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Herman Wasserman new chair of Journalism at SUhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=9294Herman Wasserman new chair of Journalism at SUStellenbosch University / Universiteit Stellenbosch<p>​Stellenbosch University has appointed renowned media scholar Herman Wasserman as professor and chair of its Department of Journalism as of January 2023.</p><p>Wasserman is currently professor of Media Studies at the University of Cape Town, where he served as director of the Centre for Film and Media Studies from 2015 to 2020. He previously held positions at Rhodes University as well as the United Kingdom-based universities of Sheffield and Newcastle. </p><p>He is an alumnus of Stellenbosch University, where he obtained the degrees BA (1992), BAHons (1993), BHons (Journalism) (1995), MA (1997) and DLitt (2000). He also taught in the Department of Journalism from 2002 to 2007, first as Rykie van Reenen fellow and later associate professor. Before starting his academic career, he worked as a journalist for Media24. </p><p>Wasserman's work has received wide international acclaim. He is a fellow and board member of the International Communication Association, a former section head of the International Association for Media and Communication Research and an elected member of the Academy of Science of South Africa. Other accolades include a Fulbright fellowship, the Georg Forster research award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany, and the Neva prize from St Petersburg State University. Locally, he has been awarded the Stals prize for communication science and journalism from the Akademie vir Wetenskap en Kuns. In addition, Wasserman is editor-in-chief of the journals <em>African Journalism Studies</em> and <em>Annals of the International Communication Association</em>, associate editor of <em>Communication Theory</em> and the <em>International Communication Gazette</em>, and serves on the editorial board of several other journals. </p><p>He has been a visiting professor at the University of Houston (United States), Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität (Munich) and Tsinghua University (Beijing).<br></p><p>Wasserman's research centres on issues of media, democracy and society. As a member of international research teams, his work has been funded by, among others, the International Development Research Centre (Canada), the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the Economic and Social Research Council (both in the United Kingdom), the European Union, the British Academy, the Academy of Finland, the Andrew Mellon Foundation and the South African National Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He is a widely published scholar with 16 books (monographs and edited volumes), 86 articles in peer-reviewed journals and 55 book chapters to his name.</p><p>His current work focuses on media and disinformation, and he has worked with organisations such as the World Health Organisation, UNESCO, Digital Public Square and Africacheck on issues such as the Covid-19 'infodemic', media freedom and development, media literacy in schools, and online disinformation. He recently led a major international study on information disorder in the global south, supported by the Canadian International Development Research Centre, and the book <em>Disinformation in the Global South</em>, which he co-edited, was published by Wiley-Blackwell earlier this year.  </p><p>“Stellenbosch University is delighted to welcome back Prof Wasserman to his alma mater," said Prof Wim de Villiers, Stellenbosch University's Rector and Vice-Chancellor. “Our Department of Journalism, accredited as one of the best schools of journalism on the continent, has a long history of teaching and research excellence. This is in addition to focused and practical training for journalists who need to operate in a world that is increasingly hostile to objective and fair reporting. Prof Wasserman is ideally suited to be handed the important baton of taking the Department into a challenging, but exciting future." </p><p>Equally pleased with the appointment, Prof Anthony Leysens, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, home of the Department of Journalism, said the Faculty welcomed the fact that someone of Prof Wasserman's academic stature in the field of media studies would be joining the Department. “I can think of no one who is better qualified and experienced to lead the Department and address the challenges and seize the opportunities in a radically changed digital media landscape," Prof Leysens said. “His work has managed to straddle and bring together various disciplines to focus on issues such as culture, democracy, disinformation and power in the media of the global south. I look forward to working with him."</p><p>Prof Lizette Rabe, outgoing chair of the Department, commented: “The Department of Journalism is excited that a media academic with the global standing of Prof Wasserman will be leading it into a completely new digital era – especially at a time when the tenets of traditional journalism, irrespective of platform, including technologies that are yet to be discovered, will become more and more important to serve our publics and help them distinguish between verified, independent, trusted information and the disinformation, misinformation and malinformation that are so overwhelmingly abundant and convincing." </p><p>Wasserman looks forward to joining the University at a time when study of the media has become increasingly relevant. “Journalism and media studies provide the opportunity for students to develop career-oriented skills, while reflecting critically on the role of the media in almost all aspects of politics, society and everyday life," he said. “While journalism internationally is currently experiencing crises of authority, trust, relevance and economic sustainability, the challenge for journalism education is to imagine ways in which journalism can reconnect with audiences, collaborate with communities, reinvigorate democratic participation and foster critical citizenship. This has to be done at a time when political pressures and attacks on freedom of expression are on the increase across the world, and the rise of disinformation has heightened the need for independent, trustworthy and informed journalism. I look forward to contributing to the growth and flourishing of this area of study, research and practice at Stellenbosch University."​<br><br></p><p>Image: Migal Vanas Photography<br></p>
Dr Ronita Mahilall aims to bring prominence to palliative care and spiritual care workhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=8821Dr Ronita Mahilall aims to bring prominence to palliative care and spiritual care workCorporate Communication & Marketing / Korporatiewe Kommunikasie & Bemarking [Alec Basson]<p>When Dr Ronita Mahilall, Chief Executive Officer of St Luke's Combined Hospices in Cape Town, lost her beloved husband and son 14 years ago, she searched for answers to her questions about life, death and what happens after we die. A devout Hindu, she became increasingly fascinated with spirituality and entered the world of palliative care, or end-of-life care, and spiritual care services. This eventually led to a doctorate in Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU) under the supervision of Prof Leslie Swartz from SU's Department of Psychology. </p><p>Mahilall, who received her PhD at SU's December graduation on Monday, 13 December 2021, says she chose SU because she knew she wanted a supervisor who had an understanding of and worked within such a hospice and palliative care space. “Leslie was established in his work on disability and had a long-standing association with St Luke's and our work, especially spiritual care work. For me, it was critical that my supervisor was knowledgeable in a field that is not well resourced."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Originally from KwaZulu-Natal, and with a background in Social Work, Mahilall joined St Luke's Combined Hospices in 2016 after having made the move to the Mother City to be with her two daughters Chiara and Ureesa after they graduated from the University of Cape Town (UCT). It was at St Luke's that she became aware of the scale and scope of the palliative care and spiritual care services that hospices in the Western Cape and other parts of South Africa provide to terminally-ill patients and their families. Having been offering palliative care in Cape Town for over 40 years, St Luke's Combined Hospices boasts one of the most established spiritual care services in the Western Cape and a large cohort of spiritual care workers.<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/daughters.jpg" alt="daughters.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:350px;" /><br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While I was struck by this, I was somewhat saddened that spiritual care services were not given the prominence and recognition that spiritual carers and others in my organisation believed they deserved, as part of the overall palliative care service package. I wanted to call attention to these issues and decided that a doctoral study might be a good place to start," says Mahilall.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of her PhD study, she used a national online survey, interviews and group discussions to explore and understand what spiritual care services are currently offered at the 104 listed hospices in South Africa, how hospices view and use spiritual care, and the experiences of spiritual care workers within a hospice palliative care setting, including understanding their expressed and nuanced spiritual care training needs.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mahilall points out that typically spiritual care workers in South Africa are volunteers with no prerequisite qualification as an entry point into spiritual care. She says it is different from countries in the Global North where spiritual care workers are largely employed paid staff with some or other background in health care as a prerequisite entry requirement.  “The picture is significantly different in South Africa as spiritual care is often practiced from one's personal experiences and perspective which could have implications for care outcomes."   <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mahilall says her study showed that spiritual care workers feel left out and consequently see formalising spiritual care services by developing a standalone training curriculum as being a big step in the direction of gaining importance and recognition. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Hospice personnel argued for the importance of spirituality as part of holistic palliative care, rooted in the beliefs and traditions of the wide range of patients assisted by hospices."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I clearly saw emerge from the data the need for spiritual care training and for the development of a spiritual care curriculum that fits our South African context. But when I looked at the data against our current realities and priorities, centred largely on addressing inequalities, growing our economy, and navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, I am not sure that the time is ripe just yet for the development of a standalone spiritual care curriculum for SA." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Mahilall, palliative care has only recently been recognised a part of the health care system and continuum of care service in South Africa. “It is still jostling to find its rightful place and recognition. Training needs, especially in spiritual care as my work shows, go largely unmet and are fragmented."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">She says the need for palliative care, and spiritual care services in particular, could not be more acutely felt than during the current pandemic. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“While in many COVID-19 cases the timespan from diagnosis to death is so rapid that there is no time for meaningful palliative care interventions, you still have family members who must come to terms with their loss. This is where palliative care services become so vital. The team offering bereavement care services can stay on to support the family through significant anniversaries such as a birthday, wedding anniversary, etc. – even for over 13 months after the patient has passed on.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Not only do our spiritual care colleagues help patients arrive at meaningful answers to questions about life, religion and what happens after death; they also offer counselling, support and facilitates reconciliation in instances where the patient wants to 'make peace' with a family member." <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;"><img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/Ronita-Leslie.jpg" alt="Ronita-Leslie.jpg" class="ms-rtePosition-1" style="margin:5px;width:500px;height:342px;" />Having reached the pinnacle of educational achievement, Mahilall is full of praise for her team for providing exceptional palliative care services to patients and their families, and also for keeping her going during the pandemic.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“They are so resilient, so passionate, so giving, and so positive even in the face of death which they see daily. Even in the very early days of COVID-19 when we were all paralysed by fear and uncertainty, the clinical teams donned their personal protective gear and didn't miss a beat. I drew and continue to draw inspiration from them.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“I am so proud of the day-hospice model of care we have in place which is a community-based out-patient service for patients who have a terminal diagnosis, but who are not actively dying.  As a one-stop-palliative care service site, this model provides group support for patients battling a similar challenge. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“We are realists; a terminal diagnosis cannot be reversed. We help patients and their families accept their diagnosis and to live fully within the limitations of their diagnosis. What touches me most is the tenacity of my staff and volunteers to walk this difficult path with their patients daily and still take on new patients while consistently providing the same level of care, love, compassion, and support. They are special people with an incredible capacity to care and support."<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Mahilall emphasises the need for funding so that hospices can continue to deliver vital services to communities across the country.  <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Our government sees the value of hospices, but that is not translated into the financial support we seek. This is unfortunate."    <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">As funding continues to remain a challenge, she hopes her study can help bring national and international prominence to palliative care and spiritual care work.<br></p><p>Now that her PhD study is done and dusted, Mahilall, who describes herself as a consummate foodie, will have more time to cook, bake, mix cuisines and experiment with spices, look for ways to infuse different elements of taste and texture in her food, and taste different wines as she entertains family and friends.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">And having already bungee jumped, swing jumped and paraglided, she will also be able to plan her next adventure: jumping off a plane.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">But before then, Mahilall will share her work at UCT's Summer School and visit Kings College London in the United Kingdom in 2022.<br></p><ul><li><strong>Main photo</strong>: Dr Ronita Mahilall at the graduation ceremony. <strong>Photo 1</strong>: Dr Ronita Mahilall with her daughters Chiara and Ureesa. <strong>Photo 2</strong>: Dr Ronita Mahilall with her supervisor Prof Leslie Swartz. </li><li><strong>Photographer</strong>: Stefan Els</li></ul><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Dr Ronita Mahilall</p><p style="text-align:justify;">St Luke's Combined Hospices</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Cape Town</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Email: <a href="mailto:ronitam@stlukes.co.za"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">ronitam@stlukes.co.za</strong></a> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"><strong>​ISSUED BY</strong></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Martin Viljoen</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Manager: Media</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Corporate Communication and Marketing</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Stellenbosch University<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tel: 021 808 4921</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Email: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0" style="">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</strong></a> </p><p> </p><p style="text-align:justify;"> </p><p><br></p>
Afrikaans Department hosts international conferences focused on translation and interpreting https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5672Afrikaans Department hosts international conferences focused on translation and interpreting Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Two international conferences focused on interpreting and translation studies are being hosted by the Afrikaans and Dutch Department<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>by<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Non-Professional Interpreting and Translation<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>(NPIT4)<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>organisation from 22 to 24 May 2018 and the<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>Association for Translation Studies in Africa<span class="Apple-converted-space"> </span>(ATSA) from 25-26 May.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Both conferences are held at the Stellenbosch Institute for Advanced Study (STIAS) at Stellenbosch University (SU).<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Prof Harold Lesch, a lecturer in Interpreting and Afrikaans Linguistics and the main organiser of the NPIT4 conference, the NPIT4 “provides an opportunity for researchers and practitioners within the field of interpreting and translation studies to share recent and relevant work within this discipline and related to the activities of non-professional interpreters and translators".<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The conference will build on previous international discussions regarding interpreting and translation offered by non-professional interpreters and translators which were initiated by the organisation in Bologna in 2012, in Mainz in 2015 and in Zurich in 2016. This year the conference will focus on <em>Finding a balance between required skills and available resources in non-professional interpreting and translation.</em></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“As a language intermediary certain skills are required, but in the case of non-professionals these skills can be absent or there could be a lack thereof but nevertheless a service is being provided – dare I say a functional service. The divide between a first and second economy is prevalent in the African context and the practice of non-professional language intermediaries proves to have a role to play. In the same vein people are flocking to affluent countries, also to SA from other African countries and extended communication, extended due to the service of an interpreter – as opposed to a linear communication – is an everyday reality. The language combinations also bring its own challenges," says Lesch.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Some of the topics to be addressed during the three-day conference, include defining and mapping the field of non-professional interpreting and translation; ad hoc interpreting and translation in everyday life; language brokering by family members (oral, written or sign language); non-professional sign language interpreting; and interdisciplinary approaches to research in non-professional interpreting and translation.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Interpreting in itself is an age-old practice. Within the context of the recent past, emphasis was placed on the professional interpreter and translator. However, one is of the opinion that the role of the non-professional language intermediary is also a source for research and empirical studies. The term non-professional brings its own ramifications to the topic, but in essence, it refers to a non-trained, semi-trained or unpaid language practitioner. This is in contradiction to the professionally trained and experienced interpreter. One is of the opinion that there is room for both within our context," adds Lesch.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">Keynote speakers will include Prof Cecilia Wadensjö,  Professor of Interpreting and Translation Studies at The Institute for Interpreting and Translation Studies in the Department of Swedish Language and Multilingualism at Stockholm University; Prof Leslie Swartz, a clinical psychologist and Distinguished Professor of Psychology at SU; and Prof Maria Tymoczko, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The ATSA conference, which starts on Friday, 25 May, will be the first official conference of the association and will focus on <em>Translation and context: Perspectives on and from Africa</em>. ATSA was founded in 2016 in Nairobi with SU's Prof Ilse Feinauer as a founding member. The conference in Stellenbosch was planned at the founding meeting to coincide with SU's centenary celebrations as well as Africa Day.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“To consider Africa as a context, one could conceptualise Africa from a number of perspectives. In translation studies, a postcolononial perspective and political-culture perspective, could be used, to name only two. Researchers could also use alternative conceptual perspectives from which to study translation," says Feinauer, who is the Vice Dean: Languages in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, and  Professor in Translation Studies and Afrikaans Linguistics in the Department. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Recent work in conceptualising the relationship between translation and development would be one option. It also seems that many options exist for sociological studies as not much has been written about translation in Africa from a sociological perspective. Translation studies scholars have also not yet explored the economy, in particular the informal economy, as a discussion partner for translation studies. Tapping into the oral culture of Africa may open further avenues. Lastly, the teaching of translation and interpreting in Africa in response to the contextual constraints that the context set is an avenue that warrants exploration," adds Feinauer who is also the convenor of the ATSA conference. <br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">According to Feinauer, delegates from countries all over Africa including Benin, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Morocco, Niger, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania as well as persons from countries such asBelgium, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK will attend the conference. Some of the topics to be discussed are theoretical work on context and universalism in translation studies, including the implications of continentalism; conceptualisations of translation as influenced by Africa as context; empirical data on translation and interpreting practices in Africa; and comparing data from Africa with data from other contexts.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">“The conference will be followed by the 5<sup>th</sup>School for PhD students in Translation Studies in Africa from 28 May until 1 June. The guest professor will be Prof Tymoczko from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. I want to specifically thank Stellenbosch University for the Africa Collaboration Grant  that covered most of the costs for both the ATSA conference and the PhD School."<br></p>
People with disabilities struggling to access healthcare https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4045People with disabilities struggling to access healthcare Corporate Marketing / Korporatiewe Bemarking<p>​Many South Africans, especially those in rural areas, still struggle to access affordable and quality health care. Persons with disabilities, in particular, face significantly more barriers to accessing health care than those without disabilities despite having more perceived health problems and health care needs. </p><p>This is according to Dr Richard Vergunst, a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Psychology at Stellenbosch University (SU).  In his recent doctorate in Psychology at SU, Vergunst looked at the barriers persons with disabilities in Madwaleni in the Eastern Cape face when trying to access healthcare. This rural and impoverished area is defined by, among others, poor infrastructure, high levels of unemployment, limited access to health care and education, high incidence of communicable diseases and high mortality rates. </p><p>Vergunst's research formed part of a larger international study <span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:115%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"> ̶ </span>  project Equitable <span style="font-size:11pt;line-height:115%;font-family:calibri, sans-serif;"> ̶ </span> funded by the European Union. This study primarily focuses on access to health care for persons with disabilities in four African countries, namely South Africa, Sudan, Malawi and Namibia. Each country has four sites where research is conducted. The South African sites are Madwaleni, Gugulethu (Cape Town), Fraserburg (Northern Cape) and Worcester (Boland).<img src="/english/PublishingImages/Lists/dualnews/My%20Items%20View/P1040855_resized.JPG" alt="P1040855_resized.JPG" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:227px;height:295px;" /></p><p>With the help of 17 local community health workers, Vergunst was able to collect data of 773 Madwaleni residents in 527 households. English questionnaires translated into isiXhosa and back translated were programmed into mobile phones that health workers used to capture the data that was sent to a central database where it was collated and analysed.</p><p>Vergunst says results of the study show that Madwaleni residents with disabilities face physical, attitudinal and communication barriers.</p><p>"People with disabilities in Madwaleni face<strong> </strong>physical barriers such as transport, transport costs, the actual journey to the health centre, accommodation at health centres, drugs and equipment provision."  </p><p>"Attitudinal barriers included perceptions of negative attitudes by health care providers, perceptions of more denial of treatment by health care providers, and perceptions that they were treated worse by health care providers."<strong> </strong></p><p>"Among the communication barriers were perceptions of poorer communication and interaction with health care providers, perceptions of less privacy at consultations and a perceived lack of respect and poorer explanations from health care providers."</p><p>Vergunst says the situation of Madwaleni residents can improve through better training and education of health care providers regarding disability and through increased awareness about the daily struggles of people with disabilities.</p><p>"This will also help to address communication barriers and change the negative attitudes towards people with disabilities, while the establishment of mobile health centres can help remove physical barriers."</p><p>"Poverty and unemployment must also be reduced in the area."</p><p>Vergunst says the aim is to present the findings of the study to key stakeholders, including chiefs and community leaders, in Madwaleni so that locally relevant interventions, such as disability awareness workshops, can be discussed and implemented.</p><p>"Hopefully, the results of my research will be translated into practical intervention strategies that will ultimately benefit persons with disability in terms of access to health care in particular and daily living in general." </p><p><strong>FOR MEDIA ENQUIRIES ONLY</strong></p><p>Dr Richard Vergunst</p><p>Department of Psychology </p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 761 3982</p><p>Cell:  082 290 299 8</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:vergunstr@gmail.com">vergunstr@gmail.com</a> </p><p>​</p><p>Martin Viljoen</p><p>Corporate Marketing</p><p>Stellenbosch University</p><p>Tel: 021 808 4851</p><p>E-mail: <a href="mailto:viljoenm@sun.ac.za">viljoenm@sun.ac.za</a> </p><p> </p>
PhD student receives Timothy Dow Adams Awardhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4101 PhD student receives Timothy Dow Adams AwardLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">Nick Mdika Tembo, a PhD candidate in English Department at Stellenbosch University (SU), is this year's co-recipient of the Timothy Dow Adams Award along with two other recipients, Fethiye Çetin and Orly Lael Netzer. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The prize was awarded to him at the <em>Tenth </em><em>IABA World Conference</em> at the University of Cyprus, which ran from 26-29 May 2016. The award is made in honour of Timothy Dow Adams, one of the founding editors of <em>a/b: Auto/Biography Studies </em>journal, which is owned by The Autobiography Society and is part of the Routledge Literature Portfolio of journals.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Prof Ricia Anne Chansky presented the award to Tembo on behalf of the editors of <em>a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, </em>in anticipation of his paper <em>Writing the Self, Writing Human Rights Violations in Two Post-1994 Rwandan Testimonios. </em>The paper will appear in the next issue of the journal. Besides the award, Tembo and Netzer were given monetary support to cover their expenses at the conference, and an essay mentorship with the journal editors.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">While at the conference, Tembo presented sections of the paper to delegates in attendance. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Soon after the 1994 Rwandan genocide, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) is alleged to have carried out what the draft UN High Commissioner for Human Rights report suspects to be 'systematic, methodological and premeditated attacks against the Hutus' in eastern Zaïre (now the Democratic Republic of Congo)," explains Tembo as he reflects on his paper and his doctoral research in general. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"These widespread attacks 'reveal a number of inculpatory elements that, if proven before a competent court, could be characterised as crimes of genocide.' The basis of the report is the more than 200,000 refugees, most of them Hutu, who were either unaccounted for or perished on Zaïrean soil, especially between October 1996 and September 1997. Although not discussed in the same breath as the 1994 Rwandan genocide, these pogroms are quite fresh in the minds of so many Rwandans today. There are then many compelling reasons for examining testimonios that mourn and memorialise this 'major human event that is rarely discussed or even acknowledged' in most post-1994 discourses on Rwanda."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">His paper, he says, drew on key debates on literary representations of truth and reconciliation, and examined Marie Béatrice<strong> </strong>Umutesi's <em>Surviving the Slaughter</em> (2004) and Pierre-Claver Ndacyayisenga's <em>Dying to Live</em> (2012) as narratives that destabilise and deconstruct the claim of genocide in Rwanda today. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"To illustrate the ideological purpose at work in the two narratives, I anchored my paper on three interrelated concepts – Michel Foucault's notions of parrhesia, (the concept of speaking truth to power), John Beverley's theorisations on testimonio, and Judith Butler's work on violence and mourning – as interpretive frameworks for understanding how the authors contest genocide memories in Rwanda."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tembo was also one of the panellists for the <em>Round Table Refugee Life Writing</em> at the conference, a session that brought together various academics to share ideas, experiences and projects that involve stories of escape and migration.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Back home, Tembo is once again focusing on his research which looks at the  representations of trauma in selected East African fiction and life writings on civil wars. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Since the mid-twentieth century, most countries of East Africa have experienced a spate of armed conflicts often leading either to civil or interstate wars. My research offers a critical study and analysis of the specificity of civil war traumas and the narrative representations of these traumas in fiction and life-writings that emerge from countries such as Ethiopia, Eritrea, Rwanda, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan and Uganda. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"In what ways do survivor testimonies as well as imagined narratives of pain and suffering interrogate social crises and how do representations of these experiences function in contexts of conflict and their aftermath? How do they retrieve, relieve and re-evaluate contexts of violent crisis and displacement and their continuities in East Africa today? What do they tell us about the place of East Africa in the world, and about the nature of East African literature of civil wars and/or armed conflicts? And lastly, how – and to what extent – do the texts articulate the notion of those displaced by the violent conflicts as traumatised subjects? These are some of the broader questions I explore in my project,' explains Tembo, who teaches in the Department of English at Chancellor College at the University of Malawi.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Since starting his PhD via the Graduate School in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at SU in 2014, Tembo has been invited to speak about his research at three other international conferences. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">While he specialises in teaching African and European Literature in the University of Malawi, Tembo decided to expand his research interests by focusing on trauma studies for his doctoral degree. "Like most colleagues back home, I wanted to conduct an interdisciplinary research. I thought an interface between literature and history, politics, psychology and the medical humanities would provide interesting results. I believe the field of trauma studies will help me get there, as well as understand how different disciplines dialogue with each other."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Tembo is analysing 12 texts that evoke civil war traumas. Asked about how he has experienced the process of reading such painful testimonies, he says: "When I read about these narratives, especially the memoirs and autobiographies, the first thought that comes to my mind is: 'how can a human being do this to another'? This cannot be mere stories, something must be horribly wrong somewhere. The more you read these texts, the more you start asking yourself 'where have we failed as human beings'? So my focus is on what is going on in our society and what it is that we should be doing differently so that our societies are better places to be.'</p><p style="text-align:justify;">He hopes his own success is not only a testament that hard work pays off, but that this will inspire other postgraduate students in the faculty. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"I thank God for letting my light shine. I'd also like to thank my mentors in the English Department at Stellenbosch University, especially Prof Grace Musila, Prof Annie Gagiano, Dr Tilla Slabbert, Prof Sally-Ann Murray, Prof Louisie Green, Prof Tina Steiner and Dr Kylie Thomas. These are friendly, selfless and academically engaging senior colleagues who always renew my academic hopes. The entire department deserves special mention too, for the moral and financial support they always give me during my endless quest for knowledge and networking with international scholars through conference attendances and presentations.'</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Reflecting on his time in Cyprus, Tembo says: "It was a very humbling experience for me. I interacted with a number of scholars. I also received a number of business cards from book publishers and journal editors asking me to publish with them. This shows that someone out there believes in my work, and I don't take that for granted. Currently, I am working on three journal articles, to be sent to some of these editors."</p><p style="text-align:justify;"><em>Photo: Nick Mdika Tembo (third from the left) was recently awarded the Timothy Dow Adams Award and was able to participate in a panel discussion</em><em>  </em><em>at the 2016 International Auto/Biography Association conference held by the University of Cyprus, Greece, at the end of May. With him are fellow Award winners </em>Fethiye Çetin<em> (left), Orly Lael Netzer (middle) and a/b:Auto/Biography Studies editor, Ricia Anne Chansky (far right).</em></p>
Stellenbosch University hosts first IOSOT conference to be held in Africahttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4227Stellenbosch University hosts first IOSOT conference to be held in AfricaLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">The first International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT) conference to be held in Africa will be hosted by Stellenbosch University (SU) along with the Old Testament Society of Southern Africa (OTSSA) from 4 to 9 September. This is only the second time since IOSOT was established in 1950 that the conference will be held outside Europe – in 1986 it took place in Jerusalem. <br><br>According to Prof Johann Cook, Professor Extraordinaire in SU's Ancient Studies Department and President of the IOSOT, the conference is held every three years and draws together various experts focusing on aspects of the Hebrew Bible/Old Testament. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"The fact that the first IOSOT conference is being held in South Africa and on the African continent, allows scholars from this continent to experience IOSOT first-hand for the first time, as it is expensive to travel to these kind of conferences in Europe and America. We have therefore also made provision for many delegates from Africa to be sponsored to participate in the conference," says Cook. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">IOSOT2016 received financial assistance from the South African National Research Foundation, SU, OTSSA and The South African Society for Near Eastern Studies (SASNES). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">About 350 delegates from South Africa and countries including Germany, America, Britain, Israel, the Netherlands, Japan, Brazil, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Argentinia, Iran, Peru, the Philippines, and many others have already arrived in Stellenbosch.  </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"At the conference 15 guest speakers will present main papers which will focus on the Old Testament. Various aspects, such as grammatical, theological (inter alia, of the books of Genesis, Job and Daniel), archaeological and ethical, and other perspectives will be addressed. Feminist studies will also be a theme. A novelty at this congress is the presentation of seminars on specific topics. In addition a multitude of short papers will be presented. Prof Sakkie Cornelius from the Ancient Studies Department will also talk about the value of ancient studies in helping us understand the Hebrew Bible," explains Cook.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Altogether 280 papers will be delivered during the event. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">When asked about the modern day value of the conference, Cook says: "The Hebrew Bible and the New Testament still play a role in modern society. This applies also to the versions of the Hebrew Bible. Since some of these translations took place so near in time to the Hebrew that was in use then, we can expect to gain major theological insights from them".</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The involvement of scholars from the African continent and other regions across the world, says Cook, means that a wide range of perspectives will be heard at this conference. "Europe and America have been on the forefront with regards to new developments within studies around the Hebrew Bible. However, the African influence on these continents and on the Bible are of great importance. Where in the world would you find Contextual African Theology? This is just one example of the unique contributions that scholars on the African continent are making to this research field."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As is the tradition, the congresses of the International Organization of Septuagint and Cognate Studies (IOSCS), the International Organization for Targumic Studies (IOTS) and that for Syriac Studies will be combined with the IOSOT conference. This applies to a number of South African academic societies too. The programme for the conference was organised by the host institutions along with SASNES, while Prof Louis Jonker of the Discipline Group, Old and New Testament, in the Faculty of Theology serves as the conference secretary of IOSOT 2016. The conference will take place in the Arts and Social Sciences and Wilcocks buildings. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Of course we will not only be working," jokes Cook, "we will also be taking our guests on excursions to the township of Khayelitsha, to Franschhoek and the Waterfront, so that they can get a taste of the diverse nature of South Africa." </p><p style="text-align:justify;">For more information about IOSOT, visit <a href="http://www.iosot2016.co.za/">www.iosot2016.co.za</a>.  </p>
Do you have what it takes to build the career you want?https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4324Do you have what it takes to build the career you want?Development & Alumni/Ontwikkeling & Alumni-betrekkinge<p style="text-align:justify;">Do you have what it takes to build the career you want? This is the question that the Alumni Relations office will try and help students answer during a series of<strong> </strong>Careers Cafés to be hosted by Alumni Relations, in conjunction with various faculties at Stellenbosch University (SU), starting in October. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">The first of these Careers Cafés will be held in collaboration with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences on 12 October in the form of a TedTalk-styled talk by Google SA Country Manager, Luke McKend, who is also an alumnus of the Faculty. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">McKend completed a BA degree in English and Philosophy and after working for a number of online businesses abroad, joined Google UK in 2007. Over the years he has worked with some of Google's largest clients developing their digital marketing strategies across a number of industries in the UK and is now responsible for building Google's business in South Africa.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">By collaborating with the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences for the pilot talk, the Alumni Relations office hopes to provide a platform for alumni to engage with the university in a different manner by offering their time and skills to help current students prepare for the careers they want.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">"Whilst we are always very thankful and appreciative of the financial contributions and gifts that our alumni continue to make to their alma mater, it is not the only way for alumni to support and engage with our university and faculties. We have come to realise that there are alumni who would like to give back to their university and/or faculty, but would prefer or are only able to contribute their skills and time, which are equally valuable resources," says Mr Shaun Stuart, Manager: Alumni Relations at SU. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">While a graduate destination survey conducted by the Cape Higher Education Consortium (CHEC) amongst a 2010 cohort of graduates from Western Cape universities indicated that SU had the lowest number – 4,1% – of unemployed graduates in South Africa in 2012, also of concern is a global trend that indicates that while degree studies may equip students for the jobs they will perform in future, they often tend to lack the soft skills, such as communication, time management, conflict resolution, presentation and interpersonal skills, to further excel in the workplace. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"So while this institution and our faculties are equipping students with the relevant skills and knowledge to perform the work required from them when they enter the workplace and as it relates to their specific degrees, we are realising that there is also a need to focus on improving our students' soft skills in the long run."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The first Humanities Careers Café in October will allow the university to do just that and at the same time build more personal relationships with past graduates. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This is part of a bigger drive at the university to connect with our alumni in a variety of meaningful ways, to build more intimate relationships between alumni and their faculties, and to start connecting with our future alumni and inspire them to think about their lives beyond university and start building the career they want now."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">Invites have already been sent to students from the Faculty and those who RSVP will receive a free bagged lunch that they can enjoy during the talk, which will held between 13:00 and 13:50 in Room 230 of the Arts building. Students are also encouraged to like the University and Alumni Facebook pages to receive more information about the talk in the weeks preceding it and to enter the Facebook competition to win a free dinner with Luke and members of the faculty and the Alumni Relations office on the evening of the talk. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">"This will be a great way for two of our students to get to know Luke in person as well," says Stuart. </p><ul style="text-align:justify;"><li>After the event, a survey will be conducted amongst students on ways to improve the Café going forward and a lucky student will also stand the chance to win a voucher for two from Hudsons in Stellenbosch during this exercise. If you want to follow this event, tag us by using #BuildYourCareer |#BouJouLoopbaan and #SUCareersCafe | #USLoopbaanKafee.​</li></ul>
Music students win top prizes at ATKV-Muziqhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5054Music students win top prizes at ATKV-MuziqLynne Rippenaar-Moses<p>Two music students from the Music Department in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences have walked away with the top prizes at the national instrumental classical music competition, ATKV-Muziq, which was held on 29 July in Parow, Cape Town. <br></p><p>Twenty-four year old pianist and Masters degree student Sulayman Human (photo) was named the overall winner of the competition and received a prize R65 000 while Cameron Williams (saxophone), a second-year BMus student,  received the overall second prize of R32 000. Both students also received additional prizes of R8 500 each with Human receiving the prize for the <em>Best Interpretation of a</em> <em>Baroque or Classical Work </em>for his rendition of Mozart's  Sonata no. 10 in C major, K330; III. Allegretto and Williams receiving it for the <em>Best Interpretation of a South African Composition during the Second Round </em>for his rendition of A. Stephenson's <em>Introduction and Allegro.</em> The overall third prize of R16 000 was awarded to Jeffrey Armstrong (violin).</p><p>ATKV-Muziq is the biggest and most prestigious annual classical music competition in South Africa, with previous winners including international award-winning pianists Ben Schoeman and Megan-Geoffrey Prins. Through the competition ATKV makes a contribution to classical music in South Africa. The competition is open to young musicians between the ages of 15 and 27 with a total of R180 000 in prize money awarded to the winners. </p><p><em>Photo: Pianist and Masters degree student Sulayman Human was the overall winner of the ATKV-Muziq competition this year. (Supplied)</em><br><br></p>
International exhibition traces eugenics movement to Nazi regime’s “science of race”https://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=5636International exhibition traces eugenics movement to Nazi regime’s “science of race”Lynne Rippenaar-Moses<p style="text-align:justify;">An international traveling exhibition produced by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and which explores the Nazi regime's “science of race" and its implications for medical ethics and social responsibility today is currently being hosted at the Stellenbosch University Museum until 28 May 2018.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">The <em>Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race </em>exhibition is presented by the South African Holocaust and Genocide Foundation in South Africa (www.holocaust.org.za). After Stellenbosch it will travel to  Johannesburg, Pretoria, Durban, Cape Town and Namibia where it will be exhibited at the  Holocaust Centres in South Africa, as well as other universities and museums. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Through reproductions of photographs and documents, historical films, and survivor testimony, the exhibition traces how the persecution of groups deemed biologically inferior led to the near annihilation of European Jews. It also challenges viewers to reflect on the present-day interest in genetic manipulation that promotes the possibility of human perfection and the legacy of racism.</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of the exhibition a number of public lectures, film screenings, book launches and panel discussions have been presented by a range of South African academics including those from the Faculties of Arts and Social Sciences  and Health Sciences at Stellenbosch University (SU). </p><p style="text-align:justify;">In a country like South Africa, where issues around medical ethics continue to this day, and where there is an ongoing need to remind the country of the dignity of the individual, the exhibition has particular relevance. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Wednesday, 25 April, Prof Steven Robins from the Sociology and Social Anthropology Department, and Dr Handri Walters, a researcher for the South African section of the exhibition, presented a talk on <em>Spectres of Racial Science: Understanding eugenics as a 'travelling science'</em>. It explored how eugenics became a global science in the early 20<sup>th</sup>century and how German eugenics, which had roots in German South West Africa (now Namibia), travelled to many parts of the world, including SU. Robins is also the author of <em>Letters of Stone, from Nazi Germany to South Africa</em><em> </em>a deeply personal and painful reflection of the true horror and extent of the Nazis' racial policies against Jews, which made the Sunday Times Alan Paton Award for Non-Fiction shortlist in 2017. <a href="/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=4138">Read the full story here</a>.<br></p><p style="text-align:justify;">The exhibition examines how the Nazi leadership, in collaboration with individuals in professions traditionally charged with healing and the public good, used science to legitimise persecution and ultimately, genocide. The history of the Holocaust provides an invaluable context through which to view and reflect on contemporary issues </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Deadly Medicine shows how the Nazi regime under Adolf Hitler aimed to change the genetic makeup of the population through measures known as “racial hygiene" or “eugenics". It also highlights the role that scientists in the biomedical fields, especially anthropologists, psychiatrists, and geneticists, who were all medically trained experts played in legitimising these policies by helping to put them into practice," according to the pamphlet shared on the exhibition. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">Medical experimentation however started as far back as Eugen Fischer's and other scientists' study of African prisoners of war in Namibia during the Herero and Namaqua Genocide that led to the deaths of tens of thousands of individuals.  These studies influenced German legislation on race, including the Nuremberg laws, from the early 20<sup>th</sup>century onwards. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">“When Nazi racial hygiene was implemented, the categories of persons and groups regarded as biologically threatening to the health of the nation were greatly expanded to include Jews, Roma (Gypsies), the mentally and physically disabled and other minorities."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">“Under cover of World War II, and using the war as a pretext, Nazi racial hygiene was radicalised and there was a shift from controlling reproduction and marriage to simply eliminating persons regarded as biological threats."</p><p style="text-align:justify;">As part of the exhibition a two-seminar series was planned on <em>Taking stock: Disability & Human Rights in contemporary South Africa.</em><em> </em>The first<em>was Deadly Practices: Esidimeni and beyond which took place on April 16.</em><em> </em>The second<em> </em><em>Beyond the right to life: Disability, Personhood & Participation</em><em> </em>will be chaired by Prof Leslie Swartz from the Psychology Department on Monday, 7 May. Swartz is a distinguished professor who has trained as a clinical psychologist and is a leading expert on disability rights issues, particularly in low-income contexts. </p><p style="text-align:justify;">On Tuesday, 15 May, the film <em>Skin,</em><em> </em>will be introduced by Ms Bonita Bennett, Director of the District Six Museum.This film depicts Sandra Laing's life. Laing was classified as 'coloured' because of her skin colour and hair texture,  although having 'white' parents. The screening will be followed by a Q and A session. </p><p>The Stellenbosch University Museum is situated at 52 Ryneveld Street in Stellenbosch and can be contacted at at 021 808 3695.</p><p><em>Photo</em><em>:</em><em> </em><em>Head shots showing various racial types: Most Western anthropologists classified people into “races" based on physical traits such as head size and eye, hair and skin colour. This classification was developed by Eugen Fischer and published in the 1921 and 1923 editions of Foundations of Human Genetics and Racial Hygiene. (Supplied by </em><em>US Holocaust Memorial Museum)</em></p>
South Africans must be healthier for universal healthcare to succeedhttps://www.sun.ac.za/english/Lists/news/DispForm.aspx?ID=7491South Africans must be healthier for universal healthcare to succeedJane Simmonds, Charles Parry & Melvyn Freeman<p>​South African will have to maintain healthier lifestyles for the National Health Insurance to succeed, writes Jane Simmonds, Dr Charles Parry (both from the South African Medical Research Council) and Prof Melvyn Freeman (Department of Psychology) in an article for <em>The Conversation</em> recently (7 July).<br></p><ul><li>Read the article below or click <a href="https://theconversation.com/south-africans-must-be-healthier-for-universal-healthcare-to-succeed-140204"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">here</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>for the piece as published.<br></li></ul><p><strong>Jane Simmonds, Charles Parry and Melvyn Freeman*</strong></p><p>Achieving a healthy population isn't easy for any country – rich or poor. One of the approaches that's gained traction over the past two decades is preventative care through <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK235764/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">health promotion</strong></a>. Simply put, health promotion means keeping people healthy. This is seen as particularly useful in developing countries, where levels of preventable non-communicable diseases are high, the resources to treat disease are scarce and the cost of treating sick people is often higher than programmes to keep people healthy.<br></p><p>The health promotion approach has two areas of focus. One is preventing disease through activities like health education messaging, screening and testing for conditions. The other is addressing the upstream drivers and causes of poor health. These include social and economic factors such as poverty and unemployment. They also include smoking, excessive drinking, low levels of exercise, poor diet, sub-standard living conditions, gender-based violence and mental illness.</p><p>The health promotion approach aims to change people's behaviour and choices. But it is not enough just to tell an individual how to be healthy: people need support and social structures to promote, sustain and maintain healthy choices.</p><p>A number of countries have successfully adopted this approach using health promotion foundations. <a href="https://en.thaihealth.or.th/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">Thai Health</strong></a> is one example. Similar <a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/6281/4910"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">foundations</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>have been established in Switzerland, Austria, the Philippines and Malaysia.</p><p>In a <a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12864/9145"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">recently published paper</strong></a>, we argue that South Africa also needs a health promotion and development foundation if its proposed universal healthcare programme, the National Health Insurance (NHI), is to succeed.</p><p>Through the <a href="http://www.health.gov.za/index.php/nhi"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">NHI</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>South Africa (and legal long-term residents) are to be provided with essential healthcare, whether they can <a href="https://theconversation.com/coronavirus-pandemic-holds-lessons-for-south-africas-universal-health-care-plans-137443"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">contribute</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>to the NHI fund or not.</p><p>But South Africa faces high levels of disease, in particular<strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong><a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12864"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>n</strong><strong>oncommunicable diseases</strong></span></a> such as diabetes, hypertension, cancer and obesity. Many noncommunicable diseases can be prevented. The NHI is likely to battle to cope with treating large numbers of sick people, but much of this treatment could be avoided by promoting health and reducing disease.</p><p>In our <a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12864"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">paper</strong></a> we set out how this radical change of approach could be achieved and why health promotion could be an effective use of the limited funds.</p><p><strong>Getting healthier</strong></p><p>Noncommunicable diseases, many of which are avoidable, are having a significant impact on the health of South Africans and the South African healthcare system.</p><p>The increase in noncommunicable disease risk factors will likely lead to rising healthcare costs.</p><p>For example, in 2018, the public health sector spent an <a href="https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/16549716.2019.1636611"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">estimated</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>R2.7 billion ($198 million) on patients diagnosed with diabetes. The estimates increased to R21.8 billion when undiagnosed diabetes patients were considered. The total costs associated with diabetes are likely to increase to R35.1 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2030.</p><p>Another common condition, <a href="https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17952226/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">hypertension</strong></a>, is an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and chronic kidney disease. It is often found in combination with diabetes. In <a href="https://www.statssa.gov.za/publications/Report%2003-00-09/Report%2003-00-092016.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">South Africa</strong></a> 46% of women and 44% of men over 15 had hypertension in 2016. This is almost double the <a href="https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736%2816%2931919-5/fulltext"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">world average</strong></a> and has nearly doubled since 1998.</p><p>The <a href="https://dhsprogram.com/pubs/pdf/FR337/FR337.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">2016 South African Demographic and Health Survey</strong></a> indicates high levels of obesity, which has health and cost implications. Forty-one percent of women are obese, a condition associated with an 11% increase in healthcare <a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/7260"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">costs</strong></a>.</p><p><strong>What needs to be done</strong></p><p>Health behaviour in South Africa needs to shift from the norm of waiting to get sick and then accessing healthcare to preventing disease and keeping healthy.</p><p>To encourage this, we <a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12864"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">propose</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>the establishment of a multi-sectoral National Health Commission or an independent Health Promotion Foundation linked directly to the NHI Fund. It should include several relevant government departments, civil society, academics and researchers.</p><p>Health promotion programmes need to be based on more than health knowledge. For example, individuals can't practise good hand hygiene when water is not available, or eat healthy foods when these are not affordable. South Africa's specific<strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong><a href="https://theconversation.com/pandemic-underscores-gross-inequalities-in-south-africa-and-the-need-to-fix-them-135070"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">realities and need</strong>s</a>, including poverty and its related behavioural impacts and health consequences, must be taken into account. This is why different government departments and stakeholders would need to work together.</p><p>We don't know exactly how much of the noncommunicable disease burden could be eased by modifying risk factors. But the World Health Organisation has <a href="https://www.paho.org/hq/dmdocuments/2011/paho-policy-brief-1-En-web1.pdf"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">estimated</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>that in the Americas 80% of all heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes mellitus and over 40% of cancer is preventable through multisectoral action.</p><p>Some of the changes that could make a difference to health are quite indirect. For example, it is often not safe to exercise on the streets, so communities need to have more active and visible policing and accessible open spaces free from traffic and other competing activities to make increased exercise a realistic option. Healthy food needs to be subsidised and more easily available, and places that sell alcohol and tobacco need to be located at prescribed distances from schools.</p><p>Just how much funding is needed to promote health? Health promotion experts are calling for <a href="http://www.samj.org.za/index.php/samj/article/view/12864"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">2%</strong></a><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"> </strong>of the NHI Fund to be dedicated specifically to promoting health and preventing illness. </p><p>The WHO's global <a href="https://www.who.int/ncds/prevention/launch-global-business-plan-for-ncds/en/"><strong class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">business case</strong></a> for noncommunicable diseases shows that if low- and low-to-middle-income countries put in place the most cost-effective interventions, by 2030 they will see a return of US$7 per person for every dollar invested. This is certainly a reason to improve health promotion funding in South Africa. We cannot afford to wait any longer.</p><p><a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/jane-simmonds-1074795"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0">*<strong>Jane Simmonds</strong></span></a> is an associated staff member of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/charles-parry-1131489"><strong>Charles Parry</strong></a> is the Director of the Alcohol, Tobacco & Other Drug Research Unit at the South African Medical Research Council. <a href="https://theconversation.com/profiles/melvyn-freeman-1131490"><span class="ms-rteThemeForeColor-5-0"><strong>Melvyn Freeman</strong></span></a> is an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University.<br></p><p><br></p>