A series of seminars under the umbrella of the School of Management, Information Technology and Public Governance is being organised by the DST-NRF SARChI Chair in Sustainable Local (Rural) Livelihoods, Professor Betty Mubangizi.
The series started with a seminar on rural livelihoods being reasoned from a Political Economy Perspective by Professor Ben Cousins – a renowned scholar in land and agrarian studies, in his presentation he drew from his 25-year experience in field research in areas such as forestry, fisheries, and rural livelihoods.
Cousins explored alternative ways in which academics could contribute positively to make critical sense of the challenges currently confronting societies.
He suggested to academics and researchers that new policies were needed to address societal problems, while new models, competing theories and paradigms, should be explored for academic engagement. He said poverty and inequalities were not just African problems but global as well.
Cousins emphasised the importance of theory in research and the urgent need to employ and invest more in explanatory theories that could easily and realistically bring solutions.
He called for the promotion of small and medium enterprises, which could play a vital role in reducing unemployment and inequalities in South African communities.
Academic leader of the Public Governance Discipline Dr Sybert Mutereko commended Cousins for his clear interpretation of the sustainable livelihoods and the use-inspired basic research approaches which, he said, were relevant to both academics and researchers.
Acting Dean of the School of Management, IT and Public Governance, Professor Stephen Mutula said the seminar came at an opportune time as South Africa was grappling with the triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality.
Mubangizi encouraged student researchers to tap into the theoretical and academic content layout of the presentation as it would assist them in their studies.
Words: Lungile Ngubelanga
Photographs: Photographs: Supplied