Sithandiwe Yeni

Fellow: Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), PhD

Sitha is currently registered for a PhD at the institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies (PLAAS), University of Western Cape under the supervision of Professor Ruth Hall. She holds a Masters in Development Studies from the International Institute of Social Studies at Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and an Mphil in Land and Agrarian Studies from PLAAS.

Prior to returning to the university to pursue a PhD, she was a national coordinator for Tshintsha Amakhaya (TA), a network of 10 civil society organizations working on land, water and food justice in rural South Africa. Her work in TA was centred around building critical consciousness of rural activists, policy advocacy and supporting campaigns.  Prior to that she worked as a rural transformation programme manager at Oxfam South Africa, strengthening the capacity of civil society on land and agrarian questions by linking research to the work of civil society in supporting movement building. She also worked as a researcher at the Land and Accountability Research Centre at the university of Cape Town, looking at land rights violations by traditional leaders in light of the discovery of minerals in rural villages. During her time at LARC she was a lead researcher and narrator in This Land, a documentary highlighting land rights violations by chiefs and resistance from the villagers. She is 2018 Atlantic Fellow for Racial Equity hosted by Columbia University in New York and Nelson Mandela Foundation in Johannesburg. Occasionally you can find her opinion articles in the Daily Maverick, Mail and Guardian and The Witness.