The Friday Stand-In 2016

Issues of women and land reform under the spotlight on Friday Stand In

Friday Stand in Nomboniso Gasa spoke to Tracey Randle, principal researcher and resident historian for Solms-Delta wine estate. Randle did research which centred on the complex and nuanced contact points she refers to as 'zones', between colonists, indigenous inhabitants and slaves, farm owners and farm workers.

She says they were looking at layers in the country's past and the land's past that needed to be 'dug' up. They opened up one piece of land as an example, and revealed all the layers of the human landscape that had occurred over time.

They did 'memory work' with present day workers on the farm and created an archaeological dig.

Some of the findings were installation in a permanent exhibition at Museum van de Caab.

While working on this research Randle says they did not know what to expect but ended up with more than they anticipated.

We found middle age tools dating back to the first humans that were scattered on the surface of the farm, kind of going back to 2.5 million years, our human ancestors of the world ...

Tracey Randle, principal researcher and resident historian for Solms-Delta wine estate

We wanted the public to engage with the difficulties and complexities of the past, the history and how history is constructed on a place

Tracey Randle, principal researcher and resident historian for Solms-Delta wine estate

Listen to the full conversation below:

Gasa also looked at the role of women in the rural economy with Gloria Serobe, founding member and Executive Director of WIPHOLD and CEO of Wipcapital.

WIPHOLD is focused on agri-business, specifically food security. Serobe says that as WIPHOLD, they wanted to change the role of women from that of consumer to that of being provider.

They wanted women to be on the full value chain, from the primary growth stage right to the end, in control of everything.

They also challenged the issue of communal land and issues of not having security of tenure which was a stumbling block to getting investors.

While working on resolving all this issues facing rural women, WIPHOLD also got the soil tested and it was discovered that the land was very fertile

Our first attempt was growing maize. In rural areas if you haven't done maize, you haven't done agriculture. It is a big commodity for them.

Gloria Serobe, founding member and Executive Director of WIPHOLD

To our surprise we realised that the yields in that area are double the yields of the rest of the country. Free State, Mpumalanga and North West are the maize belts of South Africa

Gloria Serobe, founding member and Executive Director of WIPHOLD

Listen to the full conversation below:

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