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Overview of land reform and rural development in post-apartheid South Africa: Policy trajectories and implementation 02 July 2014 Portfolio Committee: Rural Development and Land Reform. Presentation outline. Overview of the context Sector: LSCF and SSSF

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Overview of land reform and rural development in post-apartheid South Africa: Policy trajectories and implementation

02 July 2014

Portfolio Committee:

Rural Development and Land Reform


Presentation outline

  • Overview of the context
  • Sector: LSCF and SSSF
  • Legislative framework and the mandate
  • Introduction to the National Priorities
  • Overview of key programmes and key policies
  • Budget processes as an oversight tool
  • Implications for oversights by the Portfolio Committee

Historical Context: unequal land distribution

  • The 1913 and 1936 Land Acts the basis for the 87% and 13% land divisions
  • 1994, SA government inherited a country with unequal distribution of land
    • Approximately 82 million hectares of commercial farm land (86% of total agricultural land) was in the hand of white minority (10.9% of the total population of South Africa; 82 million ha were concentrated in the hands of about 60,000 owners.
    • Majority of South Africans (13 million) lived in the ‘reserves’/present-day communal areas (or former Bantustans); about 70% of the poor (May, 1998)
  • The legacy: Dual agrarian structure; Poverty, Inequalities, Unemployment
    • Well developed LSCF (majority are whites) + less developed SSSF (majority are blacks)
  • Land reform is neccessary, but alone is not enough to resolve these South Africa’s land and agrarian questions. It needs to be integrated with complementary support and rural development programme.

Sectors: Dualism in agriculture

Large-Scale Commercial Agriculture

  • Share of primary agriculture to GDP is approx. 3%; but combined contribution of agro-industrial sector estimated at 13%.
  • Primary agriculture: provides markets for agric. inputs, employs a significant portion of labour force, earns foreign exchange etc.
  • Decline in no. of units from 60,000 in 1996 to 45,000 in 2007/8; currently estimated at approx. 35,000.
  • Employment in agriculture is in decline; starting in 1970s unto running into the mid-80s - casualization of labour BUT farm wage increased, especially starting in 1993 to 2003, then sharply after sectoral determination.

Smallholder sector (subsistence to semi-commercial production)

  • Estimates, 1.3 m hh have access to land for farming (of the 8m hh) in the non-metros (mainly the former homelands). 64% of them have access to <0.5ha
  • This sector has been in decline – mainly due to agronomic factors (diseases, adverse climatic conditions); institutional factors (land tenure insecurity, lack of access to production credit to purchase inputs; and declining agricultural support services such as research and extension services.

South African index of multiple deprivation 2001

  • Noble&Write (2001) Found that people who are mostly deprived live within the boandries of the former Homelands.
  • Urban migratory patterns raises another challenge of urban poverty.
  • The state of neglect of development in rural areas, emanating from apartheid spatial and racial divisions, provide in part the significance of the CRDP

The Legislative Framework: Section 25 of the Constitution

Protection of private property and expropriation

“(1) No one may be deprived of property except in terms of a law of general application, and no law may permit arbitrary deprivation of property.

“(2) property may be expropriated... (a) for public purpose or in the public interest; (b) subject to compensation...”

“(3) The amount of compensation and the time and manner of payment must be just and equitable reflecting an equitable balance between public interest and the interests of those affected,...”

4(a) The public interest includes the nations commitment to land reform and to reforms to bring about equitable access to all South Africa’s natural resources.

Land reform programme

“(5) The state must take reasonable legislative, and other measures, within its available resources, to foster conditions which enable citizens to gain access to land on an equitable basis: REDISTRIBUTION

(6) A person or community whose tenure of land is legally insecure as a result of part racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to tenure which is legally secure or to comparable redress: TENURE REFORM

(7) A person or community dispossessed of property after 19 June 1913 as a result of past racially discriminatory laws or practices is entitled, to the extent provided by an Act of Parliament, either to restitution of that property or to equitable redress”: RESTITUTION


National Priorities: NDP + NGP policy framework

  • The NDP = framework for economic and social transformantion; it aims to accelerate growth to eliminate poverty and reduce inequality by 2030.
  • The NDP + NGP constitute part of frameworks for economic transformation to address South Africa’s development challenges
    • NGP: to create 300,000 smallholder opportunities by 2020. In addition, it aims to increase their incomes by securing their participation in higher value commodity chains; and address weaknesses in land reform programme.
    • NDP: to create 1 million new jobs in agriculture, especially from smallholders, expanded irrigation, new labour intensive crops. It also proposes to fix land reform through decentralised, district based negotiation and support.
  • SONA: smallholder support and acceleration of land reform broadly
  • Medium Term initiatives situate the NDPs critical actions relevant to rural develoment and land reform within a category or theme of “poverty and social wage”. Its objetcive is to “address poverty and its impacts by broadening access to employment, strengthening the social wage, improving public transport and raising rural incomes” (NT, 2014)
  • Medium-term initiatives include the provision that “There will be extensive support to smallholder farmers, rural employment programmes and restitution” 

Mandate: DRDLR and the CRLR

  • DRDLR: “To create and maintain an equitable and sustainable land dispensation, and act as a coordinator and catalyst in rural development to ensure sustainable rural livelihoods, decent work, and continued social and economic advancement for all South Africans”. DRDLR (2014)
    • A lead champion and/or coordinator driving Outcome 7 “Creating vibrant, equitable, sustainable rural communities and contributing towards food security for all”
    • Sustainable agrarian reform with a thriving farming sector, improved access to affordable and diverse food, improved rural services to support livelihoods, improved employment and skills development opportunities, enabling institutional environment for sustainable and inclusive growth (Outputs for Outcome 7)
  • CRLR: To provide equitable redress to victims of racially motivated land dispossession, in line with the provisions of the Restitution of Land Rights Act, 1994 (Act No. 22 of 1994). Its objective is to resolve (investigation and processing) restitution claims within the target period, through negotiated settlements that restore land rights, or award alternative forms of equitable redress to claimants.
  • Pillars: Restitution, redistribution, land tenure, development of the land
  • Principles: Deracialisation of the rural economy; democratic and equitable land allocation and use; strict production discipline for guaranteed national food security.

Restitution 1

Table 4: Status of various land claims

Source: adapted from the CRLR (2013) and Parliament (2013) Ad hoc Committee Report


Restitution 2

  • 1995-2013: Over 3m ha acquired at the cost of R15bn;
  • Restitution has benefitted 368090 hh (including 134873 female headed hh)
  • Some of the challenges:
    • intra-community disputes,
    • research capacity,
    • escalating costs of land acquisition (especially high value agricultural land and national strategic assets)
    • settlement/farmer support (management of strategic partnerships and community institutional dynamics),
  • New policies
    • Reopening of lodgement of land claims for those who missed opportunity to lodge claims (including victims of betterment planning removals) NA passed the Restitution Amendment Bill in 2014; President signed the Bill into law
    • Exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date to cater for claims by descendants of Khoisan people, historical land marks and heritage sites (policy in progress)

Redistribution 1

  • SLAG (1994) LRAD (2001) PLAS (2006): Key policy instruments for land acquisition
  • 1994-2013: 2.8m ha redistributed, benefitting 225,895 people (Since 2009 922,185ha redistributed under PLAS)
  • Some of the challenges:
    • The pace has been very slow (cost of acquisition of the land); and the target to redistribute 30% of agricultural land has changed but focus on productivity
    • Farms not fully productive (design of PSS)
    • Few people are targeted as compared to the old SLAG (focus on emerging black commercial farmers);
  • Links with development of smallholder farmers (NDP and NGP proposals) not clear. Could possibly be hampered by reluctances to sub-divide farms and redistribute to smallholders.

Redistribution 2

  • New main policies (2013):
    • Agricultural Landholdings Policy Framework: it introduces upper and lower limits to agricultural land holding sizes; it promotes productive and sustainable use of land; and discourages land hording or speculation
    • State land lease disposal policy: regulate leases on state-owned agricultural land + other properties (under DRDLR)
  • Institution proposed:
    • Office of the Valuer-General (OVG) established in terms of the Property Valuation Bill (NA passed the Bill in 2014), effect the ‘just and equitable’ compensation in land reform related land acquisitions. Curb payment of excessive market value by the state

Tenure Reform 1

  • The constitution provides for a right to tenure which is legally secure.
  • Communal Tenure:
    • IPILRA, stop-gap legislation
    • CLRA declared unconstitutional in its entirely
    • New Policy: Communal Land Tenure Security (wagon-wheel model), transfer ownership to governance structure (traditional councils, CPAs, or any other structure)
  • Tenure on farms:
    • Land Reform (Labour Tenants) Act (1996) and ESTA (1997)
    • 2005 national survey Nkuzi + Social Surveys shows approx. 1m people were evicted between 1994 and 2005 (Wegerif et al, 2005)
    • New Policies: Land Tenure Security Policy for commercial farming areas (2013 draft), and Policy proposals on “strengthening relative rights of people working the land” (2014 final draft)

Tenure Reform 2

  • Historical owner = 50%
  • Farm workers/dwellers = 50% as illustrated in the diagram.
  • Questions arising: ownership of the land; state capacity to manage implementation of the model (IDFs); pre-emptive evictions; and mode of acquisition; constitutionality of the proposals
  • Department is also working on Policy on Land Ownership by Foreign Nationals
  • Institutions proposed:
    • Land Commission: mediate in land disputes, and to make land available for development by determining tenure rights
    • Land Rights Management Committee:

Recapitalisation and Development Programme (2009-2013)

  • RADP – main policy instrument for post settlement support.
  • Response to the existing dysfunctional land reform projects (estimated in 2009 as 90% - Need for a national survey)
  • In some Provinces, there is fragmented service delivery (DRDLR and DAFF) and lack of clear institutional roles and responsibilities
  • Need for oversight on RADP: Mpumalanga, North-West , Free State and Gauteng to understand the differences within particular provinces

Using budget processes as oversight tool

  • Oversight is a Constitutional mandated function of the legislative organs of state, to scrutinize and oversee Executive action and any organ of state.
  • Section 92 provides that
    • Members of the Cabinet are accountable collectively and individually to Parliament for the exercise of their powers and the performance of their functions.
    • Members of Cabinet must … act in accordance with the Constitution; and provide Parliament with full and regular reports concerning matters under their control.
  • Section 55 provides that

(2)The National Assembly must provide for mechanisms - (a) to ensure that all executive organs of state in the national sphere of government are accountable to it; and (b) to maintain oversight of- (i) the exercise of national executive authority, including the implementation of legislation; and; (ii) any organ of state.’

  • PFMA (No1 of 1999), esp. Sec.27 (Annual budgets and Strat. Plans)
  • Money Bills Amendment Procedures and Related Matters Act (No.9 of 2009)
implications for oversight
Implications for oversight
  • Documentation of overarching policy document could assist the Committee in conducting effective oversight.
  • Particular focus:
    • Restitution: reopening of lodgement and prioritisation of pre-1998 land claims; land claims register
    • Policy on exceptions to the 1913 cut-off date
    • Office of the Valuer-General and PVB
    • Recapitalisation and Development Programme
    • CRDP: Building human capital and Narysec
    • Communal tenure and farm tenure security
  • Financial
    • Quarterly performance (spending vs performance on pre-determined objectives)
    • Recommendations of the Auditor-General e.g. Risk Management Plans, Human Resources Plans and capacity development, etc.
    • Financial controls etc.