A BLOG DOCUMENTING THE PROJECT
The project officially got underway this week with an inception meeting between members of the project team, representatives of CBPEP and the administrative agency responsible for project oversight and logistics appointed by the EU.
The key focus of the meeting was on how best to structure the institutional arrangements at national and local level. This presents a real challenge. South Africa is littered with initiatives which seek to involve multiple stakeholders but which often achieve very little. This has contributed to widespread participation and process fatigue which makes it difficult to sustain participatory processes. Trying to establish social platforms in the context of the Covid 19 pandemic with the ever present threat of a third wave of infections also presents additional challenges.
While it is important to remain lean and agile it is also essential to bring the right people together:
In 2019/2020 Phuhlisani worked on a project together with other organisations (PLAAS, ARDRI, Mdukatshane and Heifer South Africa) under the auspices of the Capacity Building Programme for Employment Promotion (CBPEP). This was funded by the European Union and hosted by the Government Technical Advisory Centre (GTAC).
The project examined the potential of land reform for employment creation in South Africa. The project investigated the potential of small-scale farming for employment generation in specific locations across the country. A wide range of research outputs including policy briefs, thematic studies, commodity studies and local municipality case studies were produced and curated on the CBPEP website. The research found clear evidence that if land reform is effectively planned and supported it has the potential to create significant employment opportunities and redress inequality.
In 2021 it was agreed to build on these research findings and develop a methodology for planning employment intensive land reform at local municipality scale. This plan has the explicit support of Minister Thoko Didiza and the backing of the Office of the Presidency. A national steering committee and a local municipality level collaborative planning platform will guide the process which aims to feed into the District Development Model (DDM) One Plan. The DDM seeks to ensure maximum coordination and cooperation among all three spheres of government.
An action learning process will underpin the development of this methodology which seeks to produce a practical collaborative land acquisition, development and smallholder support plan. CBPEP with EU support has backed this project which will conclude in February 2022.
Documenting the process
This project blog will be curated by Dr Rick de Satge, a Phuhlisani Senior Research Associate and member of the project team. The blog will to document the planning process from start to finish and provide links to key resources. Phuhlisani aims to develop resources and tools to strengthen citizen engagement #CitizENGAGE, facilitate agrisector involvement and contribute to aligned, open and responsive government.