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SOUTH AFRICAN LAND REFORM: PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES 01 July 2009 Thembisa Pepeteka & - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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SOUTH AFRICAN LAND REFORM: PROGRESS AND CHALLENGES 01 July 2009 Thembisa Pepeteka & Tshililo Manenzhe. Outline of the presentation. Background Policy Implementation: Progress & Challenges Prospects for rural development/ agrarian transformation Implications:. Background.

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01 July 2009

Thembisa Pepeteka &

Tshililo Manenzhe

Outline of the presentation
Outline of the presentation

  • Background

  • Policy Implementation: Progress & Challenges

  • Prospects for rural development/ agrarian transformation

  • Implications:


  • The Land Act of 1913 and 1936 formalised land dispossessions, which started in 1650s.

  • The acts limited African land ownership to ‘native reserves’/former homelands;

  • The Group Areas Act of 1960s also resulted in mass removal of black people, particularly in the urban areas.

  • By 1994, SA democratic government inherited skewed patterns of land ownership (87% of land owned by white minority and only 13% by black majority)

  • Our Constitution lays the framework for implementation of land Reform (Section 25)

  • The White Paper on Land Policy provides for three components of Land Reform Programme; It also sets out market-based approach for land redistribution but with limited scope for expropriation when necessary


  • The main purpose is to address the legacy of racial inequalities in land ownership by providing black people with access to land for residential and productive use.

  • Between 1994 -1999 main emphasis was to provide the poor with land for settlement and small-scale farming using SLAG.

  • Since 2000 LRAD was introduced, which intended to promote a class of black commercial farmers.

  • Government has set a target to redistribute 30% of white-owned agricultural land to blacks (24.6 million ha) by 2014.

  • By 31 March 2009 (in 15 years) only 5.2 million ha (5%) have been transferred, including restitution contribution.

  • To meet the target, 19.4 million ha (25%) have to be transferred in 5 years; it implies that the department must deliver more than 3 million hectares per annum.

Redistribution challenges
Redistribution- Challenges

  • Increasing land prices: Some landowners are asking exorbitant price and the Department has been forced to buy at market value

  • Inadequate Budget: For 2009/10 budget allocation for Land Reform is R3.3 billion instead of R10.1 billion required. The Department indicated that it requires an average of R15 billion per financial term or an estimated total budget of R71.5 billion to meet the target.

  • Poor capacity within the Department (staff with relevant skills)

  • Poor post settlement support to land beneficiaries

Tenure reform
Tenure Reform

  • The purpose for Tenure reform is to secure tenure for people living on farms and in in the former homelands.

  • Legislation: ESTA (Act No.62 of 1997), LTA (Act No. 3 of 1996) and the PIEOLA (Act No. 19 of 1998) regulates people’s occupation of land and eviction from other people’s land.

  • Despites the above acts, there are still high incidences of farm evictions. This points to a need to tighten legislation e.g. ESTA and LTA consolidation; PIE etc.

  • The Department established a Land Rights Management Facility (LRMF) for legal assistance to evictees. The impact of the initiative still needs to be assessed.

  • CLaRA of 2004 was enacted to help people and communities in former homelands to have tenure security. The act has not been implemented yet due to challenges such as conflicting claims, court challenge and the process of surveying, registration and vetting not finished.

  • The Department has been piloting CLaRA in KZN, but there has not been a report


  • Restitution of Land Rights Act, 22 of 1994 seeks to return land or property or equitable redress to people who have been dispossessed of their land rights through discriminatory laws since 1913.

  • The Act makes provision for the establishment of a Commission for the Restitution of Land Rights (CRLR) and Land Claims Court to facilitate the restitution of land. Total number of claims lodged by the cut-off date of 31 December 1998 were 79 696

  • In the first five years the CRLR started at a slow pace, settling 3 916 claims; picking up the speed between 2000 and 2005 - settling 53 992 claims.

  • Targets: President’s directive to complete all claims in 2005. By then only 75 % of the claims lodged were settled, then deadline was extended for 3 years to 2008.

Restitution challenges
Restitution - Challenges

  • Understaffing and capacity problems due to high staff turnover. The process of conversion of staff from contract employment to permanent status has not sufficiently addressed the problem of staff turnover.

  • Bureaucratic process within the Department of Land Affairs resulting in the delays in the movement of funds for finalized claims, delays in the transfer of land and registration of title deeds.

  • Rural claims hindered by conflict within family and among community members partly due to overlapping claims, rightful claimant, claims based jurisdiction of traditional leaders.

  • High land Prices: Some landowners asking exorbitant land prices and some officials colluding with them.

  • Inadequate funding: The strategic plan indicates that the CRLR will require at least R17.3 billion capital budget to settle the outstanding claims by 2011/12.

  • There has been a huge drop in budget for restitution programme from R3.1 billion in 2008/09 to R1.9 billion in 2009/10

  • Claims referred to Land Claims Court take too long

  • Non-traceable of claimants.

  • Poor Post-Settlement support

Pros pects for rural development
Prospects for Rural Development

  • The structure of the South African society and its economy is ‘dualistic’; high inequalities in distribution of land and wealth.

  • A holistic approach is necessary to redress the situation particularly as it affects the rural poor; South Africa requires Structural Change via a programme of wide-ranging reforms – Land and agrarian Reform

  • Agrarian Reform:

    Agrarian reform is more than a government initiated or backed redistribution of land; more broadly it can mean an overall redirection of the agrarian systems of the country which often includes land reform measures; can also include credit measures, training and extension . More than land reform, it focuses on broader set of issues such as the class character of the relations of production and distribution in farming and related enterprises, and how these connect to the wider class structure. It is thus concerned with economic and political power and the relation between them.

Prospects for rural development 2
Prospects for Rural Development 2

  • Secure land access for rural dwellers (both in the former homelands and commercial farmlands)

    • As long as enormous inequalities in land ownership exist, insecure rights to land and resources – sustainable rural development is far from being achieved. Dealing with all aspects of land reform – tenure, restitution, and encourage access to settlement and productive land by the rural poor remains crucial.

    • Market-based land reform has not helped deliver land at scale and achieving the 30% target is questionable under current circumstances. What are alternatives? Expropriation and using other constitutional options for determining value of the property? How can the state proactively use market mechanisms to target land reform?

    • Targets of 30% of agricultural land by 2014 is significant, however the qualitative aspects of the targets remain crucial.

  • Creating an enabling policy and institutional environment for broad based rural development

    • Promote access to land classes and categories of people for different purposes, informed by the needs and aspirations, esp. the rural poor

    • Policy environment that does pose a bias against the rural poor and subsistence farmers; e.g. current land reform projects business plans has adopted a commercial model of farming.

    • Targeted Development support (Extension, Infrastructure and technology etc)

Prospects for rural development 3
Prospects for Rural Development 3

  • Enhance agricultural productivity, Livelihoods support and competitiveness. (Farm Development Support)

    • Small Family farms – can be for gardens or semi-subsistence farming. (Giving small farms to rural households implies sub-division of land, under current circumstances with sub-division of agricultural land act can be difficult)

    • Access to land and resources is not sufficient, BUT access to inputs, tools, equipment, marketing outlets. Infrastructure for transport and communications, support services such s extension, training and marketing advice.

    • Investment in rural infrastructure e.g. Transport and communication is critical.

  • Capacity building and institutional development support is crucial; can enhance that rural voice; guard against the elite capture of the benefits from land reform

    • CPAs & Trusts; Many of the CPAs have been reported dysfunctional.

    • Government oversight of, and support of these institutions is crucial

Prospects for rural development 4
Prospects for Rural Development 4

  • Land based livelihoods, complemented with other forms of rural enterprise must be promoted.

    • Agricultural value chains & Industries that support local production

    • Cooperatives and trade associations

  • The impact of HIV/AIDS on rural households, and individuals

    • Sensitizing communities of the impact of the pandemic on their livelihoods activities

  • Strengthening the rural voice;.

    • The spirit of democratization of rural areas would entail mobilization which ensures that the rural dwellers make decisions about access and use of resources in their areas.

    • Alliances with other local institutions and organizations are critical

Implications going forward
Implications going forward

  • A wide range of policy discussion is crucial

    • Pace of Land Reform: what is achievable under the current global economic conditions, budgetary constraints and capacity within the department?

    • Mechanisms of acquisition of land in the light of emerging concern regarding the suitability of the MBLR approaches to deliver land at scale; Options: expropriation, abandonment of the willing buyer-willing seller approach, other alternatives?

    • Note that, although our Constitution provides for expropriation in public interest (a nation’s commitment to land reform) it may slow the process due to court process regarding appeal etc.

  • Farm Development Support or PSS/SIS

    • Coordination and alignment between departments – DAFF & DRDLR (partnerships)

    • An environment that supports all kinds of land reform beneficiaries

    • Targets that address the quality of projects delivered rather than de-racialization of land ownership alone.

    • There should be systematic monitoring and evaluation of the impact on livelihoods.

    • The Support of the land holding entities such as the CPAs and Trusts

  • Security of tenure for people living on farms

    • Access to legal services (impacts of the Land Rights Management Facility)

    • Systems of monitoring evictions

    • Access to productive land by the farm dwellers

    • Possible policy review - ESTA/LTA

  • The Rural Development Agency?

    • The CRDP outlines the responsibilities of the RDA

    • The structure and powers of the agency at the local sphere of governance?