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, to Professor Chuma Himonga. It started its operation in January 2011 and was tenable for five years and renewable once for another five-year period.
SARChI is ‘a strategically focused knowledge and human resource intervention’ initiative", and the objectives and purposes for which a SARChI Chair is established are related to national development initiatives.
Among the objectives of the overall SARChI 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.
Professor Himonga has since retired from UCT, while maintaining a close working relationship with the Faculty of Law as an Emeritus Professor.