GCRO staff attain higher degrees!

  • GCRO
  • Date of publication: 20 September 2011

Josephine Musango has complied with the requirements of a PhD degree (in Sustainable Development) at the School of Public Leadership at the Stellenbosch University, which will be conferred in 2012 academic year. She defended her thesis on “Technology assessment of renewable energy sustainability in South Africa” on 20 September 2011. Josephine’s PhD was motivated by the need for developing improved energy technology assessment practices particularly in an African context.

The study contributes to the advances of technology assessment for sustainability by developing a conceptual framework, which was termed as systems approach to technology sustainability assessment (SATSA). Based on the SATSA framework, a Bioenergy Technology Sustainability Assessment (BIOTSA) model was developed. The BIOTSA model was used to test the outcomes of a proposed biodiesel production development in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa on selected sustainability indicators. In addition, some policy scenarios were tested to compare how they assist in improving the selected indicators. The BIOTSA model results are useful in comparing dynamic consequences resulting from a proposed biodiesel production development and the respective policies and decisions that may arise from such a development. Generally, the study shows that SATSA can increase the effectiveness of technology assessment for sustainability in 3 ways: (i) it is positioned at the centre of three worldviews, that is, technology development, sustainable development and dynamic systems approach; (ii) it provides a model-based quantification; and (iii) it serves as a framework for science to promote a transdisciplinary approach, hence linking science-policy-business and society divide.

From the PhD thesis, Josephine has already published four papers in international peer reviewed Journals, and two others are currently under review.

Chris Wray has fulfilled the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Engineering from the University of the Witwatersrand and will be graduating with distinction in November. His research focused on development of a GIS g-government website for the GCRO. The website visualises governmental data in new dynamic ways, using a rich Internet application (RIA) viewer that integrates data from various sources including Google Maps. The Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was used to determine the success of the GCRO g-government website by measuring user acceptance at the prototype and implementation stages of the project. High acceptance scores were achieved by the GCRO GIS website, thus confirming that the GCRO staff and local and provincial government in the GCR are ready to utilise g-government.


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