Unisa congratulates two academics who are recipients of the Academic and Non-Fiction Authors’ Association of South Africa (ANFASA) 2012/2013 grant scheme. Dr Jo-Ansie van Wyk, Lecturer in the Department of Political Sciences, and Gusha Ngantweni, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Police Practice, were awarded the ANFASA Grant Scheme for Authors, which assists them to pay for research costs in order to complete a non-fiction writing project.
The scheme owes its existence to the generosity of the Norwegian Non-Fiction Writers and Translators Association, Kopinor, the Norwegian Reproduction Rights Organisation, and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The grants are intended to provide around R20 000–R25 000 for an author’s research and/or writing costs.
Both academics have solid plans for their grants. Van Wyk plans to publish her doctoral thesis on South Africa’s post-apartheid nuclear diplomacy, which details the country’s interactions with the international community on nuclear issues since it dismantled its six atom bombs. Her argument is that South Africa successfully transformed its state identity from a nuclear weapons state to a state supporting the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
Her PhD traces South Africa’s nuclear diplomacy from 1990, when the disarmament process was already underway, until 2010. In line with Unisa’s aspirations to be a high-performance university, Van Wyk says, “My research is the first of its kind and supports the Unisa ideal of producing world-class research.”
Ngantweni’s grant will be used towards the undergraduate textbook, Crime prevention and policing in Africa. The book will be an authoritative text with about 30 chapters and five sections. This project is an initial collaboration between Unisa, the Tshwane University of Technology and Southern Business School, who all intend to prescribe the book, which has authors drawn from several African countries.
As Unisa celebrates 140 years of shaping futures, Ngantweni believes this book will contribute towards the same. Unisa pioneered a bachelor’s degree in police science in the early 1970s. In the early 1990s, the South African Police Service (SAPS), in the midst of reform from apartheid to democratic policing, had a police academy in Graaff-Reinet, where young officers with university exemption were selected through a rigorous process to study for a Unisa BA (Police Science) degree for three years, full-time. Many of those graduates are now leading managers in the SAPS and other public entities performing their roles competently and many have moved on to complete higher qualifications.
Says Ngantweni, as the author contributing the most chapters and having overall responsibility for the book, “The ANFASA grant adds prestige to the book project and it allows me to benefit from the peer support of fellow awardees. I am grateful to all my fellow authors for the time they have taken in slowly developing a major textbook that will benefit our students and industry throughout Africa.”
*Written by Kirosha Naicker