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SAAFECS was founded in 1998


About Us by: Prof Elizabeth Kempen

SAAFECS is a professional association composed of scholars, educators, and students in the discipline of Consumer Sciences.

This discipline includes various areas of specialisation focusing on Food, Nutrition, Fashion and Clothing, Interior Design and Merchandising, Consumer Journalism and Hospitality Management. This discipline covers two different perspectives:

(a) to enlighten, educate and advise the consumer or individual and

(b) to consider the consumer as part of a larger economic and social environment where decisions are made, products are bought and an exchange of information and resources takes place.

This particular discipline places the consumer in an environment where personal decisions about their health, well-being and lifestyle, through the consumption and purchase of such items as food and clothing or services that are used, are made.

It is here where other disciplines practiced by nutritionists, dieticians, family ecologists and others find a useful link with the interests of the Consumer Scientists at SAAFECS.

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This approach deviates from Home Economics to the extent that Consumer Sciences places focus on how the consumer operates within the larger economic paradigm and not on a smaller individual or family system; although the consumer does function within these environments. This means that the decisions consumers’ make, rely on knowledge about nutrition, food, textiles and many other areas which will influence their choice of product, the way they are influenced and their decision to purchase.

Consumer Science is interested in determining where consumers lack knowledge to make responsible decisions regarding healthy living and how consumer education can assist in narrowing these gaps. Consumer Sciences also understands the behaviour consumers apply during their decision processes and this may guide product development.

Overall, Consumer Sciences is a more market driven discipline aimed at understanding the consumer, assisting in informing the consumer and helping manufacturers and industry make appropriate and well-informed consumer product decisions that would be to the benefit of the consumer whether it is to assist healthy food choices, more economic purchasing decisions or just to be an informed and responsible citizen.

This is what makes Consumer Sciences unique, as it is a discipline that strengthens both the consumer and the larger market driven environment.

Prof Elizabeth Kempen

Our Mission


As a Professional association, we act as a forum in South Africa to:

• Promote Consumer Sciences as an integrated scientific discipline and profession.

• Support the continuation of Consumer Science and Home Economics within and beyond the boundaries of South Africa.

• Improve contact amongst and enhancing expertise of members.

• Pro-actively advocate the quality of life of individuals, families, communities and consumers.

• Expand the Consumer Science discipline nationally and internationally.

• Improve and contribute to the continuation of Consumer Studies at secondary educational institutions as well as the empowerment of educators in Consumer Studies and related educational fields.

Executive Committee

Prof. Elizabeth Kempen 
(President of SAAFECS)

is a full professor in the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences at the University of South Africa.

She graduated with a PhD in Philosophy from the University of Liverpool in the UK. Her main research interest is in Consumer Decision making.

She is part of the Sustainable Apparel Enterprises research group in the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences at Unisa.

She is currently involved in research related to custom-made apparel consumers’ sustainable decision-making processes which is part of a bigger project focusing on custom-made apparel manufacturing of small and micro-enterprises’ (CMSME) business practices in Gauteng’s informal sector in South Africa.

She remains a passionate Consumer Scientist and engages with various stakeholders to advocate and advance Consumer Studies and the position of Consumer Scientists in South Africa.

Prof Kempen is the editor of the Journal of Consumer Sciences and IFHE member.

Dr. Adri Du Toit

specialises in teacher education and curriculum development at the Faculty of Education of the North-West University.

She graduated with a PhD in Consumer Sciences in 2018. Her focus is on preparing teachers for Consumer Studies education in the Further Education and Training phase, and Technology (as a school subject) in the Senior Phase of the South African school curriculum.

To attain this goal, she conducts and publishes research regarding pedagogical and curriculum issues in these two subject areas.

She is passionate about and currently concentrating on developing entrepreneurship education in both these school subjects, with the aim of contributing to the preparation of learners for a world where they will increasingly have to create their own employment or income-generating opportunities.

She enjoys collaborating with researchers from across the globe but particularly with academics that share the challenges and delights of education on the African continent.

Dr. Mariette Strydom

is a lecturer in the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences at the University of South Africa. She completed her PhD in Consumer Sciences in 2019 at the University of South Africa (UNISA).

Her research focus is apparel product design and development with special interest in small scale design, development and production, sustainable apparel entrepreneurship and related consumer behaviour.

She is passionate about empowering women for sustainable entrepreneurship opportunities in the apparel industry of emerging economies.

Ms Reba Motlogelwa

 holds the position of Junior Lecturer in the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences at the University of South Africa.

She is currently registered for a Master of Technology in Hospitality Management.  Her research focus is star grading and quality management in the accommodation sector.

She completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education.  She has student teaching experience in both contact and open distance learning environment, from public and private institutions.

She had an opportunity to work in the hospitality industry locally and internationally (Canada), in areas such as hotels, ski resorts, restaurants and events management.

Her other interests are entrepreneurship and business, environmental issues, leadership and public management, human rights, and good governance.

She is part of YALI (Young African Leaders Initiative) network where members are provided with invaluable opportunities to connect with experts in different fields of interest.

Dr. Corrie du Preez
(Additional Member)

is currently a senior lecturer in the Department of Consumer Sciences at the University of Zululand where she has been a staff member for more than 30 years.

She completed her PhD in 2011 at Wageningen University and Research (WUR) in The Netherlands where she also completed MSc (MAKS), both after being awarded full scholarships.

She lectures in several undergraduate modules in consumer sciences as well as in hospitality management and, also lectures Research Methodology at the Honours level.

Dr Du Preez has also supervised several Master and Phd students.

Her research interests include livelihood, food and nutrition security and she is currently working on a project on the food and nutrition security of students at the University of Zululand.


Dr. Tshinakaho Nyathela
(Additional Member)

is a Senior Lecturer at Cape Town Hotel School, Faculty of Business and Management Sciences, Cape Peninsula University of Technology (CPUT).

She has been appointed to enhance research, service-learning and community project.

She graduated with a Doctorate from Vaal University of Technology (VUT). During her research studies journey, she was awarded Hubs and Spokes scholarship and also participated in the South Africa Netherlands Research Programme (SANPAD).

She served as a researcher at the Centre of Sustainable Livelihoods (CSL). She was appointed as the Western Cape South African Association of Women Graduates (SAAWG) president. Currently, she is a reviewer for various academic journals.

Her current research project relates to employment, health and safety as well as customer care within the hospitality sector.

Dr. Cate Makwena

Dr Cate Makwena Molotja started to work at a University as a research assistant, a lecturer and is now a manager in student support programmes.

She studied at the University of Pretoria and obtained a Bachelor of Home Economics, BInstAgrar (Hons), and a Master’s in Consumer Science. She further holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Rural Development from the University of Venda and a National Diploma in Human resources from the University of South Africa.

Cate is a dedicated professional who likes challenging tasks and will do her best to accomplish a given task. She is passionate about research that focuses on food security and nutrition education and plans to do more work on nutrition awareness and education for children.

Cate is driven by the values of hard work, dedication, perseverance, integrity and excellency.


Our History

Flip through our history of seven pages and use the + & – to Zoom in or out.