Invitation: #FoodTalks Seminar Series

Posted on July 19, 2019

The Centre for the Advancement of Scholarship (CAS) invites you to the second #FoodTalks seminar, this one focused on Land and Food, with Professor Ruth Hall (PLAAS, UWC) and Sithandiwe Yeni. This event is organised in collaboration with the DST-NRF Centre of Excellence in Food Security, the Centre for the Study of Governance Innovation (GovInn), and the Human Economy Programme within CAS.

Land injustices and land reforms are an emotive issue in South Africa and subject to current critical debates. The Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture recently submitted their report, which is now to be reviewed by Cabinet. The Constitutional amendment to facilitate land expropriation without compensation is still under consideration in Parliament. Land reform is not only about food production, but the food system we need to achieve the right to food must be a consideration in any debate on land reform and the food system we have is a major constraint on what land reforms can work. The President has also made clear that food security must be a consideration in any land reforms, not least in deciding on the question of land expropriation without compensation. In this context, we will provide a space to situate the land debate within the wider discussion on the food system and achieving the right to food.

Professor Ruth Hall is a leading academic and public commentator on land issues in South Africa and beyond. She was part of the Presidential Advisory Panel on Land Reform and Agriculture that recently submitted its final report to President Cyril Ramaphosa. Hall joined PLAAS at the University of the Western Cape in 2002. She holds a DPhil in Politics from the University of Oxford, where she previously obtained an MPhil in Development Studies. Her doctoral work focused on the interests, actors and discourses that influenced the development of South African land reform policy. Key research interests that have shaped her work at PLAAS are land tenure, restitution and redistribution, gender and development policy, and broad-based agricultural development. Her work has strongly emphasised the role of rights-based policy approaches to tenure for farm workers and other land poor and landless people. In recent years, her focus has extended beyond South African, with her main research now on land rights and the future of food and farming in sub-Saharan Africa.

Sithandiwe Yeni is an experienced researcher and land activist with a history of working with NGOs and community organisations on land rights and agrarian reform. Until recently, she was the National Co-ordinator of Tshintsha Amakhaya, a civil society alliance for land and food justice in South Africa. She has previously worked on land issues at Oxfam South Africa and at the Land and Accountability Research Centre. Yeni has a master’s degree from the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University Rotterdam and is currently working on her PhD at the University of the Western Cape. She played a prominent role in the documentary This Land that focussed on community struggles to resist the imposition of mining on their land.

Food talks to us at many levels, touching on important aspects of our lives and society. This is the first in a series of seminars that will bring together leading thinkers and practitioners in the sector to share knowledge, and create a space to talk about the current food system and how we can move to a socially and ecologically regenerative, just and nourishing food system in South Africa and the region.

DATE:                    Wednesday 7 August 2019

TIME:                    13:30 – 15:00

VENUE:                 Old College House Seminar Lounge, 1-09, University of Pretoria

RSVP:                    Cecelia Samson, 012 420 2653, [email protected]

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