Marius Marais

Marius Marais is lecturer and researcher in Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Limpopo. Marais trained in real estate and economic feasibility studies, and was responsible for liaison with and the development of suitable opportunities and facilities for informal traders and entrepreneurs, including the governance systems of informal vendor markets in the former Bantustan of Qwaqwa in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

He excelled in mediating land use disputes and in resolving conflicts between interest groups among informal traders, retailers, land owners, government agencies and taxi organisations. Through his close work with local communities prior to emerging democratisation in the 1990s, he was invited and involved as member of the Qwaqwa Land Tenure Reform Committee, advising on land tenure issues, including from the perspective of urban sojourners’ and informal traders’ “right to the city.”

Marais is also experienced in planning, development and management of more formalised commercial, retail and hive industry facilities. He served on the Phuthaditjhaba CBD (Setsing) Planning Committee, with responsibility for the refurbishment, development and transfer of commercial property opportunities to local communities. In 2013 he joined the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, University of Limpopo, guiding students with post-graduate studies, and renewing his interest in human geography, especially in its economic and settlement expression in space.