Journal Articles

Permanent URI for this collection

Browse

Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 5 of 6291
  • Item
    Open Access
    The Proprietary Consequences of Customary Marriages: Challenges in the New Regime(s)?
    (2024) Osman, Fatima
    The law governing marriage in South Africa is in transition. There are currently two proposals to reform the proprietary consequences of marriages in South Africa, namely a Marriage Bill [B43-2023], and a South African Law Reform Commission Discussion Paper to review aspects of matrimonial property law. This article assesses the effectiveness of the proposed reform in addressing the current regulatory challenges related to the proprietary consequences of customary marriages. It argues that the piecemeal jurisprudential development of the law has not been effectively reconciled, and this must be addressed in any future reform. However, the Marriage Bill proposed by the Department of Home Affairs is not an answer. The Bill ignores customary notions of property and creates several conceptual difficulties such as potentially leaving customary law marriages without a matrimonial proprietary regime. The South African Law Reform's Discussion Paper, which reviews aspects of matrimonial property law, holds great promise because it proposes a change in the default matrimonial proprietary system and the exclusion of family property from the marital estate. The proposals must be reconciled and informed by living customary law practices to deliver the much-anticipated law reform.
  • Item
    Open Access
    Seasonal Movement Patterns of Urban Domestic Cats Living on the Edge in an African City
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023-03-10) Simmons, Robert E.; Seymour, Colleen L.; George, Sharon T.; Peters, Koebraa; Morling, Frances; O’Riain, M. Justin
    How domestic cats use open spaces around their homes is unstudied in Africa, and this has conservation implications given their high rate of predation on native prey. We GPStracked a sample of cats in summer and winter to understand habitat and area use and distances travelled. Since Cape Town surrounds the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), we also determined how often cats ventured into protected areas. A far greater proportion of cats (59% of 78) returned prey home in summer than winter (30% of 27), and summer ranges were significantly greater and ca. three-fold larger than those in winter (3.00 ha vs. 0.87 ha). Urban-edge (UE) cats travelled up to 850 m from their homes and both urban (U) and UE cats entered natural habitat. All seven GPS-collared UE cats (and one of seven U) ventured into protected areas in summer and two of four UE (and two of five U) cats did so in winter. Thus, our data suggest that cats may regularly hunt in protected areas, especially in summer. Yet they may also limit the time spent in such habitats due to predation risk from meso-carnivores. The threat to biodiversity in protected areas by owned cats necessitates further layers of protection. Cat-free buffers of ~600 m, based on the average movements reported here, may reduce domestic cat predation in protected areas.
  • Item
    Open Access
    Cervicovaginal Human Papillomavirus Genomes, Microbiota Composition and Cytokine Concentrations in South African Adolescents
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023-03-15) Happel, Anna-Ursula; Balle, Christina; Havyarimana, Enock; Brown, Bryan; Maust, Brandon S.; Feng, Colin; Yi, Byung H.; Gill, Katherine; Bekker, Linda-Gail; Passmore, Jo-Ann S.; Jaspan, Heather B.; Varsani, Arvind
    The interaction between cervicovaginal virome, bacteriome and genital inflammation has not been extensively investigated. We assessed the vaginal DNA virome from 33 South African adolescents (15–19 years old) using shotgun DNA sequencing of purified virions. We present analyses of eukaryote-infecting DNA viruses, with a focus on human papillomavirus (HPV) genomes and relate these to the vaginal bacterial microbiota (assessed by 16S rRNA gene sequencing) and cytokines (assessed by Luminex). The DNA virome included single-stranded (Anelloviridae, Genomoviridae) and double-stranded DNA viruses (Adenoviridae, Alloherpesviridae, Herpesviridae, Marseilleviridae, Mimiviridae, Polyomaviridae, Poxviridae). We identified 110 unique, complete HPV genomes within two genera (Alphapapillomavirus and Gammapapillomavirus) representing 40 HPV types and 12 species. Of the 40 HPV types identified, 35 showed positive co-infection patterns with at least one other type, mainly HPV-16. HPV-35, a high-risk genotype currently not targeted by available vaccines, was the most prevalent HPV type identified in this cohort. Bacterial taxa commonly associated with bacterial vaginosis also correlated with the presence of HPV. Bacterial vaginosis, rather than HPV, was associated with increased genital inflammation. This study lays the foundation for future work characterizing the vaginal virome and its role in women’s health.
  • Item
    Open Access
    Tackling the First COVID-19 Wave at the Cape Town Hospital of Hope: Why Was It Such a Positive Experience for Staff?
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023-03-29) Reid, Steve; Nana, Mitan; Abrahams, Theo; Hussey, Nadia; Okun-Netter, Ronit; Ras, Tasleem; von Pressentin, Klaus
    Background: In contrast to alarming reports of exhaustion and burnout amongst healthcare workers in the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, we noticed surprisingly positive staff experiences of working in a COVID-19 field hospital in South Africa. The 862-bed “Hospital of Hope” was established at the Cape Town International Convention Centre specifically to cope with the effects of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cape Town. Methods: We aimed to systematically describe and assess the effects on staff and the local health system. A cross-sectional descriptive study design was employed using mixed methods including record reviews and interviews with key informants. Results: Quantitative results confirmed high job satisfaction and low staff infection rates. The emerging themes from the qualitative data are grouped around a “bull’s eye” of the common purpose of person-centeredness, from both patient and staff perspectives, and include staff safety and support, rapid communication, continuous learning and adaptability, underpinned by excellent teamwork. The explanations for the positive feedback included good disaster planning, adequate resources, and an extraordinary responsiveness to the need. Conclusions: The “Hospital of Hope” staff experience produced valuable lessons for designing and managing routine health services outside of a disaster. The adaptability and responsiveness of the facility and its staff were largely a product of the unprecedented nature of the pandemic, but such approaches could benefit routine health services enormously, as individual hospitals and health facilities realize their place in a system that is “more than the sum of its parts”.
  • Item
    Open Access
    Sustained Low Incidence of Severe and Fatal COVID-19 Following Widespread Infection Induced Immunity after the Omicron (BA.1) Dominant in Gauteng, South Africa: An Observational Study
    (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute, 2023-02-21) Madhi, Shabir A.; Kwatra, Gaurav; Myers, Jonathan E.; Jassat, Waasila; Dhar, Nisha; Mukendi, Christian K.; Blumberg, Lucille; Welch, Richard; Izu, Alane; Mutevedzi, Portia C.
    We conducted an epidemiologic survey to determine the seroprevalence of SARS-CoV-2 anti-nucleocapsid (anti-N) and anti-spike (anti-S) protein IgG from 1 March to 11 April 2022 after the BA.1-dominant wave had subsided in South Africa and prior to another wave dominated by the BA.4 and BA.5 (BA.4/BA.5) sub-lineages. We also analysed epidemiologic trends in Gauteng Province for cases, hospitalizations, recorded deaths, and excess deaths were evaluated from the inception of the pandemic through 17 November 2022. Despite only 26.7% (1995/7470) of individuals having received a COVID-19 vaccine, the overall seropositivity for SARS-CoV-2 was 90.9% (95% confidence interval (CI), 90.2 to 91.5) at the end of the BA.1 wave, and 64% (95% CI, 61.8 to 65.9) of individuals were infected during the BA.1-dominant wave. The SARS-CoV-2 infection fatality risk was 16.5–22.3 times lower in the BA.1-dominant wave compared with the pre-BA.1 waves for recorded deaths (0.02% vs. 0.33%) and estimated excess mortality (0.03% vs. 0.67%). Although there are ongoing cases of COVID-19 infections, hospitalization and death, there has not been any meaningful resurgence of COVID-19 since the BA.1-dominant wave despite only 37.8% coverage by at least a single dose of COVID-19 vaccine in Gauteng, South Africa.