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Current Awareness 2024: February

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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.

Websites of the month

Minerals Council South Africa

The Minerals Council South Africa (Minerals Council) is a mining industry employers’ organisation that supports and promotes the South African mining industry. The Minerals Council serves its members and promotes their interests by providing strategic support and advisory input.

A key role of the organisation is to facilitate interaction among mining employers to examine policy issues and other matters of mutual concern to crystallise and define desirable industry standpoints. A variety of initiatives are in place to promote collaboration between members. Consultation and collaboration are voluntary and never encroach on the autonomy of members.

The Minerals Council also acts as a principal advocate for mining in South Africa to government, communicating major policies endorsed by its members.


The Minerals Council’s vision is to reposition the South African mining sector as South Africa’s foremost industrial sector. The Minerals Council seeks to create, in partnership with key stakeholders, a conducive policy, legislative and operating environment that facilitates doubling real investment in mining by 2030.

This is an industry strategy, and the Minerals Council is a respected mining advocacy organisation that works through trust-based, problem-solving partnerships to engineer this positive turnaround in the mining industry.

Achieving this vision will be a game changer for the country and its ability to achieve the National Development Plan (NDP) objectives to improve South Africa’s economic growth, developmental and transformation vision as outlined in the NDP …


African Minerals Development Centre

The main objectives of the Centre is  to coordinate and oversee the implementation of the Africa Mining Vision and its Action plan (being revised) to enable the minerals resource sector play its role in the social and economic transformation, inclusive growth and sustainable development of African economies, in conjunction with Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs), the private sector, civil society organizations including women and youth organizations, collaborating institutions and other key stakeholders. The Statute establishing the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) was adopted by the Twenty-Sixth Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly in January 2016 (Assembly/AU/Dec.589(XXVI))

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

Why do we mark International Days?

International days and weeks are occasions to educate the public on issues of concern, to mobilize political will and resources to address global problems, and to celebrate and reinforce achievements of humanity. The existence of international days predates the establishment of the United Nations, but the UN has embraced them as a powerful advocacy tool. We also mark other UN observances.


1-7 Feb  World Interfaith Harmony Week

World Interfaith Harmony Week is an annual event observed during the first week of February, since the General Assembly designation in 2010. The General Assembly pointed out that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue constitute important dimensions of a culture of peace and established World Interfaith Harmony Week as a way to promote harmony between all people regardless of their faith.


02 Feb  World Wetlands Day 2024        

World Wetlands Day 2024 is a global event dedicated to recognizing the significance of wetlands, which encompass a wide range of habitats, including marshes, swamps, bogs, and mangroves. These ecosystems play a crucial role in maintaining water quality, supporting biodiversity, mitigating climate change, and providing livelihoods for millions of people worldwide.

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).


04 Feb 2024 - 07 Feb 2024  South Africa participates at Investing in African Mining Indaba 2024, 4 to 7 Feb         

South Africa to participate at the Investing in African Mining Indaba 2024

South Africa will participate at the 2024 Investing in African Mining Indaba to be convened under the theme “Embracing the power of positive disruption: A bold new future for African mining,” at the Cape Town International Convention Centre (CTICC) from 5 to 9 February 2024.

The Mining Indaba brings together global leaders, captains of the industry, and investors to engage on the future of mining and explore ways to attract investments in African mining. Delegates at the conference are further expected to examine challenges and explore opportunities in the industry.


08 Feb State of the Nation Address 2023

The State of the Nation Address (SONA) is one of the most important annual events in the parliamentary calendar. *The President delivers a speech focusing on the plans of government for the coming year.


04 Feb  World Cancer Day 2024    

World Cancer Day held every 4 February is the global uniting initiative led by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC).

By raising worldwide awareness, improving education and catalysing personal, collective and government action, we are all working together to reimagine a world where millions of preventable cancer deaths are saved and access to life-saving cancer treatment and care is equitable for all - no matter who you are or where you live.

Image: UN


4 Feb   International Day of Human Fraternity

Human fraternity for peace and cooperation

We need — perhaps more than ever before — to recognize the valuable contribution of people of all religions, or beliefs, to humanity and the contribution that dialogue among all religious groups can make towards an improved awareness and understanding of the common values shared by all humankind.



6 Feb   International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation

Female genital mutilation (FGM) comprises all procedures that involve altering or injuring the female genitalia for non-medical reasons and is recognized internationally as a violation of the human rights, the health and the integrity of girls and women.

Girls who undergo female genital mutilation face short-term complications such as severe pain, shock, excessive bleeding, infections, and difficulty in passing urine, as well as long-term consequences for their sexual and reproductive health and mental health.

Although primarily concentrated in 30 countries in Africa and the Middle East, female genital mutilation is a universal issue and is also practiced in some countries in Asia and Latin America. Female genital mutilation continues to persist amongst immigrant populations living in Western Europe, North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Image: WHO


10 Feb   World Pulses Day

Pulses, also known as legumes, are the edible seeds of leguminous plants cultivated for food. Dried beans, lentils and peas are the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses.

Recognizing their value, on 20 December 2013, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution (A/RES/68/231) proclaiming 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (IYP). The celebration of the year, led by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), increased the public awareness of the nutritional and environmental benefits of pulses as part of sustainable food production.

Building on the success of the International Year of Pulses and recognizing their potential to further achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, with particular relevance to Sustainable Development Goals 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 12, 13 and 15, Burkina Faso proposed the observance of World Pulses Day.

Image: UN


11 Feb   International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Tackling some of the greatest challenges of the Agenda for Sustainable Development - from improving health to combating climate change - will rely on harnessing all talent. That means getting more women working in these fields. Diversity in research expands the pool of talented researchers, bringing in fresh perspectives, talent and creativity. This Day is a reminder that women and girls play a critical role in science and technology communities and that their participation should be strengthened.

Although Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields are widely regarded as critical to national economies, so far most countries, no matter their level of development, have not achieved gender equality in STEM.

Image: UN


12 Feb    International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism

Violent extremism is an affront to the purposes and principles of the United Nations. It undermines peace and security, human rights and sustainable development. No country or region is immune from its impacts.

Violent extremism is a diverse phenomenon, without clear definition. It is neither new nor exclusive to any region, nationality or system of belief. Nevertheless, in recent years, terrorist groups such as Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), Al-Qaida and Boko Haram have shaped our image of violent extremism and the debate on how to address this threat. These groups’ message of intolerance — religious, cultural, social — has had drastic consequences for many regions of the world. Holding territory and using social media for real-time communication of their atrocious crimes, they seek to challenge our shared values of peace, justice and human dignity.

In its resolution 77/243, the General Assembly decided to declare 12 February the International Day for the Prevention of Violent Extremism as and when Conducive to Terrorism, in order to raise awareness of the threats linked to violent extremism, as and when conducive to terrorism, and to enhance international cooperation in this regard.

Image: UN


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.

Image: UN


17 Feb    Global Tourism Resilience Day

For many developing countries, including the least developed countries, small island developing states, countries in Africa and middle-income countries, tourism is a major source of income, foreign currency earnings, tax revenue and employment. Because tourism connects people with nature, sustainable tourism has the unique ability to spur environmental responsibility and conservation.

Sustainable tourism, including ecotourism, is a cross-cutting activity that can contribute to the three dimensions of sustainable development and the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals by fostering economic growth, alleviating poverty, creating full and productive employment and decent work for all.

Global Tourism Resilience Day (17 February), proclaimed by the General Assembly in resolution A/RES/77/269, aims to emphasize the need to foster resilient tourism development to deal with shocks, taking into account the vulnerability of the tourism sector to emergencies. It is also a call for action for Member States to develop national strategies for rehabilitation after disruptions, including through private-public cooperation and the diversification of activities and products.


20 Feb     World Day of Social Justice

This year's theme focuses on the recommendations of Our Common Agenda to strengthen global solidarity and to re-build trust in government by "Overcoming Barriers and Unleashing Opportunities for Social Justice". Therefore, the 2023 World Day of Social Justice provides an opportunity to foster dialogue with Member States, youth, social partners, civil society, UN organisations and other stakeholders on actions needed to strengthen the social contract that has been fractured by rising inequalities, conflicts and weakened institutions that are meant to protect the rights of workers. Despite these multiple crises, there are many opportunities to build a coalition for social justice and to unleash greater investments in decent jobs, with a particular focus on the green, digital and care economy, and on young people.


21 Feb    International Mother Language Day

Multilingual education – a necessity to transform education

Globally 40 per cent of the population does not have access to an education in a language they speak or understand. But progress is being made in multilingual education with growing understanding of its importance, particularly in early schooling, and more commitment to its development in public life.

International Mother Language Day recognizes that languages and multilingualism can advance inclusion, and the Sustainable Development Goals’ focus on leaving no one behind. UNESCO encourages and promotes multilingual education based on mother tongue or first language. It is a type of education that begins in the language that the learner masters most and then gradually introduces other languages. This approach enables learners whose mother tongue is different from the language of instruction to bridge the gap between home and school, to discover the school environment in a familiar language, and thus, learn better.


21 Feb    International Tourist Guide Day 2024

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.

In the media

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Catalytic niche areas

The university has identified ten (10) catalytic niches that will assist the institution in catalysing research, innovation and engaged scholarship These are as follows:

  • Marine studies,
  • Aviation and Aeronautical studies,
  • Automotive,
  • Energy,
  • Space study and Square Kilometer Array,
  • Fourth Industrial revolution and Digitalisation,
  • Natural Sciences (Biotechnological studies),
  • Health Studies/Medicine,
  • Feminist, Womanist, Bosadi Theorizations,
  • Student Support and Co-Curricular activities.

Click on the links below for information on energy.

(TitleCombined:(coal AND energy AND "south africa"))

(coal AND energy AND "south africa")

(TitleCombined:(mining AND coal AND energy))

(TitleCombined:(sustainable energy)) AND (TitleCombined:("south africa"))

(TitleCombined:(renewable energy)) AND (TitleCombined:("south africa"))

eBooks on mining AND energy

Dissertations / Theses on (“sustainable energy” OR “renewable energy”) AND “south africa”

Conference proceedings on (“sustainable energy” OR “renewable energy”) AND “south africa”

Global trends in (“sustainable energy” OR “renewable energy”)

Golden oldie

G.T. Maluleke and L. Pretorius

Modelling the impact of mining on socio-economic infrastructure development - a system dynamics approach

Source: South African Journal of Industrial Engineering December 2016 Vol 27 (4), pp 66-76


The contribution of mining activities to social infrastructure and human development is a complex socio-economic development issue in South Africa. Complexity theory has introduced a new approach to solving problems in social systems, recognising them as complex systems. The socio-economic development system in South Africa falls into this category of complex systems. Analysing such a system requires that a number of feedback loops and details about the issues be analysed simultaneously. This level of complexity is above a human's ability to comprehend without the aid of tools such as systems thinking and system dynamics. The causality between investment in infrastructure capacity and socio-economic development is dynamic. The relationship is influenced by exogenous feedback that, if not managed, is likely to reverse itself. This paper presents the results of a system dynamics modelling of the relationship, based on the principle of relative attractiveness developed in previous system dynamics research. A Monte Carlo analysis is used to determine the sensitivity of the system to changes in feedback. The paper concludes that the limits to growth in a socio-economic environment are determined by more factors than the availability of capital, and also include land capacity constraints and skills shortage.

Further reading

Metji Makgoba

Constructing Black Economic Empowerment as a Neoliberal Project in South African Mining

Published online: 2021


This article employs Critical Discourse Analysis to investigate how Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) perpetuates and reproduces the socio-economic status quo of neoliberalism through the Mining Charter. It specifically examines how the Charter reduces the political processes of transformation and empowerment to the managerial practices of technical scoreboards, targets, and auditing processes as well as economic participation at the microcosmic level. This article argues that the African National Congress discursively uses the Charter to advance the ideology of neoliberalism by privileging and constructing the free markets as the means of advancing the government’s empowerment and transformation agenda. It is worth mentioning that BEE studies tend to approach and construct BEE as a structurally disruptive and radically redistributive policy and proceed to measure its implementation processes and outcomes. However, this article shows that rather than being radically transformative, or structurally disruptive, BEE allows the government to externalise the political responsibility of transformation and empowerment to the (international) markets. In consequence, this ideologically reduces the discourse of transformation and empowerment to cultural recognition – highlighting that blacks suffer oppression – and surface reallocation of resources. At the same time, this reductionism displaces the restructuring of this political-economic structure of mining capitalism as the remedy for racial injustice and the aim of political struggle despite centring BEE around the anti-colonial and anti-apartheid discourses.



Agunyai Samuel Chukwudi, Victor Ojakorotu, and Oluwakemi Roseline Olatunji

Artisanal Gold Mining and Local Socio-Economic Development in Ife Land, Southwest, Nigeria: A situational Analysis

Published online: 2022


The article examines the effects of artisanal gold mining on cash crop plantations and safe coexistence in Ife land, Nigeria. It hypothesized that artisanal gold mining inadvertently encourages communities to sell their land cheaply to gold merchants and forego agricultural food production. These were with the view to advancing knowledge about how artisanal gold mining impedes local socio-economic development in Ife land. It utilizes mixed method of quantitative and qualitative research designs. Results showed widespread damage of cash crops, relocation of local indigenous cocoa investors from mining communities due to insecurity, and lands were sold cheaply out of fear of losing them to gold merchants, thus, jeopardizing food security in mining communities. It concludes that artisanal gold mining is progressively devastating local socio-economic development of mining communities in Ife land, Southwest Nigeria.

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: