The Alliance for Rural Democracy supports social inclusion and restorative land justice through mobilization and public participation in policy formulation and policy implementation.
The Alliance for Rural Democracy addresses the challenges rural South Africans face around retaining access to land and natural resources for their livelihoods. They amplify rural voices by promoting living customary law, rural democracy, and women’s land rights. ARD works through hubs of volunteer activists in 5 provinces in the former Bantustans, a territory that the National Party administration of South Africa set aside for black inhabitants as part of its policy of apartheid. They intervene for communities and are building a rural movement to ensure people living in rural areas are aware of their land rights and can safeguard their security of tenure.
Tshepo Fokane was born into a family with strong ties to the land: her maternal family are descendants of a land purchasing group in the former Bophuthatswana Bantustan, and her paternal family are former sharecroppers and labor tenants evicted off their farm in the Free State. Tshepo is a researcher with more than 10 years of experience in community development and resilience building. She is a social justice activist and development practitioner, with a BA, from the University of Johannesburg and a MPhil (Land and Agrarian Studies) from the University of Western Cape. More recently, she completed a Systems Change and Social Impact – Short Course from the Graduate School of Business from the University of Cape Town. In her current role, she works on policy and law-related capacity building and training programs that assist underserved communities in rural areas to defend their customary land rights. She believes in using her skill set for the public good. This informs her work and outlook on how best to serve the communities with whom ARD works.
Cultivating informed, empowered, and engaged citizens and voters