Jaco (DPhil, Oxon) is Associate Professor in the Optentia Research Focus Area, Faculty of Humanities at North-West University (Vaal Triangle Campus, South Africa) where he, as Socio-Gerontologist, is responsible for the development of the sub-programme: Ageing and Generational Dynamics in Africa. He is also James Martin Senior Research Fellow at the Oxford Institute of Population Ageing (OIPA), at the University of Oxford – a position he partly retained on his return to South Africa at the beginning of 2015. Jaco is furthermore Honorary Research Fellow in the Institute of Ageing in Africa at the University of Cape Town and a Board Member of the South African Care Forum (SACF). With Dr. Sebastiana Kalula he co-directs the International Longevity Centre (ILC) – South Africa, one of a consortium of 14 such centres around the globe.
His research particularly focuses on ageing through the life-course and intergenerational dynamics in the context of poverty and HIV/AIDS in South Africa. To this end he explores issues of care by older persons to younger generations as well as long-term care for older persons at the informal / formal care nexus.
With colleagues, Jaco set up the UN-endorsed African Research on Ageing Network (AFRAN), which he coordinates. This international network aims to bring together African and international institutions and individuals from academia, policy and practice to develop and expand research and training capacity on ageing in sub-Saharan Africa as demographically still the youngest region in the world.
As past President of the South African Gerontological Association (SAGA), he continues to be involved in various developmental programmes and initiatives in the field of ageing in South Africa.