It has been more than a century since colonial powers dispossessed black South Africans of land ownership. Pressure continues to mount for the government to deliver on commitments of land restitution and redistribution, while maintaining stability of in the current agricultural industry.
The realities and potential of land reform in South africa
The land reform debate
A global perspective: Most of the world’s poorest families live in rural areas and depend on land to survive, but don’t have rights to the land they farm. Why are land rights fundamental to poverty alleviation and resolving conflicts? Check out the following video from LANDESA on the transformational power of land.
A local perspective: Land rights in South Africa are an explosive topic. Take a look at the facts for a better understanding of the context and realities. (For more detail, click through to the fact sheets provided by the Institute for Poverty Land and Agrarian Studies, University of the Western Cape.)
eNews looks at South African agriculture - the dual paradigm, challenges to food security, and the future of farming.
A site focused on the movements for land and agrarian reform, including continuous news updates, resources, video case studies, and community voices.
A rich collection of research reports and publications exploring land reform and marginalised livelihoods in Southern Africa.
Information on the food sovereignty movement and cooperatives in South Africa.
Resources for land reform communities
Know your rights: Community advice offices throughout the country provide legal guidance
on rights and process around land redistribution and tenure. Click here to find your local community
advice office. Legal Resources Centre advocates on behalf of land reform communities and
farmworkers in select cases.
Partner with commercial investors: Investors can provide the capital you need to develop
your land into a viable and profitable resource for the community, if the right skills, terms and
governance are in place. Vumelana is a non-profit organisation that help communities in the land
reform programme to develop their land. It funds advisory services to structure commercially
viable partnerships between communities and investors to create jobs, income and skills.
Learn from others: Take a look at Making Rights Real, three short films by Dahlak Exchange
(funded by the Foundation for Human Rights) on how communities around the country, in
different stages of land restitution, are making land reform work for them.
Join the struggle: Tshintsha Amakhaya is an action learning platform of civil society organizations
that support local community struggles in land and agrarian reform. Check out their website for
up to date information on events, relevant policy changes, and other resources.
Land Access Movement of South Africa (LAMOSA) is a network of CPAs in Limpopo, Mpumalanga, Gauteng and Northwest, advocating for land and agrarian rights and supporting communities.
Trust for Community Outreach and Education (TCOE) is collective of community based movements advocating for access and rights to land and resources, particularly in the Nothern Cape, Western Cape, Eastern Cape and Limpopo.
Other organisations supporting land reform communities include:
Dahlak Exchange uploaded a video 3 days ago
Where do I fit in? Land, who owns it, and how it's used, is fundamental to the economy, food access, and equality of all South Africans across class, wealth and geographic location. Take a look at how resources and livelihoods flow between rural and urban areas.
The issues can be overwhelming, but changes comes about by one person at a time caring and getting involved in some small way.
LEARN more about land reform and its links to you using the resources listed above.
FIND out what type of changemaker you are: Take a Changemaker Personality Quiz, developed by The Story of Stuff, to see how you show up in the world and what role you can play.
3 days ago
...Ask them why they idle there
While we suffer, and eat sand.
And the crow and the vulture
Hover always above our broken fences
And strangers walk over our portion.
-- Kofi Awoonor
Landesa Rural Development Institute
News from the Department of Rural Development and Land Reform
Who owns South Africa?
By 2012 post-apartheid land reform had transferred 7.95 million hectares into black ownership, which is equivalent, at best, to 7.5% of formerly white-owned land. Whites as a social category still own most of the country’s land and redressing racial imbalances in land ownership is land reform’s most urgent priority.
Is land reform working?
Many land reform projects have improved the incomes and livelihoods of those who received land – despite inadequate government support for planning and production, and in the face of severe resource constraints.
Do people really want land?
A comprehensive study of the demand for land carried out in 2005/6 reveals that one third of black South Africans want access to land for food production, and another 12% want land for a variety of other reasons. Nearly half (48%) of those wanting access to land, want only 1 ha or less.