Welcome to PLAAS

PLAAS does research, policy engagement, teaching and training about the dynamics of chronic poverty and structural inequality in Southern Africa, with a particular emphasis on the key role of restructuring and contesting land holding and agro-food systems in the subcontinent and beyond. Our focus is on the analysis of marginalised livelihoods in Southern Africa, especially of subsistence and smallholder farmers and farm workers, of coastal and inland artisanal fisheries and fishing communities; and of informal self employment in rural and urban areas.

Research Areas


Our research covers diverse areas, ranging from land and tenure reform,  land investment and agro-food restructuring, fisheries and ecosystem management, to social protection and informal self employment. In all this work, our key focus is on the causes and dynamics of inequality and structural poverty, on the economic and social agency of poor...

Latest Publication

Submission on Draft Preservation & Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill and Policy

PLAAS has read and considered the implications of the Preservation and Development of Agricultural Land Framework Bill and Policy, and submits the following comments and recommendations to the...

Upcoming Events

Institutional and organisational arrangements for community-based commercial aquaculture in SA

Presenters: Associate Professor Mafaniso Hara, Deputy Director PLAAS and Gugu Njokweni, Masters Student, Stellenbosch University The contribution of aquaculture to the global total fish production...


An Eldis spotlight on PLAAS's work

Land is hot property, especially in Africa where there has been a rapid growth in land-based investments and a rising concern about land grabs. It is estimated that 70 per cent of the land which...