Stellenbosch Working Papers

Working Papers

RESEP contributes to a BER study assessing progress with the NDP.

RESEP’s Servaas van der Berg and Ronelle Burger recently contributed to a Bureau for Economic Development (BER) report tracking the progress of the National Development Plan (NDP). The document measures the extent to which South Africa’s development objectives, as detailed in the NDP, have been achieved. 

February 22, 2021 By: RESEP Team PDF

Benchmarking early grade reading literacy skills in Nguni languages

To prevent children from falling behind in the developmental sequence of reading, a shared vision of what reading success looks like at each step is required. A multi-disciplinary team from SALDRU at UCT, RESEP at Stellenbosch University and NORC at the University of Chicago have collaborated to inform this shared vision through the establishment of benchmarks for foundational reading skills in three Nguni languages. The summary and technical benchmarking reports were recently launched by the Department of Education as part of their workshop on Reading Benchmarks for African Languages.

February 16, 2021 By: Cally Ardington PDF

Why mentorship matters for young women in STEM professions

For better or worse, all of our careers are shifted, shaped and sometimes shortened by influential figures in our lives. When it comes to women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) fields, access to support structures are even more important for growth and development. Unfortunately, many females still have to overcome barriers of prejudice and inequality.

February 15, 2021 By: Tia Linda Zuze PDF

RESEP contributes to ground-breaking NIDS-CRAM project

With the announced hard-lockdown in March 2020, and as with most other non-essential activities, all fieldwork at Statistics South Africa (StatsSA) was shutdown. However, researchers at RESEP were quick to realise that rapidly updated, accurate information on key outcomes such as unemployment, household income, child hunger and access to government grants would be of vital importance for sound decision making during a global pandemic.

February 12, 2021 By: RESEP Team PDF

The gendered effects of the ongoing lockdown and school closures in South Africa: Evidence from NIDS-CRAM Waves 1 and 2

The data from Wave 1 of NIDS-CRAM showed that women were disproportionately affected by the Covid- 19 crisis and the first month of the lockdown period in South Africa. Not only were they much more likely than men to lose their jobs between February and April or to work fewer hours compared to the pre-crisis period, they also took on a greater share of the additional childcare as a result of school closures and the suspension of all childcare services. In this policy paper, we use Wave 2 of NIDS-CRAM to explore how women and men have fared as the economy started to reopen and lockdown restrictions were relaxed.

December 7, 2020 By: Debra Shepherd, Daniela Casale PDF

Reading and socio-emotional skills in challenging school contexts: Evidence from South African primary schools

This project is linked to the Early Learning Programme (ELP) and uses data from the Readership and Literacy project but is also supplemented by others funded by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

October 22, 2020 By: Gabrielle Wills, Heleen Hofmeyr, Rebecca Selkirk, Servaas van der Berg, E. Pretorius (UNISA), C. Ardington (UCT), N. Mohohlwane (DBE), Nwabisa Makaluza (RESEP/ Funda Wanda), N. Mtsatse (Funda Wanda) PDF

The gendered effects of the ongoing lockdown and school closures in South Africa: Evidence from NIDS-CRAM Waves 1 and 2

The data from Wave 1 of NIDS-CRAM showed that women were disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 crisis and the first month of the lockdown period in South Africa. Not only were they much more likely than men to lose their jobs between February and April or to work fewer hours compared to the pre-crisis period, they also took on a greater share of the additional childcare as a result of school closures and the suspension of all childcare services.

October 11, 2020 By: Debra Shepherd, Daniela Casale PDF

Navigating COVID in the post lockdown period: Shifting risk perceptions and compliance with preventative measures

A report stemming from NIDS-CRAM wave 1, a project consisting of work by a national consortium of 30 social science researchers from five South African universities. The consortium will conduct the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) over the course of May – December 2020. The NIDS-CRAM project exists to collect, analyze and disseminate data on a broadly representative sample of South African individuals, and to report on their employment and welfare in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 5, 2020 By: Carmen Sue Christian, Ronelle Burger, Brendan Maughan-Brown, Russell Rensburg, Laura Rossouw PDF

Household resource flows and food poverty during South Africa’s lockdown: Short-term policy implications for three channels of social protection.

A report stemming from NIDS-CRAM wave 1, a project consisting of work by a national consortium of 30 social science researchers from five South African universities. The consortium will conduct the National Income Dynamics Study (NIDS) Coronavirus Rapid Mobile Survey (CRAM) over the course of May – December 2020. The NIDS-CRAM project exists to collect, analyze and disseminate data on a broadly representative sample of South African individuals, and to report on their employment and welfare in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

October 5, 2020 By: Gabrielle Wills, Servaas van der Berg, Leila Patel, Bokang Mpeta PDF

Using international comparisons to inform debates on salaries for publicly paid educators in South Africa

This brief replicates UNESCO’s calculations, to determine whether South African teachers’ wages are comparable with those in Denmark. The level of teacher wages so determined was only USD71, which is similar to Japan and Italy, but even this seems unrealistically high. UNESCO uses purchasing power parity (PPP) exchange rates for converting teacher pay across countries to dollars – this is where the problem might be. As an alternative strategy to assess the adequacy of teacher pay in international comparison, we use teacher household assets instead of compensation as a proxy for teacher living standards. This results in findings which are considered to be plausible, as South Africa is then comparable with developing countries such as Botswana, Malaysia and Philippines.

October 1, 2020 By: Tsekere Maponya PDF