Communication Science

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    Managing work-integrated learning (WIL) at a comprehensive university: a Communication Science perspective
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Dlamini, Judith Buhle
    Work-Integrated Learning (WIL) is not new to non-traditional universities like the University of Technology or colleges as they already have the training and professional vocational education in their programmes. However, traditional universities have been lagging in providing vocational education in their programmes. Whereas the labour market is calling for graduates with practical and soft skills. One of the ways students can obtain these skills is through the WIL component offered within their program. Lately, traditional universities are reforming and gradually adding WIL to their programmes to produce graduates with practical skills who can compete in a global market. This research sought to examine, from a communication science perspective, how a comprehensive university effectively manages WIL. Moreover, this research sought to determine the purpose of a work-integrated learning policy at a comprehensive university; explore the advantages and disadvantages of undertaking WIL; to establish the employers’ perception of WIL. This study was conducted using a qualitative and quantitative approach, interviews were conducted, and a questionnaire was distributed to WIL internal and external stakeholders of the Department of Communication Science. In this study, the term “WIL stakeholders” is used to identify the university community (students and academics) and the employer training the student. The results show that the University of Zululand WIL’s purpose is largely focused on producing graduates who have been exposed to diverse quality practices and procedures for WIL to enable a smooth transition to the workplace. There is also a strong collaboration between UNIZULU and the industry that needs to be documented and reviewed to accommodate unforeseen aspects such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The experienced challenges also need to be reviewed and addressed. The study recommends that UNIZULU needs to have a centre for Work Integrated Learning that oversees WIL across faculties for the effective management of WIL.
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    The role of effective communication in reducing overspending among rural people in Kwadlangezwa, South Africa
    (2024) Adetiba, Esther Adewunmi
    Spending beyond one’s income and budget is a complex and global issue. Consumers obtain information about goods or services from various media to show the importance of communication in every sphere of life. This work examined the role of effective communication in reducing overspending among rural people in KwaDlangezwa, South Africa. The purpose of this study is to examine whether effective communication can positively affect overspending by reducing it through financial literacy. The following issues were examined: factors that cause overspending, who is most likely to succumb to overspending, the consequences of overspending, and reducing overspending through financial literacy. The literature reviews, being the secondary information, described three spender types and implied that no one or nation is immune to overspending. The views of two theories were adopted: Hawkin’s Stern impulse buying theory (consumer behaviour theory) and Uses and gratification theory (UGT). This study employed both qualitative and quantitative research methods, based on the interpretivism philosophy, by gathering the views of willing participants in KwaDlangezwa – a rural area in KwaZulu-Natal province. 384 participants participated in the study altogether, but 365 were returned. 38 participants, which is 10% of the sample size, were interviewed using a semi-structured approach. The outcome of the information received from participants was coded and analysed for presentation using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) in a readable manner. Lastly, and based on the research findings, the study suggested guidelines for future research.
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    Small and medium-sized enterprise communication strategy adopted for customer relations: case of 4IR companies in the Richards Bay CBD area
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Lusweti, Selinah Namachi
    The Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) altered the world as we knew it. It devasted the health care system, education, businesses, and the economy worldwide. During this pandemic, some SMEs shut down while others turned to a digital way of working. Numerous digital tools within the 4IR are being developed continually to create effective interaction between businesses and their clients. However, the rate at which enterprises adopt these modern digital instruments is yet unknown. This study assessed if SMEs were aware of the digital tools available in the 4IR that could improve communication experiences with customers; it also ascertained the barriers that SMEs face in digitising communication functions for customer relations, and it evaluated how digital communication tools are used for customer relations among SMEs. With the current era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR), businesses have been compelled to review how they operate as well as welcome endless benefits common in the 4IR. The study examined ways that the 4IR affected businesses in various sectors of industry. As more businesses embrace digital transformation, enterprises face fierce competition as customers’ expectations increase for the digital experience. The relevant literature reviewed includes SME awareness of digital tools found within the 4IR that can improve communication strategies, barriers to the digitisation of advertising functions of SMEs, and the level of adoption of digital communication tools among SMEs. The methodology used in this research study was qualitative and looked at the digital communication experience of SMEs within the business and customer relations. The philosophy of the study was pragmatism. The approach of the study was qualitative. The sample of the study included non-probability sampling. The sampling method of the study was convenient sampling. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with SMEs in the finance sector. The data collected from the interviews was presented in themes and backed with recent relevant literature. The findings of the research showed that SMEs in the finance sector have embraced digital transformation however, since they not only cater to customers in urban areas but also have customers in rural areas, digital transformation is not yet fully achievable. Lack of infrastructure and digital literacy are some factors that contribute to digital barriers. To enhance the performance of SMEs, governments need to embark on policies that support the SMEs financially and entrepreneurial orientation development to drive business performance. Also, efforts made by governments to support SMEs financially can enable these enterprises to adopt digital transformation. It is also imperative that SMEs try and bridge the digital divide among employees by offering training for their staff that will provide them with skills that can benefit the enterprise as well as the employee.
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    SEDA adoption of new media technology for entrepreneurship development in Nkomazi Local Municipality
    (University of Zululand, 2023) Madisha, Tabudi Lucas
    This study investigated the use of New Media Technology (NMT) to support entrepreneurship development (ED) and its possible contribution to helping small businesses to be sustainable and to grow, and further create employment, especially among youth and unemployed graduates within the Nkomazi Local Municipality. For this purpose, the study used one of the government agencies mandated to support and promote SMMEs in Nkomazi to assess how the Small Enterprise Development Agency (SEDA) would use NMT for entrepreneurship development programmes for its existing clients and aspiring young entrepreneurs. The study set three objectives: to assess the relevancy of the current new media platform used by SEDA for entrepreneurship development among its employees, existing clients, and aspiring young entrepreneurs, to determine the challenges SEDA employees, existing clients, and aspiring young entrepreneurs face when using NMT for entrepreneurship development; and to ascertain the possibilities of SEDA fully utilising NMT for promoting entrepreneurship development programmes among its existing clients and aspiring young entrepreneurs. The two conceptual frameworks were used, namely the AIDA Model and the Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), to assess how NMT would be accepted by rural communities in Nkomazi Local Municipality and determine whether SEDA stakeholders perceive NMT usefulness and ease of use. The study adopted mixed-method research, which allowed the use of both qualitative and quantitative data collection techniques. The design of the study was convergent mixed method design. The sample of the study included convenience sampling for quantitative data and purposive (judgmental) sampling for qualitative data. The sampling method of the study was non-probability sampling. As such, the results were obtained using both online closed and open-ended questionnaires to collect data from SEDA Nkomazi branch practitioners, existing clients, and aspiring young entrepreneurs. The results were administered through MoonStats and thematic data analysis. The results revealed that the majority of both SEDA Nkomazi practitioners and clients found the current NMT for SEDA to be relevant; however, the study revealed that poor internet connection and data cost are two of the challenges faced by SEDA Nkomazi clients. The study further established that SEDA Nkomazi's clients believed SEDA should share their entrepreneurship development programmes using images, videos, and graphic content, easy language to understand, simplify online application processes and procedures and allow online consultation options daily or at least 2-3 times a week. The study concluded that the challenges of poor internet connection and data cost can be attributed to poor ICT infrastructure and the cost of data in South Africa. Therefore, the study recommended the implementation of zero-rated access to the Internet for SEDA clients to access their services online, to reduce or remove the high data burden faced by many clients, and lastly, to use images, videos, and graphic content in easy language to understand, simplify online application processes and procedures, and allow online consultation options daily or at least 2-3 times a week.
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    The role of SABC Television Locally Produced Programmes in transforming society through edutainment: A case study of Ulundi
    (University of Zululand, 2021) Mlaba, Mbuyiselo Bonani
    The study examined the role of SABC television’s locally produced programmes in transforming society through edutainment. The focus was on the possible influence of the role of SABC in converting societal behaviour through entertainment-education (edutainment) in locally produced TV programmes. The following theories were used to conceptualise this research: agenda-setting theory (AST) and technology acceptance model (TAM). The study explored the possible modification brought by watching television programmes aired by the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television. A mixed method research approach was employed to compare the attitude and social behaviour of TV viewers after watching the locally produced TV programmes on SABC 1, SABC 2 and SABC 3. It investigated the role of SABC locally produced programmes in changing society. A sample of 384 respondents and interviewees participated in the research. A self-administered questionnaire with open and close-ended questions was employed to extrapolate information from participants of this study. The study focused more on respondents that were located in the city of Heritage (Ulundi), KwaZulu-Natal, in South Africa. Simple random sampling was applied to select 384 viewers, and 20 interviews were conducted. The analysis and interpretation of the data embraced an exploration of evolving themes which formed the fundamental of the research findings. The findings suggest that moderated TV programmes are more educative, informative, and inspiring; they may be more effective than books or audiotapes when it comes to general teaching viewers about life. The study also reveals that most participants indicated that SABC television programmes lessons are positive though there are also negative lessons derived from them. The study further exposes that most of the characters become relevant to the audiences’ lifestyles. The findings show that most of the potential audiences of SABC television edutainment programmes from deep rural areas are media illiteracy. The recommendations were iv made to assist the elevation of the individuals and whole society as follows: minimising the broadcasting of criminal and sexual content on these locally produced programmes, as they promote crime and teenage pregnancy in the society; and give motivation to the production teams of the SABC TV programme-makers who are using local content. The redirection of foreign heritages that are dominating and eroding the local content, native heritages such as native languages, clothing and lifestyle of local societies.
University of Zululand