David Fig

David Fig
University of Cape Town | UCT · Chair of Bio-Economy

Doctor of Philosophy

About

31
Publications
5,022
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Introduction
My research mainly covers the Southern African and Latin American regions. I focus on environmental policy very broadly, and within that specialise in matters of energy, corporate accountability, South-South relations, agro-ecology, and the social impacts of resource extraction. I am currently working on the question of corporate capture of agricultural policy in South Africa, Peruvian resource politics, Brazil-Africa relations, and nuclear energy in Africa.

Publications

Publications (31)
Chapter
Full-text available
A remarkable feature of the Cold War is its coincidence with the period of apartheid in South Africa, in which it played an important role. This is evident in school textbooks, where it is a major topic in the final years of history. But while there is a growing body of work on the Cold War in Africa, there is a very small literature on its manifes...
Chapter
Since the Manhattan project, South Africa’s links with the global nuclear industry have been profound, starting out as a provider of uranium. From 1965 it commissioned a research reactor, and since 1984 has been producing nuclear electricity. There was a secretive nuclear weapons programme between 1978 and 1990. Together with considerable waste res...
Article
South Africa suffers from a considerable health burden including communicable disease, violence and injury as well as non-communicable diseases. Its formal health system is significantly challenged. Reducing morbidity and mortality for all South Africans requires an approach that transcends health services, where public policy addresses the broader...
Article
A growing body of evidence indicates that excessive sugar consumption is driving epidemics of obesity and related non-communicable diseases (NCDs) around the world. South Africa (SA), a major consumer of sugar, is also the third most obese country in Africa, and 40% of all deaths in the country result from NCDs. A number of fiscal, regulatory, and...
Article
Renewable energy refers to sources of energy that are not finite, and therefore are theoretically constantly available. The chief sources include wind, sun, waves, geothermal energy (energy available from beneath the earth’s surface), tidal power, as well as energy derived from plant and agricultural sources (biomass, biogas and biofuels). Furtherm...
Conference Paper
A number of transnational oil companies have recently been given the go ahead by the South African government to initiate hydraulic fracturing for the exploration of shale gas in a semi-arid part of the country, the Karoo region, despite a lack of robust regulatory procedures being in place. When she lifted an earlier moratorium in September 2012,...
Conference Paper
South Africa’s government has made clear its plans to order a fleet of six nuclear reactors, providing an additional output of 9 600 megawatts. It also aims to reactivate other elements of the nuclear fuel chain such as the construction of an enrichment plant, a fuel fabrication plant, and a nuclear waste smelter. President Zuma has taken over from...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines the politics of large-scale commercial biofuels production and mega-land–water deals, with special reference to the dynamics of changes in land/water use and property rights and how these impact on the lives and livelihoods of the socio-economically marginalised rural sectors in the countryside. The main argument is that the ass...
Article
The biofuel project is an agro-industrial development and politically contested policy process where governments increasingly become global actors. European Union (EU) biofuels policy rests upon arguments about societal benefits of three main kinds - namely, environmental protection (especially greenhouse gas savings), energy security and rural dev...
Article
The threats to Africa' s protected areas are numerous. Climate change, economic and social dislocation, weak institutions and poverty are amongst the greatest challenges to efforts to protect biodiversity (Tukahirwa 2002: I , Dudley et al. 2005). An increasing factor experienced by African governments is the pressure emanating from the extractive i...
Article
This article is a preliminary attempt to understand the corporate social responsibility claims and impacts of Aracruz Celulose sa, Brazil's largest pulp and paper manufacturer. Aracruz locates its operations in the vulnerable biodiversity hotspot of the Atlantic Forest, having acquired 800 000 hectares of land in five states of Brazil for the plant...
Article
Divisive plans to revive the nuclear programme in South Africa are more than likely to repeat apartheid mistakes: investing huge amounts of public money in high risk infrastructure, enrichment of cronies with political connections, and excluding citizens from any say in their energy future. Twenty years after Chernobyl, Cape Town is facing unpreced...
Article
‘Manufacturing amnesia’ argues that the term ‘Corporate Social Responsibility’ has been abandoned by most South African firms in favour of the term ‘corporate social investment’. This has been done in order to divert attention from calls on business to redress the results of its historical contribution to the apartheid system. The discourse of reco...
Article
"Contractual national parks in South Africa and Australia have been established on land owned either by the state or a group of private individuals. They are managed by the national conservation authority according to the terms of a joint management agreement drawn up by a joint management committee usually consisting of representatives from the na...
Article
In this article the authors hope to re-animate Environmental Sociology, a crucial and neglected area within our discipline. It examines the transformation of the South African National Parks from an institution of colonial conservation which served white minority interests to a community based model of conservation which attempts to link the protec...
Chapter
When South African president F. W. de Klerk announced to a joint session of parliament on 24 March 1993 that the country had developed “nuclear devices,” he confirmed what many suspected. From 1974, South Africa had secretly become a nuclear weapons power, devoting immense resources — between R700 million (the officially confessed figure) and ten t...
Article
Given the historical record of the nuclear industry, its massive subsidisation, the secrecy within which it has operated, and the commitment it made to the apartheid regime’s weapons programme, does it deserve to survive into a post-apartheid era? The paper outlines various options and argues for drastic reform of the Atomic Energy Corporation (AEC...
Thesis
Many factors have inhibited the consolidation of relations between countries of the post-colonial world, the "South". This dissertation aims to explore some of these factors through focusing on a case study of the relations between South Africa and its neighbours across the South Atlantic. Despite naval and commercial hegemony of the British Empire...
Article
Patagonia in the late nineteenth century was a frontier region of Argentina, contested both by the indigenous people and by the neighbouring Chilean republic. After brutal repression of the Patagonians by the Argentine military forces, the area was opened up for colonial settlement. The Argentine authorities recognised Afrikaners as suitable recrui...
Article
Anglo American Corporation of South Africa is one of the most powerful mining TNCs in the world.
Article
Abstract The growing,famine,in the interior of Southern Africa during the year 2002/3 has raised important,dilemmas,for regional governments,with respect to food aid. Should governments import genetically modified (GM) maize, the staple foodstuff

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