The Claude Leon Foundation


Recognising that the pressing global issues of our time relate to the climate emergency, inequality and social justice, the Chairman took the initiative to discuss with Wits how the University could better address these crucial concerns. A programme in Water Stewardship was proposed, to be led by two Chairs at Wits University, and involving the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and the University of Edinburgh (UoE) in the UK.

Access to sufficient, safe, acceptable, physically accessible, and affordable water is a human right, and water is necessary for all life on Earth. Anthropogenic pressures threaten the availability of water at the same time as climate forecasts predict that South Africa will become drier. The Claude Leon Foundation Water Stewardship Programme aims to contribute to the urgent response that is required to secure South Africa’s immediate future and to safeguard the future of life on Earth.

Professor Tracy-Lynn Field (Mandela Institute, School of Law) occupies the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Earth Justice and Stewardship and Professor Craig Sheridan (School of Geography, Archaeology and Environmental Studies) occupies the Claude Leon Foundation Chair in Water Research. The Claude Leon Foundation Water Stewardship Programme sits at the intersection of the work of the two Chairs. Postdoctoral Fellowships will be shared with UWC and UoE, and postgraduate students will benefit from working with all three universities. Both Chairs will be given honorary staff appointments at the University of Edinburgh.

Wits enters its second century in 2022, and the grant from the Claude Leon Foundation, timed to start inWits’ centennial year, is a Wits Centenary programme that aims to advance the public good. The Claude Leon Foundation will fund the Chairs and Water Stewardship Programme for five years(2022-2026). Thereafter, the University has undertaken to continue the funding of the Chairs through the general operating budget as a permanent fixture of its academic offerings.

Read further here.


© 2012 The Claude Leon Foundation. All rights Reserved.