Another Countryside

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Immigrant farm workers on land reform farms in South Africa: the eastern Free State province

Words by Mnqobi Ngubane Should migrant farm workers from other countries such as Lesotho benefit from South African land reform? This was one of the questions raised at a land redistribution conference held at the University of Western Cape in February 2019. Opinion was divided. Some found the idea a rather shocking surprise, while others expressed sympathy for Lesotho immigrants…
Esté Beerwinkel
June 12, 2019
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Stephen Greenberg: Neoliberals capture South African smallholder farmer support policy

Ideological and factional divisions and contradictions between neoliberals, ‘patrons’ and progressives have manifested in South Africa’s smallholder farmer support policy. This was evident at a national stakeholder consultation held by the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF) in April 2019. The policy is meant to support marginalised producers. But it has been thoroughly captured by neoliberals under the banner…
Andries
May 20, 2019
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Florian Kroll: Picturing a nourishing food system.

Can pictures and images be used to solicit thoughtful and reflective discussion about one’s position in the food system?   PLAAS  and the Centre for Excellence in Food Security (CoEFS) worked together in 2018 to build a platform for a Community of Practice on food sensitive planning, and have been trying out some interesting ideas.   Food systems research  has highlighted the…
Andries
May 13, 2019
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Ben Cousins: Land policy must change South Africa’s agrarian structure

In debates taking place about the direction of land reform in South Africa today, it is important to remember why we are doing this, and what reform is intended to achieve. One of its key objectives has to be to fundamentally change the agrarian structure inherited from the past. At present, a small minority of mainly white farmers own an…
Sam Salient
April 30, 2019
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Andries du Toit: Without the Blanket of the Land – the political consequences of jobless de-agrarianisation.

My latest journal article (‘Without the Blanket of the Land:  agrarian change and biopolitics in post–Apartheid South Africa’) is out at last, available now in the latest issue of the Journal of Peasant Studies.  (You can access it here:  a great issue, by the way, with thoughtful and important contributions on the current state of agrarian Marxism  from a range of international scholars).…
Sam Salient
November 7, 2018
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Mnqobi Ngubane: Obstacles facing a young black farmer in South Africa – a personal story

A new sense of urgency has entered South Africa’s land reform process after the country’s parliament took a resolution to amend the constitution to effect land expropriation without compensation. But even this will fail if the country doesn’t improve support for small and emerging black farmers who should be allocated a prime role in any reform process. International experience shows that small…
Sam Salient
April 12, 2018
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Ben Cousins: Land debate in South Africa is clouded by misrepresentation and lack of data

South Africa’s parliament has passed a resolution to amend the constitution and allow expropriation without compensation. The decision has generated a storm of gigantic proportions as political parties, citizens, white farmers and commentators anticipate either the moment of salvation (‘real land reform at last!’) or disaster (‘the collapse of the market economy!’). Sadly, few contributions to the public debate are informed by…
Sam Salient
March 8, 2018