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

Overview

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

Land-based Investments in Tanzania: Legal Framework and Realities on the Ground

LDPI Working Paper 56

Beginning in the mid-1970s through to the 1980s, Tanzania experienced a severe socio-economic crisis. In an attempt to turn things around the abating economy and accelerate economic growth, the...

Upcoming Events

Lionel Cliffe Colloquium: Democracy, land and liberation in Africa today

The Centre for African Studies (CAS) at the University of Cape Town (UCT) and PLAAS are co-hosting a two-day colloquium on Democracy, Land and Liberation in Africa. The main purpose of this...

News

‘Save, save’ mantra ignores ways the poor are milked

South Africa’s high levels of indebtedness and low savings rate elicit frequent hand wringing by economic commentators and public officials alike. Both parties implore the feckless South African...