NWU and PESA host land reform seminar

Issued by North West University
Johannesburg, Aug 8, 2018

The North-West University's (NWU's) campus in Mahikeng, in partnership with Political Economy Southern Africa (PESA), hosted a land reform seminar on 3 August 2018 at the Student Centre Hall. The theme of the seminar was "Land Reform in South Africa: Justice vs the Economy".

The seminar's main objective was to discuss pertinent issues such as the history of land dispossession in South Africa, its contemporary implications, institutional political economy challenges to land reform, and the economic, legal and political conditions required for successful land reform.

Siya Binisa, a political economist from PESA specialising in development finance, industrial development and regional integration, shared key strategies and findings on land reform in South Africa. He drew from selected sectors and insights on the constitutional amendment to allow expropriation without compensation. He also spoke about what is necessary for socioeconomic transformation to promote sustainable growth.

"Valuable recommendations were also made on how policymakers, academia, civil society and the private sector can achieve justice and sustainable economic growth in South Africa," says Prof Marilyn Setlalentoa, the NWU's deputy vice-chancellor for community engagement and operations on the campus in Mahikeng.

Other speakers of the day and their topics included: Peter Setou, chief executive of the Vumelana Advisory Fund ('Land redistribution and contemporary socio-economic implications for South Africa'); Onkokame Moremi, manager in the office of the Mayor of the Kgetleng Municipality ('Challenges and realities surrounding fast-tracking land restitution in South Africa'); and Prof Ilyayambwa Mwanawina, a deputy director at the NWU's Faculty of Law ('The legal perspective on land reform in South Africa').

As part of the dialogue and plenary sessions, the local tribal authorities and clergy were also invited to take part in proceedings.