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Eco-efficiency assessment of pork production through life-cycle assessment and product system value in South Africa
(EDP Sciences, 2022-05-20)
The consumption of pork as a source of animal protein has increased worldwide, especially in developing countries such as South Africa. The increase in pork demand is putting pressure on the natural environment, and the costs of production are increasing. This study sought to determine what is the eco-efficiency of pork production in a South African context. It also was meant to determine which processes in the value chain have low eco-efficiencies. Lastly, it sought to find what strategies could be recommended to improve overall eco-efficiency. Eco-efficiency was assessed by following the requirements of the International Standards Organisation ISO 14045 standard, which requires that the Life cycle assessment (LCA) method and product system value be combined. The environmental life cycle costing (LCC) method was used to determine the product system value (Value Added) of pork production. The functional unit was 1 kg of pork carcass, specifically from the cradle to the abattoir gate. The findings indicated that the pig farm and abattoir were the processes that had low eco-efficiencies and eco-efficient strategic improvements could be made. Mitigation strategies could be developed to concentrate on the production of animal feed and the use of renewable energy sources at the abattoir. The use of water could be improved by automation of the abattoir processes. Therefore, this study achieved its goal as economic and environmental areas of interest were identified in this specific case study for South Africa. This framework could be extended to study the eco-efficiency of other meat production chains and other sectors.
Wealth and Suburban Stratification in Cape Town: investigating the persisting effect of housing segregation
This report aims to provide an estimate for the post-Apartheid distribution of growth in residential housing wealth, disaggregated according to historical race-based spatial classifications. Economic policies to address inequality in one of the world’s most unequal contexts have primarily centred on increasing income transfers and expanding the social wage. Despite the removal of legally codified race-based discrimination, inequality in South Africa is increasing both between and within racial groups. The objective of this report is to use the case study of Cape Town in South Africa to demonstrate whether housing wealth plays a role in consolidating, enhancing, or reducing divergence. The paper addresses a gap in the literature by accounting for the impact of race-based socio-spatial penalties on contemporary housing asset values, appreciation, and the accumulation of wealth in an urban and contemporary South African context. Data from the Cape Town General Valuations (GV) roll during 2012 and 2015 is used in combination with Census and historical Apartheid race-based spatial classifications to conduct descriptive and hedonic regression analyses. It is shown that houses in formerly White areas, on average, have a higher initial endowment and grow at 2 percentage points more per year compared to houses in previously Black and Coloured neighbourhoods. Although the difference in growth appears modest, it is shown that during the first 20 years of democracy in South Africa, there was an 8-fold difference, on average, in the additional gains from residential housing between previously White and Black areas
A re-evaluation of the estimated overcharge by the South African cement cartel
The topic of overcharge estimation regarding cartels is scarce in both the international and domestic regard. This paper aims to re-estimate the overcharge by the South African cement cartel after it was forced to disband following the end of the apartheid regime. In order to avoid the problem of spurious regression results, the time series data are thoroughly analysed for unit roots. To combat the presence of the confirmed nonstationarity, an error correction model is employed in order to yield more accurate estimates. When controlling for nonstationarity, it is found that the price overcharge is higher than that provided by static ordinary least squares regressions and is on par with more recent estimates.
The use and impact of criminal sanctions for environmental law transgressions in industrial facilities in South Africa: Determining the boundaries of overcriminalization
South Africa has many environmental laws that apply to industrial operations, which laws contain numerous criminal offence and penalty provisions. On conviction, criminal liability may be substantial and far-reaching, including maximum prescribed penalties of up to R5 million or R10 million or imprisonment of up to five or ten years, depending on the offence’s nature. The National Environmental Management Act 107 of 1998 also contains instances where additional criminal liability may be imposed. Writers have described these environmental laws as being ‘littered with new criminal offences’. Criminal law theorists express strong views against overcriminalization, describing it as ‘one of the most serious problems facing criminal law’ because although the criminal sanction should be the state’s ‘ultimate weapon against assaults threatening societal coexistence’, it ‘has become a blunt instrument through its indiscriminate use by legislatures as a tool to ensure obedience’. South African environmental law scholars have considered the criminal sanction in environmental law, but not how the landscape of criminal sanctions has changed over the years, how the criminal sanction is used against industrial facilities that contravene such laws, and what impact this has had on the operation of these facilities or effective enforcement. This research frames these considerations in terms of theories of criminalization and overcriminalization, by establishing a normative framework that can be used to assess what behaviour should be criminalized or what may indicate overcriminalization. This study analyzes changes to four selected South African environmental laws and specific offence categories and considers concluded prosecutions relating to such offences. It reflects the perspectives of 32 participants involved with environmental compliance and enforcement in South Africa, gauging their opinions on themes including criminal law as a last resort, certainty and practicality of the law and its frequent changes, the deterrent effect of criminal sanctions, and challenges in criminal enforcement. These aspects are analyzed within the normative framework to answer the overarching research question- whether the use of criminal sanctions for environmental transgressions in industrial facilities in South Africa has led to overcriminalization and when the use of the criminal sanction is appropriate and effective. The study’s recommendations aim to contribute to the more effective use of criminal sanctions through improved legislative design
An investigation of stakeholder influence on participants’ informed consent in the monitoring and evaluation process
Monitoring and Evaluations (hereafter referred to as evaluations) aid in decision making, come in many forms and have various functions depending on their objectives. The nature of evaluations is such that they are reliant on participation from various individuals, communities, and organizations. Informed consent is the process by which participants are made aware of the potential risks, benefits, and objectives of a study and thereafter formally or informally indicate their consent to take part in the proposed research. Informed consent is required as it contributes to trust amongst stakeholders in evaluations. However, while issues regarding informed consent (both in theory and practice) have a well-documented history, especially in medical journals that centre on developed nations; further insights still need to be garnered. As such, there is a need to understand the informed consent process and its suitability within low-income nations in research and evaluations. Consequently, this research report aims to provide an understanding of stakeholder influence on informed consent on participants in evaluations and how power and pressure mechanisms from stakeholders affect informed consent. The interviews allowed us to better understand the role of stakeholders and their influence in informed consent through the perspectives and lived realities of evaluators, industry experts, researchers, and academics as well as those currently working in organisations that have been evaluated. It is evident from the interview findings that the power dominance, pressure, and influences that occur in Evaluation can be both implied and explicit. There is no consensus on what constitutes true informed consent or what exactly and to what extent should participants be informed within evaluations. Rather the focus is more on the protection and privacy of information and data of the evaluations than participants' consent. The observed and dominant ways stakeholders influence participant informed consent is through information. This study contributes to the existing literature on the relationship between evaluators, participants, and decision-makers as well as the power dynamics experienced practically within evaluations. The researcher proposes that a more deliberate approach needs to be taken during the conception phase of evaluations. Finally, further research looking at participation in Evaluation from the lenses of participants is required. In addition, a deeper look into ethics within evaluations as service providers to their stakeholders.