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Volume 98, Issue 3, 2016
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 403 –404 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1220545More Less
The idea for this special issue arose from discussions by the Council of the Society for South African Geographers in planning for the centenary of Geography in South Africa. Geography was first taught in 1914 at Victoria College which later became Stellenbosch University (Visser, Donaldson, & Seethal, 2016). The first lecturer in Geography - James Hutcheon - was appointed in 1917 at the South African School of Mines and Technology, the institution that was to become the University of the Witwatersrand. The main event marking the centenary of these founding moments is the special bi-annual conference at Stellenbosch in September 2016.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 405 –416 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208581More Less
Geomorphology plays a pivotal role in linking the traditional sub-disciplines of physical geography. This is because geomorphological processes are influenced by climate, and geomorphology in turn strongly controls land surface hydrology and ecosystems. This review assesses the current status of geomorphology in South Africa. Six sub-fields are identified, viz. fluvial geomorphology, glacial and periglacial geomorphology, rock weathering, arid and sem-iarid geomorphology, coastal and estuarine geomorphology, and applied geomorphology. The status of each is critically assessed. Studies in the different sub-fields reveal progress not only at the site scale, but that such studies are also commonly set within a wider regional to global context. Regional research is well connected to contemporary global debates. Two of these debates are of particular significance. Firstly, cosmogenic dating techniques can be used to evaluate the age of land surfaces. Geomorphological research in South Africa has begun to utilize this technique to this end. Secondly, geomorphological knowledge can be practically applied. This includes fluvial geomorphology (managing the dynamics of river and wetland systems), rock weathering (preservation of San art and monuments), and coastal and estuarine geomorphology (understanding coastal responses to global sea-level rise) as well as broader environmental management issues. Geomorphology and geomorphological processes are critically important to issues impacting on South Africa in the twenty-first century. These include climate and environmental change, food and water security, and sustainable abiotic resource conservation and management. South African geomorphologists and their international collaborators can, and should, be at the heart of many of these contemporary debates.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 417 –427 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208582More Less
Military Geography is by its very nature an applied field of study. It is not only relevant to conflict situations but plays a role in peacetime and support and stability operations (including environmental considerations) and as such has a wide range of challenges for which it must find solutions. However, Military Geography as an academic field remains small in South Africa with only a single tertiary institution offering it as an undergraduate study. Despite its small size, Military Geography remains important in terms of education and as a research avenue. We outline developments in Military Geography with a focus on the South African context and provide an outline of the recent publications in the field. We also highlight current trends in both education and research directions and provide a future outlook of the field in South Africa.
Author Gustav VisserSource: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 428 –438 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208583More Less
Tourism geography has developed into a dynamic sub-discipline of contemporary South African geographical scholarship. The investigation provides an overview of the development of South African tourism geography since the early 1970s, and traces its subsequent development. Since the first investigations, tourism geographers had an interest in the developmental potential which the tourism system presents for South Africa. It is shown that recent tourism research is generally framed by concerns for responsible tourism, pro-poor tourism impacts, tourism as a vehicle for local economic development, and the role of small, medium and micro enterprise (SMME) development in the tourism sector. The main contribution of the paper is to propose a range of new investigatory avenues that can build on the current scholarship, and considers potential threats to the future development of South African tourism geography.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 439 –449 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208584More Less
South African research in medical geography was described in the early 1990s as 'meagre and unsatisfactory'. But there was optimism for the future. This paper gauges the extent to which this sub-discipline of geography has, over the past two decades, lived up to these expectations. Our impression is that it has not grown significantly in South Africa. This, despite a substantial increase in interdisciplinary health research which might include geographers among its contributors. This paper reviews completed postgraduate work in medical geography, describes trends in research approaches to the connection between urbanization and health over the past two decades, and discusses reasons for the dearth of research contributions by South African geographers.
The contribution of Geography to environmental Assessment (EA) practice and research in South AfricaSource: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 450 –460 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208585More Less
After 100 years of academic Geography in South Africa, the emerging field of Environmental Assessment (EA) has occupied an important position vis-a-vis Geography. In this paper the contribution of Geography to practice and research in EA is investigated for South Africa. Firstly, Geography core competences are compared to the requirements for training Environmental Assessment practitioners, followed by reflection of the utility of Geography competences for Environmental Assessment research. It is evident that Geography competences are fundamental to EA practice, that EA skills are taught in some Geography curricula, and that the greater part of published EA research is produced by Geographers. We conclude that Geography as a discipline has embraced the environmental sustainability challenges by engaging actively in EA training and research.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 461 –471 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208586More Less
The application of remote sensing has progressed remarkably over the years, with technological advancements that have led to the availability of efficient, relatively cheap, robust, as well as high resolution images. Remarkable progress has been made on crop, forest and range land monitoring, using satellite data. This paper reviews progress in the application of remote sensing technologies in South Africa with a specific focus on vegetation monitoring. Vegetation state monitoring has been identified by the South African Mission Advisory Committee (EO - MAC) as the primary objective of the proposed EO-SAT1 satellite to be launched in the near future. The paper provides a review of the developments in the science of satellite remote sensing as it quantifies the studies that have been done, using specific sensors and evaluates the importance of sensor resolution and data availability for South Africa. Specific application examples are used to showcase the developments. An analysis of studies shows that South African scientists have used a wide range of satellite data and developed novel processing techniques with applications specific to the environmental conditions of the region. However, this work has observed that, for accurate and reliable vegetation monitoring at a national scale, access to relatively cheap satellite data with optimal spectral band information is limited.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 472 –482 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208587More Less
Research in Quaternary Science in South Africa has developed rapidly over recent decades, growing into a strongly interdisciplinary and increasingly applied science. A historical overview of the discipline is provided, outlining its roots and placing the first studies in southern Africa in context, highlighting the contributions of pioneering researchers within the field here. The inherent methodological difficulties of working in a semi-arid environment have promoted the application and development of diverse, and sometimes novel archives and proxies. Indeed, there has been a noticeable shift away from traditional pollen-based climate reconstructions to a more diverse range of approaches, including multi-proxy evidence. The growth of the palaeo-sciences in South Africa has been supported by national research strategies and targeted funding instruments, and the promotion of environmental change research in general by national research networks.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 483 –494 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1208588More Less
South African geography has been historically inhibited by an inward focus and an underlying assumption of national idiosyncrasy. Recently, however, there has been a broadening as some South African geographers and other spatially directed scholars have placed their study of South African cities in a comparative perspective, especially, but not only, in relation to other cities in the global South. This shift, although still partial, is bringing South African geography closer to what Jennifer Robinson, Colin McFarlane, Eugene McCann, Kevin Ward, and others, have termed the 'new comparative urbanism'. In our review article, we will explore the trend towards comparative urbanism in South African geography and urban studies, indicating the various ways in which scholarship on South African cities answers the questions - What is particular about South African cities? In what ways do South Africa's cities reveal of wider urban processes? The review article will also explore the extent to which scholarship on South African cities has addressed the relationality of urban space. We will argue that, although there is now a stronger focus on comparability, exploration of relationality is still embryonic although there is some consideration in the literature of migrant and economic linkages, and growing attention to policy mobility. In our conclusion, we take the cue from Kevin Ward in calling for a 'relational comparative approach'.
Author Thembela KepeSource: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 495 –504 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1212731More Less
This review article represents an attempt at highlighting the important research conducted by geographers in rural areas of South Africa. Acknowledging the challenges facing many review articles on broad disciplines or sub-disciplines such as rural geography, the paper mostly focuses on selected research that took place over the last two and a half decades or so, that covers the areas of land rights, biodiversity conservation and justice, rural development and livelihoods. The conclusion is that rural geography research in South Africa is of major significance in South Africa's attempts to fulfil many of the post-apartheid goals of improving the lives of the marginalized. It is also argued that research conducted under the rural geography banner can grow in the same pace as the new challenges emerge, including being in positive interaction with other sub-disciplines (e.g. urban geography) in addressing challenges such as urban-rural fringe and urban sprawl.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 505 –514 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1217255More Less
As a discipline and field of knowledge, South African geography has been defined in and by critical societal debates, highlighting how, as geographers, we produce knowledge and teach to address societal imperatives. Inspired in our own and others' research practice engaging in collaboration between the university and activist groups and knowledge co-production between universities and local authorities, we reflect on the varied engagements, commitments and movements of scholars and practitioners across South African geography. How do these approaches to research through co-production and collaboration navigate postionality and expertise, enriching the research process? In reworking the process of generating knowledge, what alternate kinds of knowledge(s) are produced? Through exploring these questions in this paper, we reread the 'turn to development' and our commitment to applied geographical work, not as the degeneration of theory production, but as an opportunity to reflect on what is theoretically and empirically rich in the commitment to relevance in contemporary South African geographical work.
Environmental problem-solving in South Africa : harnessing creative imaginaries to address 'wicked' challenges and opportunitiesSource: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 515 –530 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1217256More Less
The world is confronting a range of 'wicked problems' that defy simple, linear solutions. Increasingly, the range of challenges including poverty, climate change and environmental degradation require solutions that cannot be drawn from a single knowledge base. Although excellent environmental legislation exists in South Africa (including that relating to climate change), it alone is not sufficient to solve the challenges the country faces. Rather, science that builds knowledge through engagement with a variety of actors, their views, expertise and perspectives, including mutual and transgressive learning, is required. This paper presents three South African case studies that reflect on the value of adopting transdisciplinary (TD) and co-production of knowledge (CPK) approaches to environmental problem-solving. Although not without their challenges, TD and CPK are inclusive approaches which usually enable a wider framing of environmental challenges and their ownership by various publics, and pave the way for effective implementation of solutions and actions.
Source: South African Geographical Journal = Suid-Afrikaanse Geografiese Tydskrif 98, pp 531 –541 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/03736245.2016.1222949More Less
For this special edition marking the centenary of geography in South Africa, we have documented the communities of practice associated with geography and gender; and we have presented a review of the scholarship emerging from this community. The South African gender and geography community of practice is connected to communities of practice at different scales. We examine the relationship of this community to international initiatives and we examine the contribution of South African feminist geographers to broader feminist discourse. We also document the embeddedness of this community of practice with other local gender-based research communities of practice. Finally, we examine challenges to the South African geography and gender community of practice.