Warm welcome to our new UKRI GCRF Water and Fire Postdoctoral Fellows

We extend a very warm welcome to our four new postdoctoral research fellows supporting the UKRI GCRF Water and Fire project. We are very much looking forward to having Drs Tsitsi Mpofu-Mketwa, Skhue Ncube, Allan Gillies and Lesley Gibson as postdoctoral research fellows on our team. Tsitsi started in post on 1st of September 2020, Skhue and Allan on 1st of October 2020, and Lesley will be joining us on 1st of November 2020.   

600 interviews completed

Between April to July 2020, we successfully completed Phase 1 of the project activities, and undertook 600 telephonic/socially-distant interviews using the digital data collection platform ComCare. There were 200 interviews undertaken in each of the three sites – Sweet Home Farm; Overcome Heights; and Delft. Tremendous thanks goes to the residents who gave of their time to share their experiences of the socio-environmental disaster risks they faced (flood; rapid fires; drought/water access issues), and the ways they intersected with other stresses – COVID-19, unemployment, an absent state, poverty, violence and crime. Tremendous thanks also goes to the GCRF Water and Fire Community Advisory Board (CAB) members and researchers working in the field, who come from these residential areas on the Cape Flats, and who have also experienced these stressors.

A free-to-use COVID-19 app is the best way to reach marginalised communities

Priorities have been set to address Covid-19 in South Africa. But a dedicated effort to engage marginalised communities on the disease and its prevention is absent. There is an urgency to fill this gap through a focused, accurate and reliable mobile intervention. The time is now. Dr Gill Black, Co-Director of the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation and Co-Investigator on this project gives us insights on a free-to-use COVID-19 app for marginalised communities in South Africa. Full article here

Opening sites for 20,000 new informal traders will help offset economic ravages of Covid-19

“If municipal authorities used the legislative and management tools they already possess to open just one new street trading site in each middle-class suburb in their jurisdiction, this would collectively represent thousands of new trading opportunities and markets for street trader businesses”. Leif Petersen, Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation Co-director and Co-Investigator on this project gives insights on what the potential for opening street trading sites could do for street traders during the pandemic that is COVID-19. Petersen also shares some insight on the household interviews done during lockdown in the Cape Town township of Delft, as part of this project. Full article can be found here.

Postdoctoral Research Associate Positions available

The deadline to apply for any of the three PDRA positions to support the UKRI-GCRF Water and Fire project at the three institutions – University of Stirling, University of Cape Town, and the University of the Western Cape has been extended to 31st May 2020. PDFs with details on how to apply are attached below. Since the research seeks co-mobilised, bottom-up approaches to ‘disaster risk management’ within the context of disenfranchised residents’ experiences of disaster on the Cape Flats (Cape Town), it is critical that the current ongoing pandemic be incorporated as further complicating such experiences of disaster.

University of Stirling PDRA position details available below.

University of Cape Town PDRA position details available below.

University of the Western Cape PDRA position details available below.

Podcast: ‘Township in Lockdown’ (Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation)

South Africa is currently in the midst of a 21-day government-enforced social isolation lockdown in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hosted by the Sustainable Livelihoods Foundation, this series of 5 minute podcasts (updated daily) from Phumzile Ntozini focuses on Philippi and efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. Click here to listen. #stayhome #covid