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

The legacies of the Natives Land Act of 1913

Looking back at the century since the promulgation of the Natives Land Act, it could be argued that it shaped the trajectories of most South Africans' lives. It expelled black people from the land...

Upcoming Events

Negotiating Survival Strategies: Uganda's smallholder farmers speak out

Presenter: Janice Desire Busingye, Makerere University, Uganda Smallholder farming as a model for agricultural production has been marred with varying degrees of criticism about what it can or cannot...


Minister Mokonyane responds to PLAAS video with visit Jozini Dam

After the PLAAS video Cry Water! Struggles for water in Ntlalavini was widely distributed, especially...