Local and Regional Socio-Economic Development

UFS strip research

We excel in research related to the mountainous areas of the continent through the Afromontane Research Unit (ARU) on our Qwaqwa Campus. The ARU is crucial in providing a blueprint for community-centred research and development in montane areas across the continent. The focus of the project ranges from conservation and the sustainable use of Afromontane biodiversity, to living and doing business in mountainous environments, investigating aspects such as sustainable tourism, food security, and connectivity.

A very encouraging development was the founding of the Qwaqwa Campus Risk and Vulnerability Science Centre (RVSC) as part of the Department of Science and Innovation’s (DSI) Global Change focus theme. The RVSC is embedded under the ARU as the potential future Sustainability Science Hub, focusing on the sustainable development of Phuthaditjhaba as a sustainable African mountain city.

Focusing on the SADC region – we also pay attention to improving the quality of life and the sustainable utilisation of our natural resources through our research on gender, peacebuilding, human security, and liberation movements in Africa, work on religious and political fundamentalism, as well as a focus on regional and national economic development. We believe that our studies on the local consequences of mining towns will add value to this area.


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