News & events

Press Releases

11 March 2020

Are the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Equitable?

Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
Press Release

Pretoria, Wednesday 11 March 2020 – The Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) invites members of the media to a book launch and media seminar for the book titled, Equitable Rural Socioeconomic Change: Land, climate dynamics and technological innovation.

The event which takes place on Tuesday 17 March 2020 will address the following fundamental questions:

•    What are the views of the victims of socioeconomic marginalisation and global warming catastrophes on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations?
•    Have the voices and aspirations of social groups at the bottom of the global socioeconomic hierarchy been incorporated in the SDGs?
•    What are the responses of policy makers, civil society formations and scholars active in the Global South to these tough and pressing questions of the 21st Century?

According to the book editor, Dr Peter Jacobs, more and more of global economic wealth and decision-making power rests with fewer and fewer people, while acute socio-economic inequities continue to afflict large rural communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia. Land inequalities remain a burning question for rural communities.

The three-part book brings together original reflections on the intricacies of economic and social transformations that are unfolding in the rural areas of developing countries, and provides a fresh and authentic perspective.

Dr Jacobs added that the book revisits dominant but exhausted conceptions of rural livelihoods to expose their analytical flaws and thematic limitations.   “In this book, the interacting themes of land, climate dynamics and technological innovation are brought into a coherent whole through a re-examination of the lens of unequal ownership, control and use of a society’s productive means,” he said.

The book is the first multidimensional and integrated analysis of rural socio-economic change anchored around rising structural polarisation in the 21st century.

In closing, Dr Jacobs encourages members of the media and the public in general to participate in this event in order to help reconfigure the core principles of global transformation in the interests of the planet and humanity, with special reference to what it means for South African developmental policies.

The media is invited to attend as follows:
Date:             17 March 2020
Time:             12h30 – 14h00
Venue:            HSRC Centres in Pretoria, Durban and Cape Town

The book launch and seminar can also be attended via Vidyo link:
For more information or to set up interviews, please contact Adziliwi Nematandani, 0827659191, email:

Join the conversation: #SDG

NOTES TO THE EDITOR                                                                                                                                               
About the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)
The HSRC was established in 1968 as South Africa’s statutory research agency and has grown to become the largest dedicated research institute in the social sciences and humanities on the African continent, doing cutting-edge public research in areas that are crucial to development.

Our mandate is to inform the effective formulation and monitoring of government policy; to evaluate policy implementation; to stimulate public debate through the effective dissemination of research-based data and fact-based research results; to foster research collaboration; and to help build research capacity and infrastructure for the human sciences.

The Council conducts large-scale, policy-relevant, social-scientific research for public sector users, non-governmental organisations and international development agencies. Research activities and structures are closely aligned with South Africa’s national development priorities.

Join the conversation at:

Related Press Releases