity’ is increasingly urban and the food security and yet current food security policies lack an explicitly urban focus, leaving cities with no mandate to address food insecurity and the wider urban food system. The outcome of this is urban policies and by-laws that ultimately hinder access to food for low-income residents of cities. This paper presents data from the AFSUN Cape Town baseline survey to argue for the development of a specifically urban response to food insecurity.  

 

Deserving and undeserving poor: Assessments of claims made on kin and state in Cape Town, South Africa

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 7 May, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Professor Jeremy Seekings
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room,Leslie Social Science,Room 4.29 Upper Campus.
Abstract / Description: 

The distinction between the deserving and undeserving poor is fundamental to the design of most welfare states. Similarly, private individuals typically discriminate in who they do and do not support, for example supporting close kin more than distant kin. This paper examines how young South Africans distinguish between deserving and undeserving claimants on both the state and kin. Data are from survey experiments using vignettes included in the fifth wave of the Cape Area Panel Study (2009). I show that there are clear and generally intuitive hierarchies of desert with respect to both public and private welfare. I examine how these are affected by the characteristics of the respondent, and the efficacy of attempts to persuade respondents to change their minds. Finally, I examine the relationship between the perceived hierarchy of desert with respect to public welfare and the perceived hierarchy with respect to private welfare.

A History of the Surplus People: Resettlement and the Making of the Ciskei, South Africa, c.1960- 1976

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 30 April, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Laura Evans
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar Room,Leslie Social Science Building,4.29
Abstract / Description: 

The extent of urban segregation, widespread poverty and the proliferation of shack settlements are striking images for any observer of contemporary South Africa. But beyond the country’s city spaces, which share some similarities with others in the global South, the ubiquitous and sprawling rural settlements of dislocated ‘urban’ poverty are perhaps the most sobering and defining features of the post-apartheid landscape. Sada and Ilinge, located at the northern extremity of the former Ciskei Bantustan, in the Eastern Cape, are two such places (fig. 1). Established in the early 1960s, these rural resettlement sites grew rapidly in the following two decades, as the apartheid government restricted new housing development to basic provision in the rural and impoverished Bantustans. Families and communities resident in small towns across the Cape were brutally removed, very often at gunpoint, and transported like cattle to barren, isolated and inhospitable sites where they were greeted by little more than a single tent for a family. Farm tenants were also relocated in this way. The minimal provision of prefabricated housing was blithely advertised to farm dwellers looking to escape farms for alternative accommodation, sold as a promised land of ‘milk and honey’ by officials wishing to expedite their removal from residences on white-owned farms. The rapidity of such resettlements, the mass uprooting of people with already-marginal livelihoods and the poor provision of housing and infrastructure in the new resettlement sites precipitated a major humanitarian crisis. Food rations provided were barely enough to prevent starvation. Widespread infant mortality and the ubiquitous presence of malnutrition and related diseases were reported in shocking press accounts of these areas, which quickly became known in critical discourse as the ‘dumping grounds’ of apartheid.

This presentation will lay out some of the key findings of my study of the experiences engendered by mass resettlement in the northern Ciskei in the period 1960- 1976. Social inequalities of class, gender and generation shaped a diverse range of experiences and the subjective meanings that individuals attached to their resettlement. Housing shortages, deep poverty, unemployment and widespread reliance on the wages of young migrant men were crucial dynamics in the making of power and the hegemonic projects of new Tribal Authorities in the self-governing Ciskei.

 

 

Methods workshop:Panel Analysis Using CAPS Data

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 23 April, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Eduard Grebe
Venue: 
CSSR Seminar room, Leslie Social Science 4.29
Abstract / Description: 

The first in a new series of CSSR quantitative methods workshops focuses on panel data analysis and uses the Cape Area Panel Study to illustrate a few basic techniques.

Is the relationship between HIV risk and educational attainment changing?

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 16 April, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Elizabeth Gummerson
Venue: 
CSSR seminar room, Room 4.29 ,Leslie Social Science Building.
Abstract / Description: 

 

This study uses two rounds of HIV prevalence data from eight sub-Saharan African DHS to examine the hypothesis that positive association between educational attainment and HIV prevalence is reversing. I compare a group of high prevalence countries to a group of low prevalence countries and find that the education-HIV relationship has weakened in higher prevalence countries among the youngest cohort. This is true both across and within regions. However, the association remains statistically significantly and positive across age cohorts in both country groups. Secondarily, I test for two commonly hypothesized explanations for such a change- the erosion of educational infrastructure in high prevalence areas and the behaviour change among the educated. I find evidence of educational erosion among the low prevalence group of countries only. I also find evidence of an educational gradient in protective behaviour in both country groups, but it does not appear to affect the Ed-HIV association.

 

The Karoo Predator Project

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 2 April, 2013 - 13:00
Presenter(s): 
Marine Drouilly
Venue: 
CSSR seminar room, Leslie Social Science 4.29
Abstract / Description: 
Marine Drouilly will give a presentation on the "The Karoo Predator Project - Carnivore and biodiversity research on Karoo farmlands". Marine is a PhD student in the Department of Biological Sciences, and is working with Beatrice Conradie, Nicoli Nattrass and other CSSR researchers on the sheep-farming industry in the Karoo, focusing on farmers' attempts to manage jackals and other predators that farmers identify as the primary challenge facing the industry. Marine has been running large numbers of wildlife cameras to monitor the diversity of wildlife in the north-east part of the district of Laingsburg.
 
We hope to have lunch available from about 12h30.

Implications of Social Networks for Voting Behaviour: Survey Evidence from South Africa

Event type: 
Seminar
Date and time: 
Tuesday, 19 March, 2013 -
13:00 to 14:00
Presenter(s): 
Collette Schulz Herzenberg
Venue: 
Room 4.29 Leslie Social Science Building
Abstract / Description: 

<P>In South Africa’s highly divided society voters live in politically homogenous social environments. As a result, many voters are likely to reside in homogenous political information networks where their partisan identities reflect widely among their personal discussants. This paper argues that political discussion within social networks plays a primary role in shaping political attitudes and vote choice. Moreover, the extent of partisan homogeneity or heterogeneity within interpersonal discussant networks has important, yet distinct implications for voting behaviour. Using the 2004 and 2009 post elections surveys the research examines distributions of politically homogenous versus heterogeneous networks in South Africa and finds that network types are fairly evenly distributed and voters are not overly embedded in either network type. The research also demonstrates the consequences of the different network types on voting behavior by showing that homogenous discussion networks tend to encourage greater participation at the polls but also less defections and far greater consistency in vote choice. The analysis also shows how momentous socio-political events at the time of a particular election can change the nature of social networks, with consequences for electoral outcomes.</P>

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