University of the Witwatersrand

The University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, also known as Wits University, is a leading, internationally-ranked, research-intensive university located in Johannesburg, South Africa, the economic heartland of Africa. Committed to academic and research excellence and social justice, Wits generates high level scarce skills for a globally competitive world, while addressing local social and economic development. At the forefront of a changing society, Wits is a social leader, dedicated to advancing the public good.

Wits is known for its work in deep level mining, science, health sciences, accountancy, law, governance, and the humanities, amongst others. It houses five faculties which comprise 34 schools. Wits offers approximately 3 600 courses to about 32 500 full-time students, of whom about a third are postgraduate and 55% are female. Almost 65% of all doctoral candidates and about half of all enrolments are in the Science, Engineering and Technology fields. Wits has developed about 130 000 graduates in its 93 years of existence. It has a proud record in that about 87% of all publications are in accredited international journals.

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Rioters threw stones and looted shops during a recent protest at the Phomolong informal settlement outside Pretoria. Reuters/Striger

The link between public violence and xenophobia in South Africa

The past decade has shown a strong connection between political protests and the looting of foreign-owned shops in South Africa. Research shows that local leaders use protests to maintain their power.
Markets plunged after the UK voted to exit the EU. Africa’s trade relations with both the EU and UK will be affected by the decision. Reuters/Kevin Coombs

African exporters face choppy waters in the wake of Brexit

Emerging market countries that rely heavily on commodity exports will be hit hardest by Britain's decision to leave the European Union.
South African President Jacob Zuma inflated the size of his cabinet, making it among the largest in the world. GCIS

Why South Africa would do well to fire all its deputy ministers

Although not a panacea, cutting down the number of deputy ministers would go a long way to helping government get its finances onto a more stable footing.
International investors are still rattled by President Jacob Zuma’s sacking of respected Finance Minister Nhlanhla Nene. Reuters/Sumaya Hisham

How investors see South Africa: lots of potential, not worth the hassle

South Africa has narrowly escaped a downgrade of the rating of its sovereign bonds, but government has its work cut out as it seeks to restore investor confidence and lift economic growth.
South Africa will deal with future water constraints by importing basic foodstuffs from its neighbours. Delpixel

South Africa’s farmers can benefit by reducing their water use

Urbanisation will require massive amounts of water to sustain the livelihoods of millions expected to move into cities. This may happen at farmers' expense.
Students have been agitating for an end to public university fees in South Africa. Nic Bothma/EPA

How to take free public higher education from pipe dream to reality

Free public higher education is possible and necessary. It's also realistic, if it's based on thorough research, consultation and students giving back through community service after graduation.
Gold miners appear after being trapped underground at a mine in Carltonville, west of Johannesburg. Managing their safety has been a major issue as South Africa has among the deepest and most dangerous mines. Reuters/Siphiwe Sibeko

Lessons learnt from taking sides as a sociologist in unjust times

When sociologists, driven by their value commitments, go beyond the relative comfort of the classroom and engage with organisations outside the university, they dirty their hands.
The Economic Freedom Fighters recently launched their manifesto in Soweto. Party leader Julius Malema (waving) is the master of political theatre. EPA/Cornell Tukiri

South Africa’s EFF: excellent politics of props and imagination

Red berets, hard hats, overalls and domestic workers’ uniforms have become a prominent part of South African politics. But these are more than just props for the EFF political party.

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