Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 20

Search results for: Carel Coetzee

20 Baring Witness, Bearing Withness: Paradoxes of Testimony in J.M. Coetzee’s Waiting for the Barbarians

Authors: Alexandra Sweny

Abstract:

This paper contends with the intersection between the act of witnessing and the act of reading in order to consider the relevance of literary testimony and fiction as tools for postcolonial readings of history. J. M. Coetzee's Waiting for the Barbarians elucidates what Primo Levi deems the 'paradoxical' task of testimony: that suffering can only be fully narrated by the sufferer themselves, whose voice and narrative capacity is often foreclosed by the very extent of their trauma. By examining the fictional Magistrate's position as both a reader and translator of history, this paper posits Waiting for the Barbarians as an ethical command against the appropriation of trauma.

Keywords: ethical criticism, limit-experience, postcolonialism, psychic trauma in literature, testimony

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19 Influence of Aluminium on Grain Refinement in As-Rolled Vanadium-Microalloyed Steels

Authors: Kevin Mark Banks, Dannis Rorisang Nkarapa Maubane, Carel Coetzee

Abstract:

The influence of aluminium content, reheating temperature, and sizing (final) strain on the as-rolled microstructure was systematically investigated in vanadium-microalloyed and C-Mn plate steels. Reheating, followed by hot rolling and air cooling simulations were performed on steels containing a range of aluminium and nitrogen contents. Natural air cooling profiles, corresponding to 6 and 20mm thick plates, were applied. The austenite and ferrite/pearlite microstructures were examined using light optical microscopy. Precipitate species and volume fraction were determined on selected specimens. No influence of aluminium content was found below 0.08% on the as-rolled grain size in all steels studied. A low Al-V-steel produced the coarsest initial austenite grain size due to AlN dissolution at low temperatures leading to abnormal grain growth. An Al-free V-N steel had the finest initial microstructure. Although the as-rolled grain size for 20mm plate was similar in all steels tested, the grain distribution was relatively mixed. The final grain size in 6mm plate was similar for most compositions; the exception was an as-cast V low N steel, where the size of the second phase was inversely proportional to the sizing strain. This was attributed to both segregation and a low VN volume fraction available for effective pinning of austenite grain boundaries during cooling. Increasing the sizing strain refined the microstructure significantly in all steels.

Keywords: aluminium, grain size, nitrogen, reheating, sizing strain, steel, vanadium

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18 Developing a Grading System for Restaurants

Authors: Joseph Roberson, Carina Kleynhans, Willie Coetzee

Abstract:

The low entry barriers of the restaurant industry lead to an extremely competitive business environment. In this volatile business sector it is of the utmost importance to implement a strategy of quality differentiation. Vital aspects of a quality differentiation strategy are total quality management, benchmarking and service quality management. Ultimately, restaurant success depends on the continuous support of customers. Customers select restaurants based on their expectations of quality. If the customers' expectations are met, they perceive quality service and will re-patronize the restaurant. The restaurateur can manage perceptions of quality by influencing expectations while ensuring that those expectations are not inflated. The management of expectations can be done by communicating service quality to customers. The aim of this research paper is to describe the development of a grading process for restaurants. An assessment of the extensive body of literature on grading was conducted through content analysis. A standardized method for developing a grading system would assist in successful grading systems that could inform both customers and restaurateurs of restaurant quality.

Keywords: benchmarking, restaurants, grading, service quality, total quality management

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17 Creating Sustainable Human Settlements: An Analysis of Planning Intervention in Addressing Informal Settlements in South Africa

Authors: Takudzwa C. Taruza, Carel B. Schoeman, Ilse M. Schoeman

Abstract:

The proliferation of informal settlements remains one of the major planning challenges in democratic South Africa. In spite of the various local, national and international initiatives to promote the creation of sustainable human settlements, informal settlements continue to exist as spatially marginalised societies characterised by poverty, unemployment, squalor conditions and disaster risks. It is argued that, in practice, intervention is mainly directed at achieving set quantitative targets and goals rather than improving the lives of the inhabitants. The relevant planning instruments do not adequately address the integration of informal settlements into the broader planning framework. This paper is based on the analysis of the informal settlement intervention within the North West Province. Financial constraints, bureaucracy in housing delivery and lack of horizontal and vertical integration in spatial planning and programme implementation are amongst the major factors that caused stagnation in some of the upgrading programmes which in turn hindered the attainment of the target set as part of the Outcome 8 Delivery Agreement. Moreover, the absence of distinct indicators for the assessment of the qualitative progress of upgrading programmes indicates shortcomings in the intervention policies and programmes to promote the creation of sustainable human settlements. Thus, this paper seeks to proffer an assessment toolkit as well as a framework for the implementation of a Sustainable Informal Settlement Programme.

Keywords: formalization of informal settlements, planning intervention, sustainable formalization indicators, sustainable human settlements

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16 Post-Exercise Effects of Cold Water Immersion over a 48-Hour Recovery Period on the Physical and Haematological Parameters of Male University-Level Rugby Players

Authors: Adele Broodryk, Cindy Pienaar, Martinique Sparks, Ben Coetzee

Abstract:

Background: Cold water immersion (CWI) is a popular recovery modality utilised. However, discrepancies exist regarding the results over a 48 hour recovery period. Aim: To evaluate the effects of CWI and passive recovery (PAR) on a range of haematological and physical parameters over a 48-hour using a cross-sectional, pre-post-test design. Subjects and Methods: Both the and physical parameters were evaluated at baseline, after a 15-min fitness session, and at 0, 24 and 48 hours post-recovery in 23 male university rugby players. The CWI group sat in a cold water pool (8°C) for 20 min whereas the PAR group remained seated. Results: At 0 hours post-CWI, three (blood lactate (BLa-), Sodium (Na+) and haemoglobin) returned to baseline values, however Vertical Jump Test (VJT) height results decreased whereas after PAR it improved. From 0 to 24 and/or 48 h, four (Partial Oxygen (PO2) VJT-height, plasma glucose, and Na+) significantly increased (p ≤ 0.05) in either and/or both groups. Significant intergroup differences (p ≤ 0.05) were noticed in the physical tests. Conclusions: PAR is superior as an acute modality (0 hours) due to CWI cooling the body down. However, CWI demonstrates advantageous over a 24-hour period in a wide range of haematological variables.

Keywords: cryotherapy, recuperation, haematological, rugby

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15 An Experimental Study on the Effects of Aspect Ratio of a Rectangular Microchannel on the Two-Phase Frictional Pressure Drop

Authors: J. A. Louw Coetzee, Josua P. Meyer

Abstract:

The thermodynamic properties of different refrigerants in combination with the variation in geometrical properties (hydraulic diameter, aspect ratio, and inclination angle) of a rectangular microchannel determine the two-phase frictional pressure gradient. The effect of aspect ratio on frictional pressure drop had not been investigated enough during adiabatic two-phase flow and condensation in rectangular microchannels. This experimental study was concerned with measurement of the frictional pressure gradient in a rectangular microchannel, with hydraulic diameter of 900 μm. The aspect ratio of this microchannel was varied over a range that stretched from 0.3 to 3 in order to capture the effect of aspect ratio variation. A commonly used refrigerant, R134a, was used in the tests that spanned over a mass flux range of 100 to 1000 kg m-2 s-1 as well as the whole vapour quality range. This study formed part of a refrigerant condensation experiment and was therefore conducted at a saturation temperature of 40 °C. The study found that there was little influence of the aspect ratio on the frictional pressure drop at the test conditions. The data was compared to some of the well known micro- and macro-channel two-phase pressure drop correlations. Most of the separated flow correlations predicted the pressure drop data well at mass fluxes larger than 400 kg m-2 s-1 and vapour qualities above 0.2.

Keywords: aspect ratio, microchannel, two-phase, pressure gradient

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14 Calibration of the Discrete Element Method Using a Large Shear Box

Authors: C. J. Coetzee, E. Horn

Abstract:

One of the main challenges in using the Discrete Element Method (DEM) is to specify the correct input parameter values. In general, the models are sensitive to the input parameter values and accurate results can only be achieved if the correct values are specified. For the linear contact model, micro-parameters such as the particle density, stiffness, coefficient of friction, as well as the particle size and shape distributions are required. There is a need for a procedure to accurately calibrate these parameters before any attempt can be made to accurately model a complete bulk materials handling system. Since DEM is often used to model applications in the mining and quarrying industries, a calibration procedure was developed for materials that consist of relatively large (up to 40 mm in size) particles. A coarse crushed aggregate was used as the test material. Using a specially designed large shear box with a diameter of 590 mm, the confined Young’s modulus (bulk stiffness) and internal friction angle of the material were measured by means of the confined compression test and the direct shear test respectively. DEM models of the experimental setup were developed and the input parameter values were varied iteratively until a close correlation between the experimental and numerical results was achieved. The calibration process was validated by modelling the pull-out of an anchor from a bed of material. The model results compared well with experimental measurement.

Keywords: Discrete Element Method (DEM), calibration, shear box, anchor pull-out

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13 RNAseq Reveals Hypervirulence-Specific Host Responses to M. tuberculosis Infection

Authors: Gina Leisching, Ray-Dean Pietersen, Carel Van Heerden, Paul Van Helden, Ian Wiid, Bienyameen Baker

Abstract:

The distinguishing factors that characterize the host response to infection with virulent Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) are largely confounding. We present an infection study with two genetically closely related M.tb strains that have vastly different pathogenic characteristics. The early host response to infection with these detergent-free cultured strains was analyzed through RNAseq in an attempt to provide information on the subtleties which may ultimately contribute to the virulent phenotype. Murine bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMDMs) were infected with either a hyper- (R5527) or hypovirulent (R1507) Beijing M. tuberculosis clinical isolate. RNAseq revealed 69 differentially expressed host genes in BMDMs during comparison of these two transcriptomes. Pathway analysis revealed activation of the stress-induced and growth inhibitory Gadd45 signaling pathway in hypervirulent infected BMDMs. Upstream regulators of interferon activation such as and IRF3 and IRF7 were predicted to be upregulated in hypovirulent-infected BMDMs. Additional analysis of the host immune response through ELISA and qPCR included the use of human THP-1 macrophages where a robust proinflammatory response was observed after infection with the hypervirulent strain. RNAseq revealed two early-response genes (IER3 and SAA3) and two host-defence genes (OASL1 and SLPI) that were significantly upregulated by the hypervirulent strain. The role of these genes under M.tb infection conditions are largely unknown but here we provide validation of their presence with use of qPCR and Western blot. Further analysis into their biological role under infection with virulent M.tb is required.

Keywords: host-response, Mycobacterium tuberculosis, RNAseq, virulence

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12 Factors Influencing the Enjoyment and Performance of Students in Statistics Service Courses: A Mixed-Method Study

Authors: Wilma Coetzee

Abstract:

Statistics lecturers experience that many students who are taking a service course in statistics do not like statistics. Students in these courses tend to struggle and do not perform well. This research takes a look at the student’s perspective, with the aim to determine how to change the teaching of statistics so that students will enjoy it more and perform better. Questionnaires were used to determine the perspectives of first year service statistics students at a South African university. Factors addressed included motivation to study, attitude toward statistics, statistical anxiety, mathematical abilities and tendency to procrastinate. Logistic regression was used to determine what contributes to students performing badly in statistics. The results show that the factors that contribute the most to students performing badly are: statistical anxiety, not being motivated and having had mathematical literacy instead of mathematics in secondary school. Two open ended questions were included in the questionnaire: 'I will enjoy statistics more if…' and 'I will perform better in statistics if…'. The answers to these questions were analyzed using qualitative methods. Frequent themes were identified for each of the questions. A simulation study incorporating bootstrapping was done to determine the saturation of the themes. The majority of the students indicated that they would perform better in statistics if they studied more, managed their time better, had a flare for mathematics and if the lecturer was able to explain difficult concepts better. They also want more active learning. To ensure that students enjoy statistics more, they want an active learning experience. They want fun activities, more interaction with the lecturer and with one another, more computer based problems, and more challenges. They want a better understanding of the subject, want to understand the relevance of statistics to their future career and want excellent lecturers. These findings can be used to direct the improvement of the tuition of statistics.

Keywords: active learning, performance in statistics, statistical anxiety, statistics education

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11 Global Positioning System Match Characteristics as a Predictor of Badminton Players’ Group Classification

Authors: Yahaya Abdullahi, Ben Coetzee, Linda Van Den Berg

Abstract:

The study aimed at establishing the global positioning system (GPS) determined singles match characteristics that act as predictors of successful and less-successful male singles badminton players’ group classification. Twenty-two (22) male single players (aged: 23.39 ± 3.92 years; body stature: 177.11 ± 3.06cm; body mass: 83.46 ± 14.59kg) who represented 10 African countries participated in the study. Players were categorised as successful and less-successful players according to the results of five championships’ of the 2014/2015 season. GPS units (MinimaxX V4.0), Polar Heart Rate Transmitter Belts and digital video cameras were used to collect match data. GPS-related variables were corrected for match duration and independent t-tests, a cluster analysis and a binary forward stepwise logistic regression were calculated. A Receiver Operating Characteristic Curve (ROC) was used to determine the validity of the group classification model. High-intensity accelerations per second were identified as the only GPS-determined variable that showed a significant difference between groups. Furthermore, only high-intensity accelerations per second (p=0.03) and low-intensity efforts per second (p=0.04) were identified as significant predictors of group classification with 76.88% of players that could be classified back into their original groups by making use of the GPS-based logistic regression formula. The ROC showed a value of 0.87. The identification of the last-mentioned GPS-related variables for the attainment of badminton performances, emphasizes the importance of using badminton drills and conditioning techniques to not only improve players’ physical fitness levels but also their abilities to accelerate at high intensities.

Keywords: badminton, global positioning system, match analysis, inertial movement analysis, intensity, effort

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10 Hepatoprotective and Immunostimulative Properties of Medicinal Plants against Tuberculosis

Authors: Anna-Mari Kok, Carel B. Oosthuizen, Namrita Lall

Abstract:

Tuberculosis (TB) is a disease caused by the bacterial pathogen Mycobacterium tuberculosis. It is associated with high mortality rates in both developing and developed countries. Many higher plants are found that are medicinally associated with tuberculosis infection. Plants belonging to thirteen families were selected, based on their traditional usage for tuberculosis and its associated symptoms. Eight plants showed the best antimycobacterial activities (MIC-value ≤ 500.0 µg/ml) against M. tuberculosis H37Rv. LS was found to have a minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of 125 µg/ml whereas, Tulbaghia violacea, Heteromorpha arborescens, Sutherlandia frutescens, Eucalyptus deglupta, and Plectranthus neochilus were found to have a MIC value of 250 µg/ml against M. tuberculosis H37Rv. Cytotoxicity values on U937 and HepG2 cells were obtained and the IC50 values ranged between 40 ±4.30 and > 400 µg/ml for the U937 cell line and 72.4 ±1.50 and > 400 µg/ml for the HepG2 cell line. Heteromorpha arborescens had the lowest IC50 value in both cell lines and therefore showed moderate levels of toxicity. Of the 19 samples that underwent the 2, 2- diphenyl- 1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) antioxidant assay, Eucalyptus deglupta and Melianthus major showed significant free radical scavenging activities with concentrations of 1.33 and 1.32 µg/ml respectively for the inhibition of DPPH. Hepatotoxicity induced by acetaminophen identified Searsia lancea with hepatoprotective activity of 59.37% at a ¼ IC50 concentration. Out of the 7 samples that were investigated for their immunomodulatory capabilities, Eucalyptus deglupta produced the most IL-12 with Sutherlandia frutescens also showing positive results for IL-12 production. In the present study, Eucalyptus deglupta showed the most promising results with good activity against M. tuberculosis with an MIC-value of 250 µg/ml. It also has potent antioxidant activity with an IC50 value of 1.33 µg/ml. This sample also stimulated high production of the cytokine, IL-12. Searsia lancea showed moderate antimycobacterial acticvity with an MIC-value of 500 µg/ml. The antioxidant potential also showed promising results with an IC50 value of 4.50 µg/ml. The hepatoprotective capability of Searsia lancea was 59.34% at a ¼ IC50 concentration. Another sample Sutherlandia frutescens showed effective antimycobacterial activity with an MIC-value of 250 µg/ml. It also stimulated production of IL-12 with 13.43 pg/ml produced. These three samples can be considered for further studies for the consideration as adjuvants for current tuberculosis treatment.

Keywords: adjuvant, hepatoprotection, immunomodulation, tuberculosis

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9 The Optimal Utilization of Centrally Located Land: The Case of the Bloemfontein Show Grounds

Authors: D. F. Coetzee, M. M. Campbell

Abstract:

The urban environment is constantly expanding and the optimal use of centrally located land is important in terms of sustainable development. Bloemfontein has expanded and this affects land-use functions. The purpose of the study is to examine the possible shift in location of the Bloemfontein show grounds to utilize the space of the grounds more effectively in context of spatial planning. The research method used is qualitative case study research with the case study on the Bloemfontein show grounds. The purposive sample consisted of planners who work or consult in the Bloemfontein area and who are registered with the South African Council for Planners (SACPLAN). Interviews consisting of qualitative open-ended questionnaires were used. When considering relocation the social and economic aspects need to be considered. The findings also indicated a majority consensus that the property can be utilized more effectively in terms of mixed land use. The showground development trust compiled a master plan to ensure that the property is used to its full potential without the relocation of the showground function itself. This Master Plan can be seen as the next logical step for the showground property itself, and it is indeed an attempt to better utilize the land parcel without relocating the show function. The question arises whether the proposed Master Plan is a permanent solution or whether it is merely delaying the relocation of the core showground function to another location. For now, it is a sound solution, making the best out of the situation at hand and utilizing the property more effectively. If the show grounds were to be relocated the researcher proposed a recommendation of mixed-use development, in terms an expansion on the commercial business/retail, together with a sport and recreation function. The show grounds in Bloemfontein are well positioned to capitalize on and to meet the needs of the changing economy, while complimenting the future economic growth strategies of the city if the right plans are in place.

Keywords: centrally located land, spatial planning, show grounds, central business district

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8 The Family, Tradition and Change in Africa: The Perspective of Postcolonial African Fiction

Authors: Ayobami Kehinde

Abstract:

The literary representations of the family, tradition and change in African literature offer an immense, and as yet little theorised area of literary scholarship. Therefore, this paper explores the nexus among the family, tradition and change in five purposively selected post-colonial African fiction: Chimamanda Adichie’s Purple Hibiscus, Wale Okediran’s Tenants of the House, J. M. Coetzee’s In the Heart of the Country, Tsitsi Dangrembga’s Nervous Condition and Meja Mwangi’s Striving for the Wind. The methodology centres on analysing, questioning, undermining and celebrating the family and its contemporary vicissitudes as depicted in the texts. This is with a view to exploring the postcolonial novel with references to concepts developed by major theorists in the field of postcolonial studies, including Frantz Fanon, Edward Said, Gayatri Spivak, Homi Bhabha, Kwame Appiah and Achille Mbembe. It is revealed that in spite of the fact that the family is a vital institution, the primary social unit in any community, an agent of acculturation and the first focus of development, independence and growth, the texts reflect a diversity of problems confronting the family unit in Africa. These include the multiple problems of disrupted family lives, enforced family separation, political and personal violence with the domestic environment. It is concluded that the post-colonial African novel is a quintessential weapon to analyse the continent, opening up to the reader the specific expressions and experiences of human lives and their wider contexts. Therefore, the post-colonial African novel is a primary socio-cultural indicator representing an immense variety of lived realities in the continent. The study, therefore, suggests a concerted concern with the preservation of traditional family structures and other related aspects, such as cultural values, spirituality, gender roles and mutual trust.

Keywords: family, African fiction, postcolonialism, African tradition, domestic dissonance

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7 Effects of Artificial Nectar Feeders on Bird Distribution and Erica Visitation Rate in the Cape Fynbos

Authors: Monique Du Plessis, Anina Coetzee, Colleen L. Seymour, Claire N. Spottiswoode

Abstract:

Artificial nectar feeders are used to attract nectarivorous birds to gardens and are increasing in popularity. The costs and benefits of these feeders remain controversial, however. Nectar feeders may have positive effects by attracting nectarivorous birds towards suburbia, facilitating their urban adaptation, and supplementing bird diets when floral resources are scarce. However, this may come at the cost of luring them away from the plants they pollinate in neighboring indigenous vegetation. This study investigated the effect of nectar feeders on an African pollinator-plant mutualism. Given that birds are important pollinators to many fynbos plant species, this study was conducted in gardens and natural vegetation along the urban edge of the Cape Peninsula. Feeding experiments were carried out to compare relative bird abundance and local distribution patterns for nectarivorous birds (i.e., sunbirds and sugarbirds) between feeder and control treatments. Resultant changes in their visitation rates to Erica flowers in the natural vegetation were tested by inspection of their anther ring status. Nectar feeders attracted higher densities of nectarivores to gardens relative to natural vegetation and decreased their densities in the neighboring fynbos, even when floral abundance in the neighboring vegetation was high. The consequent changes to their distribution patterns and foraging behavior decreased their visitation to at least Erica plukenetii flowers (but not to Erica abietina). This study provides evidence that nectar feeders may have positive effects for birds themselves by reducing their urban sensitivity but also highlights the unintended negative effects feeders may have on the surrounding fynbos ecosystem. Given that nectar feeders appear to compete with the flowers of Erica plukenetii, and perhaps those of other Erica species, artificial feeding may inadvertently threaten bird-plant pollination networks.

Keywords: avian nectarivores, bird feeders, bird pollination, indirect effects in human-wildlife interactions, sugar water feeders, supplementary feeding

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6 Motivation and Self-Concept in Language Learning: An Exploratory Study of English Language Learners

Authors: A. van Staden, M. M. Coetzee

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Despite numerous efforts to increase the literacy level of South African learners, for example, through the implementation of educational policies such as the Revised National Curriculum statement, advocating mother-tongue instruction (during a child's formative years), in reality, the majority of South African children are still being educated in a second language (in most cases English). Moreover, despite the fact that a significant percentage of our country's budget is spent on the education sector and that both policy makers and educationalists have emphasized the importance of learning English in this globalized world, the poor overall academic performance and English literacy level of a large number of school leavers are still a major concern. As we move forward in an attempt to comprehend the nuances of English language and literacy development in our country, it is imperative to explore both extrinsic and intrinsic factors that contribute or impede the effective development of English as a second language. In the present study, the researchers set out to investigate how intrinsic factors such as motivation and self-concept contribute to or affect English language learning amongst high school learners in South Africa. Emanating from the above the main research question that guided this research is the following: Is there a significant relationship between high school learners' self-concept, motivation, and English second language performances? In order to investigate this hypothesis, this study utilized quantitative research methodology to investigate the interplay of self-concept and motivation in English language learning. For this purpose, we sampled 201 high school learners from various schools in South Africa. Methods of data gathering inter alia included the following: A biographical questionnaire; the Academic Motivational Scale and the Piers-Harris Self-Concept Scale. Pearson Product Moment Correlation Analyses yielded significant correlations between L2 learners' motivation and their English language proficiency, including demonstrating positive correlations between L2 learners' self-concept and their achievements in English. Accordingly, researchers have argued that the learning context, in which students learn English as a second language, has a crucial influence on students' motivational levels. This emphasizes the important role the teacher has to play in creating learning environments that will enhance L2 learners' motivation and improve their self-concepts.

Keywords: motivation, self-concept, language learning, English second language learners (L2)

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5 Disclosure on Adherence of the King Code's Audit Committee Guidance: Cluster Analyses to Determine Strengths and Weaknesses

Authors: Philna Coetzee, Clara Msiza

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In modern society, audit committees are seen as the custodians of accountability and the conscience of management and the board. But who holds the audit committee accountable for their actions or non-actions and how do we know what they are supposed to be doing and what they are doing? The purpose of this article is to provide greater insight into the latter part of this problem, namely, determine what best practises for audit committees and the disclosure of what is the realities are. In countries where governance is well established, the roles and responsibilities of the audit committee are mostly clearly guided by legislation and/or guidance documents, with countries increasingly providing guidance on this topic. With high cost involved to adhere to governance guidelines, the public (for public organisations) and shareholders (for private organisations) expect to see the value of their ‘investment’. For audit committees, the dividends on the investment should reflect in less fraudulent activities, less corruption, higher efficiency and effectiveness, improved social and environmental impact, and increased profits, to name a few. If this is not the case (which is reflected in the number of fraudulent activities in both the private and the public sector), stakeholders have the right to ask: where was the audit committee? Therefore, the objective of this article is to contribute to the body of knowledge by comparing the adherence of audit committee to best practices guidelines as stipulated in the King Report across public listed companies, national and provincial government departments, state-owned enterprises and local municipalities. After constructs were formed, based on the literature, factor analyses were conducted to reduce the number of variables in each construct. Thereafter, cluster analyses, which is an explorative analysis technique that classifies a set of objects in such a way that objects that are more similar are grouped into the same group, were conducted. The SPSS TwoStep Clustering Component was used, being capable of handling both continuous and categorical variables. In the first step, a pre-clustering procedure clusters the objects into small sub-clusters, after which it clusters these sub-clusters into the desired number of clusters. The cluster analyses were conducted for each construct and the measure, namely the audit opinion as listed in the external audit report, were included. Analysing 228 organisations' information, the results indicate that there is a clear distinction between the four spheres of business that has been included in the analyses, indicating certain strengths and certain weaknesses within each sphere. The results may provide the overseers of audit committees’ insight into where a specific sector’s strengths and weaknesses lie. Audit committee chairs will be able to improve the areas where their audit committee is lacking behind. The strengthening of audit committees should result in an improvement of the accountability of boards, leading to less fraud and corruption.

Keywords: audit committee disclosure, cluster analyses, governance best practices, strengths and weaknesses

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4 Evaluating the Knowledge and Skill of Final Year Pharmacy Students in Maternal and Child Health at a University in South Africa

Authors: E. O. Egieyeh, N. Butler, R. Coetzee, M. Van Huyssteen, A. Bheekie

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Background: High rate of maternal and child mortality is a global concern. Nationally, it constitutes one of South Africa’s quadruple burdens of diseases. Pharmacists have a crucial role in maternal and child health care delivery and as such should be equipped with adequate knowledge and skill required to contribute to maternal and child well-being. The International Pharmaceutical Federation statement of policy (2013) outlines pharmacist-led interventions in accordance with the World Health Organisation’s interventions in maternal, new-born and child health care. The South African Pharmacy Council’s guideline on Good Pharmacy Practice (2010) also stipulates the minimum standards required to participate in reproductive, maternal and child care. Pharmacy schools are obliged to train pharmacy students to meet priority health needs of the population so that graduates are ‘fit for purpose’. The purpose of the study is to evaluate the knowledge and skill of final year pharmacy students at a university in South Africa to determine their preparedness to contribute effectively to maternal and child health care. Method: A quantitative, descriptive, non-randomized baseline study was conducted among the final year students at the School of Pharmacy. Data was collected using a questionnaire designed in sections to assess knowledge of contraception, maternal and child health directed at the primary care level and framed within the scope of practice required of an entry-level generalist pharmacist. Participants’ skill in infant growth assessment was assessed in a section of the questionnaire in a written format. Participants ticked the topics they had been exposed to on a curriculum content assessment tool which was not graded. A pilot study examined the clarity and suitability of question items, and duration to complete the questionnaire. A score of 50% in each section of the questionnaire indicated a pass. The questionnaire was delivered in campus lecture venue. Results: Of the 102 students in final year, 53 (52%) students consented to participate in the study. Only 13.2% of participants scored above 50% in each section. Forty five (85%) participants scored above 50% in the contraception section while 40 (75%) scored less than 50% in the skills assessment. Less than half (45.3%) of the participants had a total score above 50%. Being a parent or working part-time as pharmacist assistance did not have any influence on the performance of the participants. Evaluation of participants’ curriculum content exposure showed differences in exposure to the various topics. Exposure to contraception teaching received the most recognition. Conclusion: Maternal and child health curriculum content should be reviewed at the university to enhance the knowledge and skill of pharmacy graduates.

Keywords: final year pharmacy students, knowledge and skill, maternal and child health, South Africa

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3 Unpacking the Spatial Outcomes of Public Transportation in a Developing Country Context: The Case of Johannesburg

Authors: Adedayo B. Adegbaju, Carel B. Schoeman, Ilse M. Schoeman

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The unique urban contexts that emanated from the apartheid history of South Africa informed the transport landscape of the City of Johannesburg. Apartheid‘s divisive spatial planning and land use management policies promoted sprawling and separated workers from job opportunities. This was further exacerbated by poor funding of public transport and road designs that encouraged the use of private cars. However, the democratization of the country in 1994 and the hosting of the 2010 FIFA World Cup provided a new impetus to the city’s public transport-oriented urban planning inputs. At the same time, the state’s new approach to policy formulations that entails the provision of public transport as one of the tools to end years of marginalization and inequalities soon began to largely reflect in planning decisions of other spheres of government. The Rea Vaya BRT and the Gautrain were respectively implemented by the municipal and provincial governments to demonstrate strong political will and commitment to the new policy direction. While the Gautrain was implemented to facilitate elite movement within Gauteng and to crowd investments and economic growths around station nodes, the BRT was provided for previously marginalized public transport users to provide a sustainable alternative to the dominant minibus taxi. The aim of this research is to evaluate the spatial impacts of the Gautrain and Rea Vaya BRT on the City of Johannesburg and to inform future outcomes by determining the existing potentials. By using the case study approach with a focus on the BRT and fast rail in a metropolitan context, the triangulation research method, which combines various data collection methods, was used to determine the research outcomes. The use of interviews, questionnaires, field observation, and databases such as REX, Quantec, StatsSA, GCRO observatory, national and provincial household travel surveys, and the quality of life surveys provided the basis for data collection. The research concludes that the Gautrain has demonstrated that viable alternatives to the private car can be provided, with its satisfactory feedbacks from users; while some of its station nodes (Sandton, Rosebank) have shown promises of transit-oriented development, one of the project‘s key objectives. The other stations have been unable to stimulate growth due to reasons like non-implementation of their urban design frameworks and lack of public sector investment required to attract private investors. The Rea Vaya BRT continues to be expanded in spite of both its inability to induce modal change and its low ridership figures. The research identifies factors like the low peak to base ratio, pricing, and the city‘s disjointed urban fabric as some of the reasons for its below-average performance. By drawing from the highlights and limitations, the study recommends that public transport provision should be institutionally integrated across and within spheres of government. Similarly, harmonization of the funding structure, better understanding of users’ needs, and travel patterns, underlined with continuity of policy direction and objectives, will equally promote optimal outcomes.

Keywords: bus rapid transit, Gautrain, Rea Vaya, sustainable transport, spatial and transport planning, transit oriented development

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2 Lack of Regulation Leads to Complexity: A Case Study of the Free Range Chicken Meat Sector in the Western Cape, South Africa

Authors: A. Coetzee, C. F. Kelly, E. Even-Zahav

Abstract:

Dominant approaches to livestock production are harmful to the environment, human health and animal welfare, yet global meat consumption is rising. Sustainable alternative production approaches are therefore urgently required, and ‘free range’ is the main alternative for chicken meat offered in South Africa (and globally). Although the South African Poultry Association provides non-binding guidelines, there is a lack of formal definition and regulation of free range chicken production, meaning it is unclear what this alternative entails and if it is consistently practised (a trend observed globally). The objective of this exploratory qualitative case study is therefore to investigate who and what determines free range chicken. The case study, conducted from a social constructivist worldview, uses semi-structured interviews, photographs and document analysis to collect data. Interviews are conducted with those involved with bringing free range chicken to the market - farmers, chefs, retailers, and regulators. Data is analysed using thematic analysis to establish dominant patterns in the data. The five major themes identified (based on prevalence in data and on achieving the research objective) are: 1) free range means a bird reared with good animal welfare in mind, 2) free range means quality meat, 3) free range means a profitable business, 4) free range is determined by decision makers or by access to markets, and 5) free range is coupled with concerns about the lack of regulation. Unpacking the findings in the context of the literature reveals who and what determines free range. The research uncovers wide-ranging interpretations of ‘free range’, driven by the absence of formal regulation for free range chicken practices and the lack of independent private certification. This means that the term ‘free range’ is socially constructed, thus varied and complex. The case study also shows that whether chicken meat is free range is generally determined by those who have access to markets. Large retailers claim adherence to the internationally recognised Five Freedoms, also include in the South African Poultry Association Code of Good Practice, which others in the sector say are too broad to be meaningful. Producers describe animal welfare concerns as the main driver for how they practice/view free range production, yet these interpretations vary. An additional driver is a focus on human health, which participants achieve mainly through the use of antibiotic-free feed, resulting in what participants regard as higher quality meat. The participants are also strongly driven by business imperatives, with most stating that free range chicken should carry a higher price than conventionally-reared chicken due to increased production costs. Recommendations from this study focus on, inter alia, a need to understand consumers’ perspectives on free range chicken, given that those in the sector claim they are responding to consumer demand, and conducting environmental research such as life cycle assessment studies to establish the true (environmental) sustainability of free range production. At present, it seems the sector mostly responds to social sustainability: human health and animal welfare.

Keywords: chicken meat production, free range, socially constructed, sustainability

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1 Targeting Tumour Survival and Angiogenic Migration after Radiosensitization with an Estrone Analogue in an in vitro Bone Metastasis Model

Authors: Jolene M. Helena, Annie M. Joubert, Peace Mabeta, Magdalena Coetzee, Roy Lakier, Anne E. Mercier

Abstract:

Targeting the distant tumour and its microenvironment whilst preserving bone density is important in improving the outcomes of patients with bone metastases. 2-Ethyl-3-O-sulphamoyl-estra1,3,5(10)16-tetraene (ESE-16) is an in-silico-designed 2- methoxyestradiol analogue which aimed at enhancing the parent compound’s cytotoxicity and providing a more favourable pharmacokinetic profile. In this study, the potential radiosensitization effects of ESE-16 were investigated in an in vitro bone metastasis model consisting of murine pre-osteoblastic (MC3T3-E1) and pre-osteoclastic (RAW 264.7) bone cells, metastatic prostate (DU 145) and breast (MDA-MB-231) cancer cells, as well as human umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs). Cytotoxicity studies were conducted on all cell lines via spectrophotometric quantification of 3-(4,5-dimethylthiazol-2-yl)-2,5- diphenyltetrazolium bromide. The experimental set-up consisted of flow cytometric analysis of cell cycle progression and apoptosis detection (Annexin V-fluorescein isothiocyanate) to determine the lowest ESE-16 and radiation doses to induce apoptosis and significantly reduce cell viability. Subsequent experiments entailed a 24-hour low-dose ESE-16-exposure followed by a single dose of radiation. Termination proceeded 2, 24 or 48 hours thereafter. The effect of the combination treatment was investigated on osteoclasts via tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity- and actin ring formation assays. Tumour cell experiments included investigation of mitotic indices via haematoxylin and eosin staining; pro-apoptotic signalling via spectrophotometric quantification of caspase 3; deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) damage via micronuclei analysis and histone H2A.X phosphorylation (γ-H2A.X); and Western blot analyses of bone morphogenetic protein-7 and matrix metalloproteinase-9. HUVEC experiments included flow cytometric quantification of cell cycle progression and free radical production; fluorescent examination of cytoskeletal morphology; invasion and migration studies on an xCELLigence platform; and Western blot analyses of hypoxia-inducible factor 1-alpha and vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 1 and 2. Tumour cells yielded half-maximal growth inhibitory concentration (GI50) values in the nanomolar range. ESE-16 concentrations of 235 nM (DU 145) and 176 nM (MDA-MB-231) and a radiation dose of 4 Gy were found to be significant in cell cycle and apoptosis experiments. Bone and endothelial cells were exposed to the same doses as DU 145 cells. Cytotoxicity studies on bone cells reported that RAW 264.7 cells were more sensitive to the combination treatment than MC3T3-E1 cells. Mature osteoclasts were more sensitive than pre-osteoclasts with respect to TRAP activity. However, actin ring morphology was retained. The mitotic arrest was evident in tumour and endothelial cells in the mitotic index and cell cycle experiments. Increased caspase 3 activity and superoxide production indicated pro-apoptotic signalling in tumour and endothelial cells. Increased micronuclei numbers and γ-H2A.X foci indicated increased DNA damage in tumour cells. Compromised actin and tubulin morphologies and decreased invasion and migration were observed in endothelial cells. Western blot analyses revealed reduced metastatic and angiogenic signalling. ESE-16-induced radiosensitization inhibits metastatic signalling and tumour cell survival whilst preferentially preserving bone cells. This low-dose combination treatment strategy may promote the quality of life of patients with metastatic bone disease. Future studies will include 3-dimensional in-vitro and murine in-vivo models.

Keywords: angiogenesis, apoptosis, bone metastasis, cancer, cell migration, cytoskeleton, DNA damage, ESE-16, radiosensitization.

Procedia PDF Downloads 63