12 July 2018 Photo Pixabay
Land reform focus of inaugural UFS Thought-Leader Series
Land reform to be thoroughly analysed during robust discussions at the inaugural UFS Thought-Leader Series on 12 July 2018 at the Bloemfontein Campus


A livestream of the event will be available

The University of the Free State (UFS) will be presenting the inaugural Thought-Leader Series on the Bloemfontein Campus on 12 July 2018 which will focus on land reform. It will form part of the Vrystaat Arts Festival taking place on the campus from 8 to 14 July 2018. The Series will be facilitated by Pieter du Toit, Editor in Chief of the Huffington Post.

Land reform is a subject of national importance, hence as a public higher-education institution in South Africa with a responsibility to contribution to public discourse, the UFS seeks to field debates which hold the potential to influence the trajectory of the subject.

Prof Francis Petersen, UFS Rector and Vice-Chancellor, will do the welcoming, after which land reform and human rights will form the backdrop of Panel 1. Topics ranging from human rights and the constitution, land restitution, land reform on communal land under the control of traditional leaders, and the potential impact of expropriation without compensation will be explored.

Prof Philippe Burger, Acting Dean: Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences will introduce Panel 2 on land reform and organised agriculture. Talking points for the discussion include models of successful land reform and whether or not expropriation without compensation is possible without endangering food security and economic growth.

Building on from the previous exchange of ideas, Panel 3, which focus on land reform and food security. Prof Danie Vermeulen, Dean: Faculty of Natural and Agricultural Sciences will introduce a wide array of dialogues touching on issues relating to both the local and international financial sector, land reform and expropriation without compensation, tenure rights and food production on traditional land.

Guest panellists will include: Prof Peter Delius, Professor Emeritus in the Department of History at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits); Dr Aninka Claassens, Senior Research and RWAR Director in the Department of Public Law at the University of Cape Town (UCT); and Prof Maano Ramutsindela from the Department of Environmental Geographical Science at UCT.

Industry roleplayers and scholars also joining the discussion are Motsepe Matlala, President of the National African Farmers Union of South Africa (NAFU); Pitso Sekhoto, President of the African Farmers Association of South Africa (AFASA); Bennie van Zyl, General Manager at TAU; Annelize Crosby, Head: Land Affairs at AgriSA; Wandile Sihlobo, Agricultural Economist and Head of Agribusiness Research at the Agricultural Business Chamber (Agbiz); Prof Johann Kirsten, Director of the Bureau for Economic Research at Stellenbosch University (SU); Theo Boshoff, Manager: Legal Intelligence at Agbiz; as well as Prof Lungisile Ntsebeza, Holder of the AC Jordan Chair in African Studies at UCT.

From the UFS, Prof Danie Brand, Director: Free State Centre for Human Rights; Dr Ina Gouws, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Political Studies and Governance, and Prof Philippe Burger, will participate in the programme.


  • 09:00-11:15: Panel 1: Land reform and human rights
  • 12:00-14:45: Panel 2: Land reform and organised agriculture
  • 15:00-17:30: Panel 3: Land reform and food security

Venue: Exam Room 4 (EXR4, next to the Callie Human Centre, aka the Vrynge Farm during the Vrystaat Arts Festival), Bloemfontein Campus

Entrance will be free of charge.

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