Post graduate initiatives and research

Between 1989 and 1997 approximately 14 students in History honours did their mini research project on the histories of regions under my guidance at the nowadays North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus.  All successfully passed. One candidate has been awarded the D.W. Krüger Book Prize and scroll for the best honours paper on both campuses (Vaal Triangle and PU for CHE).

Recent post graduate research studies in regional history research, and related to economic issues, are:
“Service Delivery Protests in Emfuleni: A historical analysis with emphasis on Sebokeng and Boiketlong since 1994 to 2015” – Mr Pule Pitso (BA Hons-History)

Since the 1950s, the erstwhile so-called Vaal Triangle area (currently part of the Sedibeng District Municipality) in the Gauteng Province has become widely known for its civil services protests. This has been a time when commuters boycotted the bus service for its poor services, fare increases and unfair labour and employment practices by transport operators.  Municipal services protests in South Africa appear to have become increasingly frequent in underdeveloped and poor urban areas.  This study explored the economic-related wellbeing issues impacting on community responses.

Mr P Pitso successfully finished his study in November 2015.

“From Poland to Vanderbijlpark, South Africa: Cause and effect during Communism (1970) to 1990 in the Polish Diaspora” – Ms Kinga Siejek (BA Hons-History)

Polish diaspora refers to people from Polish origin and descent that have immigrated and now live outside Poland. The history of migration in Poland is often characterised by emigration; and until the end of the 20th century, migration took place both in large waves and in continual yearly movements. In the United States of America, there were three major waves of Polish immigration, with the first wave arriving from the late 1800s up to the First World War. These Polish people were considered to be “za chlebem” (for bread) immigrants, as they came for economic, political and religious reasons. They were mainly from the poor areas from South and South-eastern Poland (Carpathian and Tatra Mountains, Krakow and Rzeszow area) and were illiterate and unskilled labourers. The second wave took place after the Second World War. The country went from being devastated by the war, to being turned into a communist country that posed a danger for Poles (Polish people) who were still abroad or fighting along the Western allies; with the immigrants being a wave of political prisoners, dissidents and intellectuals from refugee camps from across Europe . The third wave of immigrants arrived in 1980, after the martial law in December 1981. Polish citizens were allowed to travel relatively freely until the late 1970s, until most western countries imposed visa restrictions in 1981. These immigrants were skilled professionals, but there was also an influx of illegal immigrants arriving in the United States as well. This is but an example of the Polish diaspora in the world.

Ms K Siejek finished her study in Dec 2016 with a distinction

“Flooding of the Vaal River from 1900 to 2011, with a focus on the floods of 1974/1975” – Mrs Bonnie Pretorius (BA Hons-History)

The general topic of the research project is on the flooding of the Vaal River in the Peacehaven area of Vereeniging, with a specific focus on Golf Road, Connought Avenue and Waterkant Street and the former residents of this area and their experiences (economical and environmental) over the period from late 1974 to early 1976. A specific focus will be on the experiences of families. Oral accounts from former residents will add value to experiences during and after the floods in 1975.

Ms B Pretorius successfully finished her study in December 2016