EVENT REPORT: Desegregation of Agriculture: Myriad of Complex Challenges

Posted on March 30, 2023

On 23 March 2023, Human Economy Programme supported Development Studies Doctoral candidate Zakes Hlatshwayo presented a webinar on the topic "Desegregation of Agriculture: Myriad of Complex Challenges", research that has emerged from his doctoral studies. 

The webinar focused on a forthcoming article by Mr Hlatshwayo, in which he probes the feasibility of a critical race theory of agrarian reforms (CRTAR) as an anti-racism framework through which to foster a transformative social-justice trajectory for the sector. The webinar was moderated by Dr Marc Wegerif (Department of Anthropology, Archaeology and Development Studies, University of Pretoria), who supervised Mr Hlatshwayo's doctoral studies. 

The webinar attracted participation from across the disciplines and faculties of the University of Pretoria, and the engagement generated discussion on the limited space for openly addressing the way race issues affect sectors like agriculture and the challenges of doing this effectively given resistance and entrenched views. 


Sharing my article with fellow students, academics, policymakers, and a global audience is important for my personal development and scholarly progress. The online webinar hosted by the Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (CAS), University of Pretoria, was a valuable opportunity for me to share my article: Desegregation of Agriculture: A myriad of Complex Challenges. It was an opportunity for me to provide in-depth, systematic explanations of vestiges of institutionalised racism according to the perceptions and experiences of black farmers. More importantly, the online webinar allowed participants to engage, critique and provide feedback to improve the quality of the article. Questions from participants involved, why is a critical race theory of agrarian reform essential and what are its fundamental elements? It was the sudden inclusiveness of the online webinar that was its great strength. From the participants’ comments and suggestions, it is recommended that more research be undertaken to examine the interactions and dynamics that support the development of black farmers, including a specific interest in examining the implications of the decolonisation of farming practices. As part of building practices that will support future-focused sustainable systems, participants emphasised the need to embrace indigenous systems as the key to understanding the technological advancement within the decolonial context.

- Zakes Hlatshwayo


You can watch the full webinar below: 


Zakes Hlatshwayo has more than 25 years’ work experience, primarily in the land reform and rural development sector. Amongst other roles he was the Director of Association for Northern Cape Rural Advancement (ANCRA) and the Director of the National Land Committee (NLC). In these roles he mobilised for the participation of the landless poor, especially women and youth, in policymaking and implementation. Mr Hlatshwayo holds a Master’s in Public Management (Regenesys Business School), a Post-graduate Diploma in Agrarian Studies (University of Western Cape), and a Post-graduate Diploma in Human Resource Management (Leicester University). His PhD research and current areas of work focus on agrarian change in South Africa and the role of the state in this from the perspective of the landless poor.

- Author Kirsty Nepomuceno and Zakes Hlatshwayo

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