Browsing by Author "Benya, Asanda-Jonas"
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- ItemOpen AccessFourth industrial banking: case studies into digitising banking models and the foreseeable effects in South Africa(2022) Masheleni, Celine Intombiyenhle; Benya, Asanda-JonasThis thesis is a critical, exploratory analysis of the impacts to the banking industry in South Africa, in light of the wave of technological change and emergence, termed in popular discourse as the Fourth Industrial Revolution or 4IR. The 4IR has been argued to offer the transformative potential to change and disrupt current societal organization and provide opportunities for developing countries such as South Africa to “leapfrog” into development. Many argue that as technology advances and progresses, it can be used to address socio-economic, developmental challenges and deliver services. In the banking sector, particularly in the context of developing countries, as large portions of the population remain excluded from formal financial services, digital banking methods premised on the technologies of the 4IR have emerged as potential “solutions”. What is often understated, however, that this study highlights, is that such technological advancements hold challenges. Moreover, as they are presented as solutions to the socioeconomic difficulties of developing countries, like financial exclusion, it is important that this is understood contextually, and critically and such challenges are presented. Through primarily qualitative case studies of two banks, Standard Bank and TymeBank, the study aimed to uncover the processes of digitisation occurring as well as the social processes that underlie them. Findings show that indeed, tangible examples of “4IR”/digitisation are identified at the two banks through technical application of emerging technologies, such as cloud computing and machine learning. However, more concerning are the social processes and strategic decisions that result in and out of their adoption. The 4IR in the context of this study appears to replicate ongoing social and economic inequalities, through inadequate digital infrastructures, and omni-present interests of neoliberalism presenting as digital capitalism. Additionally, carrying concern of adverse effects to the employment and labour landscape, the 4IR is deconstructed for its rhetorical meaning which contrasts with the reality. Hegemonic representations of a 4IR and its proposed ‘transformative benefits' do not correspond with actual phenomena and risk the neglecting of fundamental social challenges that are deepened by and new ones emerging out of digitisation.
- ItemOpen AccessInvestigating the challenges working-class women face in the construction industry-RSA(2023) Ngqentsu, Mangesi Benson; Benya, Asanda-Jonas; Garba; FaisalSouth Africa's construction industry remains a male-dominated economic sector. Despite numerous progressive and transformative efforts, male domination and patriarchal behaviour continue to pose daunting challenges to women. This study investigates working-class women's challenges in the construction industry and considers possible avenues to ensure substantive transformation. The study provides critical insights into stubborn and widespread patriarchy within the industry by drawing on a range of feminist and Marxist theoretical perspectives. The study uses qualitative research techniques, (i) three focus group discussions, (ii) six in-depth interviews and (iii) secondary data to demonstrate the prevalence of significant oppressive patriarchal and exploitative relations that marginalise women. This study shows that women in the construction industry experience multitudes of challenges, not only from men as an expression of patriarchy but also as an entrenched ideology supporting structural and systemic features of capitalist exploitation and oppression within the industry itself. Women are peripheralized, relegated to low-wage junior roles and subjected to dehumanising treatment, including widespread sexual harassment. Thus, this study's results essentially show that working-class women constitute the bulk of unskilled labour, semi-skilled and junior positions in the industry. It is, therefore, incumbent on scholars and policymakers to motivate deeper analysis to generate behavioural and systemic changes to achieve substantive inclusion and empowerment of women in the sector. Notably, the study recommends that employers and the construction industry's trade union movement (i) establish a single, central bargaining council merging civil engineering, manufacturing and building, (ii) establish effective Health and Safety and Employment Equity and Transformation Committees to drive and monitor issues related to skilling of workers, (iii) provide education on health and safety matters. Evidence and analysis provide fresh insights, including (i) a privileged section of white women positioned as senior administrative assistants whilst their black counter-parts occupy unskilled and semi-skilled positions, (ii) ix the context within which women earn lower wages than men, and (iii) how femininity is conveniently used as an excuse to keep women in peripheral and junior positions.