South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has appointed a 10 member advisory panel on land reform to be chaired by his deputy, David Mabuza and social entrepreneur Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati. The panel features individuals with diverse views including Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, Free State farmer and President of AgriSA Daniel Kriek, agricultural economist Wandile Sihlobo and young, emerging farmer and entrepreneur Thato Moagi.
Ramaphosa noted that “Although the members of the panel are drawn from very different backgrounds, with different areas of expertise and perspectives, they are united by a shared vision of a just and equitable future for all South Africans”.
The panel will advise the Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on a broad range of policy matters associated with land reform, including restitution, redistribution, tenure security and agricultural support.
Here follows the brief profiles of the members of the panel:
Dr Vuyokazi Mahlati
Mahlati She is named as the convenor of the panel. She is a widely celebrated social entrepreneur and public policy and development planning specialist who is serving her second term as a member of the National Planning Commission. She also serves in various public capacities and is President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa.
Professor Ruth Hall
She is a researcher and professor at the University of the Western Cape’s Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies. Her research work in South Africa and the continent spans over 23 years and has played an integral role in shaping discourse on South African land reform beginning with the constitutional negotiations. Her key research interests and focus have been on land redistribution, restitution claims and farm workers.
Professor Mohammed Karaan
Professor in Agricultural Economics at Stellenbosch University. He has extensive experience in agricultural sciences and agricultural economics working in both the academic and corporate environments. Professor Karaan has worked at the Development Bank of Southern Africa as an economist and thereafter joined the Rural Foundation as the Head of Research.
Advocate Tembeka Ngcukaitobi
He is a lawyer, public speaker and author whose current work for the Legal Resources Centre and Johannesburg Bar spans public law, labour law and competition – areas of practice in which he has distinguished himself over a period of 17 years.
Ms Bulelwa Mabasa
She is an admitted attorney with more than 16 years’ experience. Close to 12 years of Ms Mabasa’s practising time has been dominated by matters on land restitution, land reform, tenders, procurement, mining litigation, national heritage law, customary law, administrative and constitutional law as well as commercial litigation acting on behalf of land owners, claimants, mines, communities, funders and investors.
Dr Thandi Ngcobo
She is the CEO and founder of the Dr J L Dube Institute of the University of KwaZulu-Natal who has conducted extensive research on land and education and capacity development. Through her work at UKZN, Ms Ngcobo has established a number of “in-house” structures focused on facilitating discourse and engagements on issues of land.
Mr Wandile Sihlobo
Agricultural economist Mr Wandile Sihlobo is the head of research at the Agricultural Business Chamber of South Africa and is an independent agricultural economic advisor to Afgrain Food Group. He is a columnist and blog author on authoritative platforms and serves on a number of bodies including the South African Reserve Bank Economic Roundtable and the Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa.
Mr Daniel Kriek
He is a Free State farmer and President of AgriSA who believes in progressive strategies and visions to achieve unity in agriculture. With Animal Science as his major during his University of the Free State studies, Mr Kriek obtained a B.Sc. Agric.; B.Sc. Agric. Hons and M.Sc. Agric. He has held several key positions in organisations in the agricultural sector.
Ms Thato Moagi
She is a young, emerging farmer and entrepreneur with six years’ experience in management and organisational administration. While her principal education and experience is agriculture-based, Ms Moagi has achieved notable experience in administration and management. Her multifaceted experience includes marketing, advertising, branding and sales of fresh produce and livestock, managing market agents, facilitating export accounts and managing logistics agencies.
Mr Nick Serfontein
He is chairman of the Sernick Group, which employs 550 people, and he holds a B.Sc. Engineering from the University of Pretoria. He was the 2016 Free State Farmer of the Year and Mentor of the Year. Mr Serfontein devotes his time to programmes aimed at developing farms and upscaling emerging farmers. Mr Serfontein argues that agriculture needs to be revitalised to serve and contribute towards nation building.