The Faculty hosts the following Research Chairs:
Research Chair in the Economics of Social Policy: The Chair is held by Prof Servaas van der Berg and funded by the National Research Foundation under its South African Research Chair Initiative (SARChI).
Under this Research Chair, a team of researchers study aspects of social policy and provides policy advice in the South African and wider African contexts, with a strong emphasis on quantitative, policy relevant research.
A large part of recent research has focused on the Economics of Education. However, the research also covers topics such as poverty and inequality, the labour market, social grants, health policy, housing and municipal infrastructure.
Recent Working Papers produced within the Department on some of these areas can be accessed at here.
Prof Servaas van der Berg
Department of Economics
Research Chair in Social-Ecological Systems and Resilience: Prof Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs, the co-director of the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST), holds a DST/NRF South African Chair (SARChl) in Social-Ecological Systems and Resilience.
Her research aims to advance theory and understanding of complex social-ecological systems, specifically how to build resilience to deal with uncertainty, surprise and ongoing environmental and social change. Through her research, Prof Biggs wishes to develop practical theory, methods and insights that can ultimately contribute to facilitating transitions to more sustainable futures in Southern Africa.
Prof Reinette (Oonsie) Biggs
Centre for Sustainability Transitions
Research Chair in Complex Systems and Transformative African Futures: Prof Rika Preiser and Ms Tanja Hichert of the Centre for Sustainability Transitions (CST) hold a UNESCO Chair that forms part of the global UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme promoting international inter-university cooperation and networking to enhance institutional capacities through knowledge-sharing and collaborative work.
The UNESCO Chair in Complex Systems and Transformative African Futures will draw on the expertise of the two co-chairholders to integrate in-depth knowledge of complex systems, combined with the conceptual and practical applications of futures studies. Prof Preiser specialises in theories of complex systems, while CTS Research Fellow Tanja Hichert specialises in the practice of futures studies and foresight.
Prof Rika Preiser
Centre for Sustainability Transitions
Trilateral Chair in Mainstreaming Gender for Energy Security in Poor Urban Environments (in short: Gender for Energy Security or GENS): Prof Josephine K Musango of the School of Public Leadership is the incumbent of GENS Trilateral Chair, which is supported by SA's Department of Science and Technology through the National Research Foundation (NRF) and the British Council. GENS promotes collaboration between research and academic centres of excellence in SA, UK and Kenya.
The key objectives of the GENS Research Chair are to:
- co-generate gendered understanding on alternative energy technology and service options with energy poor women and other stakeholders;
- co-design gendered innovations and explore commercialisation opportunities in alternative energy technology and services;
- facilitate multi-agency collaboration across government sectors and levels for an integrated gendered policy landscape in energy technology commercialisation; and
- build, enhance and support research capacity and collaborations.
Prof Musango collaborates with Dr Fabrizio Ceschin of Brunel University London and Dr Betty Mwiti of the University of Nairobi in Kenya to develop and advance evidence-based research under the cross-cutting theme of energy and gender mainstreaming in poor urban environments.
Prof Josephine Musango
School of Public Leadership