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Conference on Rural Development

When: Wednesday, 13 January 2021 - Wednesday, 13 January 2021
Where: Online Event
Start time:11:00

Lesego Mosweu via

Hosted by DSI/NRF Centre of Excellence in Human Development and Department of Science and Innovation

The advent of COVID 19 pandemic and its predicted disastrous effects for the poor is a game-changer. It exposes the weaknesses in our urban biased model of development and highlights the fact that we ignore the development of rural communities to our own detriment.

Rural areas in South Africa are characterised by poor physical infrastructure, especially with respect to the scarcity of running water and poor sanitation, lack of work opportunities and skills to harness business opportunities. The economic fallout that is expected in South Africa as an aftermath of the pandemic is likely to hit rural areas hardest. 

The conference is intended to stimulate a focused research activity on rural development in southern Africa.

  • Conference Facilitator: Prof. Monde Makiwane
  • Respondent: Prof. Somadoda Fikeni
  • Welcoming address: Rose Msiza (Department of Science and Technology)


  • Peggy Luswazi“Rural Development in new South Africa; Lessons learnt and a proposed paradigm shift”

AC Jordan Chair in African Studies at the University of Cape Town; and holder of the National Research Foundation (NRF) Research Chair in Land Reform and Democracy in South Africa.

  • Lungisile Ntsebeza“Land Issues”

An expert on rural development and former Director of the Centre for Rural Development at the Walter Sisulu University.

  • Ian Couper – “Rurality and Health – what is the connection?”

An internationally renowned expert in rural health who works at the Ukwanda Centre for Rural Health, Department of Global Health, in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences of Stellenbosch University.

  • Andries du Toit“Will the "new normal" hurt rural employment - and what can we do about it”

Director of Institute for Poverty, Land and Agrarian Studies at the University of the Western Cape, who is currently working on critical understanding of the politics of knowledge production in the government of poverty and marginal livelihoods.


  • Land and Agricultural Issues: Mr Thozi Gwanya – Chief Executive Officer at Eastern Cape Rural Development Agency (ECRDA).
  • Communication and Language: Prof. Ernest Khalema – Dean and Head of School of Built Environment and Development Studies at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.
  • Business in Rural Areas: Mr Septi Bukula – founder and director of Osiba Management.
  • Rural Health: Dr Daphney  Conco – Public Health Specialist; Treasurer of the Public Health Association of South Africa (PHASA); board member of the Rural Health Advocacy Project (RHAP) and Sexual and Reproductive Justice Coalition in South Africa (SRJC-SA); Senior Lecture at the School of Public Health at the Witwatersrand University.

Register in advance for the plenary session


Register in advance for one of the four split sessions

You will receive an email with confirmation and instructions on how to join the webinar.

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