Good Governance Africa works across the continent with specialist professionals including writers, consultants, academics, governmental and non-governmental representatives.
Peter Delius grew up in South Africa but did both his BA (Hons) and his PhD at London University’s School of Oriental and African Studies. In 1978 he joined a research team at the Institute of Commonwealth Studies at Oxford University, which focused on rural transformation. He returned to South Africa in 1981, to take up a post in the History Department at the University of the Witwatersrand. He was appointed Personal Professor in 1997 and assumed the role of Head of Department from 2006 to 2014.
He was also an active member of the History Workshop from 1981 to 2006. Apart from publishing numerous academic books and articles, he has written for popular and academic audiences. He has been active in the field of contemporary rural struggles and development throughout his career. In the 1980s he assisted NGOs resisting removals and fighting poverty in the countryside. Since 1994 he has been involved in policy formulation, intervention and evaluation.
He has also undertaken research into land claims. Organisations he has worked with include Operation Hunger, Mvula Trust, the Centre for Development and Enterprise, the International Labour Organisation, the Department of Lands, the Department of Public Works, the Mpumalanga Premier’s Office and Department of Heritage, the Mpumalanga Land Claims Commission, the Mapungubwe Institute, the Limpopo Land Claims Commission, the State Attorney’s Office and the Legal Resources Centre.
William Beinart was educated in South Africa (UCT 1968-71), did his doctorate at SOAS, University of London (1975-9) and was Professor at the University of Oxford from 1997 to 2015. He was chair of the Board of the Journal of Southern African Studies (1992-8), Director of the African Studies Centre at Oxford (2002-6 and 2014-5), chair of the School of Interdisciplinary Area Studies (2006-8), President of the African Studies Association of the UK (2008-10) and Director of Graduate Studies at the African Studies Centre (2009-13). In 2009 he was elected to the British Academy.
His recent research has focused on land issues, rural local knowledge and livelihoods in South Africa. This includes books with Luvuyo Wotshela, Prickly Pear: The Social History of a Plant in the Eastern Cape (WitsUP, 2011) and with Karen Brown African Local Knowledge and Livestock Health: Diseases and Treatments in South Africa (WitsUP, 2013 see here for an outline). A recent paper (2014) explores bio-invasions from the vantage-point of smallholders (https://www.africanstudies.ox.ac.uk/sites/sias/files/u90/Bioculturaldiver…). He has assisted with research on land restitution cases and rural chieftaincy claims, and has written on smallholder production in South Africa. This work will all feed into the new project, with GGA, aiming at analysing some key issues around land and rural production in South Africa.
He has also co-authored a text book on the history of South Africa 1948-94 for the new A-level stream in British schools on Searching for Rights and Freedoms in the Twentieth Century (2015)