The mission of the Optentia Research Unit is to develop and organise knowledge for the optimal expression of individual, social and institutional potential, with a specific interest in the African context. The research unit utilises the inputs from multiple disciplines: Economics, Educational Sciences, Employment Relations, Human Resource Management, Information Technology, Philosophy, Psychology (Work and Organisational Psychology, Educational Psychology, Counselling Psychology, and Clinical Psychology), Risk Management, Social Anthropology, Social Work, and Sociology. We study the optimisation of the potential of people and institutions by focusing on pathways from precarity to capability and optimal functioning. Optentia's research is organised into six programmes

Watch the Optentia video

Recent news

Top Scholars in South Africa Honoured

Thirty-eight of the country’s leading scholars and scientists were inaugurated as Members of the Academy of Science of South Africa (ASSAf) at the annual Awards Ceremony on 9 November 2023. As the official Academy of South A...Read article

The Three Faces of Poverty-Related Stress

Poverty-related stress happens when struggles to meet basic needs cause ongoing mental and emotional strain. Click Read article

Dr Christine Wekerle talks about mens’ mental health

Dr Christine Wekerle from McMaster University, an extraordinary professor, discuss men's mental health, masculinity, and family well-being. She focuses on domestic abuse, sexual violence and suicidal ideation, among other topi...Read article

Life crafting: Proactive strategies for enhancing well-being

Burnout is reaching epidemic levels. Chronic stress from juggling work, family, health, and other pressures leaves many people feeling drained, demotivated, and devoid of purpose. When you’re burned out, life feels like an e...Read article

Newsletter, May 2023

Upcoming events



Notice of submission: March 2024
For master's and PhD students



IPSHRM SciCom Meeting
Agenda closing: 29 November 2023



Research Indaba
Cape Town