Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 18

Search results for: Phillip Minnaar

18 Schizosaccharomyces pombe, Saccharomyces cerevisiae Yeasts and Acetic Acid Bacteria in Alcoholic and Acetous Fermentations: Effect on Phenolic Acids of Kei-Apple (Dovyalis caffra L.) Vinegar

Authors: Phillip Minnaar, Neil Jolly, Louisa Beukes, Santiago Benito-Saez


Dovyalis caffra is a tree found on the African continent. Limited information exists on the effect of acetous fermentation on the phytochemicals of Kei-apple fruit. The phytochemical content of vinegars is derived from compounds present in the fruit the vinegar is made of. Kei-apple fruit juice was co-inoculated with Schizosaccharomyces pombe and Saccharomyces cerevisiae to induce alcoholic fermentation (AF). Acetous fermentation followed AF, using an acetic acid bacteria consortium as an inoculant. Juice had the lowest pH and highest total acidity (TA). The wine had the highest pH and vinegars lowest TA. Total soluble solids and L-malic acid decreased during AF and acetous fermentation. Volatile acidity concentration was not different among vinegars. Gallic, syringic, caffeic, p-coumaric, and chlorogenic acids increased during acetous fermentation, whereas ferulic, sinapic, and protocatechuic acids decreased. Chlorogenic acid was the most abundant phenolic acid in both wines and vinegars. It is evident from this investigation that Kei-apple vinegar is a source of plant-derived phenolics, which evolved through fermentation. However, the AAB selection showed minimal performance with respect to VA production. Acetic acid bacteria selection for acetous fermentation should be reconsidered, and the reasons for the decrease of certain phenolic acids during acetous fermentation needs to be investigated.

Keywords: acetic acid bacteria, acetous fermentation, liquid chromatography, phenolic acids

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17 State and Benefit: Delivering the First State of the Bays Report for Victoria

Authors: Scott Rawlings


Victoria’s first State of the Bays report is an historic baseline study of the health of Port Phillip Bay and Western Port. The report includes 50 assessments of 36 indicators across a broad array of topics from the nitrogen cycle and water quality to key marine species and habitats. This paper discusses the processes for determining and assessing the indicators and comments on future priorities identified to maintain and improve the health of these water ways. Victoria’s population is now at six million, and growing at a rate of over 100,000 people per year - the highest increase in Australia – and the population of greater Melbourne is over four million. Port Phillip Bay and Western Port are vital marine assets at the centre of this growth and will require adaptive strategies if they are to remain in good condition and continue to deliver environmental, economic and social benefits. In 2014, it was in recognition of these pressures that the incoming Victorian Government committed to reporting on the state of the bays every five years. The inaugural State of the Bays report was issued by the independent Victorian Commissioner for Environmental Sustainability. The report brought together what is known about both bays, based on existing research. It was a baseline on which future reports will build and, over time, include more of Victoria’s marine environment. Port Phillip Bay and Western Port generally demonstrate healthy systems. Specific threats linked to population growth are a significant pressure. Impacts are more significant where human activity is more intense and where nutrients are transported to the bays around the mouths of creeks and drainage systems. The transport of high loads of nutrients and pollutants to the bays from peak rainfall events is likely to increase with climate change – as will sea level rise. Marine pests are also a threat. More than 100 introduced marine species have become established in Port Phillip Bay and can compete with native species, alter habitat, reduce important fish stocks and potentially disrupt nitrogen cycling processes. This study confirmed that our data collection regime is better within the Marine Protected Areas of Port Phillip Bay than in other parts. The State of the Bays report is a positive and practical example of what can be achieved through collaboration and cooperation between environmental reporters, Government agencies, academic institutions, data custodians, and NGOs. The State of the Bays 2016 provides an important foundation by identifying knowledge gaps and research priorities for future studies and reports on the bays. It builds a strong evidence base to effectively manage the bays and support an adaptive management framework. The Report proposes a set of indicators for future reporting that will support a step-change in our approach to monitoring and managing the bays – a shift from reporting only on what we do know, to reporting on what we need to know.

Keywords: coastal science, marine science, Port Phillip Bay, state of the environment, Western Port

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16 Secure Bio Semantic Computing Scheme

Authors: Hiroshi Yamaguchi, Phillip C. Y. Sheu, Ryo Fujita, Shigeo Tsujii


In this paper, the secure BioSemantic Scheme is presented to bridge biological/biomedical research problems and computational solutions via semantic computing. Due to the diversity of problems in various research fields, the semantic capability description language (SCDL) plays and important role as a common language and generic form for problem formalization. SCDL is expected the essential for future semantic and logical computing in Biosemantic field. We show several example to Biomedical problems in this paper. Moreover, in the coming age of cloud computing, the security problem is considered to be crucial issue and we presented a practical scheme to cope with this problem.

Keywords: biomedical applications, private information retrieval (PIR), semantic capability description language (SCDL), semantic computing

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15 Analyzing the Empirical Link between Islamic Finance and Growth of Real Output: A Time Series Application to Pakistan

Authors: Nazima Ellahi, Danish Ramzan


There is a growing trend among development economists regarding the importance of financial sector for economic development and growth activities. The development thus introduced, helps to promote welfare effects and poverty alleviation. This study is an attempt to find the nature of link between Islamic banking financing and development of output growth for Pakistan. Time series data set has been utilized for a time period ranging from 1990 to 2010. Following the Phillip Perron (PP) and Augmented Dicky Fuller (ADF) test of unit root this study applied Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) method of estimation and found encouraging results in favor of promoting the Islamic banking practices in Pakistan.

Keywords: Islamic finance, poverty alleviation, economic growth, finance, commerce

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14 Examining the Significance of Service Learning in Driving the Purpose of a Rural-Based University in South Africa

Authors: C. Maphosa, Ndileleni Mudzielwana, Lufuno Phillip Netshifhefhe


In line with established mission and vision, a university articulates its focus and purpose of existence. The conduct of business in a university should be for the furtherance of the mission and vision. Teaching and learning should play a pivotal role in driving the purpose of a university. In this paper, the researchers examine how service learning could be significant in driving the purpose of a rural-based university whose focus is to promote rural development. The importance of institutions’ vision and mission statement is explored and the vision and mission of the said university examined closely. The concept rural development and the contribution of a university in its promotion is discussed. Service learning as a teaching and learning approach is examined and its significance in driving the purpose of a rural-based university explained.

Keywords: relevance, differentiation, purpose, teaching, learning

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13 Developing a Systemic Approach for Understanding the Factors Influencing Participation in Recreational Angling

Authors: Daniel Phillip Svozil, Eileen Petrie, Kristy Robson, Lee Baumgartner, Max Finlayson


Recreational angling is recognized for its potential to improve health and wellbeing which has translated into policy initiatives to increase participation in the sport. However, these benefits have been examined mostly among voluntary participants. Thus, there is an assumption that recreational angling is perceived equally and that these benefits may be evident even to non-anglers. This paper reviews the published benefits to health and wellbeing of recreational angling and proposes an approach to systemically analyze interactions among the perceptions, socio-economic barriers, and knowledge of these benefits among people at different levels of participation (including non-participants). The outcomes of this study will assist in identifying the feasibility of recreational angling for improving health and wellbeing outcomes among participants (i.e., fishing may not be for everyone) and designing interventions that address the perceptions and socio-economic barriers among individuals that may benefit from participation in recreational angling.

Keywords: angling, health, wellbeing, connecting with nature

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12 The Linkage of Urban and Energy Planning for Sustainable Cities: The Case of Denmark and Germany

Authors: Jens-Phillip Petersen


The reduction of GHG emissions in buildings is a focus area of national energy policies in Europe, because buildings are responsible for a major share of the final energy consumption. It is at local scale where policies to increase the share of renewable energies and energy efficiency measures get implemented. Municipalities, as local authorities and responsible entity for land-use planning, have a direct influence on urban patterns and energy use, which makes them key actors in the transition towards sustainable cities. Hence, synchronizing urban planning with energy planning offers great potential to increase society’s energy-efficiency; this has a high significance to reach GHG-reduction targets. In this paper, the actual linkage of urban planning and energy planning in Denmark and Germany was assessed; substantive barriers preventing their integration and driving factors that lead to successful transitions towards a holistic urban energy planning procedures were identified.

Keywords: energy planning, urban planning, renewable energies, sustainable cities

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11 A Moving Target: Causative Factors for Geographic Variation in a Handed Flower

Authors: Celeste De Kock, Bruce Anderson, Corneile Minnaar


Geographic variation in the floral morphology of a flower species has often been assumed to result from co-variation in the availability of regionally-specific functional pollinator types, giving rise to plant ecotypes that are adapted to the morphology of the main pollinator types in that area. Wachendorfia paniculata is a geographically variable enantiostylous (handed) flower with preliminary observations suggesting that differences in pollinator community composition might be driving differences in the degree of herkogamy (spatial separation of the stigma and anthers on the same flower) across its geographic range. This study aimed to determine if pollinator-related variables such as visitation rate and pollinator type could explain differences in floral morphology seen in different populations. To assess pollinator community compositions, pollinator visitation rates, and the degree of herkogamy and flower size, flowers from 13 populations were observed and measured across the Western Cape, South Africa. Multiple regression analyses indicated that pollinator-related variables had no significant effect on the degree of herkogamy between sites. However, the degree of herkogamy was strongly negatively associated with the time of measurement. It remains possible that pollinators have had an effect on the development of herkogamy throughout the evolutionary timeline of different W. paniculata populations, but not necessarily to the fine-scale degree, as was predicted for this study. Annual fluctuations in pollinator community composition, paired with recent disturbances such as urbanization and the overabundance of artificially introduced honeybee hives, might also result in the signal of pollinator adaptation getting lost. Surprisingly, differences in herkogamy between populations could largely be explained by the time of day at which flowers were measured, suggesting a significant narrowing of the distance between reproductive parts throughout the day. We propose that this floral movement could possibly be an adaptation to ensure pollination if pollinator visitation to a flower was not sufficient earlier in the day, and will be explored in subsequent studies.

Keywords: enantiostyly, floral movement, geographic variation, ecotypes

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10 Current Developments in Flat-Plate Vacuum Solar Thermal Collectors

Authors: Farid Arya, Trevor Hyde, Paul Henshall, Phillip Eames, Roger Moss, Stan Shire


Vacuum flat plate solar thermal collectors offer several advantages over other collectors namely the excellent optical and thermal characteristics they exhibit due to a combination of their wide surface area and high vacuum thermal insulation. These characteristics can offer a variety of applications for industrial process heat as well as for building integration as they are much thinner than conventional collectors making installation possible in limited spaces. However, many technical challenges which need to be addressed to enable wide scale adoption of the technology still remain. This paper will discuss the challenges, expectations and requirements for the flat-plate vacuum solar collector development. In addition, it will provide an overview of work undertaken in Ulster University, Loughborough University, and the University of Warwick on flat-plate vacuum solar thermal collectors. Finally, this paper will present a detailed experimental investigation on the development of a vacuum panel with a novel sealing method which will be used to accommodate a novel slim hydroformed solar absorber.

Keywords: hot box calorimeter, infrared thermography, solar thermal collector, vacuum insulation

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9 Multivariate Analytical Insights into Spatial and Temporal Variation in Water Quality of a Major Drinking Water Reservoir

Authors: Azadeh Golshan, Craig Evans, Phillip Geary, Abigail Morrow, Zoe Rogers, Marcel Maeder


22 physicochemical variables have been determined in water samples collected weekly from January to December in 2013 from three sampling stations located within a major drinking water reservoir. Classical Multivariate Curve Resolution Alternating Least Squares (MCR-ALS) analysis was used to investigate the environmental factors associated with the physico-chemical variability of the water samples at each of the sampling stations. Matrix augmentation MCR-ALS (MA-MCR-ALS) was also applied, and the two sets of results were compared for interpretative clarity. Links between these factors, reservoir inflows and catchment land-uses were investigated and interpreted in relation to chemical composition of the water and their resolved geographical distribution profiles. The results suggested that the major factors affecting reservoir water quality were those associated with agricultural runoff, with evidence of influence on algal photosynthesis within the water column. Water quality variability within the reservoir was also found to be strongly linked to physical parameters such as water temperature and the occurrence of thermal stratification. The two methods applied (MCR-ALS and MA-MCR-ALS) led to similar conclusions; however, MA-MCR-ALS appeared to provide results more amenable to interpretation of temporal and geological variation than those obtained through classical MCR-ALS.

Keywords: drinking water reservoir, multivariate analysis, physico-chemical parameters, water quality

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8 Development of Open Source Geospatial Certification Model Based on Geospatial Technology Competency Model

Authors: Tanzeel Ur Rehman Khan, Franz Josef Behr, Phillip Davis


Open source geospatial certifications are needed in geospatial technology education and industry sector. In parallel with proprietary software, free and open source software solutions become important in geospatial technology research and play an important role for the growth of the geospatial industry. ESRI, GISCI (GIS Certification Institute), ASPRS (American Society of Photogrammetry and remote sensing), and Meta spatial are offering certifications on proprietary and open source software. These are portfolio and competency based certifications depending on GIS Body of Knowledge (Bok). The analysis of these certification approaches might lead to the discovery of some gaps in them and will open a new way to develop certifications related to the geospatial open source (OS). This new certification will investigate the different geospatial competencies according to open source tools that help to identify geospatial professionals and strengthen the geospatial academic content. The goal of this research is to introduce a geospatial certification model based on geospatial technology competency model (GTCM).The developed certification will not only incorporate the importance of geospatial education and production of the geospatial competency-based workforce in universities and companies (private or public) as well as describe open source solutions with tools and technology. Job analysis, market analysis, survey analysis of this certification opens a new horizon for business as well.

Keywords: geospatial certification, open source, geospatial technology competency model, geoscience

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7 Parental Diet Effects on Offspring Body Size and Pathogen Resistance in Bactrocera tryoni

Authors: Hue Dinh, Binh Nguyen, Vivian Mendez, Phillip W. Taylor, Fleur Ponton


Better understanding of how parental diet affects offspring traits is an important ecological and evolutionary question. In this study, we explored how maternal diet influences offspring physiology and resistance to infection using Bactrocera tryoni (Q-fly) as a system model. Female Q-flies were fed one of six single diets varying in their yeast-to-sugar ratio yielding six protein-to-carbohydrate ratios. As controls, we used females that were given a choice between yeast and sugar. Males were reared on a choice diet and allowed to mate with females 14 days post-emergence. Results showed that while maternal diet does not influence offspring developmental time, it has a strong effect on larval body weight. Mother fed either high-protein or high-sugar diet produced larger progeny. By challenging offspring with the bacterium Serratia marcescens, we found that female offspring from mothers fed high-sugar diet survived better the infection compared to those from mothers fed low-sugar diet. In contrast, male offspring produced by mother fed high-protein diet showed better resistance to the infection compared to those produced by mother fed low-protein diet. These results suggested sex-dependent transgenerational effects of maternal nutrition on offspring physiology and immunity.

Keywords: bacterial infection, Bactrocera tryoni, maternal diet, offspring, Serretia marcescens

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6 Adsorption of Heavy Metals Using Chemically-Modified Tea Leaves

Authors: Phillip Ahn, Bryan Kim


Copper is perhaps the most prevalent heavy metal used in the manufacturing industries, from food additives to metal-mechanic factories. Common methodologies to remove copper are expensive and produce undesired by-products. A good decontaminating candidate should be environment-friendly, inexpensive, and capable of eliminating low concentrations of the metal. This work suggests chemically modified spent tea leaves of chamomile, peppermint and green tea in their thiolated, sulfonated and carboxylated forms as candidates for the removal of copper from solutions. Batch experiments were conducted to maximize the adsorption of copper (II) ions. Effects such as acidity, salinity, adsorbent dose, metal concentration, and presence of surfactant were explored. Experimental data show that maximum adsorption is reached at neutral pH. The results indicate that Cu(II) can be removed up to 53%, 22% and 19% with the thiolated, carboxylated and sulfonated adsorbents, respectively. Maximum adsorption of copper on TPM (53%) is achieved with 150 mg and decreases with the presence of salts and surfactants. Conversely, sulfonated and carboxylated adsorbents show better adsorption in the presence of surfactants. Time-dependent experiments show that adsorption is reached in less than 25 min for TCM and 5 min for SCM. Instrumental analyses determined the presence of active functional groups, thermal resistance, and scanning electron microscopy, indicating that both adsorbents are promising materials for the selective recovery and treatment of metal ions from wastewaters. Finally, columns were prepared with these adsorbents to explore their application in scaled-up processes, with very positive results. A long-term goal involves the recycling of the exhausted adsorbent and/or their use in the preparation of biofuels due to changes in materials’ structures.

Keywords: heavy metal removal, adsorption, wastewaters, water remediation

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5 Evaluation of Information Technology Governance Frameworks for Better Governance in South Africa

Authors: Memory Ranga, Phillip Pretorious


The South African Government has invested a lot of money in Information Technology Governance (ITG) within the Government departments. The ITG framework was spearheaded by the Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA). This led to the development of a governing ITG DPSA framework and later the Government Wide Enterprise Architecture (GWEA) Framework for assisting the departments to implement ITG. In addition to this, the government departments have adopted the Information Systems Audit and Control Association (ISACA) Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) for ITG processes. Despite all these available frameworks, departments fail to fully capitalise and improve the ITG processes mainly as these are too generic and difficult to apply for specific governance needs. There has been less research done to evaluate the progress on ITG initiatives within the government departments. This paper aims to evaluate the existing ITG frameworks within selected government departments in South Africa. A quantitative research approach was used in this study. Data was collected through an online questionnaire targeting ICT Managers and Directors from government departments. The study is undertaken within a case study and only the Eastern Cape Province was selected for the research. Document review mainly on ITG framework and best practices was also used. Data was analysed using the Google Analytic tools and SPSS. A one–sample Chi-Squared Test was used to verity the evaluation findings. Findings show that there is evidence that the current guiding National governance framework (DPSA) is out dated and does not accommodate the new changes in other governance frameworks. The Eastern Cape Government Departments have spent huge amount of money on ITG but not yet able to identify the benefits of the ITG initiatives. The guiding framework is rigid and does to address some of the departmental needs making it difficult to be flexible and apply the DPSA framework. Furthermore, despite the large budget on ITG, the departments still find themselves with many challenges and unable to improve some of the processes and services. All the engaged Eastern Cape departments have adopted the COBIT framework, but none has been conducting COBIT maturity Assessment which is a functionality of COBIT. There is evidence of too many the ITG frameworks and underutilisation of these frameworks. The study provides a comprehensive evaluation of the ITG frameworks that have been adopted by the South African Government Departments in the Eastern Cape Province. The evaluation guides and recommends the government departments to rethink and adopt ITG frameworks that could be customised to accommodate their needs. The adoption and application of ITG by government departments should assist in better governance and service delivery to the citizens.

Keywords: information technology governance, COBIT, evaluate, framework, governance, DPSA framework

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4 Analysis of Splicing Methods for High Speed Automated Fibre Placement Applications

Authors: Phillip Kearney, Constantina Lekakou, Stephen Belcher, Alessandro Sordon


The focus in the automotive industry is to reduce human operator and machine interaction, so manufacturing becomes more automated and safer. The aim is to lower part cost and construction time as well as defects in the parts, sometimes occurring due to the physical limitations of human operators. A move to automate the layup of reinforcement material in composites manufacturing has resulted in the use of tapes that are placed in position by a robotic deposition head, also described as Automated Fibre Placement (AFP). The process of AFP is limited with respect to the finite amount of material that can be loaded into the machine at any one time. Joining two batches of tape material together involves a splice to secure the ends of the finishing tape to the starting edge of the new tape. The splicing method of choice for the majority of prepreg applications is a hand stich method, and as the name suggests requires human input to achieve. This investigation explores three methods for automated splicing, namely, adhesive, binding and stitching. The adhesive technique uses an additional adhesive placed on the tape ends to be joined. Binding uses the binding agent that is already impregnated onto the tape through the application of heat. The stitching method is used as a baseline to compare the new splicing methods to the traditional technique currently in use. As the methods will be used within a High Speed Automated Fibre Placement (HSAFP) process, this meant the parameters of the splices have to meet certain specifications: (a) the splice must be able to endure a load of 50 N in tension applied at a rate of 1 mm/s; (b) the splice must be created in less than 6 seconds, dictated by the capacity of the tape accumulator within the system. The samples for experimentation were manufactured with controlled overlaps, alignment and splicing parameters, these were then tested in tension using a tensile testing machine. Initial analysis explored the use of the impregnated binding agent present on the tape, as in the binding splicing technique. It analysed the effect of temperature and overlap on the strength of the splice. It was found that the optimum splicing temperature was at the higher end of the activation range of the binding agent, 100 °C. The optimum overlap was found to be 25 mm; it was found that there was no improvement in bond strength from 25 mm to 30 mm overlap. The final analysis compared the different splicing methods to the baseline of a stitched bond. It was found that the addition of an adhesive was the best splicing method, achieving a maximum load of over 500 N compared to the 26 N load achieved by a stitching splice and 94 N by the binding method.

Keywords: analysis, automated fibre placement, high speed, splicing

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3 A Case Study of Remote Location Viewing, and Its Significance in Mobile Learning

Authors: James Gallagher, Phillip Benachour


As location aware mobile technologies become ever more omnipresent, the prospect of exploiting their context awareness to enforce learning approaches thrives. Utilizing the growing acceptance of ubiquitous computing, and the steady progress both in accuracy and battery usage of pervasive devices, we present a case study of remote location viewing, how the application can be utilized to support mobile learning in situ using an existing scenario. Through the case study we introduce a new innovative application: Mobipeek based around a request/response protocol for the viewing of a remote location and explore how this can apply both as part of a teacher lead activity and informal learning situations. The system developed allows a user to select a point on a map, and send a request. Users can attach messages alongside time and distance constraints. Users within the bounds of the request can respond with an image, and accompanying message, providing context to the response. This application can be used alongside a structured learning activity such as the use of mobile phone cameras outdoors as part of an interactive lesson. An example of a learning activity would be to collect photos in the wild about plants, vegetation, and foliage as part of a geography or environmental science lesson. Another example could be to take photos of architectural buildings and monuments as part of an architecture course. These images can be uploaded then displayed back in the classroom for students to share their experiences and compare their findings with their peers. This can help to fosters students’ active participation while helping students to understand lessons in a more interesting and effective way. Mobipeek could augment the student learning experience by providing further interaction with other peers in a remote location. The activity can be part of a wider study between schools in different areas of the country enabling the sharing and interaction between more participants. Remote location viewing can be used to access images in a specific location. The choice of location will depend on the activity and lesson. For example architectural buildings of a specific period can be shared between two or more cities. The augmentation of the learning experience can be manifested in the different contextual and cultural influences as well as the sharing of images from different locations. In addition to the implementation of Mobipeek, we strive to analyse this application, and a subset of other possible and further solutions targeted towards making learning more engaging. Consideration is given to the benefits of such a system, privacy concerns, and feasibility of widespread usage. We also propose elements of “gamification”, in an attempt to further the engagement derived from such a tool and encourage usage. We conclude by identifying limitations, both from a technical, and a mobile learning perspective.

Keywords: context aware, location aware, mobile learning, remote viewing

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2 International Trade, Manufacturing and Employment: The First Two Decades of South African Democracy

Authors: Phillip F. Blaauw, Anna M. Pretorius


South Africa re-entered the international economy in the early 1990s, after Apartheid, at a time when globalisation was gathering momentum. Globalisation led to a more open economy, increased export volumes and a changed export mix. Manufacturing goods gained ground relative to mining products. After 21 years of democracy, South African researchers and policymakers need to evaluate the impact of international trade on the level of employment and compensation of employees in the South African manufacturing industry. This is important given the consistent and high levels of unemployment in South Africa. This paper has this evaluation as its aim. Two complimenting approaches are utilised. The 27 sub divisions of the South African manufacturing industry are classified according to capital/labour ratios. Possible trends in employment levels and employee compensation for these categories are then identified when comparing levels in 1995 to those in 2014. The supplementing empirical approach is cross-sectional and panel data regressions for the same period. The aim of the regression analysis is to explain the observed changes in employment and employee compensation levels between 1995 and 2014. The first part of the empirical approach revealed that over the 20-year period the intermediate capital intensive, labour intensive an ultra-labour intensive manufacturing industries all showed massive declines in overall employment. Only three of the 19 industries for these classifications showed marginal overall employment gains. The only meaningful gains were recorded in three of the eight capital intensive manufacturing industries. The overall performance of the South African manufacturing industry is therefore dismal at best. This scenario plays itself out for the skilled section of the intermediate capital intensive, labour intensive an ultra-labour intensive manufacturing industries as well. 18 out of the 19 industries displayed declines even for the skilled section of the labour force. The formal regression analysis supplements the above results. Real production growth is a statistically significant (95 per cent confidence level) explanatory variable of the overall employment level for the period under consideration, albeit with a small positive coefficient. The variables with the most significant negative relationship with changes in overall employment were the dummy variables for intermediate capital intensive and labour intensive manufacturing goods. Disaggregating overall changes in employment further in terms of skill levels revealed that skilled employment in particular responded negatively to increases in the ratio between imported and local inputs for manufacturing. The dummy variable for the labour intensive sectors remained negative and statistically significant, indicating that the labour intensive sectors of South African manufacturing remain vulnerable to the loss of employment opportunities. Whereas the first period (1995 to 2001) after the opening of the South African economy brought positive changes for skilled employment, continued increases in imported inputs displaced some of the skilled labour as well, putting further pressure on the South African economy with already high and persistent unemployment levels. Given the negative for the world commodity cycle and a stagnant local manufacturing sector, the challenge for policymakers is getting even more pronounced after South Africa’s political coming of age.

Keywords: capital/labour ratios, employment, employee compensation, manufacturing

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1 Impact of Ocean Acidification on Gene Expression Dynamics during Development of the Sea Urchin Species Heliocidaris erythrogramma

Authors: Hannah R. Devens, Phillip L. Davidson, Dione Deaker, Kathryn E. Smith, Gregory A. Wray, Maria Byrne


Marine invertebrate species with calcifying larvae are especially vulnerable to ocean acidification (OA) caused by rising atmospheric CO₂ levels. Acidic conditions can delay development, suppress metabolism, and decrease the availability of carbonate ions in the ocean environment for skeletogenesis. These stresses often result in increased larval mortality, which may lead to significant ecological consequences including alterations to the larval settlement, population distribution, and genetic connectivity. Importantly, many of these physiological and developmental effects are caused by genetic and molecular level changes. Although many studies have examined the effect of near-future oceanic pH levels on gene expression in marine invertebrates, little is known about the impact of OA on gene expression in a developmental context. Here, we performed mRNA-sequencing to investigate the impact of environmental acidity on gene expression across three developmental stages in the sea urchin Heliocidaris erythrogramma. We collected RNA from gastrula, early larva, and 1-day post-metamorphic juvenile sea urchins cultured at present-day and predicted future oceanic pH levels (pH 8.1 and 7.7, respectively). We assembled an annotated reference transcriptome encompassing development from egg to ten days post-metamorphosis by combining these data with datasets from two previous developmental transcriptomic studies of H. erythrogramma. Differential gene expression and time course analyses between pH conditions revealed significant alterations to developmental transcription that are potentially associated with pH stress. Consistent with previous investigations, genes involved in biomineralization and ion transport were significantly upregulated under acidic conditions. Differences in gene expression between the two pH conditions became more pronounced post-metamorphosis, suggesting a development-dependent effect of OA on gene expression. Furthermore, many differences in gene expression later in development appeared to be a result of broad downregulation at pH 7.7: of 539 genes differentially expressed at the juvenile stage, 519 of these were lower in the acidic condition. Time course comparisons between pH 8.1 and 7.7 samples also demonstrated over 500 genes were more lowly expressed in pH 7.7 samples throughout development. Of the genes exhibiting stage-dependent expression level changes, over 15% of these diverged from the expected temporal pattern of expression in the acidic condition. Through these analyses, we identify novel candidate genes involved in development, metabolism, and transcriptional regulation that are possibly affected by pH stress. Our results demonstrate that pH stress significantly alters gene expression dynamics throughout development. A large number of genes differentially expressed between pH conditions in juveniles relative to earlier stages may be attributed to the effects of acidity on transcriptional regulation, as a greater proportion of mRNA at this later stage has been nascent transcribed rather than maternally loaded. Also, the overall downregulation of many genes in the acidic condition suggests that OA-induced developmental delay manifests as suppressed mRNA expression, possibly from lower transcription rates or increased mRNA degradation in the acidic environment. Further studies will be necessary to determine in greater detail the extent of OA effects on early developing marine invertebrates.

Keywords: development, gene expression, ocean acidification, RNA-sequencing, sea urchins

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