The ‘Chair in Customary Law’ was awarded in August 2010 under the National Research Foundation (NRF) South African Research Chairs Initiative (SARChI) as a tier two research chair. It started its operation in January 2011. The Chair is tenable for five years and renewable once for another five-year period.
The objectives and purposes for which a SARChI Chair is established are related national development initiatives. SARChI is ‘a strategically focused knowledge and human resource intervention’ initiative.
Among the objectives of this initiative are:
to increase the number of researchers in the country;
to promote the retention of qualified researchers in tertiary institutions;
to stimulate applied or basic research of national and international importance that is directed by broad national or economic objectives; and
to increase research careers for highly qualified young and mid-career scholars who effectively address historical, racial, gender and age imbalances.
Against these objectives, the purposes of a SARChI chair are:
to advance the frontiers of knowledge through focused research in identified fields or problem areas;
to stimulate and coordinate the work of other researchers active in identified fields or problem areas;
to teach and supervise postgraduate level students and postdoctoral researchers whose learning should be embedded in the field of the research focus;
to provide a critical locus for the development of excellence in ideas and capacity; and
to promote gender and racial equity in the scientific community.