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SAAFECS was founded in 1998


About Us

THE SOUTH AFRICAN ASSOCIATION OF FAMILY ECOLOGY AND CONSUMER SCIENCES (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.


Click to read more . . .

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.

by EL 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

Dr. Adri Du Toit 
(President of SAAFECS)

 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.

Prof. Corrie du Preez
(Vice-President; Journal Editor)

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. 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
 (Social Media & Marketing Coordinator)

Holds the position of Hospitality Management Lecturer in the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences at the University of South Africa.

She is currently registered for a Doctor of Management Sciences in Food Operations Management qualification.  Her research focus is star grading and quality management in the South African accommodation sector.

Reba completed a Postgraduate Certificate in Education and has student teaching experience in contact and open distance learning environment.

Dr. Lorna Truter

is a senior lecturer in the Department of Life and Consumer Sciences at UNISA.  After obtaining her PhD in Consumer Sciences in 2018, she completed a Masters degree in Open Distance Learning from the University of Maryland University College and UNISA in 2019 paving the way for research opportunities in distance education.

Her research focus is on sustainability practices related to consumer behaviour (specifically related to green consumerism), as well as the African pedagogies that promotes self-determined learning for students.

She also has a strong interest in decolonial peace education for Africa making her research multi-disciplinary in nature.

She collaborates with various researchers from the Global North to the Global South aiming to promote a multi-disciplinary approach to the African voice in academia.



Tshinakaho Nyathela-Sunday

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.

Prof. Annchen Mielmann
(Additional Member)

is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the North-West University (NWU), Potchefstroom campus. From 2008, she lectures food modules at the NWU.

She completed her Ph.D. (2014) in Food Sciences from the University of the Free State, Bloemfontein campus.

In 2017, she received the Swiss Government Excellence Scholarship for postdoctoral studies at the Bern University of Applied Sciences in Switzerland.

In 2019, she received an Y2 rating from the National Research Foundation (NRF).  She is registered as a Natural Scientist at the South African Council for Natural Scientific Professions (SACNASP) and is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), The South African Association for Food Science and Technology (SAAFoST) and South African Association of Dairy Technology (SASDT).

She is part of the research entity, Africa Unit for Transdisciplinary Health Research (AUTHeR) where her research focus on the link between food, sensory research and consumer behaviour to provide a composite mosaic of scientists’ current understanding of sensory qualities and the global consumers’ food choices.

Ms. Leanca Meiring
(Additional Member)

is a FET phase educator in Consumer studies at Curro Century City. After completing a BSc. Consumer science degree at NWU in 2008, she then went on to  complete her Honors degree in Food Product Development in 2009.

This academic background set her on the path to starting her own successful restaurant where she is thriving in the hospitaltiy industry for the past 10 years, experiencing everything from event planning to daily menu planning, as well as the financial aspects of managing her own business.

Her daily passion is building consumer awareness and imparting life skills to the next generation. Teaching has equiped her with the ability to identify needs pertaining to everyday life; those aspects that we often take for granted.

She believes in leveling the playing field through educating and empowering people, and that opportunities are earned through hard work and dedication.

These ideals have seen her through many challenges professionally, as she continues to expand her skills and knowledge in the industry.



Dr. Cate Molotja
(Administrative assistant)

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.

What's New

For information on what is happening in the world of Consumer Sciences and the related fields, click to open. HOWEVER, click on the CONFERENCE tab for information about the upcoming 16th International SAAFECS conference in conjunction with IFHE Africa, 2024

2024 Nutrition congress

Please see the Save the Date attached for the 2024 Nutrition Congress.

The congress will be held 2-4 October 2024 at the Elangeni Hotel, Durban.

The call for abstracts is open until 18 March 2024 on the congress website www.nutritioncongress.co.za

2023 Nutrition congress

The Nutrition Congress will be hosted 18-20 April 2023 in Somerset West, South Africa.  For more information, see the brochure below or visit the website www.nutritioncongress.co.za 

World Social Marketing 2023

The World Social Marketing Conference will be held in Johannesburg, 24-26 April 2023.

Call for papers are now open.

For more information, please visit the website: https://wsmconference.com/

IFHE Publications

The International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) hosted the 2022 World Congress.  The theme related to the textile and design exhibition, and outputs were often connected to sustainable production practices and are published at the IFHE website.

You can download and view the resources here

2020 South African Society of Dairy Technology’s one-day symposium on 24 March 2020

Where: The Premier Hotel, OR Tambo International Airport

Conference Package

SASDT Member – Full Conference Package (1 day) – R 1,800.00
Non-SASDT Member – Full Conference Package (1 Day) – R2,350.00
Bona Fide Student – Full Conference Package (1 Day) – R550.00
SASDT Honorary Member – Full Conference Package (1 Day) – R550.00
EXHIBITOR – (Exhibition space only, delegate fee not included) – R2,000.00

Reflecting on World Home Economics Day 21st March 2019
Each March, beginning in 1982,members of the International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) celebrate World Home Economics Day to promote family and consumer issues. The 2019 theme, “Creativity and Innovation in Home Economics for Sustainable Development”, highlights our profession’s contribution to a sustainable future. Sustainable development begins at home.
2019 Short course: The influence of Context/Environment and Psycho-graphics on Product Design and Evaluation
The Department of Consumer and Food Sciences is offering a short course CONSUMER RESEARCH WITH FOOD AND OTHER PRODUCTS presented by Prof Meiselman from the 6-8 August 2019.