CURRENT RESEARCH PROJECTS (Completed projects are available on the Research Outputs Page)

Cherryl Walker

‘Contemporary Karoo: Interdisciplinary perspectives’, an edited book of articles on the theme of changing social-ecological environments in the Karoo, with Timm Hoffman (UCT)

‘Constitutional Amendment, Land Reform and the Future of Redistributive Justice in South Africa’, an international conference organised with Olaf Zenker (Martin Luther University) (scheduled for February 2021, STIAS)

Land reform and agrarian change in the Northern Cape

Small-town Karoo: Case studies of social and economic change in Loeriesfontein, Sutherland and Vanwyksvlei, with Jan Vorster (Stellenbosch University)

Astronomy and environmental justice in the Karoo.


Research Fellows:

Davide Chinigò

Global science, astronomy and the Square Kilometre Array (with Cherryl Walker and other research associates).

Michela Marcatelli

Surplus populations in the Northern Cape Karoo

Asbestos mining in Prieska and its aftermath.

Mzingaye Xaba

Mining, contested land uses, environmental justice and sustainable development in Beaufort West in the Karoo.


PhD dissertations:

Stephanie Borchardt

Power to the People? A case study of local energy challenges in a national renewable energy hub in De Aar, Northern Cape Province.

Boitumelo Malope

The Contribution of Renewable Energy to ‘Decent Work’ and Local Sustainable Development: A Case Study of Two Wind Farms in Loeriesfontein, Northern Cape, South Africa

Monene Mogashoa 

Understandings of land and its ‘multiple meanings’ in South Africa’s land restitution programme: A case study of the Sydney-on-Vaal land claim in Northern Cape Province (with funding from the Academic Qualification Improvement Programme (AQIP) of UNISA and DHET) 




MA theses:

Basheer Arries

An exploration of the responsiveness of the Human Capital Development Programme of the Square Kilometer Array to the development needs and aspirations of the residents of Amandelboom in Williston, Northern Cape.

Melissa Coetzee

The livelihood strategies of young adult women in Sutherland

Adara Nicholls

A Social History of Hoodia Gordonii in and around the Tankwa Karoo National Park.

Sharron Marco-Thyse

Farm workers in the Central Karoo: Meaning(s) of land and expectations of land and agrarian reform

Caroline Poole

An exploratory study of socio-economic conditions and social resilience in the community of Vanwyksvlei in the Northern Cape, in the light of the town’s proximity to the Square Kilometre Array Project.

Zuki Zantsi

Women scientists, gender and astronomy in South Africa, with a focus on the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) and South African Large Telescope (SALT).