Rural development

University Project to Enable Rural Communities to Access Legal Services

BuaNews, 16 September 2008.

The North West University has embarked on the Legal and Human Rights Community Education Project which aims to teach people about the human rights contained in the South African Constitution.

Director for the Community Law Centre at the North West University, Jobst Bodenstan, points out that the project will mostly benefit people in deep rural areas where access to legal services is a challenge.

FAO to Help Swaziland’s Subsistence Farmers

Citizen, 8 September 2008. 

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has announced that it will help subsistence farmers in Swaziland to buy seeds as rising prices put agricultural inputs beyond the reach of many. 

UN FAO director-general Jacques Diouf, points out that the agency will give farmers vouchers to buy seeds from local producers to ensure they grow food. 

The Global Food Import Bill will Rocket – FAO

Business Report, 2 September 2008.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) has warned that the global food import bill will rocket past the US$1 trillion mark this year and that poorer countries will shoulder most of the burden as food prices worldwide escalate.

FAO argues that though there are signs that some food prices are starting to fall, they remain high and are unlikely to return to the low levels of previous years.

PLAAS Report Focuses on Land Reform in South Africa

Business Report, 31 August 2008. 

The Programme for Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS) says the period following the National Land Summit of July 2005 witnessed heightened debate on land reform policy and a flurry of policy initiatives. 

In its recent report, PLAAS argues that after 14 years of democracy in South Africa, there is agreement across the political and social spectrum that the land reform programme is in severe difficulty. 

Joe Slovo Residents to Appeal their Eviction in the Constitutional Court

Press Release

15 August 2008

The Constitutional Court, on Thursday 21 August 2008, will hear an appeal against an order granted by Judge John Hlophe on 10 March 2008 evicting approximately 20 000 occupants of the Joe Slovo Informal Settlement alongside the N2 highway to Cape Town.

The evictions, due to start a week after the judgment was handed down, didn’t occur as an application for leave to appeal was brought.

Free to Be: Celebrating Our Common Regional Identity

Press Release

6 August 2008

THE GRAND DAMES of South African song get together for a good cause as SIMPHIWE DANA AND SIBONGILE KHUMALO are added to the ‘FREE TO BE’ CONCERT LINE-UP.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat, the Southern Africa Trust and MTN are hosting a Free To Be concert at WITS University Great Hall in Johannesburg on 15 August 2008 from 4-6p.m.

Poor Nations Urged to Produce More Food

Business Day, 29 July 2008.

According to Zambia’s vice president, Rupiah Banda, rising global oil and food prices, although a serious developmental challenge, may be an opportunity for poor nations to increase crop production for bio-fuels and food.

Banda, points out that, “For land-rich countries like Zambia and other (southern and east African) states, it may not be necessary to make a choice between producing crops for either food or fuel.”

Land Reform and Agricultural Production

Thanks very much for the article on the increase in food prices. As far as TRAC-MP is concerned, and I am sure that these sentiments are shared with other Land Rights NGOs, the Minister should apologise to the South African public for the failure of the Land Reform Programme. Barely 5% of SA land has been returned to historically disadvantaged people since 1994.

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