Research & Innovation 2015-16 - Page 25



Ngwako Radodiba Adam Mohale
Department of Oceanography
Investigating the Effects of Agulhas Leakage on the South Atlantic
“I’ve always been passionate about nature; and growing up in an environment where
farming was the order of the day for subsistence, and witnessing the changes in
seasonal patterns, all grew my interest in understanding what drives the climate,” says
Mohale. Agulhas leakage acts as a primary ocean current that connects the Indian and
Atlantic Ocean. It plays a vital role in global water circulation, which has an important
role in influencing global climate, so it is important to understand the dynamics
of Agulhas leakage and its role in global ocean circulation. Because of different
dynamics between the Indian and the Atlantic Oceans, Mohale’s master’s research
aims to report how Agulhas leakage affects the South Atlantic, and how the South
Atlantic ecosystem could be affected by such changes. “The South Atlantic Ocean
has long been suspected to have an effect on South African weather patterns, so it’ll
be interesting to further understand the intensity of this effect,” he says.
Philile Mbatha
Department of Environmental and Geographical Science
The Influence of Plural Governance Systems on Rural Livelihood
Strategies in South Africa: the case of Kosi Bay
In South Africa, the livelihoods of a significant number of rural households
living along the coast rely on harvesting marine resources, timber, non-timber
forest products, and agricultural resources for subsistence or small-scale
sale. Simultaneously, biodiversity protection in the form of internationally
and nationally recognised protected areas is increasingly being enacted in
South Africa. These areas are usually adjacent to rural communities that were
historically marginalised during apartheid and continue to be so today. Coastal
authority in rural areas of South Africa remains highly contested by multiple
systems of governance. This is exacerbated by the fact that institutions with
mandates over coastal governance in rural areas usually also operate in silos,
creating red tape that slows down development opportunities. Through the lens
of Kosi Bay, a rural area located within South Africa’s first World Heritage Site,
iSimangaliso, Mbatha’s doctoral research documents livelihood strategies and
interrogates how people’s livelihoods are influenced by the existence of multiple
and plural coastal governance systems and processes. Read profile story
Tamzon Talisa Jacobs
Centre for Minerals Research, Department of Chemical Engineering
Process Mineralogical Characterisation of Kansanshi Copper Ores in NorthWest Zambia
The mining industry currently faces numerous multifaceted challenges, one of
which is the difficulty of efficiently extracting valuable minerals needed to meet the
demands of modern society. Jacobs’ master’s research focused on understanding
the process mineralogy of ore from Africa’s largest copper producer. This is a critical
step for enabling engineers to separate and upgrade the valuable minerals from
the waste efficiently, and ultimately produce a saleable metal. Jacobs used modern
mineralogical analysis tools and laboratory experiments that helped her understand
how various ore-formation events produced the array of minerals and textures
present in this complex copper ore. When applied to ores fed to the three different
processing circuits at Kansanshi, this knowledge can be used to improve performance
and reduce operational costs. Jacobs is now working in Zambia at a neighbouring
copper mine, putting her skills to the test. Read profile story
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