THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN THE SPREAD OF HIV

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CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

INTRODUCTION

As discussed in the previous chapter, other studies have shown that there is a need for continued studies in the area of HIV and AIDS, this is moreso that after three decades HIV and AIDS spread has not been adequately prevented or even eradicated. The previous chapter also showed that culture and gender roles are very much intertwined and difficult to separate. The purpose of this study was to investigate the role of culture and gender in the spread of HIV and AIDS among farm workers in South Africa; with the view of developing culture and gender sensitive HIV and AIDS prevention strategies.
This chapter presents detailed account of the approach taken in the present study, its background and theoretical position in relation to the qualitative approach used to elucidate the role of culture and gender in the spread of HIV and AIDS.
This chapter outlines the research method that was used in the study. The first section provides a brief contextual background to the study site. The second section discusses the research design. The study population and sampling techniques are discussed in section three. Section four discusses data gathering techniques used. Section five discusses the ethical considerations that were adhered to in the study. A summary is provided in section seven.

THE CONTEXT OF THE STUDY

The Limpopo province is 123 600 km2 in extent, and is bordered by Zimbabwe to the north, Mozambique to the east, Botswana to the west and the South African provinces of Gauteng, Mpumalanga and the North West in the south. It is the fifth largest of the nine South African provinces in area and the fourth largest in population, with approximately 5.8 million people at the time of the 2016 census. Limpopo is experiencing a gradual out-migration of people especially from rural areas. Almost 34% of its population were children aged 0-14 years, 60% were people aged 15-64 years, and about 6% of the population were elderly people. Sepedi is the language spoken by most persons in Limpopo, followed by Xitsonga and Tshivenda. However, in the Vhembe district where this study was conducted, Tshivenda was the dominant language followed by Xitsonga. The majority of the people reported that they were born in the province (91%). Only 3% were born outside South Africa (Statistic South Africa 2016; Census 2011:19).
According to Statistics South, 57% of the provincial population was living in poverty. Limpopo Province is one of the poorest, rural provinces of the nine provinces in South Africa (Mavhandu-Mudzusi, Netshandama & Davhana-Maselesele 2007:255; Statistics South Africa 2014).
The province is divided into five district municipalities, namely Capricorn, Mopani, Greater Sekhukhune, Vhembe and Waterberg. Among the five district municipalities, Vhembe had the highest population, followed by Capricorn. Vhembe District Municipality (VDM) is located in the North of Limpopo Province. The District has four local municipalities namely; Makhado, Thulamela, Musina and Mutale.
Vhembe District Municipality, where the study was conducted, has a population of approximately 1.2 million according to South Africa Local Government (2009‐2011). The District Municipality is plagued by high rate of unemployment and poverty.

The economic situation of Limpopo

According to VDM (2011:7), Limpopo’s economy remains in a fragile state with an unsustainably high external debt and massive deindustrialisation and in formalisation. The district settlement pattern is largely rural, with women in the majority as well as people under 20 years of age. The low population density makes it extremely difficult and costly to improve levels of service delivery. There is an economic slowdown which is a result of challenges like an influx of foreign nationals and undocumented immigrants since the Province is next to the Botswana and Zimbabwe border, HIV and AIDS, land claims.

Agriculture

Agriculture has been identified as one of the pillars of economic development in Limpopo Province. This makes sense as agriculture is an important sector of the South African economy, especially for its impact on job creation, rural development, food security and foreign exchange. Limpopo province is predominantly rural. This present unique challenges to service delivery, together with the fact that Limpopo is a water scarce province which is not spared the effects of climate change (Limpopo Department of Agriculture Annual Report 2014:10).
With a total area of 125 754 square kilometers and population density of 43 persons/square kilometre, the Limpopo Province is the fifth largest of the country’s nine provinces, taking up to 10% of the South African land area. Agriculture in the Province is dominated by citrus and tropical fruit, such as bananas, litchis, pine apples, mangoes and paw paws, as well as a variety of nuts grown in Tzaneen and Makhado areas (Limpopo Department of Agriculture Annual Report 2014:29).
The Province is the leading producer of tomatoes through ZZ2 farm in Polokwane, with an estimated annual production of 160 000 tons, oranges (1 256 664 tons), avocado (49845.64 tons) and mangoes (32055.24 tons) and the second biggest producer of banana, macadamia and litchis after Mpumalanga with a production figure of 20% countrywide (10759.77 and 1379, 52 tons respectively). It should be noted that more than 45% of more than R2- billion annual turnover of the Johannesburg Fresh Produce Market comes from Limpopo (Limpopo Department of Agriculture Annual Report 2014:29).
It is well known, that Limpopo Province is a rural province and subsistence farming is common practice. A remarkable growth in subsistence farming was realised whilst households producing household consumption have remained constant. It means more and more households are producing for the market to supplement the income. It is an indication that introducing more communities to farming would improve the communities’ livelihoods and employment would be created at the same time which would yield a positive contribution to GDP. The implementation of the rural supporting programme together with the provision of education and training would alleviate poverty and help households to be less dependent on social grants (Limpopo Department of Agriculture Annual Report 2014:30).

Land reforms

It is well known that the political history of South Africa has given rise to inequalities in the ownership of land. South Africa was a site of prolonged struggle between native peoples, and European colonists throughout the eighteen and ninetieth centuries, which saw the defeat of the African chieftaincies and the loss of the majority of the territory to white settlers in the twentieth century, under the policies of segregation and apartheid. The separation of people along racial lines was accompanied by massive forced removal of African, Indian and Coloured people resulting in widespread dispossession of land and other properties and the severe restriction of social, economic and political rights (Matukane 2011:10).
This resulted one of the most unequal societies in the world with a relatively small white minority enjoying high standards of living while the great majority of the black population was consigned to a life of extreme exploitation and poverty (Matukane 2011:10).
With regard to the land market, government policy from the late 19th century onwards restricted black people from accessing land and the main aim of this strategy was to provide a supply of cheap labour especially for the expanding mining sector as well as the much despised and poorly remunerated white commercial farming sector. Rural black South Africans were prevented from making farming the main component of their livelihoods for over 100 years. This is supported by Vermeulen (2009) who states that black farm workers were exploited by minimal wages and some had to make a living in over populated and poverty stricken areas without the state subsidies and protectionist policies that the white farmers enjoyed (Matukane 2011:10).
The primary purpose of land reform in South Africa was to redistribute agricultural and other land in order to address the racially skewed pattern of land holding and promote development. Land restitution, land redistribution and tenure reform are still seen as tools to alleviate poverty (Matukane 2011:10-12).
Land reform in Limpopo has faced challenges similar to those experienced in the rest of the country. The programme was slow to get started in the years after 1994.The claim for Levubu Restitution project was lodged during the 1990s like many other claims. A report released by the Commission on Restitution of Land Right (2006:5) states that between the period of 2005 and 2008 seven communities under the jurisdiction of Makhado Municipality (Vhembe District) received back their land constituting about 7,314 hectares with 1,121 households. According to Regional Land Claim Commission (RLCC) report (2008:40), Levubu Restitution Project remains one of the complex claims they had to process and facilitate due to the magnitude and number of communities involved in this claim from different tribes contributed to the challenges that resulted in the slow pace of settlement. The communities involved are: Ravele, Tshakhuma, Tshivhazwaulu, Masakona, Tshitwani, Ratombo, and Shigalo.
The total amount approved for the claim was totalling to R73 230 million and the main products produced include subtropical fruits (banana, macadamia, avocado, citrus, litchi and mango (Sekgobela 2016:71-73).

Mining and tourism

The mining and manufacturing industries play a major role in the economy. According to VDM (2011:4), there is also potential for development in mining and tourism, especially eco-tourism. Mapungubwe, an important archaeological and international heritage site, is located in the Vhembe-Dongola National Park. Both Mapungubwe and Thulamela are traditional heritage sites and examples of early settlement and culture in South Africa. Tourism opportunities in the district also lie in reserves such as Madimbo-Mashakatini, which can attract a large number of tourists.
It is of paramount importance that the government and private sector co-operate in developing these sites. The Mining Sector contributed 61% of Mutale’s GDP, In Musina local municipality Mining contributed the most by 38%. The mining sector is regarded as one of the three pillars of the Limpopo Province, hence its strategic importance to the development of the economy of the district. The mineral occurrences and zones within the district include:
Copper, tshipise, coal fields and minerals like iron, diamonds, graphite, marble, talc deposits, gemstone deposits and clay dominant minerals used in brick making.
The products in the mining sector (besides the many mineral deposits) range from projects in quarries, stone crushers, brick making, salt production and sand deposits. The mining sector has been reported as one of the main contributors to the district’s GDP over the years, ranking no.3 to Community services and Finance in 2004. Also it has been regarded as one of those sectors contributing a sizeable portion to employment levels in some municipalities, especially Musina and Mutale. However, it would be economically fair to suppose the majority of the job opportunities obtained in this sector is for those regarded as unskilled labour, resulting in low income earned by the communities themselves from this sector.
Though opportunities exist the mining sector is faced with some obstacles hindering its full development. The challenges that affect mining development in the district are lack of capital to maximise production potential, use of unstandardised extraction techniques resulting in depletion of resources, lack of skilled workforce, high transport costs and lack of access to market (VDM 2011:31-33).

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Health facilities

There are insufficient health facilities within the district, as well as a shortage of medical practitioners; and rural people usually travel long distances to access health services. Furthermore, the services at hospitals, clinics and health centres are deteriorating, and there is a need to balance free health service and available resources. There are six District/ Community hospitals: Donald Fraser, Elim, Malamulele, Siloam, LTT and Hayani. Tshilidzini is the only referral (regional) hospital in the district. There are 112 permanent clinics including 04 Gateways clinics. There is total of 115 permanent clinics and 41 mobile clinics in the district. The Lack of basic amenities like shade and water at clinics visiting points, lack of roads and communication in some of the clinics are the major challenges in the district in the provision of health and social development services (Vhembe District IDP Review 2011:22).
Taking into consideration challenges posed by HIV and AIDS, cholera, malaria and other prevalent diseases, it is necessary to intensify health and hygiene programmes and services. HIV Prevalence in the district is at 14,7%. Prevention of Mother to child transmission (PMTCT) and voluntary counselling and testing (VCT) are available at all health facilities. There are 73 accredited ARV sites and 51 were on pipe line for accreditation and 02 are private (VDM 2011:48).
Research indicates that Limpopo’s HIV prevalence rate increased in 2008 (UNDP 2010:7), and according to the 2011 sentinel HIV and Syphilis survey, HIV prevalence had again increased compared with the 2010 survey results. These statistics point to the necessity of increasing HIV preventative measures in Limpopo where this study took place.
Emergency facilities such as ambulances should be more accessible. In most instances even public transport to and from health facilities is a serious problem (Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs 2011:5).

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This is the exposition of the research methodology as a science. It incorporates the method the researcher has identified as a vehicle to do the research. In this exposition, the methodology and the rationale for choosing the methodology will be discussed.
Research methodology implies the complete plan for the study starting from conceptualising the research problem to the final strategies for data collection (Burns & Grove 2011:320). In addition, research methodology includes the research design and method; where the research design describes the overall research approach that is to be used, and the research method spells out the means by which the approach is to be realised.
The study was conducted in two phases, namely:
Phase 1: Exploring and describing the role of culture and gender in the spread of HIV and AIDS among farm workers.
Phase 2: Developing and validating guidelines on culture and gender in the spread of HIV and AIDS among farm workers.

Research design

A research design is a blueprint for conducting a study, including methods for maximising control over factors that might interfere with the trustworthiness, validity and reliability of the study, and the end result of a series of decisions made by the researcher on how to implement the study (Burns & Grove 2011:319). In addition, Polit and Beck (2012:49) point out that an appropriate research design should provide trustworthy, valid and reliable answers to the research questions while at the same time avoiding or minimising bias.
Qualitative, exploratory and descriptive approaches were used in order to explore and describe the role of culture and gender in the spread of HIV and AIDS among farm workers in Tshitwani and Barota farms in Vhembe District, Limpopo Province, South Africa.
Qualitative research is described as naturalistic, holistic and inductive rather than being deductive. It studies real world situations as they unfold naturally. It is non-manipulative, unobtrusive and non-controlling. It is open to whatever emerges during the study and avoids predetermined constraints on outcomes. Qualitative research may be necessary in situations where it is unclear what exactly is being looked for in a study, hence the researcher needs to determine what data is important and what is not. While a quantitative researcher generally knows exactly what s/he is looking for before the research begins; in qualitative research the focus of the study may become more apparent as time progresses (Burns & Grove 2011:319).
Employing a qualitative method allowed the researcher to obtain a more realistic and hands-on feel of the world that cannot be experienced in the numerical data and statistical analysis used in quantitative research. The richness of the data was preserved by using quotations.
The main disadvantage of qualitative approaches is that their findings cannot be extended to wider populations with the same degree of certainty that quantitative analyses can. This is because the findings of the research are not tested to discover whether they are statistically significant or due to chance (Burns & Grove 2011:319). In this study the researcher used both explorative and descriptive designs.

Descriptive

In research, a description is the precise measurement and reporting of the characteristics of some population or phenomenon under study. And the major purpose of many social scientific studies is to describe situations and events. This means that the researcher observes and then describes what was observed (Babbie 2007:89, 115).

Explorative

Exploration is the attempt to develop an initial, rough understanding of some phenomenon. Much of the social research is conducted to explore a problem, that is, to start to familiarise a researcher with that topic. This approach typically occurs when a researcher examines a new interest or when the subject of study itself is relatively new. Exploratory studies are most typically done for three purposes (Babbie 2007:88, 115), namely to:
Satisfy the researcher’ curiosity and desire for better understanding.
Test the feasibility of undertaking a more extensive study.
Develop the methods to be employed in any subsequent study.
In undertaking this study, the researcher’ s intention was to try satisfy his own curiosity for better understanding the topic under study, to test his ability to undertake a more extensive study at a higher level (a doctoral level) and contribute to the body of knowledge as well as to open doors for subsequent studies in this very same field. But more specifically to explore and describe the role played by culture and gender in the spread of HIV and AIDS.

Research method

According to Burns and Grove (2011:321), a research method refers to the techniques used to structure a study and to gather and analyse information in a systematic fashion. Research methods also refers to the practices and techniques used to collect, process and analyse the data, the sample size and methods of sampling and, and the choice of measurement instrument (Bowling 2009:143). These are also the various procedures, schemes and algorithms used in research. All the methods used by a researcher during a research study are termed as research methods (Rajasekar, Philominathan & Chimathambi 2013:5).
This section describes the methods that were used to conduct the study. These included the study setting and period, the population of the study, the sampling and sampling techniques, inclusion and exclusion criteria, data collection process and analysis, ethical considerations pertaining to the study and rigour and trustworthiness of the study.
In this section, the research methods that were used to conduct the study were described. These included the study setting and period, population, sample size and sampling method, data collection and analysis and ethical consideration of the study.

Research setting

The setting is the location in which the study is conducted (Polit & Beck 2012:40). The study was conducted in Limpopo Province in Makhado municipality, Vhembe district. The Tshitwani and Barota farms in Vhembe District in Limpopo Province were studied. Levubu is a rural area situated in the north eastern part of the Limpopo Province. It is about 365 km north east of Pretoria. Its sub-tropical conditions are conducive for the sub-tropical crops such as bananas, avocados, mangoes, macadamia nuts, guavas and litchis. The climatic conditions and soils leave many commercial farmers to regard Levubu as the “finest farmland in the world”, with one claiming that” if you fail to farm successfully in Levubu, you will not succeed anywhere in the world” (Manenzhe 2007:6).
The Levubu farms comprises of the Tshivhazwaulu, Ravele, Masakona, Tshakhuma and Hamutsha communities. These scattered communities’ health care needs are serviced by the Tshakhuma and Levubu clinics based at Tshakhuma village as well as Hamutsha clinic based at Tshitwani farming community (Netangaheni 2008:60). The distance between these health care centres ranges between 5 and 40 km between these communities. The local hospitals are Tshilidzini, Donald Fraser and Elim hospital. The farming community has limited access to health care services which is why their health care needs are serviced by the mobile clinic.
The choice of this research location was informed primarily by high levels of HIV prevalence and poverty in this area. The HIV prevalence in Vhembe farms is twice the UNAIDS national prevalence percentage of 18,1% in South Africa. The situation described above made this site of research well suited to investigate.
The intention of this study is to better the lives of the farm workers by providing farm owners and policy makers with guidelines which will curb the spread of HIV among farm workers. Figure 3.1 below shows the map of where the study was conducted.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
CHAPTER 1 OVERVIEW OF THE STUDY
1.1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PROBLEM
1.4 PURPOSE OF THE STUDY
1.5 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
1.6 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1.7 DEFINITION OF KEY CONCEPTS
1.8 THEORETICAL FOUNDATION OF THE STUDY
1.9 THEORETICAL FOUNDATION OF THE RESEARCH STUDY
1.10 OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
1.11 ORGANISATION AND STRUCTURE OF THE STUDY
1.12 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 2 LITERATURE REVIEW
2.1 INTRODUCTION
2.2 THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT OF HIV AND AIDS IN SOUTH AFRICA
2.3 THE ROLE OF CULTURE IN THE SPREAD OF HIV
2.4 THE ROLE OF GENDER IN THE SPREAD OF HIV
2.5 CHALLENGES FACED BY SOUTH AFRICAN FARM WORKERS
2.6 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.1 INTRODUCTION
3.2 THE CONTEXT OF THE STUDY
3.3 RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.4 MEASURES TO ENSURE TRUSTWORTHINESS
3.5 ETHICAL CONSIDERATIONS
3.6 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 4 PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS
4.1 INTRODUCTION
4.2 A PROFILE OF THE RESEARCH SITE AND DEMOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND OF PARTICIPANTS
4.3 DATA MANAGEMENT AND ANALYSIS
4.4 DISCUSSION OF THE THEMES, CATEGORIES AND SUB-CATEGORIES
4.5 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 5  GUIDELINES FOR CULTURE AND GENDER SENSITIVE HIV AND AIDS PREVENTION STRATEGIES AMONG FARM WORKERS
5.1 INTRODUCTION
5.2 GUIDELINES FORMULATION ON GENDER AND CULTURE SENSITIVE HIV PREVENTION STRATERGIES
5.3 CONCLUSION
CHAPTER 6 CONCLUSIONS, RECOMMENDATIONS AND LIMITATIONS
6.1 INTRODUCTION
6.2 PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
6.3 RESEARCH DESIGN AND METHODS
6.4 THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
6.5 CONCLUSIONS OF THE STUDY
6.6 RECOMMENDATIONS
6.7 LIMITATIONS
6.8 CONCLUSION
REFERENCES
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