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Editorial Note for the Special Issue on Development in South Africa- March 2021
This special issue arose from papers accepted for publication in some regular issues of the journal which have South Africa as their focus. Typically, the journal publishes special issues either from proceedings of a conference or on a special theme. It was felt that it would be more impactful if some of the accepted papers that deal on relevant aspects of South Africa’s socio-economic development are put together and published as a special issue of the journal.
For decades, achieving sustainable socio-economic development across nations has been a challenging process. Service delivery, governance, and sustainability are some of the major factors that significantly influence economic growth, both from the present and the future perspective. Environmental catastrophes such as flood, famine, pandemics, etc. are some of the other concerns, which inhibit the growth of the economy and adversely affect future development. Hence, a clear understanding of these factors is crucial.
Development has a significant impact in areas of local and community building. As the Covid-19 pandemic shows its scourge globally, numerous governments have realigned their various initiatives to future development in the face of disasters. Development has seized to be a topic for politicians but now a collective one. Several countries in Africa introduced stimulus packages meant to ameliorate the hardship. South Africa, one of the leading economies in the continent, is heavily hit by the pandemic, and as such, many government projects are facing a fiscal dilemma. This situation is exacerbated by the expectations that the government should have a clear-cut vision of its strengths.
This special issue seeks to address this development gap by bringing together articles from a range of disciplines, practices, and sectors. It looks at recent research and critical thinking on the evaluation of development, covering a wide range of topics, engaging with various audiences of diverse types and sizes in an international context, and integrating many theoretical approaches and methodological tools. Apart from innovative research, the issue includes also critical reflections about the potential and shortcomings of development and its impact, practices, policies, and strategies for research, governing, and funding bodies.
We thank the international pool of reviewers who honoured us with the time and effort they put into reviewing the papers and contributing to their improvement. This special issue was created from the papers submitted to the journal with an overwhelming focus on South Africa.
The first article [Bese et al] focuses on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices in South Africa. Utilising a cross-sectional approach where 130 smallholder farmers were purposively sampled in five rural villages in South Africa. It was found that several farmers were slowly adopting SAPs in their subsistence farming. The results enhance the current understanding of SAPs in South Africa, where the knowledge base is still narrow.
The second article [Mbatha et al] investigates the sustainability of agricultural projects in some rural villages in South Africa. The data were collected through the use of five focus group discussions with agricultural cooperatives who were sampled using the purposive sampling method. The qualitative data was analysed using content analysis. The critical aspects of the findings reveal that the sustainability of agricultural projects in the Msinga area face many challenges, such as disease outbreak, and conditions of climate change and as a result they need a support from the government to improve their livelihoods.
The third article [Adanlawo et al] investigates how the corporate social responsibility of shopping centres sustains the communities around them. Questionnaires were administered to 450 respondents in Richards Bay, South Africa. The results of the study indicated that not all shopping centres participate in CSR activities. Community leaders were not involved in deciding the projects. Also, implemented projects were not communicated to the community residents.
The fourth article [John] provides a perspective on the effects of service delivery on social development, noting that protests over service are a norm in South Africa. The article dwells on its effect on development. Methodologically, the author applied a qualitative research design. The findings revealed that service delivery protests at Greater Tzaneen Local Municipality have negative impacts on socio-economic development.
The fifth article [Montle et al] explores human factors causing fatal road accidents in South Africa. This study adopted five reports on existing secondary data and was anchored on the Haddon Matrix model of injuries prevention. The study found that the infringement of road traffic signs, drinking while driving, driving after taken alcoholic drink heavily, over speeding and night driving among other negligent practices contribute immensely to fatal road accidents.
The sixth article [Kativhu et al] explores threats to youth enterprise resilience in selected areas of Thulamela Local Municipality, South Africa. A sequentially integrated approach involving a qualitative methodology and a subsequent quantitative design was followed. A Pricnipapl Component Analysis was utilised. It was found that the major threats were poor infrastructure, competition and inadequate finance.
The seventh article [Munzhedzi] deals with holding the executive to account in South Africa. The study engages on issues that could lead the executives to be accountable. To this end, this conceptual paper uses existing literature to examine and analyse possible weaknesses that are encountered in holding the executive arm of the state to account. Viable solutions are recommended to enhance the accountability of the executive arm including amending the legislative framework, which allows the head of the executive (The President) to appoint head of the institutions mandated to hold the executive to account.
The eighth article [Lestoalo] on Mentees’ Perspective of Effectiveness of Mentoring Programme on Students Adjustment to University Life focuses on mentoring programs for students. This exploratory cross-sectional quantitative study was aimed at exploring the mentees’ perspective of the Baditi Student Support Programme at the University of Limpopo. This study reported that mentees at the University of Limpopo appreciate the university’s intervention through the Baditi Student Support programme.
The ninth article [Mlambo et al], which is on ‘Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the South Africa’s Development Agenda Post Democratization. The article rightfully attests to the fact the if the South African government is to stimulate its economic growth prospects, more robust plans in terms of working with NGOs is needed. Methodologically, this article draws from a qualitative approach and draws strength from a critical review of secondary data on NGOs and their developmental role.
The tenth article [Shopola et al] answers the question of whether public administration and management (pam) academic programmes offered in many of South African Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) colleges sufficiently capture the very mission of these institutions, which is to curb scarcity of skills in various employment sectors. The study is qualitative in nature, and a critical scholarship review was used as the main data collection method. The study found that PAM as currently offered through the TVET’s National Accredited Training Education Diploma is not highly in demand in the market.
The eleventh article [Nzama et al] investigates substance abuse among high school learners in South Africa. This study explored learners’ substance abuse in some selected high schools in South Africa. A thematic analysis was used to interpretively present and discuss the themes’ findings. Findings revealed that substances abused among the learners were mostly cigarettes, marijuana, alcohol and dagga.
The twelfth article [Mawere et al] on the legality of expropriating land without compensation in South Africa: a engages this controversial land redistribution debate. The paper uses international and regional law framework to undertake this analysis. Through using the doctrinal approach, the paper found out that it is legal to expropriate land without paying compensation to redress historical land inequalities.
The thirteenth article [Mashiane et al] explores the right of access to adequate housing in South Africa. Methodologically, secondary data such as the Constitution, legislation, case law and relevant scholarly literature were broadly consulted, utilized and applied to explore these interventions in addressing the inherent problem of lack of access to adequate housing constitutionally mandated in South Africa. The findings of the study are that those who have been saddled with the responsibility to provide and deliver adequate housing to the needy have dismally failed and most of them escaped accountability hence culture of impunity thrived broadly.