Langa Zita

Langa Zita


Langa Zita was both Special Advisor (Policy) to the Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries as well as Director General of that department (2010-2012). Under his stewardship amongst other initiatives, he led and laid the foundation for the progressive policy called Zero Hunger intended to unlock the development potential of smallholder agriculture in South Africa.

Over the past 30 years the founder of the Institute, Langa Zita has been at the centre of the debates and strategic thinking of the liberation movement in South Africa. He has published widely in most of the leading progressive journals in the country and internationally.

He has co-edited two books:” New Frontiers for Socialism in the 21st Century with Vishwas Satgar and in French, “Afrique- Exclusion Programmee on Renaissance” with Samir Amin, one of the leading scholars in the world today. “Zita embodies a rare synthesis of the passion and energy of an activist and the erudition of a scholar.”


Langa Zita holds a Bachelor of Journalism Degree from Rhodes University with majors in Political Science, Journalism and Media Studies as well as Sociology, and Masters degree in Public and Development Management from Wits University.

He studied for an Honours degree in Economics with the University of the Western Cape (Long Paper still to be concluded). He participated in a Senior Executive Course with UCT, Economic Policy Research Institute and the Maastricht Graduate School of Governance on “Designing and Implementing Social Transfer Programs”.

He is presently a PHD candidate with Rhodes University.

Research Related Institutional Board Membership 

  • Chair of the Cooperative Policy and Alternatives Center (COPAC) independent socialist oriented research and policy center, 1999- 2009
  • Johannesburg Eco City Project “award-winning environmental and sustainable development non-governmental organisation, 2001-2010
  • South African New Economics Foundation, 2003- 2007
  • Harold Wolpe Memorial Trust, 2002-2006
  • Studies in Poverty and Inequality Institute SPII, 2006-
  • Elected Chair of SPII Board, 2014 and re-elected in 2015
  • Appointed to the board of Sanparks in 2015