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    An exploration of social challenges encountered by learners in Mohlakeng Schools in Rand-west municipality in Gauteng province of South Africa.
    (2023) Mokoena, Prudence Onkarabile
    There are countless social challenges in South African schools, such as poverty, violence, homeless, teen parenting, substance abuse, child abuse and youth suicide, which complicate learners’ efforts to learning. This study explored and described the social challenges that affect selected learners and their academic performance in Mohlakeng School in Rand-west municipality, Gauteng, South Africa. The study was positioned within an interpretivist paradigm using the qualitative research approach. The sample was fifteen (15) grade 11 and 12 learners from School in Mohlakeng and they were selected using non-probability purposive sampling. Data was collected using semi-structured telephonic interviews via an interview guide and analysed using the thematic data analysis method. Key findings in relation to the social challenges that learners experience that have an impact on their academic performance included academic challenges at school and unpleasant home circumstances. In terms of the coping strategies that learners adopted, the study found that learners did not have the necessary resources to cope, while others adopted various coping mechanisms. The key findings in terms of the support needs of learners were that 8 out of 15 learners needed extra academic support, 2 out of 15 learners thought about future prospects to deal with their social challenges, while for one participant it was important to mend family relationships and receive support from family. In terms of support, 9 out of 15 learners received support from families, while the other six participants did not receive support. These findings have implications for social work practice, the department of education, policy formation as well as future research.
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    Graduate unemployment: employment seeking experiences and perceptions of unemployed young graduates in townships of Johannesburg, South Africa.
    (2023) Mokhali, Lesaoana
    The rate of youth unemployment in South Africa is among the world's highest, which has rapidly become a significant social issue affecting individuals and society at large. It is particularly worrying because historically disadvantaged communities are disproportionately affected compared to other population groups. This study's aim is to contribute to existing literature on youth unemployment, focusing primarily on unemployed youth graduates. The primary objective is to investigate the experiences and perceptions of unemployed Black graduates residing in townships to explore their transition from university to the labor market despite having qualifications. Many young graduates believe that obtaining a tertiary qualification would guarantee job opportunities, but various challenges prevent some from joining the labor force. Although there is considerable literature on graduate unemployment, studies have largely overlooked the personal experiences and perceptions of graduates, particularly those from low socioeconomic backgrounds. In this study, the authors investigated the personal experiences of unemployed graduates to understand how internal and external factors interact with disadvantaged graduates, such as the type of qualification, geographical location, race, socioeconomic status, lack of skills and experience, lack of career guidance, and skill-labor market mismatch. The study utilized a qualitative method to collect data from fifteen Black unemployed graduates from various townships in Johannesburg. The candidates were actively seeking employment in various disciplines, particularly in the Humanities and Art, and were unemployed graduates aged 20-34. To gain a better understanding of the graduates' labor market experiences, an in-depth interview was conducted with each participant. The study found that despite actively seeking employment, the graduates' acquired qualifications did not match the skills required in the job market. Lack of experience and social networks were the leading reasons for their prolonged unemployment. The study also found that the lack of career guidance and social networks to link graduates to possible employment opportunities were some of the factors that delayed their entry into the labor market
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    A new world beyond boundaries: an exploration of virtual reality within drama therapeutic sessions by assessing role theory & method in correlation to avatars for clients displaying anxiety symptoms.
    (2023) Mokgatle, Lebogang
    This paper explored virtual reality as a means of providing a Drama Therapy session, particularly using Role Method and Theory in correlation with the use of avatars. The research was intended for clients displaying anxiety symptoms or those diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder and, as a result, are hindered by their symptoms from interacting with others. By engaging with several bodies of text, exploring Drama Therapy within virtual reality, particularly the use of avatars as roles, provided insight into building the client’s role repertoire. By looking at the different applications of VR across various fields such as the medical, psychotherapeutic and the rehabilitation field, an account of how VR has helped improve their practice was scrutinised under the lens of how it may be applicable within the Drama Therapeutic space using role theory and method. The paper also looked at the various physiological considerations that go into conducting a VR session. A 9-step process of VR was highlighted for the therapist to consider when using VR. The 8- step Role Method technique was used to highlight how a hypothetical nine-step Virtual Reality Drama Therapy (VRDT) session could occur. The application of VR from a South African context was scrutinised, taking into account aspects such as the socio-economic, historical and geographical factors that influence VR adoption in various practices.
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    Explicating audience engagement with political debates: a content analysis of the digital debate about youth unemployment on Daily Thetha Facebook page.
    (2023) Mohale, Mphela Precious
    This study aims to explore the ways that young audiences of the television talk show Daily Thetha, interpret and construct meanings of political messages communicated on the show. The study seeks to achieve this by exploring the digital engagement patterns of audiences on the Daily Thetha Facebook page. The political topic chosen for the study is youth unemployment. For analysis purposes, the study uses five Daily Thetha episodes which discussed different facets of youth unemployment. The research questions central to this study are explored by analysing Facebook posts created for the episodes, as well as the comments under each post. The research data is analysed through content analysis. Both manifest and latent content analyses are used for data analysis. Research findings are presented and discussed using both qualitative and quantitative methods. Television talk shows are a site for public discussions and the formation of public opinion. Habermas’ public sphere is a theoretical basis for debates and the formation of public discourse about societal issues. The freedom of the press as well as the freedom of expression of ideas are vital for democracy and are enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights. The media play a vital role in promoting and sustaining democracy in South Africa. The study based on how the television talk show Daily Thetha influences public debate among its young audiences is thus important to explore. Moreover, media audiences are heterogenous, thus, interpreting and engaging with media texts differently. Findings from this study demonstrated that Daily Thetha digital audiences can be classified as both active and passive readers. Moreover, findings also show that Daily Thetha Facebook page is characterised as a digital sub-public sphere and can be classified as a political, literal as well as a public cultural public sphere.
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    Creating interactive fiction as a medium of digital storytelling: a creative investigation of computer-based narrative construction
    (2023) Mogale, Sakhile
    The dawn of the internet brought about a multitude of possibilities in the realm of storytelling. This meant utilizing digital-centric platforms to create stories that would enable the end-user to interact with them on digital interfaces. In the same vein, the advent of digital platforms opened more doors for creators to find interesting and innovative ways to create stories that broke the mold and provided new avenues of interpretation and exploration. Interactive fiction is one aspect of digital storytelling that gained momentum by opening channels for interactivity. The research explores interactive fiction storytelling through the lens of computer-based software program tools Twine, Ren’Py and hosted website domain to determine how the core tenets of interactive storytelling influence the experiences of both the user and creator, and to what degree. The core tenets to be explored in the research are divided into two areas: end-user specific tenets – Immersion, Integration, Interactivity, Impact - and author/creator tenets – Narrative Structure, Authoring Tools, Output Media, and Interface. I derived the end-user specific tenets from digital storytelling specialist Simon Heyes who laid out the core principles of digital storytelling. I extrapolated the author/creator tenets from SeokKyoo Kim, SungHyun Moon and SangYong Han who are specialists in the area of computer-based narrative construction systems and structures. These tenets form the framework of the research. The premise of this research is adopting a creative practice approach to delve into the creative investigation of computer-based narrative construction by creating interactive fiction as a medium of digital storytelling.
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    The challenges of language assessment in a multilingual environment: the case of Sesotho Language in two Soweto High Schools
    (2023) Mofammere, Monica Lisemelo
    This study was undertaken upon realising that it is a challenge to assess learners in subjects that they take as Home Languages when they live in a multilingual environment i.e where many languages are used. This is especially so in big townships such as Southern Western Township (Soweto) where people who speak different languages live together. Many people have moved to Soweto from other parts of the country or from other countries and they are bringing along languages that they speak. In the past, people in different sections of Soweto were placed according to ethnicity and this meant that people who spoke the same language lived together (Christopher, 2004; Makalela, 2013). The main languages that were spoken in Soweto were Sesotho and isiZulu as a result there were sections for isiZulu speaking people and for Sesotho speaking. There were sections that were meant for Xitsonga and Tshivenda. However, after 1994, people became free to live wherever they wanted to, as a result people of different ethnic groups who spoke different languages lived together. This new development in society brought about new dynamics in the use of language. People in urban areas began to find ways of communicating with one another. In many cases, people became multilingual. Generally, learners who live in these areas also became multilingual. Being multilingual is advantageous because it allows people to interact easily and it fosters cohesion. On the other hand, being multilingual can be a challenge in our education system especially when it comes to assessing Home Languages. Currently, the way that learners who live in a multilingual environment are assessed may disadvantage them. This is because in the present curriculum, learners are expected to produce oral and written work that is of very high standard, free of grammatical errors and does not contain lexicon from other languages. This is a challenge because such learners live in an environment where multiple languages are used and learners pick them up and use them interchangeably on a daily basis. It has also been noticed that learners from a multilingual environment often use a mixed language during their oral presentations and written class activities as well as their formal assessments, and this leads to poor performance in their Home Languages (Khetoa, 2016). The learners perform poorly because they are expected to use a language that demonstrates strict adherence to the grammatical rules of the language that they take as a Home Language. 2 Previous studies have been carried out to show how some standard languages such as Setswana, Northern Sotho have been affected by other languages, but there is not much research done on how other languages affect the Sesotho language. One study that has been done on the standard Sesotho language by Ntuli (2016), compares pragmatic language behaviour of Mamelodi Lingo (a non-standard language variety spoken in Mamelodi township) with that of speakers of standard Sesotho. The focus of this study was on the gestures that accompanied the spoken word of speakers of these two languages. Another study that was done on the standard Sesotho language by Khetoa (2016), looked at linguistic and extra-linguistic factors which affected learners preventing them from attaining very good marks in Sesotho Home Language in grade 12. This study focused on poor performance of grade 12 learners at a Secondary School situated in the Xhariep District in the Free State Province. Sekere (2004) also carried out a study which looked at the language varieties that emerged in the Qwaqwa area because of language contact. The focus of this study was on the Sesotho dialects that are found in Qwaqwa. The study also looked at the spoken and written language as it was used by learners in a number of schools in the area. The present study looks at the challenges of assessing learners who are multilingual in urban area. The focus is on how Sesotho Home Language learners who live in Soweto are being influenced by other languages spoken in the area and what kind of mistakes they make due to influence from other languages. The study goes further to look at the performance of these learners in their essays. In the study carried out by Malimabe (2014), it was established that the types of interference observed among learners include, adoptives, code-switching and grammatical errors. It has been established that Sesotho Home Language learners like learners of other standard languages in urban areas experience the types of interference mentioned above. The study has looked at whether Grade 11 Sesotho learners use lexical items adopted from other languages that are spoken in their communities in the essays that they wrote for their formal School Based Assessment (SBA) task in the second term. The study has established that learners use lexicon from Sepedi, Setswana, and English. The study also discovered that learners coined words from isiZulu, English and Afrikaans in their written essays. It has also been found that learners make grammatical mistakes in their written activities because they confuse language structures and they end up using other languages’ structures in their own Home Languages. Recommendations to deal with these problems have been put forward so that learners who live in multilingual societies can be assisted because language contact cannot be avoided in multilingual societies.
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    What do working memory tests measure? The relationship between the n-back, digit span and symbol span tests
    (2023) Miller, Timony
    Working memory is critical for important cognitive functions, including learning and decision-making. Although the n-Back task has been widely used as a measure of working memory, it is not clear whether this task is in fact tapping the same (or similar) constructs as other established working memory tests. This study therefore investigated performance of 47 multilingual South African university students on three working memory measures, namely the n-Back task, the Digit Span subtest, and the Symbol Span subtest, in order to assess the relationships between these tasks. Additionally, there was interest in evaluating the extent to which demographic factors influence working memory performance. This study thus examined the extent to which number of languages spoken, proficiency (in speaking, comprehension and reading), biological sex and socioeconomic status affects test scores. Kendall’s Tau correlation analysis revealed a significant correlation between specific Digit Span conditions and 3-Back Accuracy scores, while regression analyses indicated that performance on Digit Span Sequencing significantly predicted 3-Back Accuracy scores. In terms of the demographic variables, several of the proficiency scores significantly predicted performance on the Digit Span Sequencing and 3-Back Accuracy scores. These results are interpreted within the theoretical and empirical frameworks guiding this study. Through describing the relationships (or lack thereof) between these variables, this study contributes to a greater understanding of the n-Back task, and, perhaps more importantly, to those aspects that remain to be explored and explained.
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    A content and genre analysis of Black romance novels in South Africa
    (2023) Mhlambi, Nolwazi
    The popularity of independently published black women authors within the South African publishing market has raised multiple areas of interest. The project has both genre analysis and content-based goals. Firstly, these goals have to do with defining what is Black South African romance and identifying the literary narratives that fall within this genre. Secondly, the project analyses the identified themes as part of the literature review and as part of common themes such as gender-based violence, patriarchy, violence, and intimate partner violence that are identifiable in romance novels written by Black South African women. Consequently, these themes become a vehicle to interrogate why black romance novels are actively gatekept from mainstream publishing and how these challenges of gatekeeping present themselves to these authors.
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    Metacognition and daily failures in working memory: a deeper understanding of university students’ academic achievement.
    (2023) Menschy, Katya Nadia
    Working memory is said to be one’s ability to keep newly absorbed information in mind for a period, all whilst using this knowledge for the activity that one is performing (Tariq & Noor, 2012). Whereas metacognition is the capacity to analyse, comprehend, and direct one's own learning (Schraw & Dennison, 1994). Literature suggests that deficits in working memory and metacognitive capacity may have an impact on academic performance, however, little is known whether this is the case of university students in SA. This study investigated correlations between metacognition and daily failures of working memory, and academic achievement in a sample of full-time university students in one university in Johannesburg (n=190). Participants were asked to complete the Metacognitive Awareness Inventory and the Working Memory Questionnaire. Additionally, the best three marks reported in percentages by the participants is used as the measure for academic achievement. Results indicated that there is a statistically significant correlation between working memory and metacognition (r = -.288, n = 190, p = <.001). However, working memory and metacognition, as assessed in this study, does not seem be linked to academic achievement.
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    Domestic horizons: subliminal/sublimated realities of black women employed as domestic workers in text
    (2023) Meintjies, Cole Chinua
    This study is a narrative inquiry into the lives of back women employed as domestic workers. The study explores pre-existing narratives by Black women employed as domestic workers about their realities as domestic workers. Using the Fanonion notion of ontological resistance in relation to a consideration of the implication of phenomena and appearance in ontology, particularly in the forms of the virtual and the Symbolic, narratives were engaged in relation to (political) ontology. Lacanian discourse analysis was utilised in conversation with the aforementioned discussion. The aim of this research was to engage the narratives of black women employed as domestic worker on their own accounts, that is, narratives that were not responses to projects initiated by other entities and thus relatively unencumbered by other research aims and interests. These were scarce. Two books by Magona, Living, Loving and Lying Awake at Night (1991) and To My Children’s children (1990) were explored. In response to the scarcity of these narratives on their own account, a meta-analysis of papers that concerned themselves with the experiences/phenomenology of domestic workers postdemocracy were explored. It was contended that it should be taken as fundamental the fact that black women employed as domestic workers feel trapped by domestic work and coerced into it by their need to provide for themselves and/or their family and thus consider the way domestic work is predicated on violence.
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    The influence of linguistic and descriptive meaning of personal names in the individual’s identity among Xhosa society
    (2023) Mazaleni, Nosiphiwo Rachel
    IsiXhosa is a dialect of the Nguni language. It is primarily spoken in South Africa's Eastern and Western Capes. The Xhosa people employ language symbols to build their culture and communicate highly valued social principles such as ubuntu (humanity). Their oral traditions have been handed down through the meanings of names, histories, proverbs, idioms, puzzles, songs, and praise poems. Elders name their children with phrases borrowed from oral idioms and assist them in adhering to societal norms and beliefs. During South Africa's colonialism, the entrance of European settlers with a different culture and values quickly affected Xhosa society and customs. Since certain, if not all, oral traditions, including the previous naming system, did not meet the approval of the new masters, the population was obliged to adopt a new naming system. On the other side, the end of apartheid in the 1990s ushered in a new age of indigenous cultural resurgence and a trend toward reverting to traditional isiXhosa naming customs. The study investigates the influence of linguistic and descriptive meaning of personal names on an individual's identity in Xhosa society. Additionally, it investigates the genesis and conceptualisation of isiXhosa names about isiXhosa oral literature. An interview with IsiXhosa speaking individuals was undertaken to determine whether the meanings of Xhosa names influence the individual's identity. Additionally, the study demonstrates how naming traditions played a significant and defining role in the Xhosa people's oral history. Additionally, it served as a mechanism for recording occurrences occurring around the time of birth. The study discovered that an individual's surroundings affect their identity.
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    An exploration of the mourning rituals of the people of Bethal in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa
    (2023) Mamosadi, Kedeboni Precious
    People from diverse cultures have unique ways of conceptualising and responding to death through varying degrees of mourning and grieving processes. This study is centred on exploring the traditional mourning rituals of African indigenous people with reference to the people of Bethal, in the Mpumalanga Province, South Africa. The study adopted a qualitative research methodology, with critical phenomenology as a research approach. The participants were the residents of Bethal, a small, under resourced township in the Govan Mbeki District, Mpumalanga Province. Eight in-depth, semi structured, face to face interviews were conducted, recorded and transcribed verbatim; and analysed through Thematic Analysis. Sampling procedure followed a purposive strategy while this cohort of people were selected according to their willingness to participate, their availability and being permanent residents of this area. The study found that mourning can be an individualised and collective experience. The study further describes how African people inherently ascribe to certain traditional mourning rituals in order to deal with the loss of a loved one. Findings contribute to existing research on African ways of grieving by highlighting grief and mourning rituals through an African lens embedded in the subjective narratives of the participants. Results from this study further demonstrate how Covid19 restrictions have affected these traditional mourning rituals. Finally, recommendations are provided on how African people can realign their mental healthcare, while preserving their cultural mourning rituals.
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    Understanding quiet diplomacy: a critical analysis of South Africa’s intervention in Zimbabwe, 2000-2009.
    (2023) Mametja, Mafutha Livay
    This report analyses South Africa’s quiet diplomacy intervention in Zimbabwe to address the political instability and violence in the 2000-2009 period. There is great uncertainty and insufficient information on the reason for South Africa’s quiet diplomacy objectives in Zimbabwe in this period. The report uses a qualitative methodology to collect and analyze data using Joseph Nye’s Co-optive power theory to interpret South Africa’s conduct in its intervention. The study has found that the choice of quiet diplomacy from South Africa is influenced mainly by its foreign policy regarding conflict resolution which centers greatly on negotiations and mediation instead of military intervention. Equally, it has found that the main objective of the intervention has not been to address the socio-economic issues but to mediate and resolve only the political conflict between the Zimbabwe African National Union -Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) and the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) leadership; from which the Global Political Agreement (GPA) and Government of National Unity (GNU) emerged.
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    Embodying Afrikaner male toxic masculinities in Tsotsitaal speaking characters in South African television : the case of Isidingo (1998), Yizo Yizo (1999) and INumber Number (2014).
    (2023) Makafane, Manuel Seipati
    The research mainly looks at the deployment of Tsotsitaal in post-1994 South African television dramas and soap opera’s (known in South Africa as soapies) Yizo Yizo (1999), Isidingo (1998), and iNumber Number (2013). The study will focus on the Afrikaans syntax of tsotsitaal which is known as flaaitaal, though Iscamtho will also be considered. The research focuses on the representation of flaaitaal, speaking characters and their association with certain forms of masculinities. Also, to be investigated is the extent to which flaaitaal speaking characters convoke ordinary native Afrikaans speakers or identities. In an attempt to emphasise such a claim, the research will look at random episodes of Yizo Yizo (1999), Isidingo (1998) and iNumber Number (2014) and analyse their depiction of black masculinities which provoke toxic ordinary native Afrikaner masculine identities of the apartheid era. The aim of the research is to outline certain meanings and ideologies behind the deployment of Tsotsitaal (Flaaitaal) in Post-Apartheid South African soapies, dramas and films. In addition, the research aims to investigate how Afrikaans and its speakers are projected as those who are social miss-fits, the ills of society, cruel, self-centred, and mafia types by South African filmmakers through a reverse gaze and the disruption of racial hierarchies. Papa G, an Isidingo (1998) character, is a heartless, cruel, wealthy and well-connected flaaitaal speaking character. This study will correlate such characterization with that of the ordinary native Afrikaner masculine identities and how such characterisation and language could be a mere resemblance of Afrikaner-ness. The characterisation of Iscamtho-speaking characters such as Chester and Papa Action in Yizo Yizo (1999) as inferior, poor and of lower economic status compared to flaaitaal-speaking character Bra Gibb, heavily informs the audience and broader public with regards to language hierarchies within a South African context. In relation to the case of Mambane in Inumber Number (2014), the study looks into the Afrikaner-ness, and alibi portrayed and displayed by a character based on his mannerism, attitude, language usage and the role he holds with the heist gang. In addition, we have a female character, who’s part of the male dominant heist gang, who’s characterization leads the study back to the history of women in gangs. Furthermore, the study will explore aspects surrounding tsotsitaal, its growth, and its popularity amongst tsotsis in history, and youths in urban spaces and black townships in modern days. In application of Representation theory, the study will explore black constructions and meaning, and the way language connects meaning 4 to culture. Drawing from theorists such as Brown (2008), Gray (1995), Buasch (2013) and Craig (1992), the study further looks into how black images on television and media in general, are always negatively represented. Such black images are depicted as criminals, poor, visionless, violent, cruel, hopeless and public enemies.
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    A phenomenological-interpretive inquiry about the experiences of fathers who are in a single-parent household
    (2023) Letsiya, Mmatsatsi
    It is becoming increasingly common for fathers to raise their children solo, as the prevalence of single-parent households rises overall. In this qualitative study, seven single fathers who are primary caregivers were interviewed regarding their experience of primary caregiving, adjusting, and coping with the transition to primary caregiving, and their needs and concerns for their children's future. This study utilised a phenomenological approach to look at fathers who head single-parent households as the best and most informed individuals to explore and describe their lived experiences of being primary caregivers. The rationale for using interpretive phenomenological analysis (IPA) is that it is concerned with individuals' subjective reports and assumes that participants seek to interpret their experiences in some form that is understandable to them. I utilised seven semi-structured, in-depth, face-to-face, and virtual interviews as a method of data collection. I identified four main themes namely: Single Fathers’ Parenting Experiences; Responsibility and Challenges; Fathers’ Perceptions of Single Fatherhood as a Social Phenomenon and Being a Good Father. The participants reported both negative and positive experiences of raising their children. Parenting, as challenging as it is, is not innately predisposed to mothers or women. Men can play the role of provider, nurturer, and caretaker, just as mothers can. This research demonstrates that they are capable of raising their children and meeting their emotional, physical, psychological, and social requirements.
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    Workplace bullying and work engagement amongst teachers: a job demands-resources perspective
    (2023) Ross, Tamsyn
    Within the many South African schools across the country, the prevalence of workplace bullying, from both colleagues and supervisors alike, has increased substantially. In addition to the failing educational system, which brings about many different challenges, teachers are subjected to working in highly toxic environments, whereby substantial demands coexist with limited resources. Using the Job-Demands Resources model as a framework, we are able to better understand how in these environments, workplace bullying flourishes. As severe organisational and individual consequences arise as a result of workplace bullying, such as being disengaged from work itself, it is imperative to reduce the number of incidents occurring. This research aimed to determine the prevalence of workplace bullying amongst teachers in Gauteng and its relationship to work engagement. Furthermore, the extent to which the relationship between workplace bullying and work engagement is moderated by job demands and job resources was also explored. Within the current study, which utilised secondary data, participants were required to complete a survey comprising four questionnaires, namely a Demographic Questionnaire, the Job Demands-Resources Scale, the Negative Social Acts Questionnaire-Revised (which measures workplace bullying) as well as the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Teachers (n=158) from 14 schools across Gauteng comprised the final sample. Results indicated that workplace bullying was significantly correlated to work engagement, in addition to its subcomponents of vigour, dedication and absorption. Further, a significant relationship between workplace bullying and both job demands and job resources, known collectively as job characteristics, was established. These findings aligned with previous literature. Moderated Multiple Regression revealed the moderating effect of job resources on the relationship between workplace bullying and work engagement, and its subcomponents. However, these results were unexpected, as reverse-buffering effect was reported. In the presence of higher job resources, the impact of workplace bullying on work engagement worsened. Despite job demands being significantly associated to workplace bullying, job demands was not found to moderate the relationship between workplace bullying and work engagement or its subcomponents. These counterintuitive findings are discussed along with the limitations of the present study as well as future recommendations.
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    Beneficiaries and officials’ perceptions regarding the value of Community Work Programme as a viable employment, capacity building and anti-poverty strategy: the case of Ivory Park Community, Midrand
    (2023) Kuta, Sibongile Faith
    With the rise of global unemployment, most governments have sought ways to bridge public employment and social protection in a context where markets are unable to do so. In South Africa, the Community Work Programme (CPW) is an employment safety net aimed at unemployable people of working age. However, even though this programme has been running for several years in South Africa, its viability as an employment, capacity building and poverty reduction strategy has not received much research and scrutiny. This study examined interventions that can strengthen the CWP regarding its value as an anchor strategy of the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) that aims to tackle the high rate of unemployment in marginalized communities. The study was qualitative in nature, located within an exploratory in-depth paradigm. An instrumental case study design was applied in this study. The participants were selected using purposive sampling consisting of 8 participants two of whom were officials, three beneficiaries of employment and three beneficiaries of services. Data was collected through semi-structured interview schedules and analyzed using thematic analysis. The findings of the study indicate that the Community Work Programme is contributing towards the social development and sustainable livelihoods of both the beneficiaries of the programme and the community of Ivory Park. The CWP has been identified to make an impact in environmental management and safety of the community and also strengthens the local initiatives that provide food security for vulnerable groups. In addition, the participants of the programme are equipped with relevant skills to develop their community. The study also discovered that CWP has created a platform for community participation and upliftment. Furthermore, the findings reveal that the CWP ensures predictable income in the form of stipends. However, it has been discovered that the lack of resources is a challenge for effective work. It also emerged that participants of the programme are faced with negative psychological and emotional effects with cases of trauma, threats and undermining of roles being reported. It has been established that regular and continuous employment creates security for those in the programme. In addition to accommodating the marginalized the CWP is found to improve the livelihoods of community members through employment creation. However, the implementation of the programme is subject to the ineffective role of the CWP Implementing Agents; faced with political interference, unmet expectations and insufficient allocation of officials to occupy the roles relevant for effective implementation of the CWP. In conclusion, the CWP can be strengthened by providing benefits of employment and increasing the working days. It is also suggested that the programme could improve by getting representation from the ground to represent the CWP at a national level. Although the training provided capacitates the participants of the programme to conduct their work; it is suggested that policies need to consider effective ways to ensure trainings that enable future employment prospects.
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    The impact of higher education attainment on women empowerment in a South African township: given the limited access to the Labour Market
    (2023) Khumalo, Andiswa Sibonelo
    South Africa has a significant youth unemployment problem. Youth unemployment has persistently worsened during the period of Covid-19 especially for those in remote, rural areas. While youth unemployment is high, it has worsened for women regardless of their educational attainment during and after Covid-19. Given the limited access to the labour market, this study explored the impact of higher education attainment on women’s empowerment given the weak labour market and limited employment opportunities in the remote township of Bhekuzulu in the Kwa Zulu Natal province. The findings of this qualitative study revealed that although there are limited employment opportunities women from Bhekuzulu were still positive of future employment prospects as they believed that attaining higher education made them feel independent and empowered. The study thus concludes that higher education attainment remains important even during a weakened economy with a constricted labour market because, when young women are educated, they have knowledge and are in a better position off making informed decisions about their livelihood.
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    Digital skills necessary for community radio journalists to deliver news on time in a digital environment in Lesotho: Harvest FM case study.
    (2023) Khofu, Teboho
    The field of journalism is significantly impacted by the development of new technologies. Journalists of today are expected to be experts with in-depth knowledge of digital platforms, interactive technologies, the online environment, websites, and social networking sites. This study examines the value of digital literacy and the skills needed for community radio journalists in Lesotho. This study also investigates the attitudes of journalists regarding digital literacy and how their experiences with it manifest in their work. Lesotho's media industry is still quite young but is rapidly expanding both traditionally and online. While the majority of media outlets are still focused on producing and distributing news the old-fashioned way, there are certain media outlets that are embracing digital news production by employing alternative means to distribute news. Facebook and, to a lesser extent, websites are leading among these other methods. This study uses semi-structured interviews as the main data gathering strategy to get an understanding of what skills are needed by community radio journalists in a digital environment, and to understand what attitudes they have about digital literacy. Observation is also used in this study to observe how journalists carry out their tasks of writing, revising, and publishing their work on the digital platforms, specifically Facebook. This study demonstrates how the speed of the digital media revolution exposes a rising skills gap that has to be bridged more quickly by drawing on communication theories of sociocultural evolution and diffusion of innovation. This study suggests that as digital technology gradually permeates Lesotho, journalists must seize this opportunity to connect with those sections of the community who get news online, necessitating the development of some digital skills. The overall results indicate that community radio journalists need digital skills to deliver news on time in a growing digital environment in Lesotho.
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    The inability of peacekeeping to address Rwandan Congolese security dilemma
    (2023) Kabwe, Divine
    Rwanda’s involvement in the DRC is more intricate than that of the other actors. The Rwandan army has been battling the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a political-military movement which is active in the North and South Kivu provinces of the DRC. The presence of the FDLR in those provinces is problematic as it gives Rwanda a reason to continuously intervene in the DRC. . The reality is that historical issues will take a long time to resolve and that the peacebuilding process in the DRC cannot be tied to a timeline. The failings of the UN via MONUC and its successor MONUSCO have only served to reinforce this scepticism and sense of self-reliance in Kigali. Another consideration to add here is that Rwanda has become one of the top 10 providers of troops to UN peacekeeping missions, primarily operating in Darfur. Censuring Rwanda for its involvement in DR Congo could put this at risk, making UN and donor engagement with Rwanda politically more complex than just a case of whether to cut or maintain aid. The current interest by regional and international actors in the crisis provides an opportunity for laying a framework for the resolution of the underlying structural issues that have plagued the DRC for a long time.