Charmaine R.S Manyani

PhD student

Project title: From livestock to game farming: An exploration of farmers’ understandings of land use changes, sustainable agriculture and biodiversity conservation in the Ubuntu Local Municipality, Northern Cape, South Africa.


Charmaine’s dissertation addresses Game Farming Narratives in South Africa. Her research site is the Ubuntu Local Municipality in the Northern Cape Province, around the town of Victoria West. The growth in game farming/wildlife ranching in South Africa has been variously attributed to socio-political, economic, climatic and ecological reasons. Despite its reported success, game farming in South Africa is mired in controversy. For example, game farming has been accused of perpetuating white farmers’ dominance over land and the dispossession of farm labourers. There are also concerns around what sustainability means in the semi-arid Karoo, and how best to address the challenges around land reform in this context. With this as background, her study explores the motivations behind the shift from livestock to game farming in the semi-arid Great Karoo region of the Northern Cape and the extent to which this is embedded in a discourse of biodiversity conservation and sustainable agriculture among its proponents. She is also interested in exploring the prospects for emerging and small-scale farmers in the game industry and if the trend towards game farming in the Karoo could contribute towards land and agrarian reform.

Charmaine completed her undergraduate and Honours degree in administration at the University of Zimbabwe in 2006. She also enrolled for a diploma in Personnel Management at the Institute of Personnel Management in Zimbabwe which she completed in 2008. Charmaine was awarded her MA in Development Studies at the Institute for Social Studies (ISS) of the University of Erasmus Rotterdam in the Hague in 2011, with a thesis titled “Crisis Does Not Spell The End. The peasantry during a decade of economic decline in Zimbabwe. A case of Gwanda South (Ntalale)”.

Keywords: Biodiversity conservation; sustainable agriculture; sustainable development; land reform: Karoo.