News & events

  • Monday, November 9, 2015 - 12:15

    After the launch of the National Development Plan Vision 2030 of South Africa in August 2012, the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) South Africa commissioned a study that explored available policy options for addressing poverty traps and social exclusion among children in South Africa and the additional national and societal efforts that are needed to break such traps. Poverty Traps and Social Exclusion among Children in South Africa was nominated by UNICEF as one of the 12 best policy research reports done globally for them in 2014 (See Best of UNICEF Research 2014,

    After the formal launch of the report PAN: Children consulted with Professor Servaas van der Berg from the University of Stellenbosch to develop the following five policy briefs based on the report, which are the focus of this launch seminar. ◾Education: Every child must read by age 9 ◾Poor childhood health can condemn children to  poverty for life ◾Social and family influences trap many children in poverty ◾How geography can trap children in poverty ◾How lack of assets affect child poverty and social exclusion.

    Policy briefs will be distributed electronically prior to the seminar and hard copies will be available on 9 November 2015


  • Tuesday, October 13, 2015 - 12:00

    The HSRC has been a pioneer in fatherhood research in South Africa, notably with the ground-breaking Fatherhood Study which produced the landmark book Baba: Men and Fatherhood in South Africa (Richter & Morrell, eds, 2006). Other contributions to the HSRC community of practice around fatherhood include Teenage Tata: Voices of Young Fathers in South Africa (Swartz & Bhana, 2009); and, more recently, Men’s Pathways to Parenthood: Silence and Gender Norms (Morison & Macleod, 2015). A decade after the Fatherhood Project and publication of Baba, there are continued debates around fathers. Recent topical issues include: paternity leave, men’s involvement in childcare, and increasing family diversity in the country. 

    In this seminar, we engage key experts in order to

    • consider the current status of policy and practice around South African fatherhood, with inputs from Sonke Gender Justice
    • assess the state of research and map out future research priorities
    • present the findings of a ground-breaking study on a new avenue of research - gay men and fatherhood - conducted by a team from the Human and Social Development programme and funded by the Ford Foundation.


    -       Andre Lewaks:  National MenCare Coordinator, Sonke Gender Justice

    -       Ingrid Lynch: Postdoctoral Fellow, Human & Social Development, HSRC

    -       Tawanda Makusha: Senior Research Specialist, Human & Social Development, HSRC

    -       Tracy Morison: Senior Research Specialist, Human & Social Development, HSRC

    Chair: Vasu Reddy: Dean of Humanities, University of Pretoria

    Kindly RSVP by 12 October 2015

    Cape Town : HSRC, 12th Floor, Plein Park Building (Opposite Revenue Office), Plein Street, Cape Town. Contact Jean Witten, Tel (021) 4668004, Fax (021) 461 0299, or [email protected]

    Durban :  First floor HSRC board room, 750 Francois Road, Ntuthuko Junction, Pods 5 and 6, Cato Manor, Contact Ridhwaan Khan, Tel (031) 242 5400, cell: 083 788 2786 or [email protected]

    Pretoria : HSRC Video Conference, 1st floor HSRC Library Human Sciences Research Council, 134 Pretorius Street, Pretoria. Arlene Grossberg, Tel: (012) 302 2811, e-mail: [email protected]

  • ‘Soon, soon’ – the complexity of radically transforming the health system underlies the snail’s pace of the National Health Insurance (NHI) White Paper’s development, but a lot is happening to improve the quality of public health in preparation for one universal health system. Kerry Cullinan reports for Health-e News
  • Thursday, September 17, 2015 - 13:30

    Using national data that have recently become available, Chimere-Dan identified patterns of resilience and change in the family in the context of major demographic and social forces, including a declining rate of marriage, a rising trend in age at first marriage, a high rate of non-marital childbearing, a reduction in family size and differentiating models of parenting. This research assessed dominant responses by the family, and raised possible medium and longer term implications for social and human development in South Africa.


  • The lack of inclusive growth in South Africa is highlighted by the ever-widening gap between rich and poor, which continues to be of great concern to politicians, policy makers and labour unions.
  • A SciDev analysis by Turner Isoun which argues that whilst African science academies still lack the power of their Northern counterparts, their influence is on the rise.
  • Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 12:15

    Xenophobic violence is increasingly becoming a longstanding feature in post-Apartheid South Africa and efforts to explain its underlying and immediate causes have intensified since the unprecedented wave of violence in May 2008. Unfortunately, a critical review of existing explanations reveals that, while valuable in identifying the socio-economic and political context within which violence occurs, they fall short as scientific explanations for the occurrence of the violence.

  • Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 13:30

    Inequality prevails in many countries of the global South, and large groups of the population remain excluded from the benefits of the development process. It is recognised that knowledge and innovation can contribute to a substantial improvement in living conditions; however the difficulties encountered by the development process in the last century require a review of the linkages between knowledge, innovation, development and social inclusion.

  • Thursday, June 4, 2015 - 13:30

    From the 1960s through the 1980s, the apartheid government expanded direct provision of low-cost family planning services for black residents of white areas.  In the homelands, access to contraception remained more limited. 

  • Thursday, June 11, 2015 - 01:00

    Have you ever tried putting forward public health knowledge in the hope of shaping public policy, with results falling short of your expectations? The political sphere has characteristics that one should be aware of in order to share knowledge more effectively and to understand the scope of achievable outcomes. Who are the major stakeholders to consider when sharing knowledge, and how does knowledge circulate among them?