Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Honours student projects for 2016

The honours students on the project have finalised their research proposals for 2016. Here they each describe their research...

Isa Osmany
Big Data Applications in Smart Cities: A Delphi Study of Components and Challenges to Implementation
This research intends to carry out an exploratory study aimed at identifying the main challenges and key components required to design, develop, and implement smart city applications which utilize big data. A Delphi study consisting of two rounds will take place. In the first round, experts in big data and smart cities will be used to identify the key required components and main challenges. In the second round, these components and challenges will then be rated, according to their importance, and ranked in descending order.

Bonolo Motsepe
South African municipal websites: examining website maturity and the relationship with human development indicators
A smart city is a city which encompasses many different aspects. It makes use of ICT tools and applications to provide better access to and delivery of government services. These services extend across the domains of natural resources and energy, transport and mobility, buildings, living, government, as well as the economy. E-Government initiatives, which form a part of smart city projects, use ICT tools and applications to improve service delivery to society. Local governments in South Africa are implementing smart city initiatives, e-government initiatives as well as poverty alleviation programmes to improve living conditions. The maturity of e-government is dependent on the presence of certain of website features. Website maturity is accelerating in the public sector, with a special focus on functionality and performance, and municipalities have moved away from static dissemination of information.
My study aims to investigate the current state of e-government maturity in South Africa, and examine the relationship maturity has with human development indicators. To achieve this, I employ a purposive sampling of 26 municipal websites. The research is quantitative and descriptive in nature and follows a positivist paradigm. The outcome of this paper will be the current state of e-government in South Africa, and the relationship of e-government maturity with human development indicators. Recommendations will be made on the improvements required for progressive e-government.

Letlotlo Khoathane
Ecosystem factors that impact the implementation of smart city services
Smart cities are a relatively new phenomenon in Africa and little research has been carried out in this context. Therefore identifying factors that contribute towards a smart city ecosystem is significant to understand how smart city services can be implemented within South Africa. The identification of ecosystem factors that have an impact on smart city service implementation can substantially contribute towards understanding which factors to focus on to ensure a greater chance of successful smart city services implementation within the City of Johannesburg. With this understanding, organisations that have a vested interest in smart services can be prepared in dealing with the complexities of implementing smart services and further know how to go about fostering innovation within the city. This research therefore proposes a framework that explores 6 dimensions which are suggested to encompass smart city ecosystem factors. The model is tested using a quantitative approach and makes use of a close-ended field survey. An electronic survey will be distributed to 400 potential respondents in order to gain at least 80 useful responses. The research makes use of regression analysis to establish the extent to which the proposed factors impact the successful implementation of smart city services in the City of Johannesburg.

Lizalise Myataza
A study of data science use for informated transport services within Southern African Development Community countries
In order to achieve a successful transportation sector, it is imperative for a country to have decent transport infrastructure and services. However, this is not the case as many African countries are still grossly underdeveloped with regards to transportation. The idea of smart cities is a much debated topic in terms of what qualifies as smartness for smart cities, and how this can be achieved. The general consensus by authors is that smart cities can enhance the quality of life and transform the transportation industry by providing informated transport services to create an informated living experience. In addition, the emergence of data science brings high hopes for enhancing smart cities due to its capability to transform city life by utilizing big data to provide increased sophistication, in-depth and real time knowledge and management of a city on a larger scale. The research studies the concept of creating smart cities through the provision of informated transport services using data science technologies, specifically in SADC countries.
This research is an exploratory study underpinned by a qualitative methodology. A study is conducted across informated service providers in African cities and the findings are reflected in the research report. The purpose of the study is to determine what informated transport services are offered in SADC countries, identify the providers of such services and establish to what extent informated transport services are supported by data science. The research explores the initial steps for futures studies that may assess the impact of data science use in smart informated services.

Kundai Mutseyekwa
Influential factors for corporations to invest in smart city initiatives as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes in South Africa
The study examines the factors that influence public limited companies and multinational companies to invest in smart city initiatives in South Africa as part of their corporate social responsibility programmes. The study is conducted in South Africa and focuses on corporate social responsibility and smart cities. It aims to fill a gap in our understanding of corporate social responsibility and smart cities: Why do corporations invest in smart city initiatives? The study will provide guidance to stakeholders who are seeking funding from corporations for smart city initiatives. Stakeholders will understand the factors that influence corporations to fund smart city initiatives as part of their social responsibility programmes. This study will be a contribution to academia and to practice.

Brian Pheelwane
Factors influencing the adoption of smartphone applications in the context of a smart city’s e-services
This research focuses on the adoption of smartphone applications (smart city apps), which will assist citizens to access and utilise the services provided by the City of Johannesburg. The factors that influence the adoption of smart city e-services are investigated for further knowledge on how these services can enhance quality of life and to explore challenges in the implementation and adoption of smartphone applications to deliver services efficiently to the city’s residents. This research is underpinned by Rogers 1995 Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT). The theory will be explored for knowledge that can assist the City in enhancing its smart city status, through the use of e-services.

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