Skip to Main Content

Current Awareness 2021: October

Up-to-date topics of interest to researchers

What is current awareness?

Current awareness is the term used to describe staying informed by keeping up to date with the latest publications, research and news in your field.

The perspective of current awareness is the present and the forthcoming, as opposed to the retrospective. 

Current awareness ranges from looking for information on specific topics on a regular basis (and this usually involves the assistance of your Personal Librarian to help you set up a search profile matched to your research interests) to embracing a wider, more general, and cross-disciplinary view that brings an element of serendipity into your search for the latest information.

Informally, researchers remain alert in all contexts for useful information and insights that will inform their daily practice, their research, and spark off innovative and creative ideas for new avenues of research

Website of the Month


UN Women

UN Women is the United Nations entity dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women. A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide.

UN Women supports UN Member States as they set global standards for achieving gender equality, and works with governments and civil society to design laws, policies, programmes and services needed to ensure that the standards are effectively implemented and truly benefit women and girls worldwide.

Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA)

A leader in the fight against cancer in SA, since 1931, the purpose of the Cancer Association of South Africa (CANSA), is to offer a unique, integrated service to the public and to all people affected by cancer.

It’s mission is to be the preferred non-profit leader that enables research with regards to lowering cancer risk, educating the public regarding symptoms, screening and risk reduction, and providing care and support to all people affected by cancer.

The South Africa International Maritime Institute (SAIMI)

SAIMI’s primary purpose is to facilitate linkages and collaboration amongst role players in maritime research, education and training in South Africa, and with similar institutes in Africa. The Institute plays a much-needed linking role between industry and educational institutions, with the aim to strengthen maritime education and research through facilitating co-ordination and co-operation among education providers.

It is a multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder institute active in all aspects of the maritime field, including shipping, harbours, manufacturing and construction, sustainability, environment, law, and marine tourism. SAIMI also links with industry and academia in marine and coastal sciences.

The national oceans economy development strategy and programme remains at the core of SAIMI’s strategic agenda and has been adopted as the main theme for the institute over the next 20-year strategic horizon.

Further reading


Beyond COVID-19: A feminist plan for sustainability and social justice

As the world learns to live with COVID-19, to emerge from the current crisis, and to “build back better”, UN Women’s new “Feminist plan” provides a visionary but practical roadmap for putting gender equality, social justice, and sustainability at the centre of the recovery and transformation.

COVID-19 has revealed and worsened inequalities and is a reminder of just how unsustainable and fragile the world’s economies and democracies are. The crisis also provides a warning about what is rapidly coming down the track on climate change and environmental degradation. This has created both a need and an opening to rethink economic and social policies and re-evaluate what needs to be prioritized.


A Policy Brief

COVID-19 and violence against women and girls: Addressing the shadow pandemic

This brief presents emerging evidence of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on violence against women and girls (VAWG). The brief advocates for measures that prevent and respond to VAWG in the current circumstances of lockdown as well as for investments that ensure the safety of women and girls in longer-term recovery plans. It makes recommendations to be considered by all sectors of society, from governments and multilateral institutions to civil society organizations, private companies, and donors, with examples of actions already taken.

About the monthly current awareness page

The year is marked with many special days, weeks, and months dedicated and devoted to raising awareness about important issues.

This monthly post, compiled by the Information Search Librarians Team, will note special dates and themes, and draw your attention to possibly interesting cross-disciplinary topical references intended to inform and to inspire ideas for research.

In the media

Loading ...


Should you wish to read Current Awareness guides of previous years, please visit the archive:






Looking for upcoming conferences?

If you are looking for forthcoming conferences, the following websites are helpful:

Golden oldies

C.R.M. Dlamini. (1985). Should ilobolo be abolished? A reply to Hlophe. Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa, Vol. 18, No. 3 (Nov), pp 361-376.


The KwaZulu Act on the code of Zulu law drew wide-ranging comment. In an article on this Act and its influence on the status of Zulu women and on ilobolo, Hlophe raised certain issues addressed in this article. Among other things Hlophe advocated the abolition of ilobolo in Zulu law because he is of the opinion that the changed socio-economic conditions in the black community no longer justified its retention. He also contended that it no longer served the function of a guarantee of good treatment of the spouses and consequent stability of the marriage, but rather occasions other social problems like delaying marriage and thus promoting seduction, concubinage, and the procreation of illegitimate children. It was not feasible to deal exhaustively in this article with all the issues raised by Hlophe. Particular emphasis were placed on the proposed abolition of ilobolo owing to the popularity of this institution in the black community. This present article is a modest attempt to contribute to the resulting debate on the issue of ilobolo as argued by Hlophe.

Note: Glide your cursor over the embedded link and enter your student number and myUnisa password or Unisa staff Network username and password and then click on LOGIN to access the full text article.

Khumalo, P. and Netswera, M. M. (2020). The Complex Nature of Coalitions in the Local Sphere of Government in South Africa. African Journal of Democracy and Governance, Vol. 7, No. 3-4 (Dec), pp 173-192.


This article seeks to unpack complexities associated with the political coalitions in the leadership of municipalities where political parties of varying ideologies would support each other on some spelt-out tradeoffs. These “marriages of conveniences” which come about in cases of no outright winners or winners without controlling stakes pause a number of challenges in the smooth running of municipalities. Local government remains a critical sphere of government in the pursuit of development. The state of this sphere of government has a huge bearing on the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery. The article reviews scholarly work on coalitions, official reports and other relevant documents in scrutinizing the nature of the coalitions in South Africa and their effect on the well-being of municipalities. Employing a few case studies with a focus on the aftermath of the 2016 elections, the article endeavors to bring to light the motivations behind these coalitions, the shaky relations thereof and the ultimate cost and benefits to stakeholders, especially the electorate who are the recipients of public services. It draws a set of lessons and make recommendations to ensure stability in municipalities.

Note: Glide your cursor over the embedded link and enter your student number and myUnisa password or Unisa staff Network username and password and then click on LOGIN to access the full text article.