KovsieScholar Repository

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ItemOpen Access
Violent student protests in higher education institutions: exploring the formations of violence and the socio-economic costs of violent protests
(University of the Free State, 2023) Khiba, Teboho Aubrey; Nzima, Divane
This study investigated the academic and financial impacts of violent student protests on students and the University. Within this background, this study adopted an interpretive paradigm to understand the lived experiences of students who have participated in violent student protests. In addition, the study looks at how staff members are affected by violent protests in the discharge of their duties. The study comes against the background of an upsurge in violent student protests with adverse consequences for both students and institutions of higher education in South Africa. The study adopted a qualitative design, and the sample included students from various political parties, student organisations, and staff personnel from different departments at the University of Free State (UFS). The sample of the study was made up of 15 participants. These included nine students and six staff. Of the total participants, two were females while fourteen were males. Participants were recruited using purposive and snowball sampling strategies. Data for this study were collected through online and face-to-face interviews using an interview schedule. In analysing data for this study, inductive thematic analysis was used. The theoretical framework used in this study included the theory of interpersonal violence, the Fanonian perspective on violence, and the emergent norm theory. The study found that lack of response, leadership, diverse agendas, individual selection, retaliation, as well as the presence of police and private security emerged as essential factors contributing to violence or violent acts during protests. Moreover, the study found that restricted access to campus resources, loss of study time, and suspensions of some student activists were notable consequences encountered after protests. In addition, the study found that transport and legal fees were among some of the financial costs incurred by students due to violent protests. Furthermore, the study found that services offered by the University, such as administration and academic services, come to a stop when protests occur on campus. This impedes staff members’ duties as protests become a priority where substantial money is spent on acquiring extra security and replacing or fixing any damaged property due to student protests.
ItemOpen Access
Exploring reading attitudes and habits of pre-service teachers responsible for early literacy development
(University of the Free State, 2023) Boshoff, Elani; Du Plessis, Colleen Lynne; Drennan, Laura Maria
Reading is a crucial part of academic study and scholastic performance. Strong reading skills, which entail positive reading attitudes and robust reading habits, are needed to facilitate learning. Teachers, in particular, need to have a love for reading and regular reading habits themselves to be influential role models for their learners. However, studies show that, although pre-service teachers believe reading is important and/or beneficial, they do not maintain strong reading habits themselves, and they do not see reading as pleasurable. Such teachers may struggle to impart to their future learners positive reading attitudes that they themselves do not have. This study focused on pre-service teachers because they are uniquely positioned to reveal current reading attitudes cultivated by South African schools, and because they still have the opportunity to develop positive reading attitudes during their teacher training. The cohort includes pre-service teachers who are training to become Foundation or Intermediate Phase teachers; thus, the title of the study refers to pre-service teachers who will be responsible for early literacy development. The study aimed to learn about pre-service teachers’ reading attitudes and habits, and underlying reasons for them. To do this, insights were gained from a thorough literature study on reading as a cognitive process, the development of reading attitudes and habits, reader-text transaction types, and instructional approaches for meaningful reading practices within a Humanist and Social Reformist curricular philosophy. For the purposes of exploring the reading attitudes and habits of pre-service teachers responsible for teaching young learners, the English Reading Attitude Survey (ERAS) was developed as the data collection instrument. Key findings were that although most of the pre-service teachers expressed positive reading attitudes, their reading attitudes do not align with their reading practices, and they do not engage in extensive or pleasure reading. The cohort’s reading habits can be described as efferent rather than aesthetic; they seem not to focus on a love for reading and a regular reading habit for its own sake — rather, many think of reading as a necessary obstacle that must be overcome for academic purposes such as completing assignments. They read texts associated with their course work rather than literary works that could provide educational and personal benefits. Although many mentioned the value of literature in education to acquire knowledge and develop language proficiency, very few mentioned the need for teachers to read often or have a love for reading. Moreover, most were not encouraged to engage in meaningful ways with literature at school. They were taught with rote learning techniques in which learners were expected to memorise teachers’ notes instead of generating their own ideas and interpretations. It is possible that the lack of personal and meaningful engagement with literature texts is a cause for their lack of extensive and pleasure reading. The results of the survey also revealed a concerning prevalence of reading anxiety amongst the cohort of pre-service teachers. Participants indicated that they struggle to understand what they read, which may affect their studies negatively, given the amount of reading students are expected to do at university. Interestingly, participants showed a strong preference for printed texts. The fact that much of their academic reading is done through digital modes, via the Internet or through online learning management systems, may be a contributing factor to reading anxiety. Responsible design principles in applied linguistics remind us that the efficacy of our solutions is more important than their trendiness. If we wish to establish healthy reading attitudes and habits, digital reading modes may not always be the best tool to facilitate engagement with literature in classrooms. Recommendations based on the findings include prioritising reading literacy education in teacher training programs, as well as foregrounding the literature component of language curricula. Pre-service teachers need to be made aware of their example as reading role models, and they should also be given opportunities to nurture their own reading attitudes and habits during their training. They need to be equipped with the tools and techniques necessary to teach their future learners important reading skills, while encouraging a love for reading and the development of robust reading habits.
ItemOpen Access
Undernutrition in young children with congenital heart disease undergoing cardiac surgery in a low-income environment
(BMC, 2024) Robyn, Smith; Veronica, Ntsiea; Stephen, Brown; Joanne, Potterton
Malnutrition (undernutrition) in children with congenital disease (CHD) is a notable concern, with preoperative and persistent growth failure post-cardiac surgery contributing to poorer outcomes. Poor growth in children with CHD in low-income environments is exacerbated by feeding difficulties, poverty, delayed diagnosis, and late corrective surgery. This study describes and compares the growth of young children with CHD undergoing cardiac surgery in central South Africa from before to 6-months after cardiac surgery.
ItemOpen Access
Portrayal of witchcraft in selected IsiZulu novels
(University of the Free State, 2023) Ndebele, Siphiwe Alfred; Malete, Elias Nyefolo; Zulu, N. S.
𝑬𝒏𝒈𝒍𝒊𝒔𝒉 This study investigates the various depictions of witchcraft in selected IsiZulu novels from South Africa. The objective is to investigate witchcraft techniques in each novel by thematically classifying the different and dominant types of witchcraft portrayed. A thematic approach to literary analysis is employed. This study is prompted by the lack of scholarly works that have focused on the practices of witchcraft in Zulu culture. Focus has been placed on the novels from the years 1935 up to 2014. The novels analysed were divided into two (2) categories of eras, namely; the colonial period and post-colonial period. IsiZulu novels written during the South African colonial-era such as Noma Nini (1935), Nje Nempela (1943), Amalutha Emalutheni (1960), Ikusasa Alaziwa (1969), Shumpu (1974), Abafana Boqunga (1977), Umbuso KaShaka (1987) and Ulaka LwabeNguni (1988) chronicle the use of witchcraft practices during the period of white-domination. IsiZulu fiction written in South Africa’s post-colonial period includes texts such as Ithemba Lami (1993), Kungasa Ngifile (2002), Kuyoqhuma Nhlamvana (2004), Ngacishe Ngazibambezela (2006), Akuyiwe Emhlahlweni (2007), Imiyalezo (2008), Kunjalo-ke (2008) and Bakithi! Impi Yothando Iyimpi Yegazi (2014). The study reveals how representations of sorcery, occult practices and witchcraft as portrayed in the chosen IsiZulu novels highlight witchcraft beliefs that are systematically related to specific cultural, political, socio-economic and psychological institutions. The study also thematically retraces how witchcraft practices such as otikoloshe (a mischievous and evil spirit), ukudlisa (poisoning) and izulu (lightning) form part of what Niehaus (2001) considers to be elaborate social dramas which reflect how beliefs about at communal and personal level witchcraft are organised.
ItemOpen Access
Investigating good governance and leadership within the Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs)
(University of the Free State, 2023) Motsie, Nneo Tsamontle; Swanepoel, M. P.
Sector Education and Training Authorities (SETAs) have been in operation for more than 20 years in South Africa. SETAs were first introduced by the Department of Labour in the year 2000 and they were established according to the Skills Development Act, No. 97 of 1998, of which subsection 9(1) in Chapter 3 states that the relevant minister may establish a SETA with a constitution for any national economic sector. SETAs were formed after the apartheid era because of the gaps and imbalances caused by apartheid. They were established to create jobs and to address the shortage of skilled professionals in South Africa, especially among black people, women, and disadvantaged citizens. The objective of the SETAs is to facilitate training in the different sectors and their mandate is to address skills development needs (Republic of South Africa [RSA] 1998b). Since their establishment, SETAs have attracted negative media attention due to poor governance and leadership (see, for example, Bolin 2003; Mail & Guardian 2003; Robinson 2004). Barclay (2012: 3) states that regardless of their positive contribution to skills development, SETAs continue to be the most criticised entities in the democratic dispensation. The challenges faced by SETAs are ineffective management information systems, poor monitoring and evaluation systems, lack of quality assurance mechanisms, poor governance, high dropout rates of learners registered for learnerships, corruption, theft, dysfunction, poor leadership, and irregular expenditure.Even though SETAs have existed for more than 20 years, little has been done with regard to leadership (the boards and senior management) within the SETAs. There have been continuous management challenges with regard to implementing policies and SETA operating principles. The management of SETAs is known to be ill-equipped to implement regulations and to enforce the law. Some SETAs have been placed under administration because of maladministration and the continuous unethical conduct of their senior management. Most SETAs are poorly managed, which results in fruitless expenditure such as spending billions of rands on administrative functions, with little money going to the training needs of the stakeholders (Rhodes University, 2021).According to Prinsloo (2004: 4), SETAs were created to serve as a solution for the shortage of skills in the country. The Auditor-General of South Africa (AGSA) has been reporting irregular expenditure within the SETAs since 2019, of which most of the irregular expenditure stems from poor governance and leadership. A member of the Parliamentary Committee and representative of the Democratic Alliance stated that “SETAs are corrupt and ineffective organizations” and that “the cycle of dissolving boards and appointing administrators goes on and on within SETAs due to ineffective leadership within the SETAs” (Parliamentary Monitoring Group [PMG] 2020). A member of the Parliamentary Committee and representative of the African National Congress challenged SETA representatives to devise a plan to restore efficiency and effectiveness within the SETAs. He questioned the good governance and management of the SETAs in 2020 during a committee meeting set up by the Department of Higher Education, Science and Innovation (PMG 2020).
ItemOpen Access
The role and place of citizens in South Africa: a governance perspective
(University of the Free State, 2023) Nyathi, Mandla Comfort; Coetzee, Tania
This research’s focus is on examining the role and place of South African citizens from a governance perspective. The role and place of citizens can be defined as “a process wherein the common amateurs of a community exercise power over decisions related to the general affairs of a community” (Bekker, 1998). The Constitution of South Africa (1996) recognises a citizen as a legal member of the nation who is either born or neutralised in South Africa. Being a citizen means that there are both obligations and responsibilities that must be met, to maintain representative democracy and the proper role of government. An obligation is an action that a citizen is required to fulfil by law, while a responsibility is an action a citizen should take for the sake of the good common. Obligations of citizens include the paying of taxes, obeying laws, defending the nation, registering for elections and responsibilities include voting, attending civic meetings, and petitioning the government (Christopher, 2018:117). The role and place of citizens from a governance perspective is further solidified by the Bill of Rights. Chapter 2 of the Constitution (1996) provides that citizenry have the right to life, equality, freedom of association, political rights, citizenship, housing and parenthood for children. Citizens have the right to vote in which they play a role by participating in the democratic process of choosing people who will represent their interests in the Parliament (Green, 2008:55). According to Santoro and Kumar (2018:199), by choosing their own leaders, citizens are making use of their space in a constitutional democracy to make a positive contribution towards good governance. Green (2008:170) reiterates that voting is a constitutional and democratic process in which the citizens can hold the government to account. Since Members of Parliament (MPs) are chosen representatives, they must be accountable to the South African people and must act in the interest of the public. Christopher (2018:31) indicates that parties are elected based on what they stand for and MPs should be able to explain what they have been doing to execute their duties. Since the mandates of political parties are temporary, MPs are accountable in the sense that they may not be re-elected if they did not represent the public well or they do not deliver on the promises they made. It is vital to keep politicians accountable, as it is key to democracy and good governance. Accountability will compel the state to concentrate on outcomes and to assess and report on performance (Bekker, 1998:64). According to Galvin (2017:78), accountability has three elements, namely financial accountability, political accountability, and administrative accountability. The Institute for Democracy in South Africa considers accountability as a vital part of safeguarding public rights. In Shah’s point of view (2005:35) there are two types of accountability: vertical accountability (to citizens directly through the ballot box) and horizontal accountability (to public institutions of accountability). The institutions of horizontal accountability include the legislature, the judiciary, electoral commissions, auditing agencies, anticorruption bodies, ombudsmen, human rights commissions, and central banks. Institutions of horizontal and vertical accountability are fundamentally interconnected in that horizontal accountability is not likely to exist in the absence of vertical accountability: governments will bind themselves with institutions of horizontal accountability only when they will be punished by citizens for failing to do so. Civil society is believed to be another influential factor in the development of institutions of horizontal accountability (Shah, 2005). If competent governments are thought to be able to control the economy, then economic voting seems eminently sensible and the impact of economic conditions on election outcomes seems to provide powerful evidence of democratic accountability. In addition, if citizens are systematically biased in their perceptions of economic conditions, retrospective accountability will suffer (Achen & Bartels, 2016:147). Contrary to the roles and responsibilities, as mentioned in the preceding paragraphs, citizens demonstrate acts of irresponsibility, which in turn affect governance in general. During the 2021 local government elections, many South Africans voted, not with an X on a ballot paper, but by staying away (Independent Electoral Commission, 2021). This was a decision that was likely to leave a patchwork of coalition-run municipalities across the country that could have a detrimental effect on the future of South Africa’s democracy (Matias, 2016:56).
ItemOpen Access
Building state capacity in service delivery through public private partnerships: the case of the health sector in Lesotho
(University of the Free State, 2023) Nkopane, Mapheello Juliet; Jankielsohn, Roy
State capacity is mostly measured through the way services are rendered to a country’s citizens. Hence, Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) in the health sector have gained popularity and they are seen by many democracies as strategic approaches to managing and governing service delivery to citizens and, therefore, are considered a policy tool for enhancing governance. However, in many developing countries PPPs have not received enough attention; this has aggravated the healthcare systems’ challenges and development. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to emphasise the importance of building state capacity in service delivery through PPPs within the health sector in Lesotho and to provide information on the role of the government in ensuring effective collaborations or interactions between the public sector and the private sector. A descriptive qualitative method was used in this research to investigate, through desktop research of various resources, how the Government of Lesotho could build state capacity through the implementation of PPPs in the health sector. The focus of the study was on the Queen ‘Mamohato Memorial Hospital PPP project. It was found in this study that building state capacity through PPPs in Lesotho’s health sector is in its initial stages and it faces many challenges. This was evident in the recently failed Queen ‘Mamohato Hospital PPP project due to the absence of PPP legislation, public sector capacity, a detailed implementation framework, risk sharing procurement, and many other factors. A well-balanced incorporation of such key factors would be essential for the successful and sustainable implementation of PPPs in the health sector in Lesotho. The study answered the research questions on how state capacity towards service delivery could be enhanced using PPPs within the health sector in Lesotho.
ItemOpen Access
The impact of the intervention of NGOs and CBOs on Lesotho’s governance
(University of the Free State, 2023) Koali, Seemola Sylvia; Coetzee, Tania
Lesotho is a small, mountainous landlocked country, it is land locked by South Africa. t has a population of almost 2.3 million and nominal gross domestic product (GDP) per capita of $1,045.9 in 2022 (World Bank 2023). Like other African countries in its pursuit to strengthen its democracy and reduce poverty, Lesotho became a member and signatory to several sub-regional, regional, and international convention. These organisations include the Southern African Development Communities (SADC), the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), the United Nations (UN), and the African Union (AU). As mechanisms to help in the fight against poverty and global development, many countries introduced Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and Community Based Organisations (CBOs) to their governance (processes/structures?) to fill gaps that the government either cannot or do not wish to fulfill. Loise (2017) notes that NGOs are one of the basic elements of democratic societies. It is incontestable that NGOs and CBOs have come to play a prominent role on the African continent, including Lesotho. They are regarded as one of the mechanisms used in poverty reduction initiatives and programmes. The roots of NGOs and CBOs in Africa are found in the arrival of missionaries on the continent who dispensed charity and engaged in the provision of education and health services (Manji and O’Coill 2007: 568). Matthews and Nqaba (2017: 5) argued that while the history of NGOs could be traced back to the colonial period, it was in the 1980s that they were increasingly recognised as important institutions in the broader development aid sectors in Africa, as well as the rest of the world. Khati (2018: iii) observed that the prevalence of NGOs and CBOs in most developing countries is linked to the availability of foreign aid and a modernisation agenda for developed countries to invest in the development of the Global South countries. Khati (2018) states that, for these reasons, the governments of developing countries have embraced the existence and importance of NGOs in the improvement of the livelihoods of poor people within their regions.
ItemOpen Access
Constitutional framework for traditional leaders in South Africa
(University of the Free State, 2023) September, Teboho Jeffry; Coetzee, Tania
This conceptual Mini dissertation explores the Constitutional framework for traditional leaders in South Africa, focusing on the delicate balance between cultural heritages and integrating traditional leadership into the modern governance.Traditiional leadership plays a significant role in social, cultural and economic fabric of South African Communities, often serving vital link between the government and local Communities.However,the Constitutional recognition and regulation of traditional leaders have been subject of an ongoing debate. Drawing on comprehensive review of existing literature, legal framework and relevant case studies, this mini dissertation examines the historical context of traditional leadership in South Africa and analyse the complexities surrounding their positions within the Constitutional framework.it explores the tension between customary law, democratic principles and human rights, shedding light on the Constitutional challenges faced in reconciling traditional governance structures with the demand of the modern Constitutional democracy. This main dissertation delve into the key issues such as recognition of traditional leaders authority, their leadership with elected government structure, and extend to which Customary laws should be accommodated within the broader legal system.it also explored the need for accountability,transparency,and inclusivity within traditional leadership institutions, ensuring that they align with democratic values while upholding the cultural heritage and practices cherished by local government communities. The findings of this mini dissertation contributes on the ongoing discourse of the Constitutional recognition and regulations of traditional leadership in South Africa. By critically analysing the intricate dynamics between traditional, modern governance and Constitutional principles. The study will inform policy makers, legal practitioners, scholars and communities on the challenges and potential solutions for establishing a Constitutional framework that respects Cultural heritage while promoting the principles of democracy, human rights and inclusivity.
ItemOpen Access
South Africa's role in the promotion of democracy and good governance in Africa to drive economic development
(University of the Free State, 2023) Singo, Muthundinne Curtis; Matebesi, Sethulego Zacheus
Good governance has been receiving global attention as studies suggest that its effectiveness equates to developing any member states, prompting countries and governments to align themselves with tenets of good governance to realise economic development. However, though the concept of good governance is widely underscored as a mechanism through which countries can achieve development objectives, the situation in Africa is different. African countries are battling development, which impacts people's socio-economic status. Good governance is failing because of the governance system that breeds political instabilities and democratic deficits; this is even though, as a mechanism, good governance will ensure that the continent scurries towards achieving its regional developmental plans. Thus, a voice of reason must emerge to inspire confidence and lead the developmental trajectories of the continent; hence, since democratisation and reintegration into the global society, South Africa has been involved in developing the continent through the African Agenda.