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Current Awareness 2023: February

Keeping you up to date with news and events in South Africa

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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

Tourism in the 2030 agenda

The United Nations World Tourism Organization

The World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is the United Nations agency responsible for the promotion of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism.

As the leading international organization in the field of tourism, UNWTO promotes tourism as a driver of economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability and offers leadership and support to the sector in advancing knowledge and tourism policies worldwide.



ECD publishes its recommendations, analysis and data on OECD iLibrary to help inform policy makers, researchers and analysts to implement the best possible responses in their countries

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We provide services to help knowledge manager to inform their constituents.

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Our data and reports provide an exhaustive view of standards, markets, countries and regions all of which can help your business grow.

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Learn from other countries’ experiences and understand why certain policies work elsewhere. Use our trusted analyses, data and recommendations as a foundation to explore different approaches.

Tourism in the economy - South Africa

Database of the Month


Unisa Open

The following sites on Unisa Open contains useful information for Unisa staff.

About the monthly 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.

Selected noteworthy days in February

2 Feb World Wetlands Day 2023


This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided materials to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands.

South Africa is one of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands of International Importance (Ramsar Convention). South Africa signed the Ramsar Convention in 1971 at its inception and the membership was formalised in 1975 when South Africa ratified the Convention and became the fifth contracting party. One of the obligations of the Contracting Parties to the Ramsar Convention is to commemorate the World Wetlands Day (WWD).

South Africa is a water scarce country, and the water in many streams is polluted. Both droughts and floods are common. In this regards, wetlands play a vital role by removing toxic substances and sediment from the water, while also improving downstream water quality and the overall health of communities.

Wetlands are able to reduce the severity of droughts and floods by regulating stream flow. They also help to purify water and provide habitat for many different plants and animals. Besides these indirect benefits to society, wetlands provide many direct benefits in the form of resources such as fibre for making crafts as well as recreational opportunities. However, lack of community awareness on the value and benefits of wetlands often leads to their transformation by humans.


2 Feb First Meeting of the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas, in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province, South Africa

As Chair of BRICS for the year 2023, South Africa will host the first meeting of its tenure – the BRICS Sherpas and Sous-Sherpas – in Bela Bela, Limpopo Province, from 01-02 February 2023.

Professor Anil Sooklal, Ambassador-at-Large for Asia and BRICS and South Africa’s BRICS Sherpa will host his counterparts from the Federative Republic of Brazil, the Russian Federation, the Republic of India and the People's Republic of China.

BRICS is a grouping of five major emerging economies - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - which together represent about 41% of the world’s population, 26% of the planet’s landmass across four of the continents, 25% of global GDP and 20% of world trade.


2 Feb Deputy Minister Nobuhle Nkabane addresses Southern African Coal Conference in Cape Town

The Deputy Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy Dr Nobuhle Nkabane (MP), will on Thursday 2 February 2023 address the 18th annual Southern African Coal Conference set to take place from 1 to 3 February 2023 in Cape Town.

The conference brings together top government officials, executives and industry experts to discuss the monumental changes occurring in the Southern African export and domestic coal markets. Discussions will be on how the industry could sustain the 2022 export prices amid a global economic slowdown and how the Ukraine-Russia conflict impacted global coal trade flows, among other areas of discussions.


6 Feb International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

The International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation is a United Nations (UN) campaign held on February 6 to stop genital mutilation to girls and women.


9 Feb State of the Nation Address (SONA) for 2023 – State of the Nation Address by President Cyril Ramaphosa, in Cape Town, South Africa

President Cyril Ramaphosa will deliver the State of the Nation Address on 9 February 2023.

The State of the Nation Address sets out government’s key policy objectives and deliverables for the year ahead, highlights achievements, flags challenges and outlines interventions to unlock development interventions for the coming financial year.

During his address, President Ramaphosa will highlight what has been achieved by the administration since his last address in 2022

13 Feb World Radio Day

On World Radio Day 2023, UNESCO highlights independent radio as a pillar for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

An armed conflict between countries or groups within a country may also translate into a conflict of media narratives. The narrative can either increase tensions or maintain conditions for peace.

In reporting and informing the general public, radio stations shape public opinion and frame a narrative that can influence domestic and international situations and decision-making processes.

Increasing radio's journalistic standards and capacity should be considered as an investment in peace.


18-19 Feb 36th Ordinary Session of the AU Assembly (Heads of State and Government Session)

The Information and Communication Directorate (ICD) of the African Union Commission (AUC) hereby announces that the online registration for journalists interested to cover the 42nd Ordinary Session of the Executive Council and the 36th Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the AU scheduled to take place from 15-19 February 2023, has been launched on the AU website. These two sessions will be preceded by that of the Permanent Representatives Committee


20 Feb World Day of Social Justice 2023

Since 2009, every 20 February has been the UN observance known as “World Day of Social Justice”. The purpose of the day is to focus on the plight of social injustice throughout the world and to press for improvements and solutions.

World Day of Social Justice recognises the need to promote efforts to tackle issues such as poverty, exclusion, employment, gender equity and access to social well-being and justice for all.

As recognised by the World Summit, social development aims at social justice, solidarity, harmony and equality within and among countries. Social justice, equality and equity constitute the fundamental values of all societies. To achieve “a society for all” governments made a commitment to the creation of a framework for action to promote social justice at national, regional and international levels.

They also pledged to promote the equitable distribution of income and greater access to resources through equity and equality and opportunity for all. The governments recognised as well that economic growth should promote equity and social justice and that “a society for all” must be based on social justice and respect for all human rights and fundamental freedoms.


21 Feb International Tourist Guide Day 2023

International Tourist Guide Day is held on 21st February each year. Celebrations were held for the first time in 1990 by the World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) at which time only 15 countries around the world participated and jointly celebrated this special day. Over the years, awareness about this day has grown and to date, more than 70 countries celebrate this event worldwide.

In South Africa, this day is celebrated with activities and programmes ranging from presentations, motivational talks, excursions and workshops.


21 Feb International Mother Language Day 2023

Celebrated every year on 21 February, UNESCO reiterates its commitment to linguistic diversity and invites its Member States to celebrate the day in as many languages as possible as a reminder that linguistic diversity and multilingualism are essential for sustainable development.

Created by UNESCO to promote linguistic and cultural diversity and multilingualism: “Languages are the most powerful instruments of preserving and developing our tangible and intangible heritage. All moves to promote the dissemination of mother tongues will serve not only to encourage linguistic diversity and multilingual education but also to develop fuller awareness of linguistic and cultural traditions throughout the world and to inspire solidarity based on understanding, tolerance and dialogue.”


In the media

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Golden oldie

TitleTowards a model to enhance Africa's sustainable tourism competitiveness

Author: Ernie Heath

Published Online:1 Nov 2002


The tourism environment is becoming increasingly competitive, dynamic and impacted by various global issues. Key factors such as changing consumer preferences, the increasing involvement of host communities, safety and health concerns, globalisation of the airline industry, technological innovation and environmental pressures are changing the face of international tourism and by implication are posing new challenges to tourism destinations in Africa. Against this background, this article focuses on the changing shape and direction of international tourism; Africa's current and future tourism position and potential; the key role of tourism in addressing Africa's key challenges, including poverty alleviation; and then proposes a sustainable destination competitiveness model that can be used as a frame of reference to enhance Africa's tourism competitiveness. The competitiveness model that is proposed is based on an analysis of leading international tourism destination development and marketing strategies so as to determine key "best practice" trends and destination competitiveness success indicators. Furthermore, key destination competitiveness models, including recent models developed by Crouch & Ritchie (2000), Kim (2000) and Dwyer (2001) were evaluated, and where appropriate, elements of these models were also included in the proposed competitiveness model. The longer-term benefits of the development and further refinement of this model along with an associated set of indicators that enables identification of the relative strengths and weaknesses of different tourism destinations, is that it could be used by Governments and industry at large to increase tourism numbers, expenditure and positive social, economic and environmental impacts.

Further reading

Title: Assessing the economic implications of business social responsibility and sustainability in South Africa’s tourism industry

Authors: Lisebo Tseane-Gumbi and Kelechi Johnmary Ani

Published Online:1 Dec 2019


While Business Social Responsibility (BSR) has received much attention in the tourism industry, its economic implications and sustainability are rarely assessed. This is because there is an assumption that all tourism BSR activities contribute positively to the country’s economic development. In essence, the tourism industry is dominated by multi-international companies which often have activities which do not promote sustainable tourism development. These big corporations dictate the tourism industry especially in the developing countries, they use imported raw materials and equipment, bring along their own experts and rarely transfer skills to locals. The study was proposed to assess the economic implications and sustainability of BSR activities in the South African tourism industry. The researchers surveyed 402 employees and 50 owners in the tourism industry in the two municipalities in the Western Cape Province. A total of 307 tourism businesses, which were purposely selected, clustered and stratified were identified. The results were interpreted using critical realism, stakeholder and neo-liberalism frameworks. The study found few activities were directed to economic activities such as the use of locally produced products and employment, while social and environmental dimensions dominated. The tourism multiplier effect is achieved through activities such as employees’ children education support. Local businesses are more willing to take responsibility for their economic consequences, while staff with a high level of education were more transparent with their businesses’ BSR economic activities. Due to the nature of the tourism industry in South Africa, free trade enabled the dominance of transnational corporations TNCs) and multinational corporations (MNCs). Their economic activities need to be regulated within the concept of BSR.


Title: Unpacking factors limiting and promoting black-owned SMMEs to participate actively within the tourism value Chain in South Africa

Authors: Maisa C. Adinolfi, Monique Jacobs and Tembi M. Tichaawa

Published Online:1 Dec 2018


This study explored the experiences and perceptions of transformation within the tourism value chain in the South African context. Through a series of focus group discussions (FGDs) held with relevant stakeholders and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs), the paper reveals key factors related to promoting and prohibiting the active participation of blackowned SMMEs in the tourism value chain, including opportunities for collaboration with large enterprises; exposure to the industry; policies, procedures and the business practices of large enterprises; and government-related matters. The paper concludes that factors prohibiting the active participation of black-owned SMMEs in the tourism value chain far outweigh those that promote it. It is recommended that, if transformation is to occur in the tourism sector, more attention than in the past needs to be paid to the potential that black-owned SMMEs hold, through securing careful and committed collaboration between all stakeholders in the tourism value chain.


Title: An empirical insight into the international tourism - foreign direct investment nexus in Africa

Author: Olufemi Adewale Aluko

Published Online:1 Jun 2021


This study examines the international tourism-foreign direct investment (FDI) nexus in Africa. To do this, it investigates the causal relationship between international tourism and FDI in a panel dataset of 43 African countries for the period 1995-2016. Using the Dumitrescu and Hurlin (2012) panel Granger noncausality test which is robust to cross-sectional dependence, this study nfids a homogeneous unidirectional causality from FDI to international tourism in Africa. Also, it nfids causality between international tourism and FDI in at least one direction in majority of the countries. Policy implications are documented in this study.


Looking for upcoming conferences?

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


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