TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa - latest Issue
Volume 12, Issue 1, 2016
Suid-Afrikaanse kapelaansvroue en die Grensoorlog (1966-1989) : 'n Gevallestudie van denominale pastorale versorging : original researchSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –11 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.346More Less
South African chaplains' spouses and the Border War (1966-1989): A case study of denominational pastoral care.
Pastoral care of soldiers during times of war and armed conflict has been part and parcel of the Christian religion since the Council of Ratisbon officially authorised chaplains for armies in 742. However, studies in South Africa revealed that government institutions and especially the Dutch-Afrikaans denominations did not wholeheartedly adhere to this tradition during the two world wars of the twentieth century. The task of pastoral care to those affected by the war circumstances was left to civilian organisations and women. Socio-political changes invalidated this accussation during the Border War (1966-1989). This article gives a historical perspective on the pastoral care endeavours of the spouses of military chaplains as a case study of denominational support to those affected by armed conflict. Women's experiences during war circumstances have long been neglected in academic circles. During times of war, they are often the victims of human rights' abuses, but they also become beacons of hope and consolation, as is illustrated in this article. This exposition contributes to a historical understanding of the way women experience war and the support they provide during times of armed conflict. It also illustrates the value of women during times of war trauma, and provides a different perspective on the military context, which is usually mostly defined in masculine terms.
In die Christelike tradisie is die pastorale versorging van soldate tydens oorlogsomstandighede en gewapende konflik 'n gegewe sedert die Konsilie van Ratisbon in 742, toe gelas is dat kapelane die leërs moet vergesel. Studie in Suid-Afrika het egter 'n versuim van owerheidsweë, en veral van die kant van die Hollands-Afrikaanse kerke in Suid-Afrika aangetoon om oorloggeaffekteerdes en oorlogbetrokkenes tydens die twee wêreldoorloë van die twintigste eeu pastoraal te versorg. Hierdie taak is in Suid-Afrika aan burgerlike organisasies en vroue oorgelaat. Tydens die Grensoorlog (1966-1989) het die prentjie egter verander. Hierdie artikel wil 'n historiese perspektief verskaf op die uitreike van die eggenotes van militêre kapelane, as 'n gevallestudie van geloofsgemeenskappe se pastorale versorging van diegene wie se lewens deur gewapende konflik geraak word. Vroue se ervarings gedurende tye van oorlog en gewapende konflik is vir 'n geruime tyd in akademiese geskiedskrywing genegeer. Vroue is dikwels gedurende oorlogsomstandighede slagoffers van menseregtevergrype, maar hulle kan ook as bakens van hoop, vertroosting en heropbou na vore tree soos hierdie artikel probeer aantoon. Hierdeur word 'n bydrae tot 'n historiese begrip van die belewenis van vroue tydens oorlogsomstandighede gemaak, asook die wyse waarop vroue ondersteuningsnetwerke kan skep in gemeenskappe wat deur gewapende konflik geraak word. Dit illustreer verder die waarde van vroue ten tye van oorlogstrauma, en dit gee 'n ander perspektief op die militêre konteks wat gewoonlik in manlike terme gedefinieer word.
From song to visual art : exploring Sehnsucht in the lived experiences of visual artists : original researchAuthor Conroy A. CupidoSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –15 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.341More Less
This article explored the experiences shared by four artists during their processes of creating an art work which represented a specific art song or Lied. During 2015, South African artists Marna de Wet, Kevin du Plessis, Jean Lampen and Eljana van der Merwe collaborated with the pianist Tinus Botha and baritone Conroy Cupido. The essence of the poetry and music of Vaughan Williams, Quilter, Schumann, Strauss and Brahms presented in this project conveyed a feeling known as Sehnsucht. The purpose of this article was to understand the experiences of these artists during their creative processes. Their processes entailed ascribing meaning and communicating their interpretation of the elements of Sehnsucht from the music and poetry to visual art. This was achieved through interpretative phenomenological analysis. The artists used various media including, charcoal on paper, oil paint on sourced objects, oil on canvas and photography to portray their interpretations. Through their artistic processes, the artists uncovered melancholy, Wanderlust, homo-eroticism, longing and the desire for love in the music and poetry. One of the artists discovered how her own concept of idealised love had evolved through her artistic process. The artists used both music and narrative content to visualise Sehnsucht; however, due to the non-referential nature of music, the artists were not always able to verbalise how the music influenced their work. The article includes images of some of the art works.
Probing strategy-project alignment : the case of the South African Social Security Agency : original researchAuthor Gerrit Van Der WaldtSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –12 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.358More Less
Public institutions, such as the South African Social Security Agency (SASSA) increasingly function in multi-project environments to translate strategies successfully into service-delivery initiatives. However, this 'projectification' often causes projects to be designed and executed haphazardly. This can lead to budget and schedule overruns, and the general wastage of an organisation's resources. Project failures often occur where organisations do not ensure that specific projects are aligned with their core strategies. The purpose of this article is to combine the theories and principles of organisation, management, strategic management, and project management in an effort to pinpoint core determinants that can help establish the extent to which an organisation manages the alignment of its strategic projects. In the present study, the author applied the principles of interdisciplinarity, systems thinking, and organisational integration. The combined core determinants that were uncovered were then used in an empirical investigation of SASSA. The purpose of this investigation is to identify particular challenges the organisation faces in aligning their strategies and projects successfully. Thereafter, a number of recommendations follow to address these challenges.
Gendered health care labour markets? A case study of anatomical pathologists and haematologists in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa : original researchSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –10 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.334More Less
This study qualitatively explored the role of gender and related factors that influence medical doctors' decisions in selecting a specialisation within medical laboratory medicine. This study is novel in that it disaggregates doctors by specialisation. It further focuses on non-clinical medical specialists who have been ignored in the global human resources for health literature. Hakim's preference theory as well as socialisation theory is adapted to explain some of the reasons female doctors make certain career choices regarding specialisation within the medical field. The study focused on laboratory doctors in the public and private sector in KwaZulu-Natal. A qualitative approach was adopted given the small population size and the need for an interpretive approach to the data. The research design was an exploratory case study and thematic analysis was used to discover the relevant themes. The non-probability purposeful sample comprised a total of 20 participants, of which 11 were anatomical pathologists and 9 were haematologists, all based in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Data collection was performed via in-depth interviews. Trustworthiness of the data was ensured through methods of credibility and triangulation. The key finding is that although gender is a significant factor in career choice (for specific disciplines), it is one of many factors that determine self-selection into a specific medical laboratory specialisation. The conclusions, although not generalisable, have implications for human resources for health policies targeted at achieving higher levels of recruitment in laboratory medicine as a profession.
A narrative interpretation of the cultural impressions on water of the communities along the Vaal River, Parys, Free State : original researchSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –7 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.345More Less
This article is about the significance of the Vaal River for the communities inhabiting the area. Using the interpretation of narratives and rituals, the extent of the connection or disconnection between the communities and the aquatic environment is described. Traditional rituals, religious practices and beliefs associated with the river form an important part of the lives of people living in the area. Results show that industrial development and urbanisation have direct implications not only on the environment but also on the cultural lives and practices of the communities in the areas where these occur. Because of its impact on the environment, development has a direct impact on the people who depend on the environment for both their physical and spiritual well-being. Any form of sustainable development needs to put these factors into consideration for development to truly be sustainable. In addition to forming a part of Environmental Impact Assessment prior to any development, the infringement of the cultural significance and the meanings that local communities have attached to aquatic landscapes should come with stringent legal consequences.
Significance of work: Over the past years, the cultural connection between communities in Parys and the Vaal River area has been influenced by the effects of industrialisation, urbanisation and other anthropogenic factors that stem from these. This study found that there is a range of cultural rituals and beliefs that form part of the everyday lives of many residents of the communities in Parys. The significance of this study lies in recognising the importance of aquatic environments for the cultural health of communities and that, prior to development, developers who aim for sustainable development need to adhere to the National Heritage Resources Act, Act No. 25 of 1999. The Act includes the protection of sites of cultural significance to a community, and this involves the Vaal River. In addition to forming a part of the Environmental Impact Assessment prior to any development, infringement of the cultural significance and the meanings that local communities attach to aquatic landscapes should come with stringent legal consequences. The study also emphasises that it is important to realise that one cannot continue to isolate natural science from social science in debating what is sustainable.
Fostering public accountability in South Africa : a reflection on challenges and successes : original researchAuthor Pandelani H. MunzhedziSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –7 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.339More Less
Accountability and oversight are constitutional requirements in all the spheres of government in the Republic of South Africa and their foundation is in the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996. All spheres of government are charged with the constitutional mandate of providing public services. The level of responsibility and public services provision also goes with the level of capacity of a particular sphere. However, most of the direct and visible services that the public receives are at the local sphere of government. As such, enormous resources are channelled towards this sphere of government so that the said public services could be provided. It is imperative that the three spheres of government account for the huge expenditures during the public service provision processes. The parliaments of national and provincial governments exercise oversight and accountability over their executives and administrations through the Public Accounts Committees, while the local sphere of government relies on the Municipal Public Accounts Committees. This article is theoretical in nature, and it seeks to explore the current state of public accountability in South Africa and to evaluate possible measures so as to enhance public accountability. The article argues that the current public accountability mechanisms are not efficient and effective. It is recommended that these mechanisms ought to be enhanced by inter alia capacitating the legislative bodies at national, provincial and local spheres of the government.
Cultivating the soft skills of future construction managers through restorying construction workers' career narratives : original researchAuthor Adelia CarstensSource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –9 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.335More Less
Background: In the construction industry, there is an increased awareness of the importance of soft skills. However, no empirical studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of pedagogical strategies in higher education to improve the soft skills of future construction managers.
Aim: The main aim of the research was to explore how undergraduate students of the construction sciences construe the identities of construction workers and whether their views have been changed through their retelling of and reflecting on the career stories of these workers. It was anticipated that the results would give an indication of whether the students' 'soft skills' can be improved through curricular interventions.
Setting: The research was situated in a module on academic and professional literacy for students of Construction Economics at a large residential university in Gauteng. The module serves as an adjunct to a core module in Building Science.
Methods: Theoretically, the article is underpinned by Critical Multicultural Education, and methodologically, it is based on theories of narratives and storytelling. The primary instruments of data gathering were students' narrative reconstructions of the career stories of construction workers that were gathered through personal interviews. The student narratives were analysed using the qualitative data analysis program AtlasTi.
Results: Four themes emerged from the analysis of the narratives - personal characteristics, sponsors/enablers, challenges and agency - while the analysis of students' critical reflections on their narratives pointed towards an understanding that career success is determined by diligence and work ethics, rather than circumstances.
Conclusion: An important change that occurred in students' perceptions about construction workers is a realisation that successful workers are driven by an internal locus of control and are not derailed by adverse circumstances. The changed attitudes go beyond tolerance and reduced stereotyping. It is recommended that in order to deliver well-rounded graduates to the construction industry, multiple opportunities should be created in the curricula for modules focused on the acquisition of 'hard' as well as 'soft' skills.
The politics of service delivery in South Africa : The local government sphere in context : original researchAuthor Purshottama S. ReddySource: TD : The Journal for Transdisciplinary Research in Southern Africa 12, pp 1 –8 (2016) http://dx.doi.org/10.4102/td.v12i1.337More Less
The post-1994 democratic developmental South African state opted for a strong local government system which has been constitutionalised, in terms of Chapter 7 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa Act 108 of 1996. The politicisation of the local bureaucracy was inevitable as the ruling party sought to ensure that the executive leadership of municipalities shared the same political ideology and vision to facilitate local development. This raises the question, where does politicisation commence and end, and what is the ideal local political interface for efficient and effective service delivery and, more importantly, to ensure good governance? These questions have to take cognisance of the fact that South Africa is a 'struggle democracy' and development has to take place in historically disadvantaged areas, where services have been poor or non-existent. The historically advantaged areas have to also be maintained and upgraded, as they are key to financial sustainability of the municipalities. The increasing service delivery protests is a matter for concern, if one has to take cognisance of the popular adage highlighted in official literature, 'if local government fails, South Africa fails'. Given that the struggles for a democratic South Africa were fought at the grassroots level, this has to translate to an improved quality of life for local communities. Consequently, sound political management is key to enhanced municipal service delivery and ultimately good local governance. This paper reviews political trends and developments up to 2016, but excludes any discussion on the recent local government elections.