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Dr. Bennett's Visit to South Africa, 4th August - 11th October 1944

Hugh Bennett’s visit to South Africa in 1944, as filmed (in colour) by C.J.J. Van Rensburg of the Soil Conservation Division, Department of Agriculture.

Amateur film 1944 40 mins Silent Not rated


This silent colour film shows Hugh Bennett’s visit to South Africa’s wheat belt in 1944. At the time, he was Chief of the United States Soil Conservation Service. This was reportedly, a high-profile and highly publicised tour. The film shows African peoples, villages, animals (lions and giraffe), forestry and farming. Dr. Bennett can be seen examining soil.

Hugh Hammond Bennett (1881-1960) was a soil scientist and conservationist. He founded the United States Soil Conservation Service (which is now known as the Natural Resources Conservation Service). As an advocate for soil conservation in 1943 he wrote, “If we are bold in our thinking, courageous in accepting new ideas, and willing to work with instead of against our land, we shall find in conservation farming an avenue to the greatest food production the world has ever known – not only for the war, but for the peace that is to follow.”