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Masters Degrees (Economic History and Development Studies)

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    Women and their role in economic growth and development in the Cabhane area in Port Shepstone, South Africa.
    (2016) Mtheku, Meshack Khanyisani.; Simelane, Hamilton Sipho.
    Women’s contribution to agriculture is seldom recognized in spite of their active involvement in the agriculture. This study was designed to probe into the extent to which women participate in agricultural and household activities in the Cabhane area in Port Shepstone. Both purposive and snowballing sampling techniques were used for the selection of study respondents. Out of the whole Cabhane, three valleys, namely, Mabhikili, Malukhakha and Velumemeze were purposively selected. From each of the selected valleys, 30 women were selected both from small and medium size families who were actively engaged in farm as well as household activities. The data was collected with the help of a validated interview schedule or questionnaire. The study revealed that women’s participation in agricultural activities such as crop production, banana plantation and livestock, was very high. In the livestock activities, women participation is highest in cleaning of animal sheds. The study revealed that participation in agriculture was mainly for providing households with economic security. The study also revealed that although the majority of Cabhane women are actively involved in agriculture and development some pressing problems still impinge on their participation.
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    Access to land and land ownership for residential and livelihood purposes in the historically disadvantaged areas in Mpumalanga province : a case study of informal settlement in Govan Mbeki Municipality.
    (2016) Nxumalo, Lindani Ernest.; Fakude, Gordon Phiwinhlanhla Ian.
    It is certainly undeniable that the land question remains an emotive issue across the social and political spectrum in the national and local level of South African government. The legacy of Native Land Act of 1913 which gave effect to ‘legal’ dispossession of land from native black people and apartheid policies and laws left a remarkable fragmentation of spatial development in both rural and urban areas. In the post democratic South Africa, strides were and are still being made to address the social injustice and imbalances of the past policies through land reform programmes and other pieces of legislation. In contrast, a large number of poor black people are still confronted with challenges of access to land and ownership for residential and livelihood purposes in South Africa. In the past two decades South African municipalities have witnessed a mushrooming of informal settlements established through land invasions as a result of, among other things, ever rising population, poverty and immigration to urban areas. The study was conducted in Mpumalanga province with a special case study of Govan Mbeki Municipality’s informal settlements. The main objective of the study was to investigate the obstacles that impede the poor from accessing and owning the land within the municipal jurisdiction. This study adopted both qualitative and quantitative research designs. The exploratory method was used to gather the general insight on the subject. Key participants were identified through the use of convenience sampling which is a non-probability sampling technique. Interviews were conducted and questionnaires were distributed to the selected participants. Collected data was analysed using Statistic Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) which produced tabulations and graphs that made sense of the data and Content data analysis was employed which helped to establish themes from the data. These techniques assisted in understanding the challenges faced by the informal settlements in terms of the role of government with regard to redistribution of land for residential and livelihood purposes. The findings of the study established that the growing population in Govan Mbeki Municipality led to a demand for land for residential. Accessing of residential land by the landless poor people was revealed as a major challenge which resulted in land invasions as means to acquire housing. The ownership of land by private entities such as Sasol and coal mines, were found to be one of the obstacles that impede the land redistribution programme in the municipal area. Most of the surface lands were found not to be compatible for settlements due to underground mining operations. Land is accessed through obtaining low cost housing and bidding for stands when they become available at the municipality. Given the fact that a number of them are poor, they found themselves excluded and the allocation of low cost houses move at a slow pace.
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    Assessing the impact of government intervention on social capital formation and livelihood strategies of rural communities: the case of eThekwini and Ugu municipalities - KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa.
    (2014) Mchunu, Bhekamachunu Henry Zwelethu.; Simelane, Hamilton Sipho.; Fakude, Gordon Phiwinhlanhla Ian.
    Since 1994, there has been a concerted effort by the government of South Africa to support agricultural initiatives – as apparent in the promotion of collective agriculture group initiatives and a deliberate focus on creating a policy environment favoring such initiatives. The cooperative model has been adopted by government as a preferred business model for this purpose. The adoption and promotion of collective action as a model for government intervention in rural development suggests an acknowledgment of social capital as an economic development resource and asset. The past two decades have also seen growing interest in social capital among social theorists and acceptance of social capital as a resource for minimising transaction costs and transforming trade relations. The earliest known advocate of social capital is Hanifan (1916), a state supervisor of rural schools in West Virginia, United States of America. However, the concept owes its most recent resurgence in popularity to the late twentieth century theorists, particularly Coleman and Putnam (1980s), a sociologist and a political scientist respectively. This inquiry looks at the impact of government-sponsored intervention on local stock of social capital of rural communities with government’s developmental local government and rural development agendas as a backdrop. The small-scale farmer groups of Ugu District and eThekwini Municipalities in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa were purposively identified and selected for this study due to the involvement of government in both cases, albeit to varying degrees. The central argument of this inquiry is that government involvement in social capital formation could potentially retard voluntary initiative at community level and promote dependency. The qualitative approach and the interpretive paradigm underpin the methodology for the empirical aspect of this inquiry.
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    The struggle for daily life in Durban : Congolese migrants economic survival strategies.
    (2014) Dunia, Heri Mugisha.; Francis, Michael Douglas.
    This study explores the livelihoods experiences of Congolese migrants in the city of Durban with particular reference to the various ways and means they utilize in order to survive amid a rough environment in tough times emanating from global economic meltdown sided with economic austerity measures. Qualitative methodology is the approach as the ‘how’, ‘why’ and ‘what’ of the Congolese migrants’ economic survival strategies are investigated. The sampling area involved South Beach and Saint Georges vicinities. Five elements from both areas were interviewed using in-depth interviews. Purposive sampling technique was used to identify relevant respondents to which a snowball sampling method was added to help reaching more interviewees. The findings of this study reveal that in the absence of the local government intervention Congolese migrants are left alone to mend their way to develop economic means of survival on the quotidian in Durban. In a country that is Identity driven, their lack of proper documents hinge their integration in the mainstream of the local economy. Police harassment coupled with xenophobic patterns of attitudes from locals jeopardise their livelihoods as they wrestle to reproduce. Their economic contribution to the city is very insignificant owing to issues of disempowerment. They lack skills in general and technical training in particular to adequately compete economically in today’s globalized society. The centrality of this study is that these findings can be extrapolated on other migrants at the provincial and national level and can contribute to design policies that can mitigate the plight of migrants.
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    The state, land reform, old farmers and new farmers : an assessment of farming in the Shangani area of Zimbabwe.
    (2014) Chikowore, Shepherd.; Fakude, Gordon Phiwinhlanhla Ian.; Francis, Michael Douglas.
    After the lapse of the Fast Track Land Reform Program in Zimbabwe, agricultural production slumped and the slump persisted for a decade. An assortment of factors explaining the slump has been brought forward and the new farming strategies of the new farmers were elaborated in passing. This dissertation identified and assessed the farming strategies and practices employed by the new farmers at De Beers Shangani ranch after the Fast Track Land Reform program of 2000. It discussed the land reform process in Shangani and specifically its outcomes mainly on agricultural production. It examined the impact of the socio-political environment in Shangani and explored how the socio-political environment has influenced the choice of strategies hence affecting the farmers‟ production. Guided by the Agricultural Sustainability and Political Ecology conceptual frameworks it assessed how sustainable these strategies were in relation with the soil types, climatic conditions and socio-political milieu in Shangani. In addition, state-farmers relations were explored to ascertain how the relationship has affected agricultural production of the new farmers. In-depth interviews were conducted to a sample population of 20 participants who were purposively selected basing on their knowledge and expertise on farming systems employed by the new farmers at Debshan. Conclusions drawn from this dissertation reveal that some strategies adopted by the well-off farmers have managed to increase production while some strategies adopted by the impoverished and financially struggling farmers have resulted to low production. It concludes that farming strategies employed by the new farmers at Debshan have an impact on the agricultural production of the farmers. The state-farmer relations have also affected agricultural production negatively and led to low utilization of land hence low production.
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    D'urbanised tradition: the restructuring and development of the muthi trade in Durban.
    (1999) Nesvag, Stein Inge.; Freund, William Mark.
    This thesis is about the history of the muthi trade (the African traditional medicine trade) since it was introduced to Durban. "D'Urbanised Tradition" refers to the way the tradition surrounding muthi was urbanised in Durban, and how it has been viewed as a 'de-urbanising' element in the city. The thesis deals with the changes, over the past 100 years, to the tradition of muthi trading that were brought about both by actors 'within' the trade - what I refer to as 'restructuring of tradition' - and by interventions from 'external' forces (the state, the biomedical lobby and the conservationist lobby) - what I have termed 'the development of tradition'. Whereas many studies present (Zulu) tradition as something static, this study of "D'Urbanised tradition" focuses on change and process - why and how these changes to tradition have occurred. It comprises an analysis of how the dialectic between change and continuity within the muthi trade has been negotiated by strategic actors throughout the twentieth century. Emphasis is on the economic and political potentials of tradition and traditional medicine, and focus will be on changes in the muthi trade in Durban, using the Russell Street Muthi Market in the 1990s as a case study. Although 'restructuring' and 'development' are kept separate in this thesis, they denote interrelated processes whereby active agents strategically use tradition to achieve their ends. It is argued that the traditions surrounding muthi have been manipulated both as economic as well as political tools by the various vested interests in the trade. The thesis deals with one of the largest and most important sectors of South Africa's informal economy, and provides a historical analysis and case study of the strategies used by both traders and outside institutions involved in the trade. This is done by using the paradigm of 'tradition'.