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Archive 2001-2005

Land Restitution

  • In 2006 PLAAS formed part of a consortium undertaking work on post-settlement support for restitution beneficiaries, and Edward Lahiff, Zabantu Nzakane and Ruth Hall contributed to research reports and theme papers.
  • In 1997 Thembela Kepe was commissioned to write a report on the Mkambati land claim and in 1998/99 he and Rachel Wynberg wrote a commissioned paper on land restitution in protected areas.
  • Andries du Toit acted as a consultant/facilitator for restitution policy formulation in 1997, and in 1998 he co-ordinated a Ministerial Review of the restitution programme, authoring the influential final report of the review.

Land Redistribution

  • In 2005 Edward Lahiff and Ruth Hall contributed to drafting of final resolutions on land redistribution at the National Land Summit, and in 2006 they participated in a DLA working group on designing a review of ‘willing seller, willing buyer’ approaches to land acquisition.
  • In 2000/2001 PLAAS researchers (Ben Cousins, Edward Lahiff and Lungisile Ntsebeza) contributed to critiques of the DLA’s Land Redistribution for Agricultural Development (LRAD) programme.
  • In 1995/96 Andries du Toit was comissioned to do diagnostic evaluation studies in the southern Cape. Stephen Turner led a team in a review of the land redistribution programme for DLA in 1997.

Tenure Reform

  • In 2005 Ben Cousins was asked to act as an expert witness by the Legal Resources Centre (LRC) in a legal challenge to the Communal Land Rights Act (CLaRA), which was launched in 2006.
  • Ben Cousins facilitated the working group on farmworker tenure at the National Land Summit in 2005 and formulated the final resolution on this issue.
  • Between 2002 and early 2004 PLAAS staff collaborated closely with the National Land Committee (NLC), several of its affiliates and a number of other land NGOs, as well as community members, in a process of community consultations over the draft Communal Land Rights Bill. This culminated in the parliamentary hearings of November 2003. (See also Occasional Paper 28).
  • Ben Cousins contributed to the formulation of tenure reform policy between 1995 and 1999. He was also a member of the DLA reference group for the Communal Land Rights Bill (CLRB) in 2002.
  • In 1997/98 Lungisile Ntsebeza investigated land ownership and governance in Tshezi/ Coffee Bay for the Eastern Cape DLA office.
  • In 1997 Andries du Toit investigated aspects of the Upgrading of Land Rights Act of 1991 for DLA, and in 1999 he evaluated the implementation of the Land Titles Adjustment Act.

Land Reform and Environmental Issues

  • In 1996/97 Stephen Turner led an international consultancy team on the establishment of policy on integrating environmental issues into land reform.


  •  In 2000/01 Andries du Toit and Fadeela Ally helped develop civil society policy stances on a statutory minimum wage for agricultural workers.
  • In 1997/98 Stephen Turner participated in a policy working group on sustainable resource use, preparing inputs to the Discussion Document on Agricultural Policy.

Land and Agrarian Reform Policy Frameworks

  • In 2003 and 2004 the ‘Evaluating Land and Agrarian Reform in South Africa’ (ELARSA) project saw Ruth Hall, Peter Jacobs and Edward Lahiff compare land reform targets to actual results achieved. Workshops were organised with Department of Land Affairs (DLA) staff to report the research findings. PLAAS staff gave submissions to a Land Tribunal in November 2003 organised by the Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE). In 2003, Peter Jacobs facilitated learning events for the Landless Peoples Movement (LPM). Hall and Jacobs also assisted the People’s Budget project in 2003.
  • In 2001/02 PLAAS staff actively participated in the formation and functioning of the Western Cape Alliance for Land and Agrarian Reform. In 2001 Lungisile Ntsebeza facilitated the formation of a similar grouping of NGOs and CBOs in the Eastern Cape.

Pan-African Networking on land and resource rights

  • Since January 2002 PLAAS has co-hosted (with three other partners) an Africa-wide network of practitioners, advocacy groups and scholars concerned with the land and resource rights of the rural poor. In July 2002 this group drew up the Lagos Declaration on Land and Resource Rights in Africa, which was launched at the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD) in 2002.

Spatial Development Initiatives (SDI's)

  • In 1997/98 Thembela Kepe was contracted to assist mediation of conflicts in relation to the Wild Coast SDI project in Mkambati, and to prepare background briefs for the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs and the Minister of Water Affairs and Forestry.

Traditional Leaders and Local Government

  • Between 1998 and 2001 Lungisile Ntsebeza participated in several policy workshops on the role of traditional leaders in local government, presenting invited papers and commenting on draft policy documents.

Chronic Poverty

  • In 2005/06 du Toit and David Neves were commissioned to undertake a major study on Vulnerability, Labour Markets and Social Protection (VLMSP) for the South African Treasury.
  • In 2004 du Toit took a lead role in a consortium helping to develop a Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information and Mapping System (FIVIMS) for the Department of Agriculture (DoA). 
  • In 2003-4 Cobus de Swardt and Andries du Toit played advisory roles in the Integrated Food Security and Nutrition programme in the Western Cape. In 2004 du Toit also advised the Western Cape Department of Welfare and Social Development on the development of an integrated poverty reduction strategy.
  • Between 2002 and 2004 du Toit and de Swardt played a supportive role in relation to a variety of civil society initiatives around social protection, e.g. expert testimony in court cases.

Co-Management of Marine and Coastal Resources

  • Mafa Hara, together with the Environmental Evaluation Unit (EEU) of the University of Cape Town, has co-ordinated a National Coastal and Fisheries Co-management Programme for government since 2001, and was joined by Moenieba Isaacs in 2004.

Hake Fisheries in Namibia and South Africa

  • Moenieba Isaacs led the social analysis and modelling component of this project in 2003. The objective was to determine the optimal harvesting ratio between trawled and long-lined hake while at the same time ensuring long-term sustainability of stocks in the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME).

Ethical Trade Initiative (ETI)

  • In 2000/01 Andries du Toit and Fadeela Ally, in collaboration with the Centre for Rural Legal Studies (CRLS), worked with the Ethical Trade Initiative in its pilot programme in the South African wine industry.

The Role of Forestry in Reducing Poverty

  • Moenieba Isaacs and Jeanette Clarke were commissioned to undertake this study in 2004/05 by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Department of Water Affairs and Forestry (DWAF).